How to validate web3 ideas?

Norbert Jurga
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In web2, as indie product hunters/hackers/makers we widely adopted the agile approach of validating ideas. Building quick little MVPs, smoke testing or famous "fake it till you make it". But how do we adopt this approach when blockchain comes into play, where our contracts are by definition immutable, transparent and we don't collect any data from users upon registration? Are we forced to spend thousands of dollars in gas fees right from the start? Concept to be validated A DAO that would purchase exclusive rights to publish real, handmade artwork in the form of NFT - something like a decentralized art gallery. This article will provide a summary of my thought process and research that preceded the start of the (unfinished) work on https://paintednfts.art. Problem 1: Gas Fees Are Damn High My first idea to see if hand-painted artwork could be an alternative to what is (usually) found in the NFT space today was to create a collection of hand-painted illustrations depicting four species of birds. However, I quickly hit a cost-related wall. After writing my simple ERC-721 contract, it turned out that gas fees alone would consume almost $1500. Compared to the standard costs of just publishing in web2 - domain and server, which you have to buy here anyway - these fees are a gigantic sum. Just when I wanted to give up, I decided to split the validation into two parts. In the first, instead of publishing a collection of four images at the start, I decided to use the NFT creation service on https://mirror.xyz and publish only one painting. Of course using such a service has its drawbacks - one contract = one gigantic collection, which makes it harder to reach the audience on platforms like opensea.io, not to mention the 2.5% commission. Still, for testing purposes, my blochain-related fees closed at $70 instead of $1500. The second stage of validation is to publish the remaining three paintings on a custom smart contract. If both of these drops meet my expectations I will move on to the next stages which will be building a platform and its transformation to DAO. Problem 2: No registration (email address) A quick research has shown that most projects, in order to solve this problem, try to build as active community as possible (usually using discord servers). The problem is that right from the start we have to encourage someone to do more than during the standard smoke test. Instead of just giving an email address, we invite visitors to become active members of the community, and to do that, we need to give them some value from the very beginning - show our roadmap, vision, announce some further utilities of our MVP and invite them to share their ideas. What hasn't changed... a large Twitter audience doesn't hurt either ;) Maybe you guys have an idea how other agile approaches can be adapted to web3?
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