Compared to Web2 development, Web3 development requires not just different technologies, methodologies, and funding, but also different set of leadership skills. Web3 founders should be:
Web2 leaders don’t hesitate to “fake it until they make it”. The emphasis is on agile and speed – move fast and break things. Since “perfect is the enemy of the good”, Web2 leaders build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and rely on the crowd to test it in piecemeal, quickly, iteratively, and incrementally. Web3 development is the opposite – it is complex, detailed, and must be completely built and fully tested before launch. For example, you can’t launch a half-backed rocket and test it in the air. From the get-go, it will either fly or crash.
Just like maestros who have to orchestrate their musicians playing a variety of instruments, Web3 founders must orchestrate the development of a multi-disciplinary team including network theorists, social network analysts, data scientists, etc.
Web3 applications must be developed surgically with precision because once you open the bottle, you can’t put the genie back.
Web3 applications are inherently “network” applications operating organically in a community which is typically not built on its own through magic virality. Web3 leaders need to be deliberate about the type of network they are building. Hence, they need to be well-versed with network theories such as Sarnoff’s Law, Metcalfe’s Law, Reed’s Law, network effect, centrality, density, defensibility, virality, topology, etc. They also need to figure out the reward and tokenization.
A Web2 company is a monarchy who owns the data and the code of its users. Web3 companies must be governed as a democracy in which community members own their data, control their privacy, and vote on functions, features, priorities, and trends. While Web2 applications are sold, Web3 applications are bought with a sense of ownership. Web3 users feel that the application and their data belong to them not to the company who built it. Loyalty and stickiness are high.
Because of the “Network Effect”, not to be confused with virality, the main responsibility of Web3 leaders is to build the largest community possible and as fast as possible. The only way to achieve this objective is to serve their community by being more of a giver than a taker.
Web3 leaders are uniters who build a bigger pie to incentivize and align all stakeholders towards a common goal for growth, while Web2 leaders are dividers who cut the pie by maximizing margins for just shareholders. Web3 leaders believe in “shared Values” while Web2 leaders believe in winner-take-all/zero-sum game. Value creation, incentivization, and monetization are all embedded in a Web3 application through Fungible and/or Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).
Web3 leaders must adhere to best practices unique to Web3, disregard the best practices unique to Web2, and yet, retain the common best practices of both. That is a tricky balance to achieve.