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.
"There are a bunch of ways to track growth such as transactions on chain and wallet addresses created. We iterated through various ideas, but through our advisor groups and other information we tried to find a single north star metric. That metric for us is simply revenue, as it should be for most companies. But as a more quantifiable flavor of that is daily active collectors. How many people come every day and place a bid or make a purchase."
One of the early use cases for blockchain technology, outside money transfer and storage, was digital assets. In 2017, CryptoKitties clogged the Ethereum network based on activity from players of their collectable card game. The cards would ultimately go on to fetch upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars based on their rarity. It was one of the first real proof points that digital assets could be sold and traded on the blockchain. SuperRare has taken that further by allowing artists to create digital art works and sell tokenized versions of said art on chain. SuperRare co-founder Jonathan Perkins has seen just how powerful monetizing artwork linked on chain can be and thinks the digital collectibles space is about to explode.
We had the chance to speak with Jonathan about what growth means to him, what challenges the SuperRare team faced, and how he sees Web3 changing in the future.
How do you define growth for SuperRare?
At the core of SuperRare, we are a marketplace. We have a marketplace business model. We think of growth taking place at the platform level in both supply and demand. That means growth in artists and collectors. There are a bunch of ways to track growth such as transactions on chain and wallet addresses created. We iterated through various ideas, but through our advisor groups and other information we tried to find a single north star metric. That metric for us is simply revenue, as it should be for most companies. But as a more quantifiable flavor of that is daily active collectors. How many people come every day and place a bid or make a purchase.
What has been the most difficult part of growing your company so far?
It’s kind of been the classic chicken and egg problem of a marketplace. Luckily we launched into a space where there was a lot of excitement. The idea of using a distributed ledger to help with monetization in the art market created tons of demand from the artists. So, pretty early on, the collector side was clearly the part to solve. The way we worked through that is a real focus on community. We are always on Discord and on Twitter. We’re in constant communication with artists and collectors. I think just being there and having conversations with people is important to a marketplace platform.
What do you think needs to happen to continue seeing growth?
We’ve seen a ton of traction on the collector side in the last 6 months. It did take more than a year for it to grow the way we hoped it would. Now, we have a pretty good flywheel going, so there’s a pretty healthy amount of interest on both sides of the market. All marketplaces struggle with capturing at least one side of the market. For example, what Airbnb found was that the supply side was the nut to crack, but it was the inverse for us.
What tools do you wish existed to help you with growth?
In general, better overall ethereum and dapp metrics. The space is pretty fragmented. There are various metrics out there and not many of them match up. It’s hard to get data out of Ethereum, so you have to pay attention to which data you are listening to.
What are your predictions for Web3/Blockchain growth in 2020?
I think that the digital collecting space is about to go completely bonkers. I think we’re going to see it grow to levels that will be surprising and we’ll have dynamics that we can’t even imagine yet. We’re seeing glimpses of it now with mainstream brands like Nike and Disney tip-toe around the space.
If you’re an artist or a collector, check out SuperRare and get the chance to sell your work or purchase authentic digital art.