32 tips from the best web3 founders
The founders of Polygon, Messari or Starkware answer to the question: “What would you be your top 3 advice to aspiring web3 founders?”
Jericho is the land of web3 founders. Meet, learn & build with 400+ hand-picked founders from 40+ countries.
At Jericho, we host AMAs once in a while with the best founders in the space. At the end of each session, we always ask them the same simple question:
“What would you be your top 3 advice to aspiring web3 founders?”
In this article, we gathered 32 separate pieces of advice regarding building a company in web3 from the best founders in the space including:
Jaynti Kanani, co-founder at Polygon
Alex Svanevik, co-founder at Nansen
Rene Reinsberg, co-founder at Celo
Sebastien Borget, co-founder at Sandbox
Jon Perkins, co-founder at SuperRare
Ryan Selkis, founder at Messari
Gaby Dizon, co-founder at YGG
Illia Polosukhin, co-founder at NEAR
Uri Kolodny, co-founder at Starkware
Julien Bouteloup, founder at Stake, Blackpool & rekt
The tips below are the essence of their wisdom & experience building for multiple years in web3. If you’re just starting out, try to absorb this as much as possible before even start building.
Startup basics - mentioned 18 times
Don’t forget the basics (x5)
Ask yourself the right questions from day one:
Which problem am I trying to solve?
What's my solution?
What's my power of execution?
It’s not because you’re in web3 that you should recreate the wheel. Business is business, think about utility: Who would want this and why?
Put guardrails initially by adopting an iterative approach: Never stop experimenting, shipping and iterating.
Show up every day.
People are key (x5)
For your founding team, find people:
You trust and who share your values
Who complement you
Hire the best people you know personally - not the world's experts on topic XYZ - as you likely won't be working on XYZ in a year
Surround yourself with people smarter or better than you in something - ask their advice often
Foster the quality of your team, it should be both aggressive and helpful
Build in public (x5)
Build in public as you can in the open with your community behind you. If you work on interesting problems or projects, you will naturally attract interesting people to you.
Nail your founder-market fit (x2)
Make sure you're excited to work on your problem for many years to come. You will continue to work on projects that care meaningfully to you personally when things get tough, not because there is necessarily a strong business case for it. Obviously, there's a caveat around building what others need.
Be vigilant regarding fundraising (x2)
Raise as little money as you can before you have a product-market fit.
When you raise, raise enough & from serious people. Get reference calls from fellow founders on your investors. Mistakes are expensive - future investors can double down on any crack they find and that will make the task of company building a whole lot more difficult.
Web3 specificities - mentioned 10 times
Don’t launch a token right away (x3)
Validate your idea without incentives - add incentives aligned with organic growth later down the road.
Focus on building (x3)
Ignore the hype. Ignore the FUD. Don’t listen to naysayers. Don't spend too much time on Crypto Twitter. BUILD.
Get your feet wet (x2)
People ask for advice to build in web3 but haven't participated in drops, DeFi or played a p2e. Run your own node to experience the whole stack and get a sense of the maturity of the protocol you’re working on.
Wear a helmet (x1)
Crypto offers all the fun volatility and insanity of regular startups, and pairs it with all the fun and volatility of a pre-product market fit IPO, 90% swings in asset prices, and regulatory uncertainty.
Be at the edge (x1)
Timing is everything, so you should be patient. Get the right tech at the right time before people even know what they want.
Miscellaneous - mentioned 4 times
Let your intellectual instincts guide you and be wary of over-rationalizing what you should be focused on and why (x1).
In the end, 70% of your time is story-telling and recruiting (x1).
Think wild, beyond imagination. Make people dream (x1).
A little bit of luck always helps :) (x1)
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We write threads after each AMA to publicly share the key takeaways.
Here is a thread of threads with insights from the biggest names in the space.
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Let’s fucking build,