Blockchain's best days

The next cohort of The Expertise Incubator begins Jan 13, 2020. If you’re interested, let me know.

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A platform specialization can be a thrilling but short-term ride.

You’ll remember that platform specialization is focusing on an actual platform, like AWS or Salesforce or the like, or a language or framework. Or on a branded process, like EOS or StoryBrand.

Getting a bit Biblical here, a platform specialization tends to offer 5 to 7 fat years, followed by a lot of lean years. When you’re 25 years old, 5 to 7 years feels like an eternity. When you’re 45 years old, that same time frame feels like a passing moment.

CB Insights offers this interesting data point on Blockchain’s fat years:

Source: RIP blockchain

Here’s a detail of the CB Insights graph of mentions of blockchain on earnings calls:

Look at that big ole peak. Fascinating! Can we corroborate? Let’s try Google Trends:

This peak is even earlier than the H1 2018 CB Insights peak. (Adding Ethereum to the Google Trends graph shows a similar peak.)

Source: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=today%205-y&geo=US&q=%2Fm%2F0138n0j1

Let’s see what Slashdata has to say about it:

Source: https://www.slashdata.co/free-resources/state-of-the-developer-nation-17th-edition?

We can reasonably say that blockchain has passed some kind of peak. It may not be a peak in spending on blockchain-related projects. That peak may be ahead of us yet, or already behind us. This may merely be a peak in hype. Still, peaks like this one are important.

What this means depends entirely on whether you are on the buying or selling side of the market for blockchain skills. If you’re on the buying side of the skills market, the best days for blockchain are ahead of us. If you’re on the selling side, the best days for blockchain may be behind us.

Commoditization is beneficial for the buy side of a market. If you are “a blockchain developer”, this is bad for you. If you are “a consultant helping a client create change via a project that involves Blockchain”, your ability to deliver a solution is enhanced (because you can rent the needed talent more cheaply) and the commoditization is good for you.

The takeaways:

1) Blockchain may have peaked in a meaningful way.

2) Position yourself on the buy side of commodity markets.

Have a great weekend,

-P