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The Future of web3 Will Rely on a “DAO of dApps”

Written by Welly Scully; Edited by Travis Zane and Tony Pham

How Developers Can Partner to Bring the Next 100M Users into web3

If you’re building apps to advance the ownership economy — not a project focused on serving speculative investors — and share the ethos of ”enter the space with us and then we’ll share the network effect with you,” then this article is intended for you.

Below we outline the main ways in which developers can work together to onboard the next generation of web3 users and scale web3 at large.

As a venture studio, SuperLayer is spending time developing, building, launching, and scaling consumer projects (with a social and gaming focus) to bring everyday people into web3 — We’re bullish on decentralized social and web3 gaming. Launching companies in sequence, and building them in parallel, means that we get real-time market feedback about what’s working and what’s not. As head of partnerships at SuperLayer, it is clear to me that there is a significant amount of overlap between projects, with promising opportunities to increase overall value through some light coordination.

Collaboration—Let’s Build The Network Effect Together

One of the biggest challenges to any consumer-facing project is building the critical mass of users necessary to make it actually fun and engaging. Unless you have the treasury to compete in the multi-billion dollar arena for customer acquisition, you’ll need to rely on more cost-effective approaches.

To start, it is critical to have a web3 partnership mindset. One of the best models for thinking about partnerships comes from a16z crypto’s framework for web3 go-to-market. It is a simple formula, combining clarity of purpose, “an engaged and high-quality community,” and an appropriate governance structure.

Source: a16z crypto

This framework can be applied to ecosystems of projects as well as individual projects. If projects of a common nature or goal can be categorized with similar go-to-market strategies (as well as community, social, business development, and economics alignment), then it benefits developers of these dApps to work in unison with some level of shared governance.

Consider Animoca Brands, a vast business network that spans major categories in web3, combining investments and in-house products:

Source: Animoca Brands

The portfolio is sprawling, but it stems from a specific focus on web3 collectibles and gaming that began in 2018, when GameFi was beginning to emerge.

Source: Yat Siu

Animoca Brands brought its network of web2 brand partners to its web3 properties, helping form integrations and interoperability within its portfolio of web3-native companies. For example, The Sandbox (a blockchain gaming platform under Animoca Brands) created a virtual Smurfs Village land (a character brand partnered with Animoca Brands), offering NFTs to both the Sandbox community and the Smurfs community. By collaborating between web2 and web3, Animoca Brands expands its ecosystem to a larger network, benefitting web2 projects (by establishing their credibility in web3) and web3 projects (by expanding their reach to new users outside of the existing web3 ecosystem) at the same time.

Source: Animoca Brands

The future for web3 consumer apps should include more integrations at the app level that offer a better experience, especially for people who are new to web3 that expect the kind of seamless experience they’re already getting from centralized web2 apps at scale.

Which brings us to the question: How do you begin to match — and eventually exceed — that level of experience and scale?

Two Key Types Of Partnerships—Product And Distribution

Partnerships in web3 are key, especially because the industry is still nascent, and some use cases can’t survive without reaching and maintaining critical mass.

Interoperability is fundamental to web3, which makes partnerships critical for engaging with a fragmented market - — projects that work together in the same ecosystem are more likely to succeed, similar to how a rising tide lifts all boats when they’re in the same part of the ocean.

If you look at headline-generating partnerships (not a great barometer for success, but a reasonable indicator), you will find that they generally fit into one of two buckets: product and distribution.

Product: Integrate a partner’s solution to make existing users happier, or to support a new set of users

Distribution: Partner integrates your solution, which helps you reach new users and make them happy

Other partnerships, like co-marketing deals, can provide some distribution to everybody. If the product partner already has significant reach — a high-visibility brand with lots of direct users — then announcing the partnership can help both parties reach new audiences.

The key is ensuring that both partners have a clear understanding of how a combined solution (solution A integrated into solution B) results in more value to new and/or existing users — not just two products jammed together for the sake of an announcement.

What do these partners look like? A team at Coinbase structured the universe of web3 organizations into a market map that reads like a well-organized menu of potential product partnerships for web3 developers.

These are providers of products and services that make the capabilities of web3 more accessible to people. For example: onramps and wallets to purchase and hold assets; games and creator platforms to earn and spend assets; marketplaces and exchanges to trade assets; storage services to host assets; and protocols to facilitate the creation and transfer of these assets. These are building blocks that app developers can use to bring their customers into a web3 experience.

Source: Coinbase

Let’s Share The Network Effect

Making customers happy is key to making any partnership successful, and making customers so happy that they decide to switch from an entrenched web2 platform to a web3 ecosystem is critical to the mass adoption of web3.

Creating this utility will necessitate network effects that span ecosystems — not just individual apps — which will require developers and stewards of those ecosystems to work together towards a unifying experience. Partnerships are key to this vision.

What are the best examples of consumer app partnerships that are succeeding at bringing new users to web3, and creating so much value that people are willing to pay?

Share your thoughts with us at SuperLayer.


  1. By building multiple consumer apps in parallel, SuperLayer is forming an ecosystem, which gives us insights into how apps can work together
  2. Consumer app developers can create a better experience for customers by building a critical mass of utility through partnerships that make apps interoperable
  3. Interoperability is key to the success of web3, and having a common understanding of positioning — product and distribution — can make partnerships simpler and faster to implement

SuperLayer is a Web3 venture studio that builds and supports new multi-chain, tokenized consumer products and applications powered by the RLY Protocol. Led by Managing Partners Kevin Chou and Mahesh Vellanki — who have more than $1 billion+ in exits between their combined venture and founding experience — SuperLayer works with partners and teams to facilitate the launch, staffing, go-to-market, compliance, and fundraising for Web3 projects. The Web3 venture studio’s mission is to attract and support the next 100 million people using crypto. For more information on SuperLayer, visit ••• Blog | LinkedIn | Twitter



SuperLayer is building a community creating transformative web3 experiences that democratize opportunity and ownership of the internet. Join us in building the future of consumer crypto.

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