Innovation Window Dressing
A puzzled look is my reward when I share how often I advise people not to use blockchain for their ‘ultimate blockchain project’. I think on average, about 80-90% of the time when someone approaches me to think on their blockchain project, I tell them not to use blockchain. And instead, opt for something more conventional. What is wrong with me? Am I not supposed to like this technology and apply it everywhere as much as possible? I’m not a big fan of Tech Push, or Technologies looking for Problems to solve. If the tech ads value, apply. If conventional methods add more value, use that.
After the initial pitch of the perfect blockchain use case, I dig in with questions. What is happening? Who is involved? Who exchanges what, with whom? Ultimately arriving at a thorough understanding of, what is the actual problem. What does the user/customer want? THAT should be the basis upon which to select technology.
“Well, actually, what we really need is… ”
This is not an uncommon phenomenon. This used to be companies that just also wanted a website. Because everybody had one. Or an App, for the same reason. With blockchain, (or AI, or AR, etc, the same) there is also a strong desire to lift along in the hype and do what I call Innovation ‘Window Dressing’.
Be Frank From the Start
It can be ok to do a project to lift on the hype. To truly learn from it and get your own hands dirty. But be honest about that from the start. Most of those projects have already been validated in the market (P2P Energy anyone?) that it works. Often there is no solid business case yet, if ever. Be frank about that and show what the time and money spent will truly deliver. Show that you are willing to spend to learn. You will get better-informed buy-in from your stakeholders.
Wrapping up my advice on these type of situations:
- Don’t do Tech Push
- Dig in the problem
- Find the actual pain point
- Be honest about your goals
Of you need me to convince you or evaluate your use case, let’s talk.