Whenever you hear the word decentralization, you hear phrases such as censorship-resistant, trustless, or no single point of failure.
And I tell you, 95% of people don’t care about it. Or they care but distort these phrases.
When they hear censorship-resistant, they think of Nazis and child porn.
When they hear trustless, they think of a network secretly run by Russian & North Korean secret agents.
When they hear no single point of failure, they think of backups that are boring, and no one does them.
So what’s my proposition to make decentralization more interesting to average Joe?
Less talking about features, more talking about benefits.
Seems straightforward, but it’s more tricky than it seems. Because many technologies are promoted by talking about features.
When you say that your car has 400 Horse Power, it’s a feature. But everyone knows it’s better to have 400 HP than 200 HP. That’s because cars have been around for so long that people subconsciously translate Horse Power to benefits: better acceleration, faster car, better sound of the engine, etc.
Same if you tell someone that you have a 20 MPx camera or an Internet-connected device. We translate them into better pictures or Internet-enabled features.
The problem is that decentralization doesn’t have the mental shortcut trailblazed by thousand of marketers for decades. And it doesn’t because most things around us are centralized: governments, companies, sports teams, and so on.
So just like a path in a forest or our brains, when it hasn’t been crossed enough times, people won’t follow it.
So what could we do?
Instead of saying, “it’s decentralized,” we should teach people what it means with black & white examples.
How these examples could look like:
If you want to influence FAANG, you must spend a month going through 6 rounds of interviews. And you still probably won’t have too much impact on the company.
If you want to influence a DAO or an open-source crypto project, you get on Discord or GitHub and start contributing. Everyone can join and propose ideas, write code or promote the project.
Decentralization means being able to co-create the products you use.
If you build your audience on YouTube or Twitter, platforms can change the algorithms so you won’t reach the audience you built for years until you pay. That’s what happened to fan pages on Facebook.
If you build your audience on top of a web3 platform, these decisions will be transparent and voted upon. So even if they end up changing the algorithm, you will have time to move your audience elsewhere, e.g., to a mailing list.
Decentralization means being able to know what your favorite product plans are and being able to vote on its future.
If you want to move your friends from Twitter to Instagram, you can’t do it. That’s because these companies make money by selling access to their users. They won’t let you move to their competitor’s users’ database.
If you want to move your friends from one web3 social product to another, you can do it easily. That’s because the database with your friends and followers isn’t owned by Twitter, Facebook, or any other company. This database is public and can be used by different services.
Decentralization means being able to move to a better product without being handcuffed to the old one.
These are just 3 top-of-mind examples. But I’m sure talking about decentralization in this way to normies would be more impactful.
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