During the fall of 2014, attending the executive program of Singularity University at the heart of the Silicon Valley, the idea that Blockchain would be as significant to the growth of the internet in the next fifteen years as the internet has been in the previous 25 years started to grow in my mind.
Two market cycles after, I have seen many of the world’s best minds and billions of dollars in investment pouring into the space to figure out how to use the technology to make a fully digital society a reality. The adoption of Bitcoin has increased its positioning as a store of value; smart contracts have enabled crowdfunding, stablecoins, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and Decentralized finance (DeFi).
Companies in various industries use blockchain to streamline processes and foster greater transparency and trust. According to Fortune Business Insights, the global blockchain market is projected to grow from $7.18 billion in 2022 to $163.83 billion by 2029, at a CAGR of 56.3% in the forecast period.
Blockchain is more than Bitcoin, Stable Coins, NFTs, DeFi, and Crypto.
Considering the pandemic, we have seen that the two main factors driving the expansion of the blockchain market are the financial services sector’s competitiveness and the health sector’s digitalization. Also, growth is fueled by the increased demand for data security, and there is already noticeable progress in the supply chain, gaming, music, and the arts.
Our Web3 innovation practice has been helping firms in the fintech, financial services, energy, healthcare, entertainment, manufacturing, and telecommunications sectors to assess the impact of blockchain and other exponential technology and trends on their business, develop integrated programs to enhance their current business models, create new ones, and gain and track their competitive advantages.
We know from experience that blockchain is still in its infancy and that it has yet to demonstrate its potential to transform the current internet into the internet of the future. But every business needs to dip a toe into the web3 wave. While in most businesses, it might still be early to commit entirely, there are certain areas where the race has already started.
We are moving from the sharing economy into the ownership economy with new ways people organize around a project; communities and decentralized organizations will play a critical role. Blockchain technology becomes essential for business and society if you believe that material contributions should have clear ownership and provenance.
Blockchain is a platform for disintermediation; it is about trust, decentralization, and ownership. Consumers can own their data, and the technology enables tools to reward contributors and user behavior, boosting creativity, collaboration, and digital communities.
Communities are starting to engage their members, simplifying the technology and the user experience, and from there, they are beginning to explore opportunities. Therefore, adoption driven by digital communities will be critical and effective.
When technology is simple to use and solves a real problem, it is quickly embraced by the public. As it is, blockchain will not be an exception. Businesses must explore, build, measure, learn, and repeat to develop the skills required to flourish in the web3.
How to gain web3 competitive edge?
Below are the components of a disruptive innovation system to help organizations embrace blockchain disruption, gain competitive advantages, and make web3 happen.
Proactively and pragmatically assess market trends impacting your business to identify opportunities where trust, ownership, and disintermediation have the potential to change the future of your industry.
Leverage your Purpose, develop relationships, and nurture community; this way, the right people will find you.
Engage your community, and educate yourself on web3 to better identify the problems your organization can solve and the jobs to be done with the customer at the core.
Set aggressive objectives and 3-5 measurable key results (OKRs), run experiments, fall fast, and learn quickly.
Establish and maintain a business rhythm and help your team to identify what they need to create new business models and monetization mechanisms.
Use data, dashboards, and real-time information to make informed decisions about where and how to invest across the web3 innovation portfolio.
Understand and measure your key success factors (KSFs), and hold yourself and your team accountable. Identify the #1 most prominent specific and measurement activity to success.
Wash, rinse, and repeat; and make sure you extend your web3 disruption innovation culture.
Those who don’t start climbing the web3 learning curve may miss the most significant value-creation opportunity of our lifetimes, just as many people did during the transition to the world wide web in the 90s and the second wave during the 00s, where the user-generated content business models emerged.
Customers were joining the Zoom conference for our advisory call. As I got to know new ecosystem participants, one of the potential consultants enquired, “how can my customers build their platforms?”
I welcomed the question, which addressed my opening statement to them.
“Many people mistake a platform with a piece of technology, such as a mobile app or a website, but a platform is more than just software. It is a comprehensive business model that generates value by connecting consumers and producers.”
A successful platform business must attract participants, make it easy for people to connect, and foster member exchange and co-creation. We believe four strategic challenges should be addressed for a platform business to prosper.
Determine the consumer and producer sides of your platform.
Resolve the chicken or egg conundrum: how to get volume from multiple sides?
Create your business model – who pays, who does not, and where are the profits.
Create and enforce ecosystem rules. Who should have the authority to do what?
How to make possible a successful B2B Platform business?
We think the Exponential Organization (ExO) framework helps to answer the question. A Massive Transformative Purpose that pulls a community, fosters connections and gives the members something to rally around is necessary for a successful B2B platform business. Additionally, the right combination of internal and external ExO attributes is needed. Our professional experience has shown us that a platform may be enabled by integrating the blueprints for Community-Engagement-Experimentation and Algorithms-Interfaces-Experimentation.
When someone suggested making Miami a tech hub on Twitter in December 2020, Mayor Suarez replied, “How can I help?” It sparked a rush of movement.
A “how can I help?” mindset and culture are essential to understanding your community’s needs and engaging the members to generate experiments and eventually scale. Starting small and moving fast using your community for insights, ideation, and product adoption truly help to test and pivot your own platform business and help to match the pivot of your customers.
Early in the formation of the Openexo and yWhales communities, moderators played a crucial role in seeding discussions and responding to customer posts. Later both communities started to focus on content to drive traffic to their community, pulling and pushing the flow of visitors from outside sources. Ultimately, activation or engagement is about getting that buy-in from new users and encouraging regular activity in the community.
Engagement is essential for getting as many people through the activation funnel as possible and developing a solid community of loyal, engaged super-users and ambassadors. Without these individuals, the community would not have as much content for people at the top of the activation funnel to enjoy!
I remember the first time I visited the Airbnb website in 2014; I was captivated by its simplicity and clarity. Their messages and call to action connected with my needs and got my attention.
In a B2B platform business, the Interfaces refer to how the community will interact with your company. Therefore, before designing your interface, you need to identify the sources of abundance you are accessing, think about how to humanize the user experience, create standardized processes, and apply algorithms to automate processes. Finally, you need to test the interfaces with your community members and update those interfaces regularly based on the results of your experiments.
Additionally, the interfaces should offer unique digital experiences. For example, gamification tools like user ranks, badges, reputation indicators, and likes are excellent ways to engage customers and drive them along the sales funnel.
To conclude, we want to reveal some practical recommendations we learned from the mistakes we made when creating B2B communities, mistakes you should not make.
Start small and move fast instead of making a “big bang” launch.
Don’t concentrate only on technology.
Expecting your community to entirely replace your marketing or customer service is unrealistic.
Avoid leaving your community to “self-regulate.”
Avoid misinterpreting the true motivations of your community members.
ExO attributes are essential only if connected to your business model; developing your business model is the key. Platform businesses have the potential to tip your market due to economies of scale, but they can also result in significant financial loss.
We value your feedback because we enjoy learning new things.
The current crisis of Covid-19 is affecting people and companies; furthermore, it will affect the way that we conduct future businesses. The business landscape is changing dramatically; it is creating new opportunities and ways of working that we should all embrace.
Some great companies, with strong balance sheets, will emerge more robust than ever. We will, for sure, experiment concentration of power across sectors. The smaller agile and lean businesses might survive just well. Face-to-face service-oriented companies are suffering, and we will see large and mid-sized companies with weak balance sheets disappear.
During times of crisis, you should not panic. I am a believer that we should prepare for the worst but expect the best. What if the current Work from Home experience works well for companies and people? It can change the way of working from now on.
I am a global ambassador and coach at OpenExO, a community with the purpose of “Transforming the World for a Better Future.” We are more than 3,600 virtual consultants and coaches around the world, working from co-working spaces, coffee shops, airports, trains, homes, etc.
In a couple of weeks, we created and launched the ExO World Conference, a completely live, online, and interactive three-day transformative conference occurring April 14 till 16, 2020.
Additionally, during the week of March 16, three hundred of us worked together in the global ExO Challenge COVID-19. We created more than 20 exponential solutions to problems originated by the current pandemic. There are several remote teams already working on implementing their ideas, and we can’t wait to see the next steps! This experiment was designed, created, and executed online in record time by people around the world working synchronously and asynchronously within a 24-hour schedule each day.
Much like Openexo, many other organizations used to online and remote work are moving forward, adjusting their plans. Others are embracing and learning about the work from home experience and will soon be able to adapt. Sadly, either not everyone around the world will have the same resources to accommodate fast to online work or will not readily accept the change; unfortunately, they will become laggards.
I spend a considerable portion of my time working from home as an entrepreneur, advisor, and coach. During my experience with global corporations, I took my first training to operate and manage remote virtual teams in 2002 and have worked many years with regional and global organizations.
This week, reflecting on what is going on with the Coronavirus, I revised my experiences from working online with digital tools and people around the world. I decided to share some simple tips that I have found useful and vital to working and collaborating effectively online.
You don’t need to know how to use every productivity application out there, but you should at least become familiar with the communication and social apps that make a good fit for the team. I am a heavy user of Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, Discord, Slack, and Teamwork.
When leading an online meeting, I try to be disciplined and human, demonstrating care for each of the participants is essential. I recommend starting online sessions allocating time to share feelings and things that are competing for attention. Facilitate but leave room for serendipity.
Differentiate your governance meetings to manage the business of the business from your tactical meetings to move projects forward.
Prepare the meeting’s agenda ahead and allocate extra time for technology mismatches and confusion, as we joke at the EXO’s community, “AI is easier than AV.”
Encourage every participant to engage, call people by name and let them know that it is ok to say “pass” if they prefer not to respond. It is an excellent practice to coordinate with small groups; I find 5-6 people an ideal size for an online SWAP team.
Keep your cameras on and energize the conversation by using facial expressions, hand gestures, smiles, and direct eye contact with the camera. Encourage questions and comments in the chat to keep everyone engaged.
Ask people if they are ok recording the video calls so others who could not participate can watch and catch up offline. This practice allows everyone to come back to review the discussions and conclusions.
Collaborate on shared files while on video, I used GDrive and OneDrive. It is useful to get the job done and to keep people engaged.
Follow up with people after the sessions and gain feedback to make it better next time. In addition to the official meetings, we adopted “water-coolers”, informal voluntary meetings during the week for team members to discuss any topic.
Get buy-in from everyone on decisions and make them explicit. If the team is not in agreement with the changes, the process will fail.
Humanity has a fantastic future ahead. This pandemic will increase the momentum to transform many institutions. This moment is not only about finding ways to survive in the current reality, but it is also an opportunity to build a 10x better world!
Feel free to add any tips that have helped you work and collaborate effectively online!
Similarly, the most significant problems of our time are global and require globally coordinated solutions. All these partnerships need more trust and transparency to succeed.
Businesses have always changed with the times, but the confluence of technological innovations such as mobile, cloud, social, and Big Data analytics are accelerating the pace and generating new business models, allowing disrupters better serve their customer and drive growth.
Cloud computing and data technology significantly reduce CapEx as well as operating and maintenance costs while allowing access to computing power to process an ever-increasing volume of data. For example, car-sharing services enable private cars to temporarily become taxis, monitoring drivers and riders, adjusting prices and routes throughout the day.
Distributed systems enable redundant and resilient networks that protect the integrity of the systems. If data is distributed between multiple servers, there may not be any data loss even if a storage device ceases to work.
Data security is of particular importance in distributed systems, and advanced cryptography secures both network and transactions to their integrity.
Together, these technologies enable the potential for blockchain to allow for new collaborative and trusted behaviors that are unlocking new business models.
Fluid Chains’ process leverages the concepts of Exponential Organizations by @salimismail, and it has helped us to simplify the complexity of new interconnected prosperous opportunities. The Exponential Attributes had facilitated to our customer the development of accelerated global coordinated solutions. The application of attributes varies by project and by industry, below a short explanation on how the attributes have been helping our Distributed Ledger projects.
Leveraging External Communities via project incentives is vital to creating value for any blockchain project, it allows to turn community members into engaged advocates participating of securing the network and making the difference between success and failure for the new distributed organizations created around these decentralized projects. Cryptographic Algorithms and hashing, a cryptographic method of converting any data into a string of characters, keep the blockchain secure.
APIs had allowed developers to leverage open source software and build marketplaces with next-generation applications and projects; Interfaces are key in blockchain projects to enable the community to connect with systems. Blockchain technology is in an early stage, the best time to find the right use case for your business problem across your industry, get into space, set a small group in a design thinking process, experiment, learn, measure and pivot.
Autonomy of contributors and stakeholders is a crucial concept for how people related and interact with blockchain projects and each other. It creates efficiencies within individual actors direct their efforts, circumventing inefficiencies of top-down control
At Fluid Chains we integrate the transformational power of blockchain into your organization to create ventures with exponential scaling potential and sustainable business models.