Frank Chen

Frank Chen

preparing for a future in web3 product

This is a continuation of on what product managers should look out for concerning the most recent trends in web3 product management.

I've had some time after ETH Denver to think about product management. In 2022 and beyond, I'm seeing a couple of trends that I think will play into how the product role develops in web3.

One of the trends is a move from engineering being the dominant function in web3 to more design and user experience for the average user. We're catching on to the fact that developers building for developers is one of the reasons why some of these web3 products are so hard to use. This awareness pushes product managers to not only have a better eye for design and the user experience, but to constantly remind themselves that they must do micro-pivots to ensure that the product is being built for the right users, and that it's actually providing some kind of value. It may come to fruition that the role of a designer and the role of a product manager become increasingly similar, but regardless, building for the 99% will be key for web3.

Another trend is the move to more part-time contributions rather than full-time contributions. This is happening alongside the evolution of DAOs and the appearance of new work infrastructures, such as Opolis, which handles payroll for freelancers and has a community governed aspect. More and more workers in web3 are opting to work piecewise on projects they find interesting and for communities they find engaging for different periods of time. Can doing product management work part-time? This is something I'm currently experimenting with, so we'll see if this tree bears fruit.

There's also a growing need for practical, easy applications that can onboard non-native users of crypto to the wonders of the blockchain. As an example, one of the entry points for any chain is the wallet, since that is the first interaction a user will have with transacting on a chain. There are dApps for NFTs, decentralized finance, social media, and much more. All of these should aim to abstract away the complexities of the blockchain and leave users only with the value added benefits of a service, kind of like...web2.

In summary, what does this mean for skill development as product folks delve into the world of web3?

  1. Start now on nurturing and developing quality relationships that form the backbone of your community. Continually invest in and grow your community. Understand that building community is another form of understanding users.
  2. Focus on the relationship between you and your designer. Make sure you're testing your designs for understanding and content. Better yet, become a semi-expert yourself in what consists of a good user experience.
  3. Understand that onboarding is precious in web3. The risk is always that you lose a user for life if you don't get it right the first time.
  4. If you work in multiple DAOs as a product manager, constantly identify your highest leverage points. If you being to lose context it's time to re-evaluate.

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