If you follow any number of Web3 news outlets, or even Twitter, you will have undoubtedly become familiar with the partnerships. It seems that every week, if not everyday, there is a new announcement. …this may be because the term partnership is somewhat liberally used, some might even say overused, but more on that later.
But, Web3 is also a highly collaborative effort. Yes, there is competition. But, more often than not, there is also a collective drive to increase the standing of the entire space. And, partnerships have proven an effective way of doing that, enabling two or more projects to cross-promote and build on each other's products.
As mentioned, this term is very liberally used in the Web3 space. And, it is up to each project how they use the term, but, to set some ground rules, in general, we suggest using the following parameters to define partnerships.
The last one is still quite subjective, but in this case, it can be good to apply a simple rule of thumb; if you were only allowed to grant three of these a quarter, would this relationship make the cut?
You'll also definitely see a load of other partnerships, ranging from seeming friendships to single conversations. Web3 is still a bit lawless, so these terms are…up to interpretation. But, that being said, I prefer the fast-and-easy collaboration of Web3 to a cut-throat competition that ultimately slows innovation due to the need for base-layer utilities.
Because Web3 is soo new, many of us are building in uncharted…or at least, under-charted…territory. And, as many of you will know, a smaller audience than many want (anyone wanna say mass adoption again?).
Partnerships allow people to bring together their technologies, so that not everyone is reinventing the wheel. Not that there aren't a million different ways to invent various Web3 wheels…just that this will slow down the overall growth and innovation of the space.
So, some partnerships are to improve their offerings and capabilities by teaming up with others. Others are to address the pesky audience question, because two audiences are better than one. Take for example the partnership between prominent hardware wallet, Ledger, and Sandbox, the popular blockchain gaming platform. This partnership came after Ledger released a wallet capable of holding NFTs, precisely what Sandbox allows users to make for their blockchain games. While the partnership did not bring new capabilities to either project, it promoted the fact that Ledger now supported NFTs and provided added value by educating Sandbox users about security for digital assets.
So, while simple audience sharing partnerships might not be enough to really catch the attention of users, looking for a way to provide real value often will. Sandbox and Ledger layered this, looking at what would not only benefit them, but also each audience. That's not to say audience sharing partnerships aren't a good place to start, just that in order to actually cause a stir for the audience, you often have to look at how to bring them real value.
This is a bit of simple networking (well, is networking ever simple?). But, if you're talking to enough different people, especially when the opportunities are as abundant as they are in Web3, someone is definitely going to have an idea for something…and maybe even something big.
Here's a few places to start looking: