Breakthrough technologies promise value. They can create something that is better than human coordination.

Crypto evangelists have been touting the revolutionary value of Bitcoin technology since Satoshi’s release of the Bitcoin whitepaper. Web3 was touted as the panacea to all of the world’s problems, from identity to supply chains. Once on-chain, anything could be fixed.



Ankush is the chief architect and co-founder of Co:Create.

When blockchain first appeared on my radar, I was heading an open-source Google project called Kubeflow. It was obvious to me as a developer that open protocols were superior to closed systems which dominated the internet. The early hype cycles for Web3 were driven by experimental, and sometimes risky use cases. Google’s famous motto is “Don’t Be Evil.” What was the slogan for Web3 in its early days? Not for the weak of heart?

In 2018, I joined the then Facebook team to design and develop critical components for the Libra stablecoin, a project which was at first controversial and ambitious. Facebook is a revolutionary technology, regardless of the criticism. It opened up a world of possibilities in terms of communication and connection, which transformed global coordination. The “Blue App’ was intuitive, convenient and easily accessible.

Facebook came close to bringing the same user experience to Web3 when it launched Libra (albeit, in a manner that would have abandoned the fundamental openness and promise of the tech). Libra would have given billions of people access to a stablecoin, and an ecosystem of financial products. This would have accelerated blockchain’s daily active user numbers by orders of magnitude.

But it didn’t. The world is better off for that.

As an engineer at Web2 giants, I learned a lot. I’ve seen the limitations and inequity of closed-source technologies. This is what makes Web3 development so exciting. It’s difficult to explain to users the benefits of decentralization. This is catnip to technologists who love conceptual ideas. It is difficult to explain to people how Web3 will solve problems that they do not understand, particularly when existing solutions work well.

Decentralized technologies are complex and have created a growing gap between developers and users.

To create a meaningful impact with Web3, it is important to not get bogged down by technical processes, but rather focus on the immediate value for users. We should focus on creating accessible and user-friendly applications that solve real world problems and encourage mainstream adoption of Web3. The value of a product is ultimately determined by the way people use it, and not the technology behind the scenes.

What is the purpose of Web3?

Nearly 15 years after the decentralized revolution began, we have a solid technological foundation to support a variety of exciting applications. Web3-based industries that create undeniable value have gained mainstream recognition. Awareness does not equal mainstream adoption.

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Web3 is a transformative technology. But to reach its breakthrough moment, we must shift our perception from an ideological future to one that focuses on the immediate value to users. We must adopt a user-centric strategy and make Web3’s value more relevant for more people by offering solutions that are compelling to people who can identify them.

A well-organized list is what technologists love more than a phrase that’s well-defined but poorly understood. Here are my engineering principles to balance technology and customer value.

  • Always put the customer first. We want to provide value to our clients. Understanding the needs of our customers should drive every decision, feature and process that we take.
  • Focus on customer value and not technical sophistication. A technologically advanced system may not be the best choice for our customers. We must balance technical capabilities with the time it takes to deliver value, and select the option that provides the greatest value for our customers within the shortest time frame.
  • Focus not only on process, but also impact: Customers care more about the results than the steps taken to achieve them. We place a higher priority on delivering meaningful outcomes than following strict processes.
  • Be flexible and move quickly without breaking anything: Our customers are demanding that we iterate on multiple product ideas rapidly. We need to be extremely flexible and willing to adjust our direction in response market/customer feedback. We can’t afford to be slow or make things worse.
  • Done can be better than perfect. It’s important to strive to achieve excellence, but it’s also important to recognize that you may have limitations in terms of what is possible within a certain timeframe.
  • Collective ownership & individual accountability: This refers the idea that each member of the team is responsible for their codebase, and they all have the authority to change it. Each team member must be held individually responsible for the quality of their contributions and their maintainability.

This is how we reach the masses.