4 Takeaways from ETHDenver
It’s been almost 3 weeks since I attended ETHDenver, and being back in Toronto has given me the chance to reflect on the event with the team at Lake Finance. I’ve compiled a short list of my takeaways from ETHDenver and some of the things we’re thinking about on our goal to build simple, usable, and sophisticated financial tools for everyone.
#1 — Get Outside The Echo Chamber!
In the crypto-space today, it sometimes it feels like we’re just building products for each other. Because of the endless list of functional problems that could be solved in this space, it’s easy to lose track of why a product needs to be built in the first place.
User experience was a huge talking point at ETHDenver, and I’m glad more teams are working on that. However, UX can’t be the scapegoat for a product that doesn’t solve an important user problem in the first place. Just because you make it easy to use, doesn’t mean it will be used.
#2— Walk Away From The Tribalism!
Cryptocurrency communities can be a little intense. You’re likely to come across very polarizing opinions on anything from decentralization to economics, and even politics. In fact, many crypto-companies are founded based on tightly-held beliefs around these topics.
I believe that eventually every founder will be forced to compromise on one of their beliefs to guarantee a better product to their users, or to protect the company from being prosecuted by regulators. Teams that adapt to the changing technology, market demand and regulation will win in the end.
#3— Don’t Lie To Your Community!
Many crypto-projects built narratives around transparency, collaboration, and social impact but very few actually adhere to those values. To build a strong community you have to be authentic. You must embody the values of that community and if you’re not genuine, people will see through your empty promises and move onto something else.
For example: By making attendance free, and even providing travel scholarships, the ETHGlobal team helped create an amazing environment at ETHDenver. People genuinely wanted to work together and give back to the community, because they felt like they were doing their part to push this space forward.
#4— Your Product Is Not Just Damn The Product!
A product is a thing of value that is created and delivered to your customers. Your shiny app or platform is the ‘thing’. Understanding your user’s problems and how they define ‘value’ helps you build your ‘thing’.
What teams aren’t thinking about as much as they should, is how to ‘deliver’ that ‘thing’ to customers. Delivery comes down to the story you tell your customers. A product can have real functional utility, but the story needs to have emotional value too. People buy your product for how it makes them feel, and they stay for what it helps them do.
What We’re Up To At Lake Finance
Lake Trade is the first product we brought to market. It is a decentralized crypto relayer, built on the 0x protocol. It’s an easy to use yet powerful platform that allows peer-to-peer trading, directly out of your own Ethereum wallet. Since we’re built on 0x, we have immediate shared liquidity with other relayers on the 0x network. You have full custody of your ERC-20 tokens. No signups, no fees, no middlemen to entrust your assets to.
You can try out Lake Trade here
We are currently working hard to bring new features to market, which help address problems our users are having with the current market offerings. Additionally, we are almost ready to launch our second product, Lake Wealth.
Lake Wealth helps you invest in digital assets in a simple, passive, and low-cost way. We help you create a fully automated and actively managed portfolio, powered by our proprietary A.I. It’s like having your own portfolio manager in your pocket, in a beautiful, mobile-first experience. When the time is right we plan on offering this product to users directly from their wallet.
Our private beta will be expanding in the coming months and we’re starting with 100 spots for exclusive access.
Great, you made it all the way to the end — Hopefully you learned something. If you’d like to connect and learn about what we’re working on you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or check us out at https://lake.finance.