Howdy there partna.
Welp, there’s no two ways to slice it. Seems Wall Street’s itchin’ to swoop into Web3’s Wild West. First comes Johnny Law, then the rail roads, then hot on their heels them big cigar-chompin’ New York City bankers.
Now we expect this turn of events’ll set many rugged crypto individualists to cussin’ and claimin’ all those fat cats is in cahoots. Back in ‘Merica’s frontier days there was a certain sort of chaw spitting roughneck who’d gallop off into the wilds as far as they could escape from polite society. To them “freedom” was shorthand for No Rules. Y’all know the type.
But for a healthy handful of earnest yet intrepid folk, Freedom was the promise of freshly discovered virgin soil. A homestead to seed a future. An unspoiled land of opportunity to garden aspirational societies around common sense ideals.
Them first buncha outlaws were the gunslingers. The second were the pioneers. Neither could be claimed as soft. Both stood their ground and fought the fights they believed righteous, against black hats, varmints, rustlers, and yes, even the banks when they overstepped their bounds.
Today, the most prosperous nation in history lives in the villages, towns, and cities named after the pioneers. As for the gunslingers? They’re buried up on Boot Hill.
So amigo, when it comes right down to it one question sits at the crux of it all out here in Web3’s Wild West:
Which Freedom do you seek?
By now y’all should know the run of things ‘round these parts: first round gets a long answer, second round is medium-like, and the final a stiff shot of whiskey to send you on your way.
Long Answer: What is Pakt’s go to market strategy?
h/t Ava Labs’ executives and VCs
Whether your go to mental model for disruptive tech is a Schumpterian Innovation Cycle, Gartner Hype Cycle, or adoption S curves, it’s safe to say blockchain’s disruption isn’t remotely close to sniffing its endgame.
Yet builders obsess on minutia. Traders crow when number goes up as if it confirms market rationalized value. And founders seek to apply MBA textbook go to market strategies when this is the market —
Now we’re just as guilty of mix-and-matching in-group enthusiasm for widespread reality. Unfortunately, if we make a habit of it, nothing would more quickly disrupt our disruptive intentions. So here’s a rule of thumb we strive to keep front of mind:
With disruptive tech, it doesn’t matter if your micro is right if your macro is wrong.
If you’re optimizing Laserdisc playback after Netflix has launched, you are macro wrong. If you’re devising new manuscript illumination techniques and your cousin is Johannes Gutenberg, you are macro wrong. If you whiteboard airdrop strategies like D-day prep but ignore boosting mainstream blockchain adoption…
So then what’s a blockchain builder homesteading on the frontier to do if “The Market” has fewer daily active users than the population of Phoenix?
Make “The Market”, one micro market at a time.
This is what the pioneers did. They plowed fields. Raised barns. Dug wells. Wrote laws. Built general stores. Courthouses. Schoolhouses. Banks. Over decades, each micromarket exchange between pioneer and nature, pioneer and commerce, pioneer and justice, pioneer and the future, all organically interwove into the macro market of thriving societies of fellow pioneers.
Bit by bit the pioneers built a life worth living that bit by bit attracted folks desirous of a better life.
So as you’ve gathered, successful pioneering can’t be achieved alone. Making “The Market” out on the frontier begins with identifying prospective fellow frontiersmen and women and building to attract them to become neighbors.
To find these fine folk, Pakt takes a double barreled approach compiled from two Web 2.0 Gold Rushers who go by the names of Thiel and Musk. (Note: This isn’t an endorsement of their activities but rather an emulation of their efficacy)
First Barrel: “Thiel’s Avoidance”
In Thiel’s Zero To One, he boldly asserts that “Competition is for Losers.” At Pakt, we rock-tumbled off the craggy edges of that gemstone and reframed that as “Avoid Competition.”
When you’re a startup pioneer out on the range you likely have fewer resources at hand than common city slickers. Every time you compete, that resource spent in combat doesn’t get invested in internal growth (or survival). Potable water tossed on a wagon fire is water you ain’t drinkin’.
So in Web3, what form does competition take? The obvious case is DeFi forks springing up like dandelions, attempting to differentiate with treasury-boosted yields, catchy memes, or magic math fool’s gold returns.
But frankly, that’s small potatoes. When you’re homesteading on the Web3 frontier, the real competition is society itself. By the status quo’s very existence it declares that Web3 doesn’t need to. Why change what works?
The hard to swallow truth is that they’re right. If you’re a citizen of the “developed world,” one of those fortunate souls who is well-banked, fully employed, upwardly mobile, can trust local rule of law, and are all-around comfortably settled, well shucks, Web3 probably ain’t ripe for you yet.
And enticing newcomers is far more difficult than merely besting the status quo. In 021, Thiel spotlights that customers won’t switch to your offering just because it’s better. In his estimation, it needs to be 10x better than their existing state of affairs. Why should somebody you’ll never meet shift their routine to help your startup make it through winter?
So if you’re building out on the Web3 Wild West, ask yourself if sending USDC through mobile Metamask is a 10x over Venmo? Does DeFi present 10x reliable pension returns for the average schoolteacher? Would you trust your grandmother 10x over Chase bank to custody her own retirement?
Now don’t let this macro thundercloud discourage you from making your way in Web3’s Wild West. If you’re a true pioneer there’s ample places to “Avoid (Status Quo) Competition” if you just know where to look.
Truth is, the planet is populated with billions who don’t just see blockchain’s potential — they want it yesterday. That’s because economically speaking, the world still remains more frontier than city. All around the globe banks are unreliable, contracts are unenforceable, identities are unverifiable. The opportunity is there, but —
Web3 pioneers need to build for folks who need what they’re building.
That’s how Pakt intends to avoid competition. When we go to market, we’re not itching for a high noon showdown with Wall Street. We intend to build 10x+ value improvements for economic frontiers. Places like this:
Second Barrel: “Enthusiasm Rollout”
Musk’s Tesla famously deployed a three phase car model rollout to popularize electric vehicle usage. It was head-smackingly brilliant in its simplicity. And more importantly, it worked.
Phase 1: Roadster — Target die-hard enthusiasts willing to put up with a few bumps in the road in exchange for living ahead of the curve.
Phase 2: Model S — Target high-status seekers willing to make a calculated bet of early adoption in return for significant upside.
Phase 3: Model 3 — Target mainstream users eager to jump onboard high-value, reliability-confirmed, society-approved trends.
What’s the analogue for Pakt’s go to market rollout?
Pakt Phase 1: Pakt’s Fair Open Access Markets (FOAMs) will connect ahead-of-the-curve Blockchain Builders (devs, designers, founders) to fellow collaborators who proudly operate ahead of the curve.
Pakt Phase 2: Pakt’s FOAMs will connect those Blockchain Builders to Entrepreneurs who‘ve sniffed out the massive upside of being early adopters in a resource rush.
Pakt Phase 3: Entrepreneurs popularize Chainsites of all stripes (FOAMs, Social Playgrounds, and Content Expression) by connecting them to mainstream users with reliably high-value, high visibility products.
Aim The Double Barrel
Now that we’ve forged our macro shotgun of a Thielian “Avoid Competition” and a Muskian “Enthusiasm Rollout”, we aim towards the future on behalf of the pioneers we wish to attract:
Pakt’s pilot program, Afro.Fund, aka an online town for Blockchain Builders (Phase 1) in a frontier economy (Avoid Competition)…
And not coincidentally a FOAM that is easily replicable for Thailand, Turkey, Argentina, the Philippines, and many more, each seeding a micro market frontier, primed to all organically interweave into the macro market of a thriving Web3 society.
Medium Answer: What Avalanche project do you look to for inspiration?
h/t to projects we advise formally or informally
This one’s easy-peasy. Benqi. We count ourselves fortunate to know them from way back when Avalanche was a pre-mainnet one horse town.
This’ll sound like a tall tale, but when Benqi launched their DeFi lending platform, they were optimistic they might reach $10 million dollars TVL within the first month.
But it’s not the eye-popping numbers we admire. It’s the class. When Benqi passed $1b TVL they didn’t dump their bags and high tail it to the local gambling parlor. They kept their heads down, continued to build, and doubled down on supporting fellow Avalanche pioneers.
As Avalanche’s first TVL Unicorn, Benqi set the tone for what startup success on Avalanche looks like: building lasting value for the community.
Two years hence, they’ve become Avalanche’s leading liquid staking solution and are parlaying that into Ignite, a program to increase access to running Avalanche validators.
In Web3 Wild West, they’re the white hat who put principle above profit. Every town that survives out on the frontier needs at least one. It can be grueling, often thankless work…
But all of us on Avalanche owe them a debt of gratitude.
Brief Answer: Whiskey or beer?
h/t to the servers at summit
The Pakt Crew