To assemble a web3 dream team, there are multiple factors to consider.
Some of the topics include knowing what is your project on. What are the necessary skills that are required? What are the project's goals and objectives? What are the key roles you need to recruit for? What are the best ways to recruit team members?
Why are these important?
Within the first year, 20% of small businesses fail. Another 30% will fail in their second year. 50% will fail after five years. Finally, before 10 years in business, 70% would fail.
Even worse, only 8% of blockchain projects last more than a couple of years, with an average lifespan of 1.22 years. Ouch!
So, how do we avoid becoming just another statistic?
First, let’s break it down to why companies fail. Most web3 businesses fail for the same reasons a web2 business would fail. So let’s break them down in detail.
According to Investopedia, there are four key reasons why a new business fails.
1 - Lack of working capital and lack of funding
2 - Incompetent management
3 - Insufficient business planning
4 - Deficiencies in marketing
Although formal education is not required to become a successful entrepreneur, real-life skills would be crucial. Here’s a list of my recommended reading and podcasts to help you build a Web3 dream team and build a high-value dApp.
Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman
4 Reasons Why Businesses Fail
Lack of Working Capital and Lack Funding
What is working capital and how is this related to assembling a web3 dream team? Having the right people on board would make or break your project. Can you hire the best people possible without sufficient funding?
Also, having someone on board who can budget and forecast accurately is crucial for the longevity of your project as well. Do you already have someone on your dream team who can forecast? If not, you will need to recruit this person.
The working capital, of funding, is the cash available for a company to operate. The money is used for day-to-day operations, salary, marketing, etc.
Without sufficient cash, companies will often run out of money to push the project forward and be unable to hire the right people to help them push the project forward. It is difficult to hire and keep good employees, as they will have more options and opportunities.
So be ready. Forecast your expenses and income accurately. This makes the foundation of building a successful business, including dApps.
From experience, I always budget double the cost and twice as long.
Here, you should have someone on your team with significant experience in financial planning, accounting, and operations.
Incompetency is the lack of ability to deliver. Many startup management teams are the owners themselves. Oftentimes, they do not have experience operating prior companies. But people don’t know what they don’t know. The management team may not know their shortcomings, which means they do not reach out for help.
Self-awareness is crucial in a successful business. Being able to identify your strengths and weaknesses, and hiring those to supplement your weaknesses will be a key to success.
How does one become self-aware? I find having mentors and traveling both helped change my life dramatically. If you do not have a mentor in your circle, listen to podcasts. If you cannot afford to travel, read. Learn from those who have different experiences than you.
So what are your strengths and weaknesses? Let’s take some time to list them down, so you can prepare to find the puzzle pieces to help you build your dream team.
To resolve this, you should have at least 3 - 5 advisors who can give you honest feedback. Don’t have the budget? Most advisors will consider equity for their time.
Insufficient Business Planning
Insufficient business planning is like going camping in Canadian winter with just a hoodie and a pair of shorts. You are not going to make it.
You need to have a plan. Since you are building a web3 business, you need a business plan that covers your goals, future needs, opportunities and threats, funding needs, competitive analysis, the technology used, and marketing strategies.
If your project touches upon your native token, please, for the love of god, get your tokenomics right! Token allocation is not the same as tokenomics.
Tokenomics is the economic and monetary system of your ecosystem.
Please find an economist, and not a marketer, to conduct a full analysis of your tokenomics. Especially if you are building a high-value dApp with your native token.
Deficiencies in Marketing
Traditional industries often fail in delivering the right marketing strategies. Web3 makes it even more complicated as it is fast changing and web3 users often hang out at different places than your traditional markets.
Also, be careful who you bring on board. During a bull market, anyone can sell ice to Eskimos. But during a bear market, that’s when someone’s skills are truly tested. Can they still sell ice to Eskimos?
Find someone who understands your target market. If your product is for web3 natives, then your marketer must understand web3 natives. However, if your product is meant for web2 users, then leave the web3 jargon at home! Your marketer must be able to relate to your audience.
After all, one size fits no one. Customize your marketing strategy, based on your product!
Attract a marketer who is excited about your product and understands your audience! Also, don’t forget SEO! Even if you built the world’s most needed dApp, if people don’t know about you and cannot find you, you don’t exist!
Where to Find Them?
Now you know what are the key failures in a new business and which roles you should consider, where can you find them? Here are some places to start:
Utilize Professional Networks
Connect with people in your industry or field and ask for referrals or recommendations for individuals with the desired hard skills. As you know, web3 is such a new and exciting industry. Most of us in the industry now are eager to help you grow and put you in touch with those who can help you grow!
Post Job Listings
Advertise job openings on job boards, social media, and professional networking sites. Be sure to include a list of required hard skills in the job listing. Although mostly web2 focused, LinkedIn has worked fairly well for me.
Web3 events are focused on specific industries or fields, making it easier to find candidates with the desired hard skills. These events are perfect for networking and building your dream team.
Recruitment agencies have access to a wide range of candidates and can help you find individuals with the specific hard skills you are looking for. This is especially useful when you just don’t have the time to allocate to finding the right person.
Now you know the four key reasons why businesses fail, who you should have on your dream team to avoid falling into the four traps, and where to find your dream team, you are ready to build a dApp that the market needs!
I still recommend continuous improvement on non-technical skills, aka soft skills, such as leadership, negotiation, communication, etc. The journey of entrepreneurship is endless self-improvement. Look forward to seeing your dApp and the next unicorn.
About the Author
Alice has been dabbling in cryptocurrency since 2017. Alice consults on operations and growth for projects that are listed for both IPO and ICO. Alice also has over 15 years of real estate development experience before the web3 rabbit hole. She has built a few companies with one exit. Alice is also a published author in web3, with the first crypto handbook using non-technical definitions and real-life analogies.