This article is the first in a series of bullish cases I will publish over the coming years. The most promising projects building on the Internet Computer Protocol (ICP) will be reviewed through a bullish stance. In order to avoid being biased and provide the most valuable insights, some unknowns will also always be discussed. This series of bullish cases mainly aims at creating constructive discussion and excitement within the Dfinity ecosystem as well as showing support and love for the projects playing a major role in the ICP paradigm shift.
Last time I had a discussion with Dominic Williams on OpenChat, he said “distrikt will be insane”. We are actually a lot in the Dfinity ecosystem to be extremely excited about distrikt, that’s why distrikt was the first project that came to my mind for this first bullish case article. It was obvious.
distrikt is a decentralized, professional social media network that empower users to own and control their identity. Powered by Dfinity’s Internet Computer, distrikt will be the first 100% blockchain-based professional social media network.
More precisely, Andra Georgescu co-founder of distrikt, said in this Twitter thread:
“In its 2021 version, DistriktApp will offer users Medium-like article creation, distribution and consumption within a LinkedIn style platform that allows them to showcase their projects, highlight their achievements, and showcase important milestones. The ultimate vision for Distrikt is that it becomes a community-building platform where users create groups called distrikts that grow, merge and diverge, like communities naturally tend to. Distrikts can be created around professions, hobbies, values or common passions. So get ready to build your own distrikt!”
She also wrote this very informative article that I highly recommend you to read to learn more about distrikt.
10 BULLISH ASPECTS
1) The team
Distrikt founders have successfully managed to build a very strong team with complementary skills. The team is already composed of 13 specialists working full time on distrikt :
- 2 people working on mobile apps
- 2 people working on web app
- 2 blockchain engineers
- 1 junior dev providing support
- 1 senior product designer
- 1 graphic designer
- 1 head of product, doing roadmapping and some PM when needed.
- 1 administrative & operations
- Aurel Iancu and Andra Georgescu covering everyhting else form marketing, communications, partnership, and making sure they are always on the right path.
Let that sink in, the product hasn’t even been launched yet, and look how impressive the distrikt team already is. I haven’t heard of any project currently building on the Internet Computer having such a great team before launch. Building a team is a very big challenge for any founder, this speaks volume about the founders ability to make the right decisions. It’s not all about the team though, it is all about how they execute, that’s the next bullish aspect.
There is something way more bullish than distrikt impressive team. It is how they execute. Execution is everything. It is the bridge between the vision and its manifestation. The founders decided to work on distrikt only 4 months ago in February, and look at all the amazing things they have successfully accomplished so far : building a strong team, creating a unique brand and community within Dfinity ecosystem, designing not only a web app but also mobile apps, developing web app and mobile apps at the same time and on cutting-edge technology, and much more things happening behind the scene that we are not aware of. Today they launched a signup page on the Internet Computer where we are able to use our internet identity to reserve our account for the upcoming distrikt official launch later this summer. This is the execution anyone would dream of, it is fast and focused in the right direction. This impressive execution tells a lot about the team mindset which leads to the next bullish aspect.
3) The inevitability mindset
Have you ever met people so intense that you knew they would succeed no matter what? There are some people that have a very special and unique energy. You don’t have to know them to feel it. This energy is so intense and obvious that it makes you feel that their success is inevitable. It is a feeling, you feel that they will make it happen no matter what. This is sometimes referred to as the inevitability mindset. If you do your own research and pay attention you will notice that distrikt team has this rare mindset that makes success inevitable. There is still a very long way to go but with a strong team, an impressive execution, and the inevitability mindset, we might be witnessing the birth of a huge mainstream success. And that’s only three bullish aspects, seven more to come!
4) Self funded by Aurel Iancu co founder
Distrikt is self-funded by Aurel Iancu, co-founder of distrikt. A Swiss non-profit called Open Internet Foundation has been set up with 1,000,000 CHF in funding to ensure that the team has enough financial resources to support distrikt fast development. Why is it bullish ? From day 1, the team has been focused on what matters most. They are not distracted by the process of raising funds and not losing focus. They can put all their energy and all their focus on building and moving fast. Most people underestimate how being self-funded is a big advantage when it comes to executing fast in the right direction with a clear mind.
5) The problem
Every product starts with a problem that needs solving. But how to choose the right one? Not all problems are created equal. It wouldn’t make sense to be bullish without looking carefully at the problem distrikt is aiming to solve. This problem helps better understand the full potential of distrikt. Is this problem real? Is it a big problem? Is it a difficult problem? Has this problem been completely solved? Is this problem getting worse every day? The best problems to solve for entrepreneurs share some characteristics but are very hard to find and way harder to solve. They are real, big, difficult, not completely solved, getting worse every day. The problem distrikt is aiming to solve falls into the category of the best problems. This perspective tells a lot about distrikt’s potential to become a game changer and a new standard worldwide.
6) Digital sovereignty
It’s actually very hard to believe that Digital sovereignty is about to become a reality. It’s a dream come true! Here comes distrikt which makes user privacy and user sovereignty a priority. They are taken so seriously that they are part of distrikt’s foundational values. Privacy issues have such bad impacts on our world that they can’t and won’t be ignored anymore. This shift is so radical that it is impossible to anticipate the positive change and profound impacts it will have on our society but we can all agree that digital sovereignty will build a much better world for everyone. The more radical the solution is the more bullish I am, that’s why digital sovereignty is a key component of distrikt that one should find particularly fascinating.
7) Platform owned and governed by users
For decades digital sovereignty was too good to be true and now distrikt is turning the dream into a reality. What else could be better than that? Imagine using a platform where you not only have digital sovereignty but also the possibility to govern. I know what you feel, we share the same excitement! As distrikt users we won’t be the product and we will never ever have to pay with our data to use the platform for “free”. We will have a say regarding the future development of distrikt and as a community-owned platform we will decide together how we want it to evolve in everyone’s best interest. Being able to own and govern a platform that you will use on a regular basis provides a better solution for users by order of magnitude. If you see the future in it, we share the same vision.
8) Built on the Internet Computer Protocol
Dfinity’s Internet Computer Protocol is reinventing the Internet and opening a new world of possibilities. Products and services that couldn’t be built before can now exist. I like to refer to the Internet Computer as the Internet on steroids because it extends the public internet so that it can also host smart contracts that run at web speed and can scale within an environment that has unbounded capacity. It is really what many of us have fantasized about blockchain for many years. Distrikt has made the perfect decision to build on the Internet Computer. In fact, an ambitious project such as distrikt could not be built on any other blockchain today. Distrikt is a pioneer in the paradigm shift we are witnessing with the advent of the Internet Computer, as the underlying technology and ecosystem mature, it will become increasingly better and stronger.
9) First mover advantage
Distrikt will be the first professional social media network that is 100% blockchain-based. A lot of efforts and resources have been put into learning about the Internet Computer Protocol and building on it. By doing so, day after day, the team has gained a first mover advantage. Distrikt will be the first to market which will enable the platform to establish sufficient market share and a solid enough customer base when competitors will enter the arena. By the time competition comes distrikt will also have established strong brand recognition and user loyalty. They will also have a much better understanding of the technology than any other potential competitor. There are usually some drawbacks of being first but I think they don’t apply here. It’s rather the opposite, the first mover advantage will be much bigger than what it would have been with a mature technology and ecosystem. As I often mention, a paradigm shift is only obvious in retrospect, most people don’t see it while it’s unfolding. Imagine how big the first mover advantage can be when the paradigm shift is just only getting started.
10) Dom is bullish
I believe independent thinking is critical in a world full of noise to make the right decisions for oneself and others. While I always do my own research, I love to listen to people smarter than me, and trust me when I say there are a lot. I love to learn. That’s why whenever Dom says anything I pay close attention and take time to process the information. I might be biased here but I believe in the Internet Computer so much that I will always carefully listen to Dom. As I mentioned in the introduction, last time I discussed with him on OpenChat he said without me asking anything “distrikt will be insane” and everytime he has been excited about something related to the Internet Computer it has always been really worth it. He obviously has more information than any of us about distrikt and is clearly bullish. So am I. What about you? Do you also think distrikt will be insane?
There are so many unknowns for projects building on the Internet Computer and in particular for decentralized social media. In order to avoid being biased and to create constructive discussion within the Dfinity community I thought it was interesting to briefly mention some unknowns in my bullish articles.
There is absolutely no prior experience to fall back on for distrikt team. While the ultimate vision of the Internet Computer or distrikt might be clear, the truth is no one has any idea how we will get there. As pioneers many boundaries will have to be pushed and many great challenges will have to be overcome.
Product/market fit & traction
The product has not been launched yet. Will the team manage to reach a product/market fit? Will distrikt get traction? I very often see crypto projects focusing too much on the technology and assuming that people will need and use what they build. The “build it and they will come” approach seems very common in the crypto industry. It remains to be seen if distrikt team has a solid go to market strategy.
Users are “hooked” on mainstream centralized platforms
It’s not because a solution is much better that people will leave other established platforms to use it. The most used centralized social networks are designed in a way that users are hooked, the more they use them the more they get addicted. I remember Reid Hofmann, member of the Paypal mafia and founder of LinkedIn, being asked the famous Peter Thiel’s contrarian question in the context of entrepreneurship. He answered that most entrepreneurs don’t take human psychology seriously when they build something. He said most builders don’t think hard about the psychology of their users. It will be interesting to observe how distrikt users will behave from a psychological perspective.
This unknown is linked with the previous one. Users on mainstream centralized platforms seem to accept all the awful disadvantages not only because they are hooked but also because they benefit from network effects. Will distrikt manage to create network effects powerful enough to incentivize users to swith ?
Feedback loops & Future iterations
Once the product launches it will be a new chapter in the life of distrikt. Users will start using distrikt and it will be time to gather feedback and iterate. What feedback loops will be in place? What will the iterative process be like? Will the team successfully manage the pre launch to post launch transition?
Tokenomics & tokenization
The distrikt tokenomics are a very important unknown today. The token will play a paramount role on the platform and is a core component of the user experience. How the platform will be tokenized? How tokenization will align incentives? This is the kind of unknown that can make or break things. There is so much to learn in this area.
Unknown set of skills required
The new wave of decentralized social media being built on the Internet Computer will require unknown skill sets to be successful. The will create jobs never seen before. For example community designer will likely become very common, we can also imagine about token growth hacker job in the future. As the new wave of decentralized social media makes progress these new jobs and skills will emerge. It might be difficult to identify them but it will be extremely important because they will be required to grow.
There are still many unknowns and I thought it was interesting to mention some of them. It might seem counterintuitive but it makes me even more bullish on distrikt team. As I said in the 10 bullish aspects I strongly believe they will inevitably overcome any challenge on their way to solve the big problem they are going after.
We might be witnessing the birth of a future mainstream decentralized social media network never seen before.
I am extremely excited to follow distrikt progress and I will keep showing strong long term support. As the platform evolves I will update this article, something tells me it will become increasingly bullish!
I hope you enjoyed reading and that it was helpful in some way. I
See you soon somewhere on the Internet Computer.
The ICP maximalist
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