There are two simple ways to tell if a company is using blockchain technology. Both of these need to stop.
1. The Company Name
‘Block’, ‘Bit’, ‘Chain’, ‘Crypto’, ‘Coin’ or ‘Token’
New companies utilizing blockchain all seem to have decided to put one of these ‘keywords’ into their company name.
A plea to all blockchain companies: Please don’t.
While I’m a huge fan of blockchain and know the awesome potential impact across multiple industries, you’re doing it wrong by having any one of these in your company name.
- You all sound the same.
CoinDesk, Coin Telegraph, Bitcoin News, Bittrex, Bitcoin Magazine, Coin Rivet, Syscoin, Coinfirm, Bitstamp…
These are just a few of the names taken from the current top 20 list on Rise.Global. Bitcoin has already taken the memorable spot coining that name. By using a similar variation, you don’t sound like the underdog. You sound like an imitator, and no one likes to be imitated. It’s your turn to think of something creative, as I believe, you have to be unique to stand out. For example, it’s hard to get companies like Apple and Microsoft confused when their company names are entirely different. They both offer spreadsheet technology, but they didn’t choose to name their companies AppleSheet or SoftSheet. Be a little creative with naming your company so you don’t sound like a sheeet (pronounced: shĭt) — blockchain company.
2. These words mean nothing to a consumer and the 99.9% of people who don’t know what your product is. From a consumer’s point of view, your company name almost symbolizes a stop sign. Most people don’t know what blockchain is yet, and many have decided they don’t want to know. Once there is better learning and adaptation tools out there, this will change. For now, broadcasting that you use blockchain with your company name means less adaption of new users. That’s the opposite of what we both want.
3. Why do you really exist? It seems that you are focused more on your technology than your mission and purpose for your customers. Most of us love technology, but technology isn’t a story, it’s a tool. People don’t build houses because they have a tool, they build houses because they have a reason, a purpose, a goal. Technology is a vehicle to best accomplish your mission, not the excuse to create a company. Eventually, if you’re solely a technology driven company without a strong mission, you’re going to have a hard time keeping up with competitors and standing out to investors.
Be unique and articulate your ‘Why’. Then, you can tell us what makes you the best and why we should believe and give you our money. That last part is where you can incorporate blockchain technology.
2. Your Company Homepage
Who run the world?
Engineers. Well, at least it looks that way by the jargon on blockchain webpages.
Let’s take a look at an example. To note, I’ve replaced the name of the blockchain company with ‘X’ to protect their privacy.
I Google searched ‘list of blockchain companies’, clicked on a random one, and landed on this company, ‘X’ Chain. After scrolling past the first thing on their homepage, ‘X CHAIN 3.0 IS NOW LIVE’ (which means nothing to me), I then came across the above image; X Chain’s vision.
Ayy. I shudder.
Not only because they’re missing periods at the end of sentences which tells me that no one with any attention to detail looks over their content (scary forecasting for their products), but mostly because I’m lost in jargon. I couldn’t be their target audience, right?
Is this for consumers? Businesses? What is a loopring and makerdao?
Are these birth control brands or Dr. Seuss characters? Either way, I guarantee you that consumers don’t like to feel dumb.
Can they do better? Yes, and easily with a few steps:
- Seek feedback from those outside your company and industry.
- Hire employees that aren’t just engineers.
- Simplify content. Make your ideas more familiar, easier to grasp and easier to talk about. Especially if it’s on your homepage. If you can explain it to a 10-year-old, you’re on the right track.
- Diversity in thought, background, skills and the ability to challenge each other in a company are some of the best keys to success. And, unfortunately, it’s easy to tell if a company doesn’t have them, even before looking at your team’s page.
For blockchain to progress, let’s do it right…
When I talk to people about blockchain, I hear “There is so much hype, but no one can actually explain what blockchain is.”
Truth is, there are plenty of people who can, and plenty of companies that are utilizing the technology in amazing ways. (Look out for my next article..👀) Although, with companies naming themselves different variations of the same name and engineers writing marketing copy, the world is presented with an illusion of hype. I don’t blame them. Blockchain will continue to be looked at as hype until companies can communicate their mission and product benefits clearly. As a blockchain company, or rather as any company, the best thing you can do is focus on what’s important to your customer, not what you think is cool.
We’re at the early adopters stage. To move past it faster, we need companies to stop contributing to the hype.
For the blockchain companies that are doing it well, keep up the good work. We need more like you.
Please & thank you. 🤓
- Stop naming your companies the same variations of sheet ‘B’ & ‘C’ words. Shoot for A-level work.
- Impress us with your mission, not a flashy tech tool.
- Hire a marketing professional that knows nothing to little about blockchain technology to write or edit your content.
- The world needs blockchain to adapt faster. So please, stop making these silly mistakes.