The No Cap Newsletter (010)
A bi-weekly newsletter ran by the RippleX Fellowship, covering key program learnings, industry news, and fellow spotlights.
📖 The Origin Story
The RippleX Fellowship has been able to grow tremendously since its start and we are proud of the ecosystem that we continue to build. As we’ve recently introduced our 10th cohort of students this term, we’ve also expanded our curriculum open to the public at ripplexfellowship.thinkific.com.
Dom, Founder of the RippleX Fellowship recently joined Matt Cohen on Tank Talks to share his experiences creating the program and developing new strategies to reiterate the mission statement of democratizing the barrier to entry for students building and investing. Dive into the story, here.
The product is always at the core of the company, so developing the perfect product is definitely an iterative process. Whether you’re simply starting out with the MVP or standing strong with hundreds of customers, here are some strategies that can help you analyze your product and take it to the next level:
Testing & Research - If possible, you should go into the product and use it to see if it works, if it provides value to the intended use case, and if the experience is seamless.
The goal here is to understand if the product is real, working, and valuable.
Start researching other competitors and try out their products. If you’re lucky, they will be free to try and available for a trial. If not, you’ll have to refer to other options.
Use different channels to chat with users and customers about the product. It doesn’t have to be a formal customer interview, but can just be a casual conversation about their experience using the product, what they like, what they dislike, etc.
Metrics to Dive into - Every startup is different, and every market is different. As such, the metrics to assess companies differs depending on the type of company. But the core areas that you want to dive into are:
How is the product usage being measured by the team, and how are those metrics performing?
What has repeated usage looked like, and how engaged are users?
Where does growth come from in the product to acquire users, and how is that performing?
What is the north star metric to the company, and what are the key drivers of that?
Where are users churning and dropping off, and why is this happening (lack of features, usability, etc.)?
Average session time, the number of actions, etc.
Feature Comparison - Another way to assess the product is by comparing features between companies.
You can create a features matrix, but this can sometimes be a false view of where the company places in the market.
Here’s why - Company A can build 100 features but only 2 of them are really used and loved by customers. Meanwhile, Company B might only have 2 features, but they are 10X better than Company A’s. Company B has fewer features but has higher quality features that fit customer needs.
Features built are signals of what problems are being solved by the company. You can drill down into the usage and drivers of each feature too for better insight.
🔍 Leading Indicators
Though web3 is relatively new in comparison to other industries, this emerging industry has already seen drastic highs and lows with major events taking place every year or few years. In the past, it’s been a pike led by Defi, a craze towards NFTs, and it’s surely difficult to determine what comes next. Though it’s practically impossible to guess the next major event, here are a few web3 leading indicators that we’re tracking to help guide us towards the next trend:
Apps and Infrastructure
Breadth and Depth of User Adoption
Behind the scenes of web3, developers play an integral role in helping it expand beyond what we have to date. This means that these exact players have an important part in building the ecosystem and we can further understand what’s to come in the future by understanding what excites them the most.
Something that’s often said in markets is to pay attention to where the developers are moving. Developers want to work on interesting, complex, and large problems. Though compensation and benefits are important, this archetype of a person will likely lean toward what interests them the most. This is where web 3 companies have been able to come in and entice more developers to join the movement.
Apps and Infrastructure
Although there are millions of individuals diving into web3 year-over-year, the growth and user adoption of products may simply take longer than traditional products that we’re all used to resulting in different speeds of scalability. Hence another factor to track in the ecosystem is whether or not applications have hit problems of scale.
There’s the debate of whether apps or infrastructure matter more, but our view is that they’re both important. Apps need to be developed to enable access to core technology to end-users. Infrastructure needs to be created to scale and improve the underlying technology for apps.
Breadth and Depth of User Adoption
We’ve previously introduced numerous factors that can measure the number of users and level of engagement of the users including the total crypto market cap, individual user wallets, and the total transaction activity. Well, another framework to measure the level of users within the Web 3 ecosystem is breadth (the number of users), and depth (how active these users are).
Breadth: Let’s take the estimated global crypto users as of July 2021 determined by Crypto.com and divide by the global population to get 2.8%, or roughly similar to global internet adoption in 1998.
Depth: Measured by the wallet and transaction activity - estimated to have a market capitalization at a potential of $130t+, roughly five times the size of the Web 2 ecosystem.
Interested to keep reading? This was only a taste of the full article and it’s available here.
💡 Fellow Spotlight
Matthew Espinoza - Co-Founder & CEO of Agora Labs
The Creator Economy has undoubtedly one of the strongest potentials in the web3 space enabling creators to earn and reward their supporters using cryptocurrency. Through social tokens and NFT's, the creator can take it a step further by enabling memberships or access to exclusive events. Well lucky enough, this is exactly what Agora Labs aims to build.
Introducing Matthew Espinoza, Co-founder, and CEO of Agora Labs from Cohort #9. Backed by the DESO Octane Fund, this platform enables web 3 creators to build scalable communities and rewards which are all powered by their social or creator tokens and soon NFTs.
By empowering the creator with the ability to directly access their community, they can seek out more opportunities to engage and provide more value through exclusive events, 1-1 meetings, early access to content, and much more. From the perspective of the fans, they’re able to bet on the success of the creators and continuously engage with their accomplishments.
Of course, there’s more to add. Agora Labs is also launching the First-Ever Web3 Creator Accelerator - a 3-week program to go from creating your own personal token, launching it to your community, and setting up crypto milestones. Check it out!
Interested in being featured? Looking to share exciting news? Please reach out to Turja at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Authored by Turja Chowdhury (Cohort #9).