What is going on with the Internet? Tech giants founders are leaving, governments talk about breaking them down, we thought the decentralised internet was going to be a revolution in 2018, yet, most dApps are struggling acquiring users. Crypto-assets are -maybe too- quietly… stable, and many ICOs are now dealing with fines and sanctions from regulators, making crypto-preneurs anxious and creatively restrained. It seems the tech sector has never been so creative, productive and at the same time structurally chaotic and paralysed, despite the exponential growth of infrastructures, VCs and accelerators hoping to invest in the ‘next big thing’.
Everyone I met recently has this question in mind: ‘what’s next?’
The promise of the ICO as a new funding instrument allowing for a more dynamic and accessible tech startup ecosystem was a great idea on principle, but it ended up in a giant scam machine where greed, FOMO and good marketers contributed in what looks like the dot com bubble. Followed by an attempt of revival under the form of IEOs where exchanges have made more money than what startup founders have raised.
At Newlife.ai we have observed the whole cycle from 2016 to 2019 and have tried to find ways to jump in and didn’t find the right people or model. Many VCs and crypto-angels offered to invest in our startup but they wanted to exit on the token sale, making retail investors and ourselves tools to satisfy their opportunistic financial appetite, and we didn’t subscribe to that.
So we kept building… until our dApp, running on an EOSIO single node, hosted by ourselves for experimental purposes, reached product market fit and eventually started to scale. Currently our dApp receives 70 000 sessions and 1.1 million transactions monthly and initial revenue.
In the recent years Andreessen Horowitz has coined a term for what we are building: the Super app. Inspired by the Asian startup ecosystem Super apps are a new breed of mobile apps that leverage multiple layers of economic models to a niche user base. Since users are increasing expensive to acquire, tech giants have slowed down their acquisitions and the ICO model is dying off, you will see the rise of such models where deep tech and retailers will partner with mobile apps to provide a full range of services to a specific demographic group.
Super apps are like “mini-tech giants”
Super apps are like “mini-tech giants”: they don’t solve one tiny problem in particular and universally for everyone on earth, they instead provide a full range of enhancements to specific tribes or lifestyles.
In the case of Newlife.ai, our community is the creative and cultural industry (artists, designers…), and our Super App offers premium content streams, machine learning features, shopping, content curation, monetisation, a data marketplace for brands, forming an immersive experience that drives value within an ecosystem where vested interests and decentralised governance fulfil the need of a distributed and independent “nation of interest”, or DAC.
We have big plans and dreams with Telos
What if instead of issuing one more token, we could simply innovate and leverage smart contracts to establish a fair relationship between the stakeholders of a decentralised smart contract platform, dApp developers and their communities of users?
This new model would require:
- dApp developers to stop thinking about getting millions out of a white paper
- Smart contract platform stakeholders to think beyond passively trading and speculating
- dApps to have already reached product/market fit and have a business model
- Users to think beyond airdrops, bounties and goodies
I’m talking about actually delivering on the great visions behind blockchain governance and tokenisation, the great promises that got us all, technologists, excited by the idea of a fair, transparent, cross-border, innovative and democratic Internet of Value.
What if greed and FOMO were exactly the reasons why on a practical and psychological level, blockchain startup founders were unable to deliver? I met a lot of entrepreneurs who sold their company and suddenly changed their perspective on life, losing the hunger and foolishness they had when they were in a high risk high reward situation. How does it feel to wake up knowing you have millions on your bank account, when life is comfortable and the fear of loosing was greater than the hunger of winning? What if, by throwing money towards blockchain founders as we did before was the most hurtful thing the crypto-space had done to them?
What we are going to announce in the coming months is a new formula and tokenomic model where all the participants in the DAC will be rewarded for their genuine interest and participation, connecting the users of the Newlife.ai dApp and the members of the Telos community through a set of governance portals and one universal medium of exchange, that is already liquid, the TLOS. We chose this Network in particular because its market cap was small, the community pretty mature and the pool of developers impressive. It’s the perfect environment for us to experiment and interact with innovative governance and smart contract models.
If Super-apps are mobile consumer app products with multiple layers of economic models, the Telos Network will interface as its blockchain component, on the backend of an Apple App store and Google Android application connected to third party retailers, forming a horizontal network of technologies that will benefit the user and enterprises interacting with the ecosystem.
To conclude, I’d like to quote one of the greatest minds in the tech world, Steve Jobs, that may explain what is actually going on with the internet and why most ICOs struggle delivering on their roadmaps, products and users:
I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.
Stay hungry, stay foolish!
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