These days, a blockchain startup founder should expect to navigate challenging waters. Even in the best of times, founders must both prepare for a bull market and be ready for possibly bearish territory.
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 also need to be aware that while non-crypto startups can offer useful and transferrable launch strategies, the road to achieving success in the blockchain industry is paved differently.
Here are tips every blockchain founder should consider before launching.
Bear the market conditions in mind
Bear markets appear more attractive to blockchain businesses looking to launch. But before suiting up for winter, founders must assess whether it’s worth waiting to launch until market conditions are better.
In the web3 world of horizontal technologies, you’ll be running against the wind if you wait to build relationships until you’ve built a technology.
Evaluate your startup with the same criteria investors use during a bear market. Investors want to see a strong roadmap with deadlines and benchmarks that don’t simply come and go with no activity, as this is a signal to investors that a slow rug pull is underway.
Evidence of a diversified war chest that you can draw from is pivotal, especially when providing returns on locked assets is the main impetus for attaining liquidity. In addition, analyze the market situation from a technical standpoint: The bear market is an attractive time to launch, but it’s also a time to go heads-down and focus on building your product.
Regardless of market conditions, make use of your reward programs for loyal community members by offering staking rewards, airdrops and giveaways without needing to raise additional capital, similar to the traditional business world.
Opt for longer vesting schedules
In the non-crypto startup scene, it’s common to include compensation 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 and release assets (usually in the form of tokens) over a certain period. In so doing, they give their team, investors and advisers the right to certain assets such as retirement and stock options.
If you choose this path, set up the token metrics and the vesting period for the gradual release of these tokens in a way that doesn’t put too much pressure on the token itself. Many crypto projects unlock and distribute their tokens every three months, and they’re finding private investors dumping them on the market, which is bad for the team and the community. In turn, retail investors also begin selling up front because they know a dump is coming.
Opt for longer vesting schedules — between three and five years — to show that you have a financial incentive to continue project development. Split the release of the tokens: Release the private sale investor tokens one month, the adviser 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.