Summary: Blockchain needs to prove its value to the business world before adoption will really take hold. To help accelerate adoption and benefits, Provide is developing a series of compelling turnkey solutions that will put the benefits of blockchain within reach. By building these solutions on the Provide Platform, we are “eating our own dogfood” and will be sharing our experiences as a customer of our own products.
At Provide, our love for blockchain is founded in a desire to build a better, safer way to use technology to power fairer, borderless markets. Provide’s mission is straightforward: to accelerate the adoption of blockchain.
To start, we built a blockchain platform. Over the past decade or so, tools like Cloud Foundry and Heroku showed us that abstraction helped make development more accessible. It improved developer productivity by 90%, which translates to a massive acceleration in the delivery of real value.
Developers will not go for long without demanding a platform for blockchain. The analysts agree this is going to be a big, demanding market very soon.
According to IDC, compound annual growth rates (CAGR) will top 70% for the next five years. To put that growth rate in perspective, Gartner thinks blockchain will create $176B in business value by 2025, creating a $3.1T market by 2030.
Any way you shake it, there’s going to be a lot of busy developers who are going to need a platform to streamline their efforts.
So, we built the Provide Platform.
We spent the past four years building a blockchain platform designed for the DevOps and the enterprise. We future-proofed it by building it to be chain- and protocol-agnostic, made API integration simple, and tuned it to be super-scalable—able to ingest over a million transactions per second. Overall, we put well over 7,000 hours of engineering into the Provide Platform.
Finally, last October, we soft-launched the Provide Platform, and quickly got the attention of some large development shops who were exploring blockchain.
They loved it.
It helped them accelerate their proofs of concepts. It powered hack-a-thon wins. It built confidence, excitement—and many, many dApps.
They told their friends, sometimes publicly.
It was all very exciting.
But, it is still early for blockchain.
We knew we hit the market early. Aware of the risks, we took a bet to corner the market early and scale with it. This was complicated stuff, after all. It takes time to get it right, and there is still a lot evolving in the industry.
Alongside launching the Provide Platform, we also launched the State of the Enterprise Blockchain Study in partnership with Aprio and Emory University. We measured the progress and benefits, and studied how blockchain purchasing decisions unfolded.
Combined with our sales efforts, within 3 months we confirmed it was too early for the platform alone. Companies might love us, but they were several quarters away from prioritizing blockchain projects. Mired in developing sticky business cases and competing for budget, our pipeline became rich with the long-tail, but anemic for short-term cash flow.
As a boot-strapped startup, we needed to adapt or risk failing.
We decided to double-down on blockchain.
The State of the Enterprise Blockchain Study helped us see a path forward. It spelled out a few key trends.
- 63% cited tooling or internal skills as a blocker to blockchain adoption. This validated our platform plan to simplify blockchain deployment and scaling. Busy people needed to be able to work with it intuitively.
- 50% needed more case studies with business value metrics to adopt. This suggests companies need easy wins with undeniable business value to even get started. They needed turnkey solutions that featured modern Web 3.0 benefits.
- 75% believe blockchain will be as ubiquitous as cloud by 2025. The potential is huge for blockchain, and a few big public wins could unleash a landslide of demand.
So, we decided to become our own lighthouse customer and build our own solutions on the Provide Platform. In other words, we decided to eat our own dogfood.
We evaluated a number of turn-key applications with undeniable business value, and chose a few. We set the overarching objective to make it super easy to get big benefits, and make it opaque that blockchain is behind it. After all, companies don’t really care about technology, they care about making money and satisfying their customers.
We challenged ourselves to build and market solutions using blockchain, but discuss blockchain as little as possible.
However, we are not throwing the baby out with the bathwater. We’ll confine showcasing all things blockchain to the platform community. We’ll make extra efforts to show how we built the services on the Provide Platform, and make sure the entire developer experience is top notch while we are at it. We aim to make it easy for developers to become familiar with the Provide Platform.
It’s a brilliant plan, proven by others.
This recipe for a platform company is familiar. Amazon built their online bookstore and e-commerce marketplace that consumers loved before they gave us Amazon Web Services. Google invented entirely new services that would serve the evolution of the web before they opened up their services. Salesforce gave us online CRM before they built the AppExchange. Showcasing a platform with addictive services before opening up the platform is a proven way to build demand while hardening the platform.
This wasn’t a new idea for us. We had a marketplace of services on our roadmap for the end of 2019. Our marketplace plan relied heavily open source, and creating a haven for blockchain developers. We believed we could even harvest businesses out of it—building support or turnkey services around the most popular projects. We had lots of ideas, but believed users needed the platform to create the demand for services.
In reality, users needed the services to create the demand for the platform.
Providing a new way forward for blockchain.
So, here we are—eating our own dogfood. Over the next few weeks and months, you’ll start to see the results of our efforts.
Provide will be launching a series of new brands that are designed to accelerate the adoption of blockchain. Powered by the Provide Platform, these services will provide immediate, compelling business value for users.
Provide Payments offers businesses a new way to slash processing fees and automate settlements through a turnkey payment solution. A fully modern payment rails experience, setting up payments will be easy. Automated settlements deliver payments in the currency of your choice—including fiat and cryptocurrencies—directly to your bank account. And, it shaves at least 50% off most payment fees.
Both brands exemplify the kind of business value blockchain can provide, but neither will be sold because of blockchain. Their appeal rests firmly on the financial or regulatory benefits, and their respective properties will reflect their business value.
However, for those interested in the blockchain case study, their development will generate a nice set of blogs, videos and developer resources which we will share with you here.