In films, screenwriters always include a moment known as the Promise of the Premise. It’s the part of the story where the audience settles in to the new world they’ve entered.
One of my favorite examples is in the first Harry Potter movie, when Hagrid takes Harry to Diagon Alley, the magical shopping district that introduces him (and us) to the world of wizarding.
So far, web3 has not paid off on the Promise of the Premise: open source software that runs live on the blockchain.
“It’s still much easier to develop a Web 2.0 app simply because the ecosystem is mature and enjoys a large and thriving developer community,” says Devin Abbott, who specializes in design and development tools, React and web3 applications.
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According to Abbott, the web3 development community is approaching “an inflection point where our own tools are becoming quite powerful,” but “that doesn’t mean Reddit is moving off its Web 2.0 cloud servers.”
So far, most of the hype for web3 is coming from investors and journalists, so Abbott’s perspective as a developer makes this a useful read.
Most of web3’s early use cases don’t interest me. Then again, I’m not a developer, so I didn’t truly appreciate the value of mobile gaming, GPS and cloud storage until they’d achieved product-market fit and were integrated into my smartphone.
Today, I wouldn’t consider buying a device that couldn’t help me find a restaurant or hotel. When it emerges, I suspect web3’s killer app will be similarly utilitarian.
Thanks for reading,
Walter ThompsonEditorial Manager, ZebethMedia+@yourprotagonist
3 ways to hire well for your startup
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For early-stage startups “this is arguably one of the worst times to be looking for talent,” says Champ Suthipongchai, founder and GP of Creative Ventures.
Opportunistic hiring managers might assume that widespread layoffs have shifted the balance in their favor, but “those were generally not employees executing core businesses.”
Usually, startup recruiting resembles scenes from heist movies where the characters are putting a crew together: it’s an expedited process designed to fill knowledge or experience gaps, not necessarily find the best fit.
“Whenever possible, it is far better to slowly integrate a great candidate in as an adviser or part-time contractor and let things play out,” writes Suthipongchai.
“Just as a customer pilots the product, companies should pilot their most important hires whenever possible.”
8 questions to answer before your startup faces technical due diligence
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Outsiders study multiple facets of a startup to determine its value and quality, and codebase health is one of them.
A pitch deck is just part of the story, writes Matt Van Itallie, founder and CEO of codebase analytics company Sema.
After technical due diligence begins, no amount of storytelling can cover the secrets buried in GitHub and Jira.
To help companies prepare for TDD, Van Itallie has written a primer with eight questions founding teams must be able to answer confidently. Tomorrow, we’ll run his detailed TDD checklist.
To better thwart ransomware attacks, startups must get cybersecurity basics right
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Creating systems that are resilient against ransomware isn’t top of mind for early-stage startups, but many companies don’t even follow basic best practices, much to their detriment.
“Enable multifactor authentication (MFA) on everything you have,” said Katie Moussouris, founder of Luta Security. “Enable it on every account that you have.”
Last week at ZebethMedia Disrupt, Moussouris and Brett Callow, threat analyst at Emsisoft, spoke about the need to invest early in locking down their systems, starting with MFA.
“It’s a matter of stacking security layer upon security layer,” said Callow. “MFA in conjunction with staff training — in conjunction with other things — all serve to reduce risk.”
Black startup founders raised just $187 million in the third quarter
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The downturn appears to be disproportionately affecting Black founders’ ability to raise capital.
“When the venture capital industry catches a cold, underrepresented founders catch pneumonia,” said Tiana Tukes, an investor with Colorful Capital.
In Q3 2022, Crunchbase reports that Black founders raised just $187 million, “a staggering decline from the nearly $1.1 billion they received in Q3 2021 and a sizable drop from the $594 million the cohort raised in Q2,” writes Dominic-Madori Davis.
Investors are sitting on mountains of cash: Where will it be deployed?
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No matter what’s happening in the public markets, bees make honey, and venture capitalists raise money: it’s just what they do.
But since the “extreme valuation recalibration” in the public markets, VCs are amassing more and more dry powder, write Jeremy Abelson and Jacob Sonnenberg of Irving Investors.
More frustrating news for founders: investor fundraising “is on pace to finish the year at $172 billion,” but capital deployment is way down.
“Dollars are flowing and will continue to flow, but it will be more capital to fewer companies,” they write.
Now that “traditional SaaS has become too expensive and secondarily saturated,” sectors like web3, life sciences and agtech will attract more investors, they predict.