The Power of User Co-Creation in Building Sustainable Products in web3

The concept of user co-creation has gained increasing importance in recent years, particularly in the context of Web3 and the rise of decentralized systems. By involving users in the creation process and giving them a sense of decision-making power, companies can create a sense of psychological ownership that can lead to a range of positive outcomes, including increased brand loyalty, willingness to defend a product in public, and a greater willingness to pay. In this article, we explore the benefits of user co-creation in the context of Web3, examine examples of successful projects that have leveraged psychological ownership to build sustainable products and discuss best practices for companies seeking to implement these strategies in their products and services.

The Benefits of User Co-Creation

User co-creation is when businesses involve customers in creating or developing their products or services. This approach has several benefits for both the business and the customers. Firstly, involving customers in co-creation can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty. Customers feel valued when their opinions and ideas are considered and are more likely to remain loyal to a business that listens to them. This leads to a positive feedback loop, where happy customers provide positive word-of-mouth and refer others to the business.

Secondly, co-creation can lead to the development of better products or services. When businesses involve customers in product development, they gain valuable insights and feedback on their customers’ wants and needs. This helps businesses create more relevant and useful products for their target market, which leads to increased sales and revenue.

Thirdly, co-creation can help to reduce costs and risks associated with product development. By involving customers early in the process, businesses can identify potential issues or problems before they become costly or time-consuming. This helps to reduce the risk of product failure and can save businesses time and money in the long run.

Finally, co-creation can foster community and collaboration between the business and its customers. This can lead to increased engagement and involvement from customers, who feel they have a stake in the product or service’s success. This sense of ownership can also lead to increased advocacy and loyalty from customers, who are more likely to publicly defend the product or service and recommend it to others.

Building in Public

Building in Public is where creators and entrepreneurs openly share their work, progress, and insights with a broader audience. It involves the public in the development process, receives feedback, and builds a community of early adopters. Building in Public can take many forms, including blog posts, social media updates, newsletters, podcasts, videos, and more. The practice of Building in Public has gained significant traction in recent years, especially in the tech and startup community. It has been embraced as a way to build trust with customers, validate product ideas, and build an engaged user base from the earliest stages of development. By sharing progress and insights with the public, creators can attract potential users, investors, and collaborators and establish themselves as thought leaders in their respective fields.

Building in Public also fosters transparency and accountability in product development. By sharing successes, failures, and challenges, creators can demonstrate their commitment to building something valuable and meaningful and build trust with their audience. Moreover, Building in Public can help creators avoid costly mistakes and build better products by receiving feedback and input from their audience. In the context of Web3 and crypto, Building in Public has taken on a new meaning, as it aligns with the ethos of decentralization and community governance. By openly sharing progress and soliciting feedback from the public, creators can involve users in the decision-making process and build a sense of ownership and investment in the product. This can ultimately lead to greater adoption, loyalty, and long-term sustainability.

Building in Public is a powerful tool for creators and entrepreneurs looking to build sustainable and impactful products. It enables them to involve users in the development process, receive feedback, build a community, establish thought leadership, and foster transparency and accountability. In the context of Web3 and crypto, Building in Public can also enable creators to build decentralized and community-governed products that align with the values of the space.

User Governance in Crypto

User governance in crypto refers to the practice of giving token holders the power to participate in the decision-making processes of a project or protocol. This typically involves voting on proposals that could affect the project’s direction, such as changes to the protocol’s code, upgrades, or the allocation of funds. In many cases, user governance is a key feature of decentralized projects in the crypto space. Since these projects are often designed to be community-owned and operated, allowing users to have a say in the development and management of the project can help ensure that it aligns with their interests and values.

User governance is typically implemented through smart contracts and other blockchain-based tools. For example, a project might create a governance token that gives holders the right to vote on proposals. When a proposal is made, token holders can vote using their tokens, with each token representing one vote. If a proposal receives a certain percentage of the vote (e.g., 50% or 75%), it may be accepted and implemented by the project’s developers. Some crypto projects also use liquid democracy, a hybrid governance model that allows token holders to either vote directly on proposals or delegate their votes to a representative. This can help ensure that all token holders have a voice in the governance process, even if they don’t have the time or expertise to participate directly.

Overall, user governance is an essential feature of many crypto projects because it helps ensure they remain decentralized and community-owned. Giving users a say in how the project is managed and developed can also help build a sense of ownership and investment in the community, which can be crucial for the project’s long-term success.

Psychological Ownership

Psychological ownership refers to a sense of possession and control that an individual feels towards an object, idea, or entity, regardless of whether they have legal rights. It is feeling emotionally invested in something and having a personal connection. This feeling can arise from various factors, including the amount of time, effort, and energy invested in the object, the sense of control and influence over it, and the alignment of the object with one’s values, beliefs, and identity.

In Web3 and crypto, psychological ownership can be critical in building sustainable products and communities. By enabling users to become owners through token ownership and governance, web3 projects can foster a more profound sense of psychological ownership, increasing loyalty, engagement, and user investment. This can create a virtuous cycle, where users become more invested in the project’s success, which in turn drives the growth and sustainability of the project.

However, it is essential to note that psychological ownership alone may not be sufficient for building sustainable products. It must be accompanied by a strong foundation of governance, transparency, and community participation, to ensure that the project is aligned with the values and goals of its users. Additionally, there must be a balance between the interests of different stakeholders to prevent the concentration of power and influence in the hands of a few.

Example of Web3 Companies

Several examples of companies or projects have successfully leveraged user co-creation and psychological ownership to build sustainable, successful products in Web3. Here are a few examples:

  1. Uniswap: Uniswap is a decentralized exchange built on the Ethereum blockchain that allows users to trade tokens without needing an intermediary. Uniswap’s success can be attributed to its user-friendly interface and focus on community engagement. Uniswap’s active community of users contributes to the platform’s development by providing feedback and ideas. This community-driven approach has helped Uniswap become one of the most popular decentralized exchanges in the crypto space.
  2. Mirror: Mirror is a platform that allows users to create and trade synthetic assets that track the price of real-world assets such as stocks, commodities, and currencies. Mirror’s success can be attributed to its focus on user co-creation and governance. The mirror allows users to propose and vote on changes to the platform, giving them a sense of ownership and control. This community-driven approach has helped Mirror build a loyal user base and has contributed to its success.
  3. Gitcoin: Gitcoin is a platform that allows developers to earn cryptocurrency by contributing to open-source projects. Gitcoin’s success can be attributed to its focus on user co-creation and psychological ownership. Gitcoin allows developers to contribute to projects they care about and earn cryptocurrency in return, giving them a sense of ownership and control. This community-driven approach has helped Gitcoin build a loyal user base and has contributed to its success.

The success of these companies and projects can be attributed to their focus on user co-creation and psychological ownership. By involving users in the creation process and giving them a sense of ownership and control, these companies and projects have built sustainable, successful products in the Web3 space.


User co-creation and psychological ownership are potent tools enabling projects to build sustainable, successful web products in Web3. By involving users in the creation process, giving them a sense of decision-making power, and leveraging their psychological ownership, companies can build strong, loyal communities of early adopters who are invested in the product’s long-term success. Best practices for user co-creation and psychological ownership include building in public, implementing user governance, and providing meaningful incentives for user participation. Ultimately, the future of Web3 will be shaped by projects that prioritize the involvement and empowerment of their users, and those that succeed will be the ones that can harness the power of user co-creation and psychological ownership.