Crossing the Chasm teaches us that the initial users of a new product (called innovators and early adopters) are separated by a gap from the majority of users and what works for the users on the left side of the gap will not work for users on the right hand side of the gap.
Clearly blockchain and ICOs are in the innovator and early adopter phase. With the rate of progress and the amount of funding going into the space, it won’t be long before it will “cross the chasm” into the early majority.
One of the signals an industry has ‘crossed the chasm’ is the rise of “easy to use” tools and the shrinkage of techno-speak. In the early days of an industry, technologists fill the blog posts and conferences and have a tendency to talk in technical terms and jargon. Some of the jargon goes mainstream and stays with the industry while other terms are replaced with more common language.
In the early stages, technical considerations take precedence. In the mature stage business considerations take precedence. In ICOs, the discussion on hard forks, segwits, and data mining algorithms dominate the podcasts and media. As we cross the chasm, the conversation will shift to tokenomics and the business implications of a blockchain based network. As companies start tying their systems together into a more cohesive digital mesh network with automated data connections, the impact on company strategy and growth methods will rise to the top.
ICOs are still in the early phase but as real world applications in social media, supply chain, fin-tech, and other areas come online, the shift to digital ecosystems will move into the mainstream. The adoption of blockchain to real world applications will lead the charge. We’ll see many new experiments with tokens and how they can be used to foster a digital ecosystem.
Hall T. Martin is the founder of TEN Capital and a builder of entrepreneur ecosystems by startup funding through angel networks, funding portals, syndicates, and more. Connect with him about fundraising, business growth, and emerging technologies.