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Season 4 of Binance Labs Incubation Program: 9 thoughts for better building amid market turmoil

2022-06-01

Prologue

Welcome to the first bi-weekly progress report of Binance Labs Incubation Program Season 4. In the past two weeks, Binance Labs invited Eric Turner, VP of Market Intelligence at Messari, and Aleksander Leonard Larsen, Co-Founder and COO of Axie Infinity. These hosts were the perfect people to comment on the recent market status and share their expert insights.

The sessions happening in the past two weeks can be summarized in three big topics:

  • Afflictions of founders

  • Current market status

  • Mass adoption, product-market fit

Even though the founders participating in the Incubation Program are the heads of their projects and products, they are still new to the market and have numerous aspects to consider to lead the projects successfully. Through the fireside chats, founders were able to share their concerns and listen to the seniors of the industry. Binance Labs prepared a sneak peek of the undisclosed fireside chat sessions.

Afflictions of founders

1) Grindery Co-Founder Christian: “Messari successfully fund-raised in 2018 when the market was comparably bearish. Can you share some tips from that time?”Eric Turner: There are some things that founders should make clear about. Founders are selling ideas, but only ideas are not enough. On top of the ideas, founders need to offer good roadmaps and choose the right investors. Even though every startup starts with an idea, there has to be a roadmap for the next 5 years to present the ideas more clearly. Also, choosing the right investor for a startup is more important than having a higher company valuation. Because startups are at very early stages, founders have to selectively choose investors who can support the projects and share similar visions.

2) FilSwan Founder Charles: “What is your advice for projects that aren’t performing well in the market?”

Eric Turner: Projects should raise the money they can to survive. This is a game of survival. You have to look ahead and make sure you have enough money to get to the point that you originally planned.

Current Market Status

1) OpenLeverage Founder Tom H: “How do you foresee the future trends of DeFi, given the current market conditions?”

Eric Turner: DeFi will still be an important segment in this industry, no matter what. From the lessons we learned historically, industry players will be able to build more structured DeFi projects and a healthier ecosystem in the future. Also, DeFi is not a replacement for traditional finance. Instead, DeFi can be combined with traditional finance to bring more innovation and efficiency.

2) Playbux Co-Founder Sarun: We see a lot of ‘X-to-earn’ these days. What are your thoughts about “X-to-earn projects?”

Eric Turner: It’s very hard to figure out where we are heading. Right now, we have an easy-to-use infrastructure, and we see numerous successful projects launching in the space. From a contrarian perspective, I see that the market’s interest in play-to-earn and x-to-earn will stay for a while. X-to-earn trends have shown their potential recently, and the innovation has not reached a state of disruption yet. I cannot predict everything right, but I think the challenges and opportunities of x-to-earn trends are endless. Market players will figure this out as they build better and more advanced products.

3) CODA Jon: “What are some lessons or successes the team saw in the guild projects?”

Aleksander: The current guild projects don’t have sustainable models. A guild needs to hire the best players and diversify within the guild. Also, it’s important to educate the guild members so its community can grow stronger.

4) AlterVerse Inc Co-founder Pat: “How long do you think it would take for the transition of traditional game studios to jump into crypto, like Microsoft?”

Aleksander: A lot of the traditional gaming studios are experimenting and keeping an eye on the crypto gaming industry. Because it’s a huge jump, the process is slow, but we are seeing small changes and hope to see further integration of traditional gaming and crypto gaming soon.

Mass adoption, product-market fit

1) NuLink Network Founder David: “How can startups gain interest from the masses, given that there is no complete product yet?”

Eric Turner: Focus on the changes that your products can make. Being the first mover does not always mean the first mover will win. It's more important to learn experiences from previous cases and just stay focused on the products the team is working on.

2) CoralApp Founder Bunmi: “What are some marketing strategies that Axie Infinity applied to onboard non-crypto users?”

Aleksander: Most of the users were acquired organically; we didn’t spend a lot on marketing. Token emission can be one of the ways to onboard non-crypto users, but what the projects really need to work on are the underlying elements of the product, like tokenomics and use cases. For Axie Infinity, it was mostly about incentivizing users to play the game to receive tokens as rewards.

3) ChapterX Co-Founder Ohad: “What are your thoughts about expansion and plans for growth?”

Aleksander: Everything that the project team does is related to growth. The project team has to communicate with the community actively through different channels like Discord and Twitter. Active communication will help secure more true believers in the project. The project team has to constantly provide information and identify ways to make these users stay. For example, Axie Infinity’s second step was to explain to the community what happened when the recent crisis happened. (FYI, the first step was to narrow the situation down and analyze it to understand the situation fully.)

Project Updates

ChapterX has launched a pre-alpha product with 80 early community members and received great feedback. And it held its first-ever community meet-up in Sci-Fi City, with voice chat functioning.

Qwestive recently won first place in DAO Hack, a hackathon organized by BitDAO x Encode Club, which focused on developing DAO tooling and infrastructure. Qwestive launched its closed beta program in May with 50 communities.

Reveel has rolled out the beta of its revenue share protocol. Early users include Web3 native creators, Grammy-winning producers, and creator DAOs, who are using Reveel to automate revenue sharing from NFT sales.

Playbux will provide metaverse services to Gcash, a top mobile wallet with 55 million users in the Philippines. Gcash users can shop, pay bills, and play games. The deal will also allow users to earn Playbux crypto and explore other play-to-earn games in the metaverse.