Evan Freeman, the curriculum specialist of the Bitcoin Association, took the virtual stage on August 5 for the third Bitcoin SV Hackathon webinar, titled “How to not fail when building on Bitcoin.” In his talk, Freeman covered four key areas of Bitcoin that any hackathon participant, software developer, and businessman/businesswoman, should keep in mind when building on Bitcoin: profit-seeking, economic growth and opportunity, using Bitcoin to build differently, and refining your application.
Here are a few key takeaways from the webinar.
Freeman’s presentation began with a discussion on profit-seeking; many Bitcoiners take an approach to business-building that is much different than the approach you see tech companies take in Silicon Valley. Instead of seeking venture capital, Bitcoin businesses should look to be profitable from Day 1.
“Unlike the Silicon Valley model, Bitcoin is about how well you can expand the Bitcoin economy and profit from that expansion,” said Freeman. Instead of seeking venture capital and allocating the money you received in ways that can grow the business, on Bitcoin, you can earn revenue, as well as allow others to earn revenue, from the moment the platform launches. Since everything takes place on-chain, Bitcoin allows you to see how well your company is serving others, and you can use that information to innovate in the right direction.
Build differently with Bitcoin
Another topic of discussion in Freeman’s presentation is that if you are building on Bitcoin, you shouldn’t try to reinvent the wheel. Not to be discouraging, but we already have an abundance of Bitcoin social media networks that generally provide the same service. That being said, you should shy away from doing what has already been done. If you keep this in mind, it should help your business grow.
What will also help your business grow is interoperability. If you are not looking to create something entirely new, then you will find it beneficial to create something that makes existing services interoperable. “It’s optimal if you are interoperable because seamlessness increases velocity, the more velocity the faster the rate of improvement,” said Freeman.
“Ultimately, what we need right now is the opportunity for people to earn Bitcoin because when people earn Bitcoin, they become a greater part of the Bitcoin economy opposed to someone who is just purchasing it. When they earn it, they tend to spread it, they begin to use it in their communities, rather than just keeping it as an investment,” said Freeman.
The most successful Bitcoin applications allow people to earn Bitcoin in addition to spending it. One of Bitcoin’s major obstacles is that individuals need to acquire Bitcoin before they use a majority of applications in the ecosystem. That being said, if you give individuals a way to join an application—without funds—and then acquire Bitcoin, individuals will gravitate to your application because it has a low barrier to entry, is low stakes, and allows them to generate revenue. The more inclusive an app is and the more uses a tool or resource has, the more likely it is to provide value to an audience and therefore, should have a greater chance of being successful.
New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.