A company is only as good as its employees. Even if a blockchain application is revolutionary, if the idea behind it can change the world, the difference it could make will never come to pass unless there is a talented group of people behind it. Blockchain technology is not mainstream yet, so assembling a team with the right knowledge and backgrounds is like fishing for a rare species scattered throughout the entire ocean. Doing so is still possible, so here are some tips for building a team to increase your blockchain endeavors likelihood of success.
Why teams are important
“[Blockchain] projects conducted by organizations have a 15 percent chance of survival, in comparison to the single user-generated projects. This is likely due to a dispersed workload in an organization where people may specialize according to talent versus a single user project requiring one person to ideate, write code, prototype, and advertise. Working on a team also allows for collective brainstorming, which usually generates more effective solutions than those generated by individuals.”
No individual can do everything. Even if a sole developer has all the necessary knowledge, no one has the time to make the pieces fit or oversee regular operations after initiation. There is no way around making this a team effort.
Your current position will affect how you approach building your team: are you a startup, or are you part of a pre-existing company that is looking to explore the blockchain space? If you are part of the former, you will need to convince like-minded people why your venture is worthwhile. Like any startup, blockchain companies start from the bottom, so everyone needs to have faith in the project.
If you are part of a pre-existing company, you don’t have to build a team from scratch or with people who are already blockchain-savvy. Instead, you can educate the developers and advertisers you have about the technology (workshops with experts are an idea) and involve a variety of people. Comet notes that blockchain is not a stand-alone system. It works as a foundation, but you need to take the multidisciplinary approach and include finance profiles and business developers in the project.
A few necessary roles
Aside from the obvious code writers and engineers, a successful blockchain team needs an assortment of perspectives.
Business Lead: Whether the business lead is technically a “founder” or the head of a new branch of a big company, Hackernoon says that this person “is the one who takes the lead in a pitch; they are most likely the individual who will lead meetings or calls with prospective investors or partners.” Even if this position involves little sales activity, the person filling it will need to be able to tell a story and convince investors of your project’s worth.
Advisors: Hackernoon also mentions that advisors will be like “business therapists,” helping to navigate obstacles and unforeseen aspects of your venture. Advisors can be technical, financial, marketers, or legal (this last field is the downfall of many hopeful blockchain companies—you’re going to need help understanding changing regulations and complying with AML and KYC rules).
Advertisers: Advertisers need to be able to explain your blockchain solution in layman’s terms. Now that Google and Facebook have banned all crypto-related ads, they’ll also need to be creative: can they present well at blockchain events? Can they communicate to the public in other ways? Do they have a basic understanding of how the technology works?
Examples of great teams
So what does a sufficient team look like? If you are a startup, you can take note of Fr8 Network, which plans to disrupt the entire trucking industry with its blockchain solution. The company’s founder, Jon Fox, used to work in the food industry. His business was dependent on timely deliveries—some foods are perishable, after all—so he grew increasingly frustrated with freight’s inefficiency (if you were unaware, trucks drive billions of miles every year empty or partially full, and it’s challenging to track operations). He had an idea to “Uberize” the trucking industry with a blockchain platform, so he assembled a team of engineers, data scientists, system architects, and business developers to make it happen.
SuccessLife is a subsidiary of Success Resources, so it could cast a wide net for finding the perfect team. The company offers a digital marketplace for an immense library of materials related to professional and personal development. Besides chief executive, financial, and technical officers, SuccessLife has regional community managers to foster global participation (specifically Australia, China, Europe, Malaysia, Singapore, and the United Kingdom). It also has a wealth of advisors with blockchain and finance backgrounds.
Everyone has unique skills and points of view, so to increase a blockchain venture’s chances for success, it’s practical to assemble a team with diverse backgrounds.