Lean into the medium

New technologies are tools that founders can use to build new products. The most impactful products are those that harness new technologies to create experiences previously not possible.

Microsoft Excel was enabled by the processing power of personal computers while Google and Amazon were uniquely enabled by a network of connected computers that is the Internet. Apps like Instagram and Uber were built on mobile devices that had embedded cameras and GPS systems.

In crypto, bull markets, are a period of unbounded optimism regarding the potential of technologies like decentralised networks, fungible / non-fungible tokens, DAOs etc.

In bear markets, optimism is displaced by skepticism and often downright pessimism. The adoption of these new technologies starts to feel further and further away. Builders feel that nobody cares anymore about what they’re building and that they need to fit their vision of the future into the shape of the present.

As a result founders sometimes shift away from fully embracing new technologies and opt for an approach that feels more familiar. Instead of bending new technologies to their will in the pursuit of unique products, founders only loosely apply them. “web 2.5” products, the perceived midpoint between web2 and web3, are pursued with greater frequency. The result more often than not are products stuck in no-man’s land that don’t speak to anybody.

Building on new technologies is a trip into the unknown and requires conviction. Bear markets filter for only the most convicted. Those that don’t compromise on their vision irrespective of price cycles. Those that continue to push the limits of what is possible in pursuit of the next product breakthrough. Those, that when everyone else leans out, fully lean into the medium.