Last week I was invited to speak at the Flow Foundation offsite in Vancouver. My topic was “Mainstream Consumer Applications on Flow: by Example.” I learned a lot about the foundation’s plans, especially on technical innovations. There is a lot of exciting development happening over the next 12-18 months, including updates to Cadence, EVM support, account linking, and composability initiatives.
Here are my big takeaways.
Composability on Flow
Flow wants to be the blockchain for composability. What is composability? Everyone seems to have their own definition, which is probably inherent in the concept, but also part of the challenge. Composability allows people to extend, build on, reuse, or otherwise enhance things created by other people. This could mean anything from adding traits to an existing NFT to modding a game with new levels, themes, or game mechanics.
I don’t think that we will understand the true power or value of composability on blockchain for some time, not until people are doing things with it that are otherwise not possible without blockchain, things we have yet to envision. Furthermore, there is not yet a clear understanding of how this affects business models. So a big part of the challenge for Flow is to communicate the value of composability to developers who have to make strategic investment decisions.
I missed the breakout session on Flow tokenomics, but I heard that it was a good one. One of the questions I had going into the offsite was whether we could successfully launch our token (TIBL) on Flow. Technically, it is simple, but there is a lot more to launching a token than minting. I got the impression that the necessary defi frameworks and relationships are 12-18 months away, which means if we do list TIBL on Flow, it’s probably a 2025 initiative.
The offsite was very developer-centric, but there was some discussion around marketing. There is an open question on how and when to promote Flow to developers or end users. Is now a good time to attract developers with Flow’s current value propositions? Or is it better to wait 6-12 months so that more of the core infrastructure can be in place, like Cadence 1 and EVM support?
Currently the Flow brand is tied to licensed digital collectibles (NFTs) and to Dapper. How and when does Flow grow past that?
I spoke with a game developer who is also a Flow developer. I asked him what is keeping him from incorporating Flow (or blockchain in general) into his next game. The answer is pretty straightforward: he doesn’t see the value proposition for him or his players. Why go through the trouble of incorporating blockchain when players are not demanding it and in fact it may make the game experience worse or lead to a backlash? And this is from a Flow developer.
This is a hurdle the whole industry needs to jump, not just Flow. How do we communicate the value proposition to game developers and players, beyond digital ownership (NFTs) and financial speculation?
For Tibles and Other Businesses
How did the offsite affect Tibles’s 2024 strategy? Probably the biggest part has to do with the timing of our token listing. If it’s on Flow, it’s 12-18 months away.
Overall, our 2024 strategy is shifting to games, integrated community experiences, physical collaborations, original IP, and new partnerships. The Tibles platform is founded on the principles of digital ownership and collectibles are and always will be an integral part of that. But we feel we can reach a larger audience by offering broader experiences, where the primary motivation of the customer is to play a game or to be a bigger part of a community rather than to buy an NFT.