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Gaining User Traction in Decentralized Projects

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Some ideas for improving adoption rates of decentralized applications.

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Gaining User Traction in Decentralized Projects

  1. 1. GettingTraction SomeThoughts & Ideas Andy Atkin / Redecentralize the Web 2018
  2. 2. Purpose & Goals
  3. 3. OurShared Community Goals &Values • Decentralized Control • Privacy • Ownership of our Data • Ownership of our Identity • Community Ownership of the Service
  4. 4. The Problem: FANG Moats  Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google/Alphabet (FANG) dominate their respective sectors  A “Moat” is a unique advantage which is difficult for an outside competitor to overcome  Moat types include:  Economic  Human Resource  Network Effects
  5. 5. Nature of Tech Adoption (Wikipedia)  Theories:  TheTwo-Step Hypothesis  TheTrick-Down Effect  The Everett Rogers Diffusion of Innovations theory  Crossing the Chasm  Technology Driven Models  Hype Cycle  Lazy User Model  Matching Person andTechnology Model  Technology Lifecycle  Varian Rule
  6. 6. Convenience is King
  7. 7. HistoricalTech Adoption Battles  A few of the epic slugfests of my lifetime:  VHS vs Beta  ISA vsVESA vs Microchannel vs PCI  Win95 vs OS/2  Ethernet vsToken Ring  HTML vs Gopher  The BrowserWars (e.g. Netscape vs IE)  Linux vsWindows vs OSX  Apple Mac vs IBM PC  FANG vs the FreeWorld (?)
  8. 8. Prioritize Ease ofOnboarding  The installation/registration/login process can turn users off if isn’t fast, easy/smooth and works on their hardware/software Easy Hard Login with Facebook/Google/Email Create yet another user ID/pwd A progressive web app (PWA) which can install to my desktop A native app I must download and install from the App Sotre No extensions required for full functionality A browser extension I need to install An app available in the world’s 5 most common languages using CDN/IP to guess initial language Using an app in my 2nd or 3rd language Installation->Registration-Initial Sign-in under 2 mins > 2 mins
  9. 9. Onboarding Funnel Wide as Possible
  10. 10. Balancing Security vs Ease ofUse
  11. 11. GoAfter the “Top 5”  To get an application into the hands of more users it must be usable by as many users worldwide as possible  This means selectively targeting the “Top 5” (where applicable):  Languages (Mandarin, Spanish, English, Hindi,Arabic)  Browsers (Chrome, Firefox, IE, Safari etc.)  Smartphones (Android, IOS)  Social Networks (Facebook,Youtube, Instagram,Twitter, Reddit)  Works Offline/Low Bandwidth  Works on lower end Android Smartphones
  12. 12. TheTrojan Horse  Decentralization, Privacy and Self-Sovereign Identity sound good but the average user doesn’t seem to really care  Focus on ease of use, convenience, and functionality while documenting our principles  Have decentralization, privacy and self-sovereign identity fade into the background of the application as invisible infrastructure
  13. 13. Embrace & Extend by Co-Opting Their Network  One of the deepest moats is the Network Effect expressed by Metcalfe’s Law. The more people using a service, the more useful it becomes  By contrast growing a new service often runs into a chicken and egg problem  So be friendly and form partnerships with your top 5 network competitors and co-opt and cross pollinate their users with API calls (Aggregation Pattern)  This is page out of 90’s Microsoft: Embrace & Extend  Don’t “Extinguish”, there’s no need for that…
  14. 14. Conclusion 1. It’s hard to sell Decentralization, Privacy, and Self Sovereign Identity, but we need these things 2. Given the deep moats of the FANGs (economic, human, network) it’s hard to get traction for our projects 3. We can leverage the theories and models of tech adoption to our benefit while studying the historical battles 4. We should prioritize ease of onboarding while balancing security and ease of use 5. To make our project accessible to the maximum number of people we should go after the “Top 5” 6. We can sneak our principles in like aTrojan Horse 7. We can “Embrace and Extend” by friendly co-option of the competition’s network of users
  15. 15. Questions? Comments? Rants? ? !

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