How Do You Measure the Success of Your Web3 Project?

April 22, 2022
3 min read

For years, you have measured project success with key performance indicators (KPIs) like traffic, engagement and monetization through ads, sponsorship or subscription. Those measurements focus on what value the project brings to your company.  

In Web3, it’s not about you.  

You’ll find that Web3 projects will likely get judged differently, focused on the value the project brings to the user.

When we discuss the distinction of Web2 and Web3, we see the primary differences are that Web3 empowers:

  • Direct payment for transactions without an intermediary
  • New models for community based on decentralized decision making and governance
  • New ownership models, including being paid royalties for asset creation in perpetuity

You’ll hear decentralization (the transfer of control from one to many) at the center of many Web3 conversations.  “If the product is free you are the product,” is the motto of many current Web 2.0 projects.  The centralized approach offers services to users without a cash payment.  Instead of cash, users pay by giving up privacy and getting access to just the content the centralized system allows.  While blockchain (a shared, immutable ledger of records) is getting closer to breaking free of the centralized internet, it still has a way to go and it imposes costs onto users, which is a change that will take time to popularize.

Let’s put blockchain technology aside for a moment and talk about the philosophy and promise of Web3 and the decentralized web; specifically, new models of ownership and community based activation. When thinking about the objectives of your next (or first) Web3 project, consider how you are bringing users together, building community and giving them a say in the direction. Even better, consider incentivizing users, financially or otherwise, to participate in or own the success of the project. 

What we suggest is to embrace the philosophies of Web3 and then let the technologies catch up.  Where possible embrace and use existing Web3 technologies, but first attempt to change the way you imagine and then measure a new project.  

Here are 6 questions we have started to ask of projects that label themselves as ‘Web3’:

  • Are we bringing users together?
  • Are users feeling their voice is being heard in the roadmap of the project?
  • Do users get a sense of ownership?
  • Are users given incentive to have this project succeed?
  • Are users getting continued value and utility beyond the initial (monetary) value exchange?
  • Beyond the roadmap, is the vision of the initiative clearly communicated to the community?

If you can answer “yes” to these questions, we believe you are building something within the Web3 philosophy. The technology you leverage to enable the project matters less, because if you stay within these guardrails, the community will support you even if you are not on the blockchain or using the latest trends. 

Assuming your approach passes the above criteria, we propose alternative success metrics:

  • Community size
  • Community activity
  • Community feels sense of ownership
  • Community is incentivized to have the project succeed
  • Community engagement (visiting/reading channels, participating/commenting in channels)
  • Community sentiment
  • Community member retention / churn

While many of us may struggle with the current selection of technologies in building “pure Web3” projects in the beginning, aspiring to the philosophies listed above will guide your projects well as the technology matures.

About Next League

Founded by a team of digital technology experts with decades of success in the sports, media and entertainment industries, Next League is driven to become the recognized leader in technology services for the sports, media, health & wellness industries.

The company is introducing a massive shift to the traditional agency and technology services company model. We are driven by the combination of growth and innovation, and in making investments with lasting social impact.