PG insight: What BSV entrepreneurs should do
In the book “Life after Google” by George Gilder, he starts the first chapter like this:
“Before you read this book, please submit your username and password. We are concerned with your identity, cyber-safety, and literary preferences. We want to serve you better. Please also transcribe the tangle of case-sensitive CAPTCHA letters in the box. Sorry, your username and password combination does not match our records. Do you need help? If you wish to change your username and password, or your security questions, please click on the URL we have supplied in an email to the address you provided when you purchased our software. Sorry, that address is inoperative. Do you wish to change your email address?”
Gilder goes on and on describing the current user experiences of the internet, showing how cumbersome and annoying the norm has become. He even predicts that this internet model (represented by Google), which is big data-driven by free services and centralized operation at a gigantic scale, will ultimately fail.
Before reading Gilder’s book, I had just finished Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Among many truths that Taleb teaches, the concept of “Via negative“ stood out. He defines Via negative as the principle that we know what is wrong with more clarity than what is right, and that knowledge grows by subtraction.
Via negative is a process of making good decisions by eliminating bad ones. We have relatively safe flights because bad ones had already died in the pacific ocean. Silver rules (=Don’t do it) are more powerful than Golden rules (=Do it). Religion is full of not doing things. Steve Jobs focused on saying “No no no” and striving for simplicity.
Occam’s razor tells us that simplicity is better than complexity. Removal is better than addition. Taleb says that technologies are most beneficial when they eliminate unnatural, fragile things. Wheels removed the necessity of carrying heavy bags. The internet freed us from searching for information via books in the library. Steve Jobs removed keypads from a phone. “Good” inventions and innovations that are added to our lives remove fragile parts of life. But there is a problem; human bias.
Humans do not pay attention to removals. We only pay attention to changes, new introduction of things. We only get dissatisfied when we experience the difference between good and bad. We are not satisfied or “surprised” by something being gone! No wonder in politics, non-interventionists cannot be a hero despite we need them the most. Everyone wants to do something, instead of not do something.
Let’s talk about Bitcoin now. When we first launched Peergame, we showed our product to a bunch of friends and potential investors. We told them how we removed the entire funnel of user registration, data submission, email verification, sign-in, payment account creation, deposit, withdrawal permission and processes, time delays, and so on. These are all unnatural steps that have become normal. You do not register or submit information when you enter a store to buy food or an arcade to play games. You simply visit, pay, and get what you want, which is what Peergame emulates.
Contrary to our excitement, the response didn’t meet our expectations. They said it is cool, but didn’t seem to understand what the deal was. Because we didn’t introduce the big new thing, but only remove unnecessary parts of the internet norm, they didn’t notice much difference. Because Peergame could only be built on BSV, they told us that eliminating processes was not a good reason to leave the entire crypto market and focus on a tiny BSV userbase. Again, humans don’t recognize removals. This is why technologies are always underestimated until they become widely adopted.
Peergame, since its first day, has been the most successful BSV app, creating more organic transactions than any other applications out there, except Bot-based tx generating apps. This shows, as mentioned above, human bias can be exposed when they experience the difference between good and bad, and we have built something that works and good.
Now I’ll be a bit critical of the BSV ecosystem. We are all excited by new narratives around BSV, such as nano-payment, immutable data management, the own-your-data paradigm, and its originality as Bitcoin. And we, Peergame, also believe in the bright future of these possibilities. But where are the applications rooted from these narratives that are actually profitable (or even functioning?)
Some may argue that they’re coming soon. They’re being built behind the scene. But we can only judge by what we see and experience, not by promising words from others. If a micro-payment-powered app on top of an immutable original Bitcoin database was what makes BSV successful, then after nearly 2 years, we should have seen the results by now. BSV gave us endless ideas for profitable businesses, but where are they?
My frustration doesn’t come from the lack of growth in the BSV ecosystem. It does not come from a lack of entrepreneurial vision and efforts. My frustration comes from witnessing BSV apps being bad, which signals that the app founders don’t understand the commercial value that Bitcoin technology provides to the market. What’s important is commercial value, not paradigm-shifting philosophical value. Whenever you see a BSV app that asks for username and password, email verification, etc, you can safely predict that the app won’t make it and founders don’t get it.
Nano-payment, immutable data management, the own-your-data paradigm, and original bitcoin ideology are NOT the driving factors of BSV’s success. They are not the entry reason for people to join the BSV ecosystem and use the app. They are the results and side-effects of already successful BSV applications. They are the by-product, not the main value proposition. No one uses Peergame, Streamanity, or TDXP because of these narratives.
Peergame anchors every betting and result data onto the BSV blockchain for transparency. But this is not the main reason for users to use Peergame. Users enjoy Peergame because everything you’d consider cumbersome is gone entirely while every other gaming sites still have them. Transparent data on the blockchain is a by-product of the user activity that helps us to provide better customer support and build trust.
Bitcoin removes internet fragility. Bitcoin kills the very basic security model of the internet and makes it 100 times better. We must understand this. So I propose to all BSV entrepreneurs. Fuck narratives and start eliminating! Always question the status-quo just like Craig S Wright did with his invention.