Here Comes the Team: People behind Crypto Projects and Challenges They Face
Decentralization is one of the first words coming to your mind when thinking of web3. It may sound like a buzzword, but some experts say the next-level technologies are about to decentralize companies and transform the structures we’re used to so as to harness employees’ potential. However, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. The only truth is…
…It’s all about your team
“When I receive a business plan, I always read the resume section first… Not because the people part of the new venture is the most important, but because without the right team, none of the other parts really matters.” ©️William A. Sahlman
If you want to win a championship and not a single game, you need talent + teamwork and intelligence. Michael Jordan knows exactly what he’s talking about. Actually, the same fits the business, too. As per GitHub, 2x more blockchain projects created by organizations stayed active compared to those created by users.
So, what does a crypto project team like the OneArt team look like? Is it a gang of “crypto geeks” (spoiler: sort of)? Does it differ much from other development teams? What’s the biggest challenge? We’ve got some dirty secrets first-hand info you always wanted to know about crypto teams (but were afraid to ask).
Our team includes 30 members so far, and almost half of them are developers. It’s more of a flat organization, i.e., a non-hierarchical one. It helps speed up communication, simplify the decision-making process, and give team members more freedom to find creative solutions.
It’s a kind of an all-in-one — a founder, creator, and business lead, “the one who takes the lead in a pitch” and generates ideas. It’s the CEO who invents the wow idea to be turned into a product. They need to have strong strategic planning, finance, venture capital, and project and investment management skills. Also, a crypto start-up founder has to be a tokenomics maven and creative and persuasive storyteller to attract investors.
The main difference from other IT projects is a community.
VP of engineering
A vice president of engineering leads the development team to create a top-notch product. VPE is the one turning an idea into an actual road map, being not only a cyber brain but also a good manager and teambuilder.
To optimize the workflow, they’re constantly looking for the golden mean as neither speed nor quality can be compromised. In-depth knowledge of crypto is a must, as well as a love of learning since the industry is evolving rapidly.
The number and specialization of developers depend on the project. As a rule, the team consists of:
And here the difference rises, as tech-savviness is not enough. Just having X years of experience in the stack of the framework needed doesn’t work for blockchain. A crypto project developer needs not only hard skills, including C++, C#, Python, React, and more but also experience with Solidity, Golang, etc. According to recruiters, the industry is experiencing a lack of specialists.
There’re a bunch of annoying myths about QAs, including that QA is “a failed software developer,” it’s the easiest job ever, anyone can do it, etc. Meanwhile, monitoring if the product meets the requirements is not that easy. The work implies planning and running tests and identifying and reporting bugs. QA is a kind of Sherlock who knows where to look for potential issues.
VP of product
While the VPE is focused more on tech issues, the VP of product’s top priority is creating a product that meets customer needs. They know the industry and the market and, based on this data, develop budgets and conduct product planning. Most importantly, VPP sets the product roadmap, manages the product lifecycle from an idea to its launch and beyond, and oversees the requirements for new features.
Who’s a great crypto VPP? Well, ours is a real evangelist of product and a blockchain geek. Anyway, knowledge and understanding of the crypto space are necessary, as well as an entrepreneurial attitude.
It’s the one who’s in charge of the vision and objectives, focused on optimizing, boosting product value, and enhancing the user experience. A product manager doesn’t necessarily be a developer himself, but they need to know the tech stack and comprehend the amount of work and effort needed to reach the goal.
One more PM, not to be confused with the previous one. However, they often work together. The project manager is in charge of assigning the tasks and implementing them, coordinating the workflow, its timeline, and deadlines. They also make sure the team members collaborate well.
It’s a team that oversees advertising strategy and scaling the business via marketing, increasing brand awareness and trust, growing a community, and creating a strong brand voice and story. It usually consists of:
Given the industry specifics, the team needs more than creativity, analytical thinking, communication, and research skills. It is implied to have a vast knowledge of the crypto ecosystem and be able to explain the product’s features in layman’s terms. Crypto marketing experience is also required, as there’s a gap between crypto marketing and the traditional digital one (learn more).
A crypto project team also needs:
- Community manager to build and grow a solid community of loyal followers (usually, via Discord, Telegram, and Reddit). They establish and maintain communication between the team and its audience, gather feedback and customer queries, provide support, boost engagement, and, as a result, sales. To be effective, they must have a good grasp of the industry and be able not only to establish but also to nurture the community.
- PR & influencer manager, as it is imperative to collaborate with media and influencers to boost organic engagement and growth and gain trust and loyalty. In crypto it’s different due to its intricacy, novelty, and rapid development: here trust is paramount and harder to earn. And easier to lose (check out this FaZe Clan story).
These guys work shoulder to shoulder with developers and marketers. A product design process is a long and winding road from an idea to a solution. It’s not only about a website or app layout but also about the way users interact with it.
Except for visual design, user experience, interaction design skills, and an eagle eye for the details, understanding crypto concepts is a must. They don’t have to be crypto native but need to have an idea of dapps, cryptocurrencies, DeFi, GameFi, etc., to create intuitive web3 UI.
HR in crypto is more than a technical recruiter with an in-depth understanding of the teams’ hiring goals and a thorough understanding of the crypto sphere and roles and technical skills needed for each position. As mentioned above, top-in-the-field crypto specialists are worth their weight in gold and hard to find and recruit. So, a crypto team HR is a manager able to find a needle in a haystack.