More and more mid-sized and large companies are looking to expand into blockchain, and more often than not, the responsibility falls on the shoulders of someone who does not have experience with the technology. But fear not! Experts that I spoke to at consistently advise that the same steps are undertaken. Blockchain-based projects have started and failed for a litany of reasons, and avoiding some of the most common traps that these failed projects fall into is crucial to every blockchain project’s success. BlockchainDriven Educate Yourself Arguably the most common way that a blockchain project can fail right out the gate is a lack of knowledge about blockchain from those in charge. Having a solid, mid-level understanding of the technical aspects and capabilities of blockchain are an important factor in the early days of a blockchain project. Additionally, some crucial questions to ask yourself are similar to those you would ask yourself in any other project: Who wants this product? Why do they want it? Who benefits from it? Which parts of the project are going to incorporate blockchain technology? Does this project even need blockchain? All of these questions are crucial, but the last one is perhaps the most interesting and overlooked. Some projects can be successful on their own without blockchain, and can even be complicated by the technology’s inclusion. The blockchain space is crowded with these types of projects, and none of them are successful. That being said, if your project not only incorporates blockchain, but really takes advantage of its power, you can find great success. All in all, having a good technical understanding of blockchain, your business model, and the industry you are entering is crucial. Educating yourself or receiving outside education will allow your new project to hit the ground running, and should be the first course of action you take when considering venturing into blockchain. Build an Internal Team The most successful blockchain projects, whether they are in need of funding through an ICO or not, have an experienced and successful team behind them. Experts I have interviewed have all said the same thing: diversity is crucial. Your internal team should be comprised of people from different parts of the company with different skill sets and talents. Having a technically talented and hardworking team will allow your project to have a good base, but without a successful sales-driven team to go alongside them, converting technical proficiency to money is hard. Of course, the reverse is true as well. A sales team without a technically sound project to sell will not be set up for success. In a similar vein, having a concrete structure and hierarchy within your project will allow the team to operate and collaborate better, as well as understand who they report to and who makes the crucial decisions. Get an External Team This goes hand in hand with building a good team, but is one element that time and time again we see forgone by blockchain projects that spin their wheels but never take off. Consulting is the easiest way to acquire expertise in every aspect of a blockchain project, and firsthand accounts show that those projects that had blockchain consultancy had a much better success rate than those that did not. New York City blockchain consultancy firm BlockchainDriven has worked with large companies such as Saint-Gobain, STCC and others, and has a good view of just how important consultancy is. “We have seen a lot of blockchain and crypto projects come through our doors, and without a doubt nearly every single one would have failed without the experience and expertise that a consultancy firm provides. Some of these projects were from big companies too. A solid team or good finances don’t come close to how specific and focused blockchain consultancy firms are.” - Nick Walker, Blockchain Project Lead at BlockchainDriven Don’t get complacent and hire internal developers. They are not blockchain-specific developers and are not strategists. An external team is the only way to bring on board a high density of blockchain-proficient professionals to make sure the project takes off. Regardless of what type of blockchain project your company plans to undertake, education, internal team building, and external team building are the three aspects that experts agree will make or break your project. The world of blockchain is expanding quickly, and there is a lot of room for innovation, making it the consensus most exciting tech space currently. However, what blockchain needs is newer and better projects coming through the pipeline, and that is where innovative companies from around the world can step in.