This is part of a series of interviews with founders and builders in the Web3 space called the Web3 Growth Handbook. The official handbook will be released in the coming months, but you can read all of the other available interviews here.
“If we don’t hit, at minimum, 10,000 Daily Active Users for a single blockchain game, where the users keep coming back and are retained for at least a month or two, then we have a lot of work to do.”
Ask most people what the most popular application on Ethereum is, and they will probably say CryptoKitties. The memory of the app clogging the Ethereum network because of its popularity is still fresh in the minds of both the Web3 community and the general public despite it happening more than two years ago. It’s clear the team behind CryptoKitties, Dapper Labs, knows how to build a brand and build a following, even if it might come at the expense of network speeds. But Dapper Labs isn’t content with riding CryptoKitties’ popularity into the sunset. Benny Giang, one of Dapper Labs’ co-founders, took the time to talk with us and he is optimistic about what the future holds for Dapper Labs and the entire Web3 community.
Founded in February of 2018 and featuring a wide range of products, Dapper Labs’ biggest initiative now is building their own blockchain. The Flow blockchain will live among the many other releases from Dapper Labs, including CryptoKitties, a blockchain game in which users can breed and trade collectible cats; CheezeWizards, a blockchain game in which users can create and battle with customizable wizards; Dapper Wallet, an Ethereum wallet focused on user experience and onboarding; and Hot Shot, an upcoming blockchain-based NBA game.
Dapper Labs knows gaming, they know blockchain, and they know how to build a business. They’ve raised nearly $40 million to date and continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible in the Web3 space. Our conversation with Benny Giang ranges from growth to struggles to future predictions.
How does Dapper Labs define growth?
For us, it depends on the projects. We set different goals for each project. Our biggest focus is DAU (Daily Active Users). Our goal is to onboard the first billion users to blockchain. It’s all about capturing the users who make their way into the Web3 space and then educating them about the technology.
What has been the most difficult part of growing your company so far?
Not enough people are interested in the Web3 space. We saw the wave of people that came in with CryptoKitties from all over the world and had access to one of the most engaged communities in blockchain. They are highly active in Discord and other channels. What we’ve realized, though, after CheezeWizards, is that there simply aren’t enough people in this space.
Building DapperWallet was a bet that a new content creator would come on board to help drive growth. But nothing came to market in the time we expected, with the exception of a few good projects. We doubled down with CheezeWizards and said ‘what if we just focused on a decentralized game that pushes the boundaries of what can be possible.’
Running that project for the last 9 months proved that there are simply not enough people in the Web3 space. We have to build projects with users in mind and we’re doing that for 2020.
What tools do you wish existed in the Web3 space to help with growth as a whole?
I don’t think this is a tooling issue. For us, we always built products based on user behaviors that already exist. It’s easy to gravitate toward tooling as the issue, but at the end of the day, I don’t think it’s a tooling problem. It’s an education problem. There also aren’t a lot of games and experiences in the Web3 space to attract users. Farmville brought new audiences to Facebook, so games have in the past been the jumping off point for big platforms. That’s what we believe blockchain needs.
What are your predictions for Web3/Blockchain growth in 2020?
If we don’t hit, at minimum, 10,000 DAU for a single blockchain game, where the users keep coming back and are retained for at least a month or two, then we have a lot of work to do.
Dapper Labs may be best known for CryptoKitties, but they’re so much more. If you’re interested in building on the new Flow blockchain or experiencing the games Dapper Labs has built so far, check them out today.