tl:dr; Driving deep belief and frictionless ecosystem coordination could be signs of protocols and dApps that emerge dominant in the long-term.
When a new technology comes on the scene, there’s invariably a tension between the concepts of “it’s revolutionary” and “it’s evolutionary.”
In my natural zeal, I tend to think that things (at least those which I get behind like the Internet, social media, and crypto) are more revolutionary than evolutionary. Obviously, the causality could be messed up for me and I have to argue that they are revolutionary precisely because I have chosen to get behind them. But let’s leave that aside.
One of the things I tried to think about in the Decentralized Marketing Organization e-book was which parts of marketing would be revolutionarily impacted by crypto and which parts would remain the same.
This is a never-ending thought stream for me.
I’m going to put some of the ideas forth next month at the MarTech conference in Boston where I am keynoting on the topic of The Emergence of Crypto-Native MarTech: Tools of the Future, Already Here Today.
I like having these keynotes on my calendar because they serve as a forcing function for me to organize my thoughts…or risk total embarrassment and humiliation.
Two ideas that I am starting to coalesce around when it comes to crypto-native are: belief and ecosystem.
The question is: how are they the same and ow are they different between traditional marketing and crypto-native marketing?
On the one hand, both traditional firms and crypto-native projects require belief and ecosystem, but I wonder if the difference is in HOW they need and benefit from them.
Traditional startups require belief. The core team has to believe that, despite overwhelming odds, they are going to persevere. They also have to convince first customers to believe. That takes a lot of work. Still, you can have belief and not have a company as money runs out.
This is this tweet from Naval helps understand a critical difference.
In a traditional start-up, you have hope if there’s a last dollar. In crypto, it’s a last believer.
Money vs. people, I suppose.
Ecosystems are important and they take a lot of work to create. But true ecosystem value comes from the various members of the ecosystem working together with each other. Your phone is great. it’s better when you can share to Twitter or Facebook from it, when it reads/writes to your Google calendar, and when you can find your files on dropbox. When all of those things (and more) work together, it’s even better.
The challenge, from a technical side, is getting the right pieces to coordinate with each other.
The faster they can figure out the technical specs (and, I suppose, the joint go to market efforts), the more the entire ecosystem grows.
In and of itself, it’s an interesting read (though somewhat technical) to try and understand how video would look if it were decentralized.
But it’s one of his final points that stood out for me.
“The ecosystem will thrive as fast as its capacity to coordinate efforts.”
Because this is where crypto-economic incentive systems fare particularly well, coordinating activities across large, disparate groups of people more effectively (eventually, of course) than a command and control system could. (Note: see DAOstack-discl: advisor on this one).
What this means for crypto-marketers
I suppose there are two takeaways for emerging crypto-marketers.
The first is that evangelizing and driving deeply held belief in the vision is even more critical. It’s like a future-proofing/insurance policy.
The second is that partner coordination could be a competitive differentiator.
One of my favorite quotes is “the best technology doesn’t always win.”
I think we’ll see the projects that invest in these things succeed disproportionately.