Launching a startup (a new protocol or traditional company) involves a lot of moving parts. This is especially true in the blockchain space, where teams must deal with all of the normal startup tasks in addition to conducting a token sale. It’s tempting to focus on the glamorous parts of a token sale, and to use those as the basis for determining the strength of a project — “Does this project have enough influencers supporting it? Did it receive a high token metrics score from my preferred source?” — and many projects indeed expend a lot of resources chasing these vanity metrics, mistakenly thinking that these metrics constitute the foundation of a successful and sustainable protocol.
However, the top three challenges for growing startups have little to do with these types of issues. The top three challenges are: efficient organization, sufficient planning, and effective managing. Somewhere between 75 and 90 percent of all startups fail, most of them due to shortcomings in these areas. Normally, startups only recognize these issues when it is too late, when a small crack in a startup’s foundation suddenly splits the whole organization apart. In the blockchain world of glitz, glamour, and cash, we believe it will be the conservative and focused startups, like Hypernet, that have the best opportunity to succeed in the long term.
Hypernet is focused on the fundamentals of running a successful startup. These fundamentals do not change just because a team is operating in the blockchain space. In fact, they become even more important. At Hypernet, we are actively planning and organizing ourselves to execute our vision and combat the top challenges that handicap the growth of early-stage startups.
We’d like to share what this looks like with our community. It is important to us that you have a sense of what is going on in the background at Hypernet and that you have a better idea of what to look for in other token projects. It is our goal to help move the space forward by supporting protocols that focus on sound business fundamentals and a fantastic long-term vision.
As a startup grows, continually optimizing the organization of the startup is critical. Efficient organization can turn 50 man-hours into the equivalent of 100 man-hours. This is accomplished in a couple of different ways. One is by further defining roles of employees within the startup as it grows. At the beginning, startup employees all wear different hats. This is a necessary phase, but it is important to quickly move past it. A lack of defined roles leads to neglected responsibilities, and it makes hiring and scaling difficult and disorganized. By defining roles and responsibilities, a startup is also helping its different branches to collaborate in unison. For Hypernet, this means aligning our tech, business development, marketing, corporate organization, and executive teams on vision, goals, and plans for execution. It’s important to organize early, and organize often, because after a certain point, no amount of funding or technical development can fix a disorganized and inefficient organization. Increased efficiency is also a product of well-defined communication and management pipelines. Installing effective protocols for routing communications inside and outside Hypernet is a great investment in our own future and will minimize the growing pains of scaling up.
Strategy planning is another element often overlooked by startups. In most failed startups, strategizing is taken for granted or viewed as a natural part of the development process. It’s not understood as a focused task, which deserves research and preparation. One key component of strategic planning at Hypernet is the ongoing process of market exploration. We have developed a remarkable piece of technology, DAC, which enables huge technological advancements in many fields. Market exploration helps us to narrow down the long list of possible use-cases, and pick out the ones which are most strategic. Taking the time to find the perfect first use-case is what aligns startups on the path to success, or, alternatively, on the path to delays, false starts, and blind pivots from one failure to the next. At Hypernet, we always do our due diligence to ensure that we remain on the right path.
Marketing is similar to market exploration, in that strategy leads to efficiency. Attracting a concrete base of customers and users will help the product see long-term and widespread adoption. The blockchain community can provide a great initial boost to promising projects, but that is only the first small group of people who will eventually become involved with successful projects. The value of marketing lies in attracting real users to the network, who are using it to solve real-world problems.
Overall, applying sound business fundamentals is what will continue to move the crypto space forward, and help us all to enjoy a distributed future. It sometimes seems as though “blockchain companies” have constituted a business category of their own, with its own norms and expectations. Hypernet is choosing to put itself in a different category, the category of teams that make ethical business decisions, based on sound and well thought-through strategy, in order to build lasting solutions that strive to do more every day, year after year. This is a huge undertaking that will stretch out over a long period of time, but with the solid foundations we construct today, we are confident in our ability to deliver on our dreams for tomorrow.
Palo Alto, CA