The Web3 Playbook: Using Token Incentives for Network Bootstrapping and Ownership



Sep 17, 20235 min read


The Web3 Playbook: Using Token Incentives for Network Bootstrapping and Ownership

In the digital age, the concept of ownership has taken on new dimensions. With the rise of Web3 and token incentives, users now have the opportunity to not only participate in network building but also to own a meaningful piece of the project. This shift from the centralized Web2 model to a decentralized and fairer Web3 model has the potential to revolutionize how networks are created and sustained.

Token incentives are a key component of Web3's playbook for bootstrapping new networks. The idea is simple: during the early stages of network development, when network effects haven't yet kicked in, provide users with financial utility through token rewards. This compensates for the lack of native utility and encourages user participation. As the network grows and native utility increases, the token incentives taper off and eventually go to zero, leaving behind a scaled and self-sustaining network.

One successful example of token incentives in action is the Helium network. By using token incentives to bootstrap the supply side, Helium has managed to establish over 390,000 nodes worldwide. This demonstrates the effectiveness of token incentives in attracting and incentivizing users to contribute to the growth of a network. But beyond their effectiveness, token incentives also offer a fairer alternative to the traditional Web2 model. Instead of a centralized entity reaping the rewards, token incentives allow the people who helped build the network to own a meaningful stake in its success. This ownership fosters a sense of genuine commitment and loyalty among users, eliminating the need for expensive marketing campaigns and relying on users' organic enthusiasm to drive network growth.

While token incentives provide a powerful tool for network bootstrapping, they are not the only factor to consider when aiming for personal growth and a balanced life. In Japan, a country known for its rich cultural heritage, there are several concepts that can guide us on our journey towards self-improvement and well-being.

One such concept is "ikigai," which refers to the state of well-being that comes from engaging in enjoyable activities that provide a sense of fulfillment. According to Japanese psychologist Michiko Kumano, ikigai is achieved when we devote ourselves to activities that bring us joy and purpose. By aligning our passions, talents, and values, we can find our ikigai and experience a greater sense of fulfillment in our lives.

Another concept that resonates with the pursuit of self-improvement is "wabi-sabi." Wabi-sabi encourages us to embrace our imperfections and accept the natural cycle of life. It teaches us that true beauty can be found in the imperfect, the transient, and the incomplete. By practicing wabi-sabi, we cultivate gratitude, acceptance, and a focus on excellence rather than perfection.

The framework of "shu-ha-ri" can also be applied to personal growth and habit-building. Shu, the first stage, involves learning the basics by following the teachings of a master. This stage is akin to imitating the work of great masters to develop foundational skills. Ha, the second stage, is about experimentation and integrating the learning into practice. It is a period of growth and exploration. Finally, ri, the third stage, focuses on innovation and adapting the learning to different situations. It is a stage of mastery, where the individual becomes a teacher in their own right.

Kaizen, a concept rooted in continuous improvement, teaches us that small, ongoing positive changes can lead to significant progress. By consistently making small improvements in our lives, we can achieve long-term growth and transformation.

"Mottainai" is a concept that reminds us to respect and appreciate the resources we have, avoiding waste and using them with a sense of gratitude. It aligns with the principles of wabi-sabi, encouraging us to let go of attachments to transient things and appreciate the impermanence of life.

The concept of "omotenashi" is deeply ingrained in Japanese culture and centers around offering the best service without expecting anything in return. It emphasizes the importance of genuine hospitality and selflessness in building strong relationships and creating positive experiences for others.

In Japanese organizations, the concept of "ho-ren-so" forms the basis of communication and collaboration. It stands for "report, inform, and consult" and ensures that information is shared transparently and decisions are made collectively. This promotes a healthy and efficient work environment.

Combining the principles of Web3 token incentives with these Japanese concepts for self-improvement and balanced living can lead to transformative outcomes. Here are three actionable pieces of advice to incorporate into your life:

1. Embrace token incentives not just as a means of financial gain but as a way to contribute to and own a meaningful part of a network. This sense of ownership and commitment will fuel your enthusiasm and drive for success.

2. Practice omoiyari, cultivating compassion and empathy towards others. By understanding and valuing the contributions of others, you can foster stronger connections within networks and create a supportive environment for growth.

3. Adopt the principles of wabi-sabi and mottainai in your personal and professional life. Embrace imperfections, let go of attachments, and strive for excellence rather than perfection. Respect and appreciate the resources and opportunities you have, avoiding waste and using them with gratitude.

In conclusion, the Web3 playbook of using token incentives for network bootstrapping and ownership presents an exciting opportunity to revolutionize how networks are built and sustained. By incorporating the concepts of self-improvement and balanced living from Japanese culture, we can create a holistic approach to personal and professional growth. Embracing token incentives, practicing compassion and empathy, and adopting principles such as wabi-sabi and mottainai can lead to transformative outcomes in our lives and the networks we contribute to. Let us embrace this new era of decentralized ownership and strive for a more connected and fulfilling future.


  1. "The Web3 Playbook: Using Token Incentives to Bootstrap New Networks | Future", (Glasp)
  2. "10 Japanese Concepts For Self-Improvement and a Balanced Life", (Glasp)

Want to hatch new ideas?

Glasp AI allows you to hatch new ideas based on your curated content. Let's curate and create with Glasp AI :)