In visual terms, interest over time is represented as a scale from 0-100 “Numbers represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the given region and time. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular.” As you can see, interest over time was at peak or near-peak popularity for sustained periods.
Back to 2022, then, and the initial question remains: If a lot of people don’t know what web3 is, and still others are not inclined to be positive about it, its potential, or its uses, why invest time, effort, and money into building developer ecosystems for it?
The answer is: Because, while web3 and blockchain aren’t part of every industry right now, it doesn’t mean they won’t be in the future. In addition, in the areas that they matter right now, they really matter.
Why this interests us at Catchy
For over a decade, we’ve partnered with clients to build, grow, and manage developer experience platforms that extend the usage of their company’s products and services. In a little more depth, this covers a wide range of things, depending on the client: Market research, audience intelligence, Go-To-Market strategy, content and editorial, performance marketing, and program management. We’re experts in our field, and have a publicly-available developer marketing framework.
With regards to web3 and blockchain, a number of our current and recent clients are in industries building a brighter, more equitable, innovative, decentralized future. The global developer community sentiment on web3 matters to us because the applications of web3 and the developers needed will continue to grow.
Currently, less than 10% of developers identify as web3 developers, but the number grows every year. Web3 (and crypto/blockchain in particular) usage continues to scale globally, and the corresponding need for developers in this area will increase. The very paradigm of web3 has an incredible platform to activate new global generations of developers - not just experienced developers who move into web3. For instance, as more places around the world adopt crypto technologies, and the accessibility of software development increases in these areas, this represents an untapped market of developers outside of the traditional (Western-centric) marketplace.
Who knows what the future holds. Hilarious Predictions that have been made about the internet have been wrong in the past, but a heck of a lot have been spot on. There are individuals positing that the web3 market will change or correct, but it seems unlikely that it’s going to disappear.
One thing we’re almost definitely able to predict, however, is that the 2023 Stack Overflow survey questions around web3 will have fewer respondents picking “Unsure” or “Never heard of it”. New technologies trickle into mainstream in myriad different ways, not least (as in the case of blockchain) people exploring them in their own spare time, as hobbies - reducing what Will Larson describes as the wideness of steps of change. That said, ignorance is a wonderful thing; “the state you have to be in before you can really learn anything.”
Today, web3 (including decentralized internet, blockchain technologies, and token-based economics) already has a place in our society. The question of whether mainstream adoption will happen is besides the point - developers and industries are already using, learning, growing, building web3. And good developer programs are desperately needed to support them.