The crypto space has experienced a turbulent couple of months this past year. With the death spiral of LUNA, followed by a series of bankruptcy announcements by big players like Celsius, Three Arrows Capital, and also FTX, we are now, presumably, in another crypto winter. However, despite many peaks and troughs, the crypto industry still has a market capitalization of over $800 billion (as of Dec 2022), which suggests a strong upside potential. The main challenge remains: how do you start your journey to launching your crypto startup? - Author: Max Zheng, Albert Sugiharto
Always start with market research
There are endless possibilities when it comes to starting a crypto venture. However, the first step is to answer the question, where do you want to start or what do you want to focus on? Within the crypto space, several markets have their own niches, for instance, tokenization, financial services, infrastructure, decentralized applications, NFTs, and more. Once you figure out the niche you want to dive into; the next step is to measure its market size. You can do this by categorizing the market into three different groups, the Total Addressable Market (TAM), the Serviceable Addressable Market (SAM), and the Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM).
First, there is the Total Addressable Market (TAM) which refers to the total demand in the market for said goods or services. This number is also used to estimate the market’s potential growth.
Next, we have the Serviceable Addressable Market (SAM), which reflects the limits of your business model. These limits could refer to geographical limitations or even specialization limitations.
Finally, there is the Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM) which provides an estimation of the possible number you could realistically serve. Doing a deep-dive research on these categories, e.g., through expert interviews, academic research papers, or online surveys, will help you to validate your initial intuition about the market itself and provide you with concrete numbers. With this information, you can then conduct a data-driven decision-making process on your potential market and discover what your competitors are currently doing.
Making fast and precise decisions to check whether there is a market
Figuring out the market size is good, but it isn’t enough. The crypto industry evolves and moves very quickly, which means that time is of the essence. To move as quickly and efficiently as possible, the entrepreneur must find market proof very aggressively. In our in-house research with over hundreds of crypto entrepreneurs, we found that the entrepreneur must find suitable tools to validate an intuition. As explained above, the SOM can be determined by expert interviews, academic research papers, or online surveys. However, another method could be mere sign-ups for your (fictive) service. If you have an intuition, make a fictive product or service out of it, create a simple landing page, launch it, and then derive results from the market. As the founder, it is your job that people find your landing page, and in the best case, they sign up. If they sign up, then it's a good signal; if they don't, you might want to rethink your idea.
In exceptional cases, especially if your product and services intersect with crucial regulatory frameworks (usually anything that touches security laws), you might need to find different ways to validate your idea because a landing page and advertisement might face regulatory issues.
Evaluate and consequently validate or reject your idea
At some point, you will have data on hand, be it sign-ups, expert interviews, online surveys, or other market proof points. When having qualitative insights on hand, it is the entrepreneur’s job to evaluate the results. Now there are various ways to evaluate results because it hugely depends on the business model; however, the common goal is always the same. Can you, as the entrepreneur, find enough evidence to support your assumption that there might be a product-market fit?
In conclusion, if you can answer the above with a “yes,” then it is worth proceeding. Otherwise, reject your idea, learn, and reiterate.
Bringing your crypto product to the market
The critical question is, when is the right time to launch and go public? It's a tricky question that needs to be answered from various strategic aspects. However, one thing is for sure, it is the entrepreneur's job to identify and work towards building a product or service that people actually want. The product or service might be within a trend that is anticipated, and especially in the web3 world, trends have an extremely short phase for exponential growth. In easier terms, if the entrepreneur waits too long or needs too much time to validate an idea, then he/she might risk missing the growth phase for a certain trend.
Jumpstart your web3/crypto startup through a program
There are many ways to jumpstart your web3 startup. While bootstrapping on your own seems ideal, you might not reach your full potential due to limited resources, guidance, and financial support. One way to circumvent this is by joining a crypto incubator or accelerator program, and there are definitely some benefits to joining such programs.
First, it helps early-stage startups to iterate and launch their products much faster through its intensive program. Second, incubator programs usually provide a wide range of assistance, such as working space, administrative support, legal advice, and more. These allow co-founders to focus on building and honing their crypto products. Lastly, you gain access to an otherwise inaccessible community of builders, experts, and investors through the program. All these enable you not only to be more focused on your product but also to keep your motivation level high by working with like-minded people.
One such program is the BFG Superstars Program - an 8-12 weeks incubation program for crypto startups. During the program, participants will be able to get professional advice from experts in the crypto industry and participate in different tactical workshops. At the end of the program, the successful venture will receive financial support and gain access to the BFG community as lifetime members while also being granted the privilege to join exclusive networking events.
The program is held twice a year. You can find more information about the program here.
About Blockchain Founders Group
Blockchain Founders Group (BFG) is the driving force behind web3 innovation. As a company builder, we bring together a team of blockchain visionaries, experienced entrepreneurs, and industry experts, all committed to nurturing emerging talent. Our BFG acceleration programs serve as your springboard for launching blockchain startups, transforming concepts into reality in just 2-3 months. Each cohort develops 5-8 unique web3 ideas, and selected projects will be financially supported with 70,000 - 100,000 EUR, along with access to our extensive network. Join us in shaping the future of web3!
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