Today a blockchain startup founder can expect to navigate challenging waters. Even in the best of times, founders need to both prepare for a bull market and be ready for potentially bearish terrain.
Having a solid roadmap, real-world use cases, and a war chest are only a small part of a blockchain startup’s survival strategy. Founders should also be aware that while non-crypto startups can provide useful and transferable launch strategies, the road to success in the blockchain industry is paved differently.
Here are tips every blockchain founder should consider before getting started.
Be mindful of market conditions
Bear markets seem more attractive to blockchain companies looking to start. But before they’re ready for winter, founders need to assess whether it’s worth waiting to launch until market conditions improve.
In the web3 world of horizontal technologies, if you wait to build relationships until you build a technology, you’re going against the grain.
Evaluate your startup using the same criteria investors use during a bear market. Investors want to see a strong roadmap with deadlines and benchmarks that don’t just come and go without activity, as this is a signal to investors that a carpet is slowly being drawn.
Evidence of a diversified war chest from which to draw is crucial, especially when delivering returns on locked-down assets is the main incentive for gaining liquidity. In addition, analyze the market situation from a technical point of view: the bear market is an attractive time to launch, but it is also a time to stay afloat and focus on building your product.
Regardless of market conditions, take advantage of your loyal community member rewards programs by offering wagering rewards, airdrops, and giveaways without raising additional capital, similar to traditional business.
Opt for longer vesting schedules
In the non-crypto startup scene, it is common to include reward packages as an incentive for employees to perform well. Blockchain startups do this during the presale period of an initial coin offering using a method called vesting, where they lock in and release assets (usually in the form of tokens) for a period of time. In doing so, they entitle their team, investors and advisors to certain assets, such as pensions and stock options.
If you choose this path, you set the token statistics and the waiting period for the gradual release of these tokens in a way that does not put too much pressure on the token itself. Many crypto projects unlock and distribute their tokens every three months, and they feel that private investors are dumping them on the market, which is bad for the team and the community. In turn, retail investors also start selling ahead of time because they know a mess is coming.
Opt for longer vesting schedules — between three and five years — to demonstrate that you have a financial incentive to continue with project development. Split the tokens release: release the retail investor tokens one month, the advisor tokens the next month, and the team tokens a month later. If it’s all in one month, the risk for retail investors will be too high.