mert | helius | hSOL Profile picture
Jun 8 1 tweets 3 min read Read on X
crypto product mistakes

i) thinking UX is the bottleneck

UX is not the bottleneck, while not perfect, it's good enough — the actual bottleneck is things worth using

the only exceptions are things like on/off ramps or bridging

I have seen tons of apps with great UX, but never used them again because they didn't solve any problems I have

ii) defining your market segment wrong

in crypto, devs tend to use the word "users" in a handwavy fashion

your market is not the set of all humans who want to make money — that is just the entire human population

you need to select the segment you're trying to serve very carefully because their feedback matters 100x more than others

a good heuristic for this is: "who would be super disappointed if they couldn't use my product anymore?"

iii) offloading "socials" or "marketing" to a random intern or agency

I put this in a post about products because marketing & product are intrinsically linked

to build a great product, you observe a market where you have domain knowledge, identify the gaps, and build solutions to address those gaps

but this is useless if you can't get the product into the hands of those users

and if you can't communicate (or market) your product, you will never get there

you can not offload this to "an intern" — otherwise that intern should have massive equity in your company as they are building half of it

most of the intern meta you see are from huge accounts that already have pmf (polymarket, phantom, magic eden)

iv) taking a random web2 idea and adding a small web3 concept to it

this is perhaps the silliest mistake

you have an entirely new, blank canvas where you can build things to push the internet forward — yet you've chosen to prepend the word "web3" to pets dot com

this is also symptomatic of another mistake: working upwards from your "idea" or "tech" vs. working backwards from market gaps

get good at something or at least very curious about it, identify the *real problems that exist*, and then build something to address them, that's product

being "the stripe of web3" is a silly concept, *stripe* is the stripe of web3 — do something novel or have a *clear differentiator*

v) focusing too much on underlying chain because of the "users" present there

with the only possible exception of DeFi where liquidity might be useful for getting off the ground, building on rollup X because it has Y users is hilariously misguided and goes hand in hand with mistake ii)

is your market: "the set of X users on rollup Y" or is it "the set of X users who have problem Y"?

if it's the former, you're likely doing something wrong (unless you're building pure infra to begin with)

crypto is early, do not make the touristic mistake of building on something unscalable because it has "users" incentivized by free money, your time horizon as a builder is on the order of decades

this also goes for solana, or any other L1, not just rollups — pick the right tool for the job

vi) monkey see, monkey do

this is the one I despise the most

the mistake here is: not taking even a few minutes to think from first principles and instantly trying to follow the hot trend/meta of the day

we saw this an insane amount with NFT "projects" adding "staking" or other companies adding "points"

just because someone else did it, it doesn't mean it makes the slightest sense for you — in fact, you are now at a disadvantage because you're not the first mover, and it'll be harder for you to get attention or differentiate yourself in a sea of noise

you are early to an insanely expressive and powerful industry where no one knows what they're doing yet

think different, be bold, take risks and talk to users — work backwards from the market

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More from @0xMert_

Jun 17
some upcoming things:

- 2 killer consumer features
- Frankendancer (Solana client w Firedancer networking stack)
- ZK compression (Solana 1,000x cheaper with zk)
- Firedancer (no comment needed)
- Mythril (full node client w lower hardware reqs)
- Sov rollups on Solana
oh and ore v2
oh and also runtimev2, hopefully doubling block cap, async program exec, multiple leaders, etc etc
Read 4 tweets
Jun 9
this is arguably the best application of crypto I've seen yet — everyone needs to talk about it more

traditional mapping is a monopoly, expensive, and inefficient

how it works is that Google has cars that drive around and gather data periodically and charge super high fees since this data is very hard to get

with crypto, you can give people all around the world the ability to earn by adding dashcams to their cars and map the world in real-time

the result is that you get:

i) much fresher mapping data (Google Maps might take months to re-map something!!)

ii) much better economics

iii) much better composability and network effects

the end result is a much better real-time world map than any centralized institution can provide

the team behind it is @Hivemapper and they're building on SolanaImage
this is so sick — crypto enabling better real world systems Image
and of course

we had on @aseidman, one of the most based founders I've ever seen, on Lightspeed

one of our most popular episodes:

Read 4 tweets
Mar 9
the situation is escalating fast Image
i am confident this will change her mind on crypto
bro stop buying these whenever I tweet lol, I am **not** trading these

I don't hold anything but almost all SOL and some BONK, JTO, WEN lol
Read 5 tweets
Dec 28, 2022
hot take

OG ETH crowd (who genuinely care about the future of crypto, not just their own bags or twitter engagement) will actually come around to appreciate SOL

now that tourists & predators have been washed out — only the real ones who want a better future will be left
ETH & SOL approach scaling much differently —but I don't see why that has to be a fighting point

the *real* problem is that crypto apps barely have PMF

it doesn't matter who can scale to handle the next billion users...if there's not a billion users who even want to use this
that is to say — EVM & SOL, while having some overlap — do ultimately enable different design spaces

we need to explore these design spaces relentlessly to maximize the number of possible applications with mass PMF
Read 5 tweets
Jun 13, 2022
There's a lot of noise / negativity out there due to the market - it's easy to ignore some of the positive signs and signals behind the scenes.

Let's take a quick look at some promising SOL charts 📈

Even though the price of SOL (and all crypto assets) have tanked - it's promising this hasn't resulted in a drastic loss of users.

With over a million active wallets - we're much better positioned for the next cycle.

- New NFTs are still being minted (and trending upwards)
- More money is being moved around using Solana rails
- Users still keep transacting with no massive downturns

Usage & activity are much more important than price
Read 4 tweets
Apr 29, 2022
There have been some problems with Solana lately.

In actuality, it's almost always the *same* recurring problem.

Here is a short & simple explanation of what's happening (for non-technical people) and what it means for the future 🧵
1. SOL's software makes it easy for bots to spam/flood SOL validators.

2. When validators are spammed, they become overwhelmed and do their job (producing & verifying valid blocks) less effectively.

As a result, they're less likely to include your txns when producing new blocks
Since they're less likely to include your transactions - you can try to mint that NFT all you want, but the chances of it getting through to the chain are very low.

Bots send transactions much faster than you can manually click "mint" & "approve". It's a numbers game.
Read 8 tweets

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