1 min read

Help me I'm decomposing!

Traditional businesses provide products and services to customers. The core of businesses built on blockchain doesn't work this way.

When you build a dApp, you certainly can set it up so your business provides something (art, financial services, data, etc.) to customers. That works, but most of the time you're better off breaking down your role so other businesses and individuals can provide that same thing as you are using your dApp.

This is a lot like building a platform business. Platforms connect two (or more) distinct groups of people who can benefit each other. Amazon connects sellers and buyers. Uber connects drivers and riders. Youtube connects creators and watchers.

But when one of these platform businesses decides to act as the platform and a provider of goods and services, there's a conflict of interest. Amazon's line of products can be less expensive than their competitors' because they don't have to worry about the platform fees. The problem is that their "competitors" were originally their customers. The platform helped someone start a business, the platform made money, and then the platform pushed the business out.

With web3, "platform" isn't a business. It's a smart contract. This type of contract is often called a protocol. If the protocol is properly decentralized, you won't make much money for creating and operating it. Instead, you'll be compensated upfront for your efforts and then join everyone else as a customer (and steward) of the protocol. No more conflict of interest.

This is what I mean by "decomposing" -- solve the same problem as you would with a traditional business, but break up the roles that you would have performed into opportunities for the community.

Don't just...

  • make art
  • offer loans
  • aggregate data
  • etc.

Provide tooling so anyone can do that...

  • NFT marketplaces
  • DeFi protocols
  • Oracle networks
  • etc.

Then focus on connecting the different groups of people you need to make the protocol successful.


P.S. Building is just the first step. Community building is the hard part.