We asked 100+ Web3 founders to share their thoughts on the most challenging, existential problems for our space. We are proud to share these results and hope that they are informative for founders, startup team members, investors, and other web3 participants. We hope that these results will spark great conversations around what founders need, what our space needs, and how we can collaborate as an industry to drive web3 growth and adoption.
A special thank you to the founders who took the time to share their thoughts and challenges with us. We greatly appreciate your time, your insights, and your drive to continue building through market headwinds.
Finding product-market fit was voted as the most “existential” problem by concentration of votes. More than 20% of respondents considered it the largest existential problem. It was also consistently the most pressing challenge across all stages of startup captured by the survey (bootstrapped / pre-seed – series B). Even for later stage companies who typically are expected to have found PMF, this was considered a challenge.
The next most pressing challenge by number of votes was product-market timing. Many of the qualitative comments focused on the “bear market”, and how the dramatic fluctuations in the crypto market make it difficult to sustainably build and launch products. This is particularly difficult to manage because many founders start building in anticipation of more positive market conditions but have to carefully time their marketing, fundraising, token launches, etc.
Despite common narratives, fundraising was NOT seen as an existential issue for most respondents. 26% of respondents considered fundraising to be “not a problem” and more than 50% considered it to be “a challenge but not existential”.
Another surprising finding was that most respondents did not consider the scalability or performance of the underlying technology to be existential. More than 40% of respondents rated this “not a problem” despite the industry focus on developing / funding infrastructure.
Based on the quantitative and qualitative survey results, the top priorities for web3 startups are: finding product-market fit, timing the market correctly, and addressing regulatory or compliance concerns.
The survey covered 13 questions, meant to elicit both open-ended qualitative responses, as well as structured rankings of common challenges faced by web3 founders. Responses to the survey reveal factual information (e.g. how many years have you been in the industry?), opinions (e.g. what is THE single most existential problem facing the space), and preferences (e.g. what help do you need most right now?)
Survey respondents include 100+ Web3 CEOs & founders representing a broad spectrum of Web3 and blockchain projects, across North America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific Regions.
Respondents represented startups from the earliest stages to post-Series B. 70% of respondents were seed stage or earlier.