Building a successful web3 project in a bear market is no easy feat. With so many projects out there competing for attention, founders need to take a strategic approach to build a thriving community. At CommunityOne, we've analyzed hundreds of web3 communities to find what sets apart the successful projects from the failed ones*.
*Sample size contains 73 successful web3 projects (P2E + NFT projects) and 30 failed web3 projects. We define successful web3 projects as those who have minted out in 2021 and minted out 50% in 2022. Failed projects have a Discord size of more than 10k+ members in 2021 and 5k+ members in 2022.
To help founders build their Discord communities, we’re launching an educational series highlighting successful principles and insights from experienced community managers on how they found success building and growing their communities. And to provide context to our insights, we will be presenting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for both successful and failed projects in the charts below.
These KPIs are normalized relative to the mint day, with t=0 representing the mint date and t-/+100 representing 100 days before and after the mint. By using these KPIs, we aim to provide clear and data-driven insights to help founders make informed decisions about their community-building strategies.
1. It takes time to build a strong foundation.
On average, successful projects take at least six months to build a solid foundation. During this time, founders need to focus on building a small but strong core of believers who are passionate about the project's vision. Failed projects, on the other hand, rush to build hype around the mint day and often neglect community building in the early stages. This results in a weaker community that fails to generate organic hype.
2. Building a small but strong core of followers pays off on the hype day.
When the hype day comes, successful projects with a strong foundation rally stronger. We found that even if a failed and successful project had a similar number of active Discord users close to the mint day (see chart above), members in successful projects are a lot more “hyped” and generate more messages per person. As a result, successful projects create 1/3 more organic hype than failed projects. This shows the importance of building a small but strong community of believers who can help generate hype around the project.
3. It takes hundreds of true believers to build a successful project.
Building a successful project takes a village. Successful projects recruit true believers early on and capture early adopters six months before the mint date. These super fans can help drive the project forward and generate a tremendous amount of hype around a project.
4. It takes time to find the community market fit.
Projects should spend the first several months building the foundations and exploring the right "community market fit." During this period, founders need to engage with the community and find a message that resonates with them. This iterative process takes time, but early indicators of finding community market fit include the number of super fans. When founders find a decent community market fit, it is time to scale and spend money acquiring the right audience.
At CommunityOne, we believe that starting now is the key to building the next blue-chip project in a bear market. By taking the time to build a strong foundation, finding the right community market fit, and recruiting true believers, founders can create a thriving community that can help generate organic hype around their project. Stay tuned for more insights on how to build your Discord community in our upcoming educational series.