Startup need to find congruence between it’s marketing, product and experience. When they set out to find product-market fit, they run experiments that test the congruence between those three.
With blockchain communities, we're no longer bound by prior commercial constructs, but we still need to find congruence and run experiements.
In the Cuppa community, we look at congruence between three different layers:
I think it’s useful to think about a blockchain dapp in terms of congruence between it’s meme, code and care. With our ideas we can ask ourselves:
What aspects of this idea resonate with the world? What’s meme-able in the Dawkins’ sense - conveying the idea of a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation?
What's the difference to marketing?
Marketing is largely focused on channels and conversion, whereas mimetics is much broader.
There's an established practice around "mimetic desire" or how our human intrinsic goals often emerge from seeing what others seek.
Memes serve themselves as cultural goods, put out there to resonate and attract, but also for people to make what they want of them.
What kind of environment do they create for understanding and caring? Do they make work fun, create safe spaces, help form or strengthen relationships?
In the corporate world, we talk about teams, company culture, etc. all as forms for belonging and a foundation for our work relationships. We also separate how we think about treating employees and how we think about treating customers - in our minds, they are two separate groups with separate standards.
In blockchain communities, those boundaries fall away , and so does the distinction between work and personal pursuits.
Instead, we have a sense of being each others’ environment, but also having agency of how we structure our interactions with each other. So here we can take a systemic view of caring, and ask if leads us to desirable forms of belonging and care.
Here we look particularly at on-chain functionality.
What are the basic interactions it would expose to the user in code? Buy, sell, stake, what else?
Blockchain code is more naturally open-source and web3 is built on even deeper foundations of transparency and trustless code execution. We’re effectively building open source products that run on equally open servers, so “owning” the product to sell isn’t quite right. We’re creating something that people want to use and make part of their lives.
Any blockchain idea can be thought about from these three perspectives, and when we ask ourselves to reflect on all three, it leads to more rounded, grounded and coherent hypotheses.
The environment at Cuppa aims to help us all expand our ideas to cover these areas, and then use that framing to identify short experiments.
They sometimes start as on-chain prototypes with quickly-scaffolded user interfaces, or as games and facilitated meetings, or a stream of meme gifs.