"Blockchain is going to change everything" has already gotten to be a little bit of a cliche. There's a lot of promotion of that idea out there, and frankly, most of it is way over the top. We're in the first stage boom of blockchain development, and right now there are a lot more chains out there than there are useful things to do with them. So it can easily all look like a case of reckless over-enthusiasm.
And yet, at the heart of it, the distributed cryptographic open ledger - of which blockchain is one form - is truly a new and useful way of handling and distributing information. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin get most of the attention right now, but cryptocurrencies may be the least interesting thing about the open ledger. Ideas like open and secure logistics, universal tokenization, and the decentralized consensus canon offer far more possibilities for expanding the scope of our interaction with all of the information we generate, and developing new value from it.
One of the things that means is that the value isn't in coins, it is in people.
Image by @samic
When the Web was in its infancy, the technology was exciting, and people were doing all sorts of strange things with it. Some of them worked, some of them didn't, but one thing that all of those projects had in common was that they were developing Internet literacy. That skill went on to become a critical one; 25 years later most of those projects have vanished, but Internet literacy is a requirement for doing almost anything. The people who developed those skills early had a huge advantage, both for themselves and the businesses that employed them.
Where do you go to find blockchain literacy? Steem.
There are lots of blockchain projects out there, but the vast majority of them have only two types of people: blockchain developers, and people speculating on the value of their coins. Steem is different. Steem is where people who don't want to build the first-layer blockchain infrastructure come to learn blockchain skills. We have a highly-interactive community of people helping each other to learn and develop those skills, both on a purely personal social level and through organized projects like @utopian-io.
Steem is the blockchain where secondary development happens.
While the first-level development of any new information technology is vital, it's the secondary level where powerful businesses are formed. Think of the Web businesses that are central to the public consciousness: none of them actually built the Web. Google figured out a way to let people find information from the underlying structure more easily, and built an empire from it. Amazon figured out that the Web would let them sell things to people more efficiently than anyone ever had before. Facebook and Twitter understood that people wanted to talk to each other on a casual basis. EBay figured out that they could let people sell things to each other all over the world. YouTube seized on it as a method for allowing people to distribute their videos. All of these used the web infrastructure that was already in place.
Like the Web, the Steem blockchain is an infrastructure layer that allows people to build things upon it, and people are here working on that consistently. And unlike the early Web, Steem has a built-in social component that allows those people to talk to each other easily. Secondary developers on Steem talk to each other, help each other, collaborate in unexpected directions.
Steem is a hotbed of blockchain literacy.
That community, and the fact that much of it happens in public, makes Steem the place to be to learn how to interact with blockchain systems, either as a user or a developer. Steem's content reward system attracts creative people from all walks of life, all of whom are developing blockchain user skills, and many of whom are taking the opportunity to learn about development for the first time.
Steem has a diversity that isn't reflected in other blockchain projects. Not just a diversity in personal statistics, although that is valuable, but a diversity in job experience and approach. Want graphic designers with blockchain experience? Steem is full of them, and good luck finding them anywhere else. What about writers, recruiters, marketers, composers, videographers? If you're looking for anyone who is essential to the modern information economy, you'll find the ones with blockchain skills on Steem. And much, much easier than you'll find them anywhere else.
Invest in people for the future
As the influence of the open ledger grows, those people with those skills are going to be critical to the success of any business in this space. Much as locating your business geographically where the best employees are has been a key indicator of success, locating your business conceptually where the best employees are is a huge advantage. Steem is full of smart people who think about blockchain in all sorts of different ways, and who talk to each other about it. Steem is where you want to be.
Image by @cryptocurator
Thank you for reading.
@forinvestors is a project to build an information portal for Steem entrepreneurs and for investors looking for startup projects to invest in. We believe that Steem offers exceptionally fertile ground for blockchain startups, and are working to communicate that more clearly. We appreciate your interest.
Steem entrepreneurs are welcome to use @forinvestors content and graphics when seeking funding.