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. We’re also releasing a free Web3 Growth Handbook soon. Sign up to be notified here.
“We have to continue doing the unscalable things and be patient during the early days of growth — it happens, but timing also matters. The most transformative technologies in the world didn’t happen overnight even though it feels like it now.”
The future of blockchain is not one where a single blockchain rules all. At least, that’s the future Bison Trails sees. This is why the company focuses on making it easy to build across multiple blockchains. A founding member of the Libra Association, Bison Trails supports or is developing support for dozens of protocols. Their CEO, Joe Lallouz, is bullish on the future of blockchain, but he believes it will take a lot of patience to get to where the entire industry has scaled.
Bison Trails has raised over $30 million, including a $25.5 million Series A round closed in November of 2019. The company was founded in October of 2018 and is deeply focused on solving the hard problems that come with running blockchain infrastructure. To that end, it enables launching of secure node clusters across multiple blockchains. This makes participation in networks significantly easier, benefitting the entire space.
We had the chance to talk with Joe about his company’s growth, the challenges, and the future of the Web3 space as a whole.
Growth for an infrastructure company could look different than other categories in the Web3 space, so how do you define growth?
But beyond usage growth, ultimately, everything comes down to impact. The reason you are measuring growth is you’re trying to measure the impact you are having on the industry. That’s where measuring the number of developers, or number of users using the app, or things like AUM (assets under management) comes into play.
What has been the most difficult part of growing your company so far?
I think the hardest part about growth for us up until now has been probably two things. One, it’s quite challenging to articulate complex technology in ways that people can understand and get behind immediately. Blockchains are complicated, blockchain infrastructure is complicated, and infrastructure development is complicated. Even to engineers. It takes time to cultivate relationships because of that. It means we have to be patient while we engage people and build relationships.
The second hardest part about growing Bison Trails has been reaching the right people who need you the most right now. We’ve tried a lot of tactics for that. We go to a lot of community events and conferences. We engage with interviewers and podcasters to try to let people know we’re here.
What do you think needs to happen to overcome those barriers?
I think ultimately you’ll start to see more scalable solutions to ease the use and adoption of blockchain technology. Those solutions will come out of the hard work that early adopters put in to make it easier for later users to understand. The folks that come in later are going to benefit from people doing the work now that helps everyone understand blockchain and the potential use cases better.
We have to continue doing the unscalable things and be patient during the early days of growth — it happens, but timing also matters. The most transformative technologies in the world didn’t happen overnight even though it feels like it now.
What tools do you wish were there to help you overcome the growth challenges your company faces?
I’m not sure if there are tools I wish existed because it’s hard to fathom tools that don’t exist yet. There are a ton of great tools out there to help get your voice out there, and we leverage those.
The most important thing for me, over my entire career, related to getting the word out, is solving a problem you have yourself. And be incredibly genuine. Whatever the outreach is, be really genuine about what you’re trying to do, what you’re trying to solve, and who you are.
What are your predictions for Web3/Blockchain growth in 2020?
There are like 30 new blockchain protocols that are coming out in the next 3-6 months that can shape this answer in the right or wrong way. I’m super excited about the high profile protocols coming out in the next few months.
There are smart contract platforms coming out that are designed to compete with the Ethereum blockchain, which is really good for the Ethereum community because it pushes people to examine the way things are being done.
We’re going to see a bunch of these protocols launch and we’re going to start to see real competition in the blockchain protocol space. Outside of bitcoin being in its own world, there’s been minimal competition for Ethereum and a few other protocols. That will change in 2020.
Bison Trails is committed to making blockchain an easier place in which to build and exist. If you’re working on a blockchain project that needs secure node clusters, Bison Trails might be the solution for you.
If you want to grow your Web3 product and connect with your users in a privacy preserving way, try SimpleID today .