Building a marketplace is an ambitious endeavor within any business category.
Building an open source ecosystem on a Layer 1 chain from the ground up is just all out madness!
It's hard to follow the bouncing ball when it comes to how networks spawn, develop and launch - but the short story with NEAR was that some of its core people/founders exited the Foundation to start PrimeLab in an attempt to build a Product Studio that could assist in building the products that will help open the door to mass adoption of the NEAR blockchain.
PrimeLab empowers both people and business to start anything within the world of Web3.
The products that are being built offer NEAR powered applications to be deployed in minutes instead of months and also offer consumers an ecosystem of valuable experiences within a marketplace of dApps.
Spark + Mint's Founding Partners, Weavik, was already working to support PrimeLab when Spark began to form.
With the requirements for excellence ramping up and the need to deliver on dozens of products in a short period of time, Sparks team of Web3 Product Designers were engaged to help define, design and deliver a suite of dApps within an accelerated sprint timeline.
The learning curves are steep, the pressure is real - but so is the fun, the opportunity and the vibe of building a universe on the fly with a group of passionate builders. Some takeaways:
You may be thinking - this all sounds lovely, but how can I engage on the NEAR Protocol and start exploring these awesome dApps that have been developed?
The truth is - you can explore NEAR now, but the dApps, well - you'll have to wait a bit until PrimeLab ships so: stay tuned and stay connected.
Here's how you can engage with NEAR today.
Our cofounder, Brian Haacke COO, has helped companies raised over 2M in Grant Funding with Layer 1 chains like NEAR and CELO.
If you'd like to talk to Spark + Mint about funding your new venture, click the "connect" button on the top of our site and lets find a time to chat.
How Weavik's Investment helped Spark + Mint come to life.
I'd been thinking about starting a new Design Studio that would focus exclusively on Web3 ventures, but I didn't want the domain focus to be the only point of differentiation.
I wanted our design studio to embrace the same core principles that were starting to form in the Web3-verse, and I wanted to go beyond the fee for service model and participate in future value we'd be creating for the companies that we'd partner with.
Venture capital is a well defined practice, but Creative Capital (inspired by FKTRY) is a lesser understood business model which is ideal for a world where new digital assets like Crypto and Tokens literally represent the value that's being created in the marketplace.
I shared some of this early thinking with Brian Haacke, who was in the midst of growing a 40+ person dev agency called Weavik in Waterloo, and had recently exited a specialist Web3 Development Agency that he helped start a few years back.
Not only was Brian excited by the idea, he quickly shared that he'd already been actively working for months to get a very similar studio off the ground only, he couldn't find anyone passionate & experienced enough to lead it.
Timing is everything in life and you just can't make this stuff up.
After a few weeks of bouncing around ideas of how to get things going, a few things became clear:
- We could spin out a Design Team rather rapidly out of Weavik and begin to separate the design & development operations.
- There was strong demand within some of Weavik's active engagements for specialized Web3 Design + Brand support.
We were both set on the name "Spark + Mint", the Creative Capital model and by all the enthusiasm that emerged whenever we shared our model with others in the Web3 space.
All we really needed was some backing and time. Weavik stepped in and stepped up as a foundational partner to help us with a series of investments and strategic introductions to get Spark + Mint to the point that we are today.
In just a few short months, we've already been operating at full capacity in Q1/Q2 different ventures and are now 10 people strong and counting on this inspired mission to help co-design a more open, free and fair Web + World.
Together with Weavik, Spark + Mint now has the wherewithal to execute against the most ambitious Web3 projects from ideation, strategy and design through to full stack development, deployment and maintenance through our symbiotic technology partnership with Weavik.
The processes, frameworks and skillsets that our team brings to the fore isn't fundamentally different from that of design agencies & studios in the Web2 arena.
With that said, it's not an exaggeration to state that Web3 changes absolutely everything and the greatest differentiation lies in the disposition and intention a team takes to navigate all these changes in an ever changing, dynamic and unpredictable sea of activities.
Web3 changes the way we work, the types of companies that are possible to create, the types of value we're able to generate, share, exchange, own and liquidate.
This new era of computing and entrepreneurship creates a space where people can become more participatory and not simply exist as customers.
Tokens and cryptocurrencies, empower us through representative ownership on these new decentralized blockchains.
These changes bring with them a ton of user experience and design challenges that require us to match the technological innovation with what we're calling "Decentralized Design Thinking" (DDT).
We're cementing our commitment to persistently learn and share our knowledge with the global design community through our DDT Media arm that will be generating global reports and podcasts to help us all engage in these critical discussions around how we want to co-design this new era of civilization.
As we forge ahead day by day, Spark + Mint will be creating a new, more inclusive way for everyone who wants to join us in our mission to design the future. Through decentralized technology including web2 to web3 project based learning opportunities and partnering with educationally minded Foundations, Startups and Institutions in assistance to onboard more passionate & intelligent designers, makers and artists into this new Web3 reality.
whether you're looking to start a new venture, partner or co-create something remarkable - our doors are always open for a virtual or in-person chat. You can reach out to me directly at email@example.com or book a time with me here.