What's the Problem?

5 min read

Our premise moving forward…

We all agree Web3 has the potential to offer some pretty cool new opportunities.

I’m talking about new models of ownership. New ways to connect with our communities.

And let’s not forget, new ways to make a living as Creators.

But adopting this technology means we’ll have to find solutions to a lot of problems.

Some of these problems, like writing and managing Smart Contracts, will be new. Most of them, like finding and communicating with our customers, will be same problems business owners have always faced.

In these cases, the solutions will be new.

Rubber, meet Road.

I’m finally getting getting back to the project that led me down this rabbit hole to begin with.

All the research I’ve done on Web3 started with a search for the solutions I need to make my project work.

Now it’s time to stop solving these problems in my head and start putting all the things I’ve been learning into action.

I’ll share more details about what I’m building in my next post. But the specifics of my project aren’t important. Most of the problems we face are the same.

Fortunately, I enjoy solving problems.

So I’m going to approach this as merely a list of problems looking for solutions.

What I need from you…

Your job is to send me some problems you are trying to solve.

Then we can solve them together.

I’ve already done this with a few people via email. It’s a lot of fun. And my brain thrives on the interaction.

So send me a message and maybe we can add your problem to the list.

If it helps, you can consider it the cost of your subscription.


I think it’s helpful to break the list into the two types of problems I mentioned above… New Problems and Old Problems.

New Problems

These problems tend to be “Chicken or Egg?” in nature. Each choice effects all the others. So, if you’re not already married to a particular solution, it’s best to explore each problem on a surface level and then decide which is the most important for your project.

Once you make this first decision, you can start looking for solutions to the rest of the problems in this group.

The Blockchain Problem

This is akin to choosing an operating system. Which chain should we choose? Why would we prefer one over the other?

Spoiler Alert: I’m convinced an EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) chain is the best way to go right now.

So if you were hoping for Solana or Cardano specific solutions, you may be disappointed.

The Wallet Problem

Wallets are a bit of a hassle now, but they are the future of online identity.

We need to know how people will get them, how they will use them, and how they will them safe.

This is the foundation of interacting with Web3, so it’s up to us to make sure we recommend the best option.

The Sovereignty Problem

Crypto evangelists see self-sovereignty as one of Web3’s greatest strengths. But sovereignty is a double edge sword.

In most of the western world, taking on more responsibility feels like more risk. Which creates more than just a little bit of fear.

What solutions are available to address these fears?

The Treasury Problem

If you’re considering setting up a DAO, or some other form of distributed organization, there will probably be community controlled money involved. We need to think about how we’ll protect the treasury.

If you plan to keep some of your money in crypto currencies, you’ll need to think about this as well.

The Voting Problem

What rights will we give to our members? Will they have control over how the treasury gets spent? How will these decisions be made?

The Contract Problem

Will we write our own smart contracts? What questions do we need to ask if we go with a third party? Are there no-code or low-code solutions we can use?

The Environment Problem

How will we answer concerns about the environmental impact of the tech? What options are available for those of us who want, or need, to offset the environmental costs of our work on the blockchain.

Hint: The successful completion of the Ethereum merge last week was huge for the environment and the future of Web3.

The Skeptic Problem

How will we respond to people who might need our products, but don’t trust the technology?

We can all look to the Starbucks Odyssey program for some insight on this.

The Education Problem

Once we’ve dealt with the Skeptic Problem, how will we teach our customers to use Web3 Tech?

Old Problems

The Communication Problem

How will we reach our holders? Should we choose crypto friendly Web 2 platforms? What about Web2.5 options? Can we go all in on Web3?

The Community Problem

Web3 will find mass adoption through the communities organized by people like us.

Where will these communities gather? How will we manage them? And how can we monitor their health?

The Content Storage Problem

What are our storage options for free content? What distributed solutions can we use to store gated content?

The Content Access Problem

Once the content gate is locked, how will we manage the keys?

The Payment Problem

How will we get paid? How will we pay others? What are the best practices?

The Tax Problem

Where is tax policy headed? How can we keep track of what we might owe? How will we protect our projects from the volatility of the crypto market?

Obligatory Disclaimer: I’m not a tax professional or a lawyer. It takes a small miracle to get my taxes together before the annual deadline. And I’m based in the US, so I can’t even begin to speak to the rules other countries might have. So any time I dive into these waters it will be from a platform of curiosity, not expertise.

The Art Problem

What resources are available to create and manage all the art we need to represent each of our digital assets?

The Marketing Problem

What marketing tools does Web3 have to offer? And how will Web3 change the ways we reach potential new members of our communities?

The Event Problem

How can we use Web3 to help us manage IRL and virtual events?

The Credibility Problem

AKA: The Social Proof Problem - How can we use Web3 tools to gain and maintain credibility (of ourselves and our community members) on the web?

The Most Important Problem

The “Rented Land” Problem

I saved this one for last because we need to be considering this with every decision we make.

Most of us don’t even hold the keys to our own communities. We’ve been lured into the Web2 trap by convenience and “affordability”.

Web3 gives us a chance to escape.

But we don’t want to scale the garden walls of Web2 only to find ourselves drowning in a Web3 moat.

What are the questions we should be asking when evaluating these new products?


On a personal note…

I’ve found myself feeling like I have to choose between “Doing the Thing” and “Writing About the Thing”.

But my goal is to be “Writing About Doing the Thing”.

Maybe you can relate.

I’m hoping the transition from theory to reality will help me break out of this state of productive procrastination.

That’s it for this edition. Thanks for reading to the end.

#newsletter
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