In its relatively short lifespan, the blockchain space has seen extreme peaks and catastrophic troughs. Bull seasons come with generous financial influx, excitable crowds, and scam projects looking to make a quick buck, while the troughs can be challenging for projects. Bear retractions can significantly affect growth potential, especially as projects raise and store funds as crypto.
From experience, early success is not always an indicator of a sound project. Projects that aim to endure throughout the bull and bear seasons of the crypto space should be ready for the systematic, and often boring, processes required to turn an idea into a successful blockchain project.
Stars that shine brightest burn quickest
The blockchain space has come a long way and has gained a lot of credibility with investors and willing supporters of innovative ideas. The absence of intermediaries, third parties, and redundancies makes fund-raising more efficient. These are some of the best parts of the space.
Blockchain encourages innovation and provides an enabling environment for projects. However, this enthusiasm is also exploited by dark forces.
Every bull season is accompanied by scam projects that spam buzzwords, make big promises, and plummet into obscurity with investors’ funds. These startups take advantage of the enabling environment to create projects backed with hype and zero substance—the popularity of shitcoins during the last bull run, for example.
Most of these shiny projects often share similar characteristics.
- The founders are unwilling to risk their reputation on the project
- Lofty goals accompanied by impractical/unspecific timelines
- Obscure/optimistic details about funding plans and investor remuneration
- Project names are imitations of more reputable ones
- They typically launch on low-tier marketplaces with lax admission rules
- The party ends when community members lose their investments.
The blockchain space is also resilient.
Hard Work is Boring
The amount of time and commitment it takes to build, deliver and maintain a project in this evolving space is very boring. Bar a few exceptions, blockchain success stories things don’t happen by accident. And when projects grow ahead of schedule, signs of lack of preparation or incompetence can stunt development or even lead to the project’s death.
Almost 14 years after Satoshi Nakamoto published the Bitcoin whitepaper, the cryptocurrency remains the leading digital asset in the blockchain space. The level of detail and the volume of literature and research papers in the whitepaper highlight the amount of work the mythical author of the whitepaper put into developing the text and its accompanying technology.
The story of the second-biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization – Ethereum – is not so different. It is a boring tale that spans over half a decade and features an unusually long list of founders.
Long periods of arduous work and systematic growth are recurring themes with projects that lead the growth of the blockchain industry and inspire worthy complementary innovations. Projects like OpenSea, Rarible, Binance, etc., have a similar history.
Fortune favors the brave
Entrepreneurship is a hard road that often leads to a dead end. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about 20% of ventures fail in the first two years, 45% in the first five years, and 65% shut down within 10 years. The trend persists in the blockchain space, but those who commit to the process enjoy the dividends of hard work.
Even in failure, gallant efforts become valuable experiences, reputation boosts, and useful connections for the team, which better positions them for future success.
Here are some pointers to building a boring project that will be around for a long time.
- Work with experts that share the vision.
- Reach out to advisors for professional perspectives.
- Delegate to team members to avoid burnout.
- Manage expectations.
- Collaborate with reputable projects.
From experience, building a successful and sustainable blockchain project is a marathon, not a sprint. However, when the stars align, the view from the top is worth it!