Neo Blockchain: The Developer’s Role in Empowering Decentralization
Fostering a blockchain ecosystem is non-trivial. Similar to marketplaces, these projects need to foment the adoption of different user profiles to succeed. To make this work, different projects and communities need to work together to provide a seamless experience to different types of consumers. This relies not only on feature availability but also on good experience, proper documentation, and marketing. The Neo blockchain offers a range of features, but is the proposed value reaching the final customer?
The Blockchain Value Chain
confer immense value to applications, enabling developers to form new entities grounded in decentralized frameworks. Nonetheless, the principal beneficiaries of this value are the end users, not the developers. Developers are very important, but the end users truly bring value to the network. So, why is there such fervor in the blockchain ecosystems to acquire new developers?
The rationale behind this is straightforward: these new developers will construct applications for the end users, not the core developers. The drive to enlist more developers comes from the need to create a variety of applications that will ultimately serve the end users, allowing them to leverage the benefits of blockchain technology and smart contracts. This underscores the interdependency between developers and end users in optimizing the value derived from blockchain.
In order for dApp developers to succeed, they will need proper tools and features. On the Neo ecosystems, tools are built by tool developers, such as COZ, AxLabs, and NGD. However, they are also dependent on the core developers.
These multi-level dependencies between these groups in a decentralized space make creating value for end users very challenging. All the code, made from core developers to dApp developers, must be working and be easy to use.
If we fail to retain developers and users, it doesn’t make any sense to work on onboarding them. There is no utility in bringing thousands of developers to download the tools if they don’t work. This will make people leave. There aren’t infinite resources either, so we need to balance investments in the onboarding process and retaining the new users in the ecosystem.
There is a dependency between the tool and the network features, so creating a compelling first-user experience is harder and more complex.
Since the Neo network is going through constant updates, maintaining the tools is also time-consuming. It’s often not possible to migrate developers from one tool to another. They will likely have to spend a considerable amount of time keeping it updated and bug-free.
Communication plays a major role since the network must rely on different groups to produce value for end users. Tool developers need to know about new features, while dApp developers must know what tools to use. Lastly, users using network-provided tools must interact with these new software.
This communication is not only about marketing - but also about building relevant features. The core developer team must have the vision to build features that will be used at the top of the funnel, while dApp developers must know how to use these new features.You also need to deal with developers without any Web3 background, demanding more in terms of communication.
Onboarding and Retention
One of the biggest problems in the blockchain ecosystem is user onboarding and retention. Not only do we need to bring in new people, but we also need to retain them. We are talking about convincing people not only to visit but to stay around for the years to come.
Again, we face the same dependency between developers. Onboarding users rely on good marketing and a great first-use experience, while retention is achieved by building lasting relationships with network participants. The ‘good thing’ is that if you don’t have a good onboarding, you won’t have to care about retention.
In this spectrum, we can also mention coin holders. This group is also expected to hold onto the project for a long time, but they are only doing it if they feel that the project is going in the right direction. Most developers and end users also fit in this role, which cannot be ignored.
Neo Blockchain Onboarding
One of the Neo blockchain’s biggest strengths is that developers can reuse their existing knowledge of common programming languages. This facilitates onboarding without learning a new programming language.
Some other features, such as a decentralized file system, are great for convincing new developers to try Neo. Once they are convinced, they will need to follow a journey. This starts by downloading and installing Neo blockchain tools. The role of convincing users is mostly related to marketing teams. However, once they download tools like the Neo Blockchain Toolkit, the product user experience will dictate whether the users will continue their journey.
Neo Blockchain Retention
As with any product, it takes some time to find market fit. This is when your product is accepted by the market and is being used by people. Reaching market fit takes several interactions and depends on multiple factors. This usually takes months, if not years. That is why retention is so important: without retaining users in the long run, the outcomes from development teams may not be ready for market. It may be a good idea but may not reach the maturity necessary to convince end users to use it.
Many hackathons offer project funding prizes. This ensures that participants are engaging in long-term objectives and not only competing for the prize opportunity.
The challenges faced in building Web3 ecosystems are multifaceted, revolving around the complexities of onboarding, retention, communication, and the interdependencies between various stakeholders.
Neo possesses numerous advanced features, yet many remain unnoticed by end users.. Once we allow these features to be more accessible, we will likely see more sophisticated dApps coming out. This will attract more users, bringing value to the network. This will depend on finding and retaining skilled developers and teams staying around for a long period of time.
The quest to build thriving Web3 ecosystems is not merely about technological advancements but also about fostering a cohesive and sustainable community of developers and users.
No Solutions Yet
There isn’t a simple solution for such complex challenges. At a minimum, we need to ensure that users can easily onboard the ecosystem. This depends on multiple teams working together to offer a decent user experience. Once the teams understand this importance, we can onboard and retain more users, even if they do not use their products and tools directly.