Overview

Open3 Collective is a knowledgebase that organizes the consumer product outdoor industry to create web3 operating best practices, for the following benefits:

  1. Eliminate duplicative efforts so that each company ends up spending a fraction of the time and cost;
  2. Create web3 best operating practices faster through a community of people, rather than just a few;
  3. Be exponentially smarter with crowdsourced solutions from many people, rather than just a few;
  4. Make web3 bigger and better for brands and for consumers by organizing efforts to shape the development and growth of this nascent technology paradigm;
  5. Allow knowledgebase members to network and identify potential web3 partnerships and collaborations.

Suggested Action Plan

  1. Review the FAQs below about the Open3 Collective knowledgebase and how it works.
  2. Understand web3 for consumer brands via the public tools published below. In a short time, you will quickly get up to speed.
  3. If you are with a consumer brand and interested in joining, please contact me.

Knowledgebase FAQs

The Problem/Need

My name is Eddie Soehnel and I co-own a consumer brand and want to know how to cost-effectively use web3 to drive new revenue and strengthen relationships with my customers.

I can no longer ignore this new technology paradigm because it is far enough along and starting to go mainstream. And given how fast things move, I fear that my business could be disrupted quickly and severely if I put off working on web3 for much longer.

I’ve done the following to prepare my company for this new technology paradigm:

  1. Market research on hundreds of leading brands, going back to summer 2021, published into a database as structured data to help me search and filter it so I can learn what others are doing and model off of their successes;
  2. Market research on web3 operational practices for consumer brands, published into a roadmap that guides me in what I need to do to implement web3 in my company;
  3. Published tools in the form of content, methodologies, processes, spreadsheets and diagrams to help me strategically and tactically operate in web3.

I know I’ve spent hundreds of hours doing research, understanding the paradigm and creating plans and tools to use it in my company.

Yet I still feel significantly disadvantaged because web3 is growing so fast with incredible amounts of investment and smart people powering it. I learn something today and get smarter, but tomorrow I come across something new that makes today obsolete.  How do I make sure not to miss learning something important that could be vital to my business?

The result is that it is impossible for one person – even one consumer brand with a team of people, or even experts in the space including consultants, agencies and vendors – to effectively keep up on their own, let alone pick the right strategy that does not involve spending huge amounts of time and money, which could all be wasted if wrong.

My current path:

  1. Stay siloed in researching and developing plans for web3, spending 10x the hours;
  2. possibly augmenting my efforts by spending 10x the money on consultants and vendors;
  3. while also making a lot of mistakes along the way (more wasted time and money), because web3 is still early and new and there are not yet operating best practices for how to use it;
  4. and, hope somehow I find the right path that gives a positive ROI within a reasonable payback period.

Or, I can go a different route where I spend a fraction of the time and possibly money, plus be exponentially smarter than I could on my own or even with hiring consultant and vendors, plus potentially make far fewer mistakes.   I want to go the latter route and want other business owners and managers to do the same with me.

Most consumer brands may need to use web3 in some way because consumers may drive that requirement.  But in general, those that have the best potential for meaningful new revenue and brand marketing using web3 include at least one or more of the following:

  1. Higher price: brands with products that have higher price points;
  2. Durable product: brands with longer shelf-life products – examples include a ski jacket, a bottle of wine, proof of participation at an event or location like a ticket stub (could be digital), and a digital image;
  3. Desirable brand: brands that have a strong reputation and an engaged customer base.

My focus for the knowledgebase includes the following:

  • Outdoor brands and industry participants. Please see the FAQ about the membership.

I am focusing on the outdoor vertical because this group tends to be late followers in adopting technology and as a result, they don’t get the opportunity as earlier adopters to shape the technology and how it is used for them and their customers.

And compared to many other consumer brand verticals, they might benefit the most using web3.

Plus, this vertical is of personal interest to me as I am an avid outdoor participant.

It is very common for online platforms that rely on member participation to enter a vicious cycle where fatigue sets in from having to constantly track every conversation, which leads to less participation, which leads to less value contributed, and the cycle repeats.

I have spent a lot of time since the late 1990’s, when the Internet first started, in online networks and professional knowledgebase platforms and have developed my own processes to help prevent this, which includes:

  • A one-on-one onboarding call to orient each new member;
  • The use of a detailed roadmap for what needs to be accomplished;
  • A changelog with all changes/additions to the knowledgebase to make it easier for members to see what has changed since their last visit;
  • Weekly summary emails so that members do not have to constantly check the knowledgebase;
  • The discussion server will be actively facilitated and heavily curated so that good strategic and tactical content and meaningful conversations will be copied out and included into the toolset directories. This will help get all of us away from having to check every single discussion thread.  Through curation, we can jump into those threads important to us.

I heavily facilitate participation to maximize our time and efforts.  During the onboarding call, my responsibility is to help determine where each person is best able to contribute and assign them those tasks.  I have a detailed roadmap for tools to create and research to maintain.

The ultimate goal is to get out of peoples heads their own individual knowledge, expertise, research and experiences around web3 and onto the knowledgebase so we all can benefit.  Best practices emerge when we all can collaborate.

What if a member does not or cannot complete or keep up with their tasks?  We are all busy and other things take priority.  I get that.  Maybe a member needs more time, tasks have to be reassigned, a member needs to take a break, etc.  We’ll work it out as we go.

Here is the onboarding form I send to new members that they complete before the onboarding call.

Knowledgebase Admin Items

Calendar

  • A Google Calendar with events, online or IRL, organized by the knowledgebase.

Changelog

  • A changelog includes additions and changes to all web3 tools, which makes it easier to see any modifications since a member last visited the knowledgebase.

Content Organization

All content, whether in the Google Drive Directory Listing, the Discord Server or the marketing intelligence database,  is organized by the following operational categories:

  • Strategy
  • Systems
  • Product Development
  • Finance
  • Production & Logistics
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Support

Processes and Procedures

  • A bullet list of processes and procedures for contributing to and using the knowledgebase.

Email Updates

  • Emails track all activity in the knowledgebase so members do not have to constantly be checking the knowledgebase to stay current;
  • Forward guidance, which looks broadly at the blockchain industry (web3 is built on blockchain protocols) and web3 and the future direction of both that can impact knowledgebase members;
  • Emails are sent weekly.

Knowledgebase Content Items

Web3 Roadmap

A detailed roadmap that outlines what a company needs to think about, research and do in order to add web3 to their operations. The knowledgebase uses the roadmap as the guide for creating web3 operating best practices.

Tools Directory

  • All tools, while also referenced in the roadmap dataset, are contained in a Google Drive directory.

Web3 Best Practices In The Form Of The Following:

  • Methodologies, processes, spreadsheets, diagrams, resource lists, research, data and software to help brands strategically and tactically understand and operate in web3.

Market Intelligence:

  • Curated news on consumer brands and their web3 activities to see what is succeeding and failing – see a current list of brands in the database here;
  • Feedback on web3 platforms, web3 apps, vendors, consultants and agencies, etc.;
  • Other relevant market and industry news and information.

Discussion Server:

  • For members to submit questions and engage in discussions.  The discussion server will be actively facilitated and curated so that members do not have to constantly track every conversation, which none of us has time to do.

CRM and Industry Directory

  • A CRM dataset of current knowledgebase members (see another FAQ for more information about the CRM);
  • An outdoor company directory of web3 NFT projects that members can use for market research and identifying potential partnerships and collaborations.  Web3 technology could be used as an interoperability later for brands to more easily partner and collaborate together for mutual gain.

Weekly Emails

  • A directory of all weekly emails and their corresponding webpage, and searchable on the knowledgebase.

Please see the knowledgebase roadmap, along with the state of tools and datasets, here.

The weekly emails sent by the knowledgebase are key to review, because they roll up all activity in the platform so members do not have to check everything on their own, which is not efficient and no one has time to do.

The weekly email is structured so you can review quickly and dive deeper into content that is important to you.  But it is important that you review tools and content so you can learn and importantly, provide feedback so tools can get improved.

If you are helping build a tool, you will have access to it and over time, you will be contributing to make it better.

If you are responsible for staying current on anything web3 related for a particular industry news of information resource, or you attend a tradeshow, or you come across something you found interesting about web3, there are three ways to submit that information to the knowledgebase:

  1. for most content, you will submit to the discussion server so that others can comment on it if they wish;
  2. for non-discussion related content, you can also submit via email (you will be provided the address in the onboarding)…
  3. or, submit via the feedback form on the website.

From any of these submission methods, the information will get parsed and integrated appropriately into the knowledgebase where it needs to live.

If a particular discussion topic was added to the discussion server, you can participate if you think you can add value, but you should not be expected to review every single discussion thread to see if it is important to you.  The knowledgebase will do the curation (and send updates via the weekly email) to help save members time.

I have already published basic public educational content to orient consumer product companies around web3 and why it is important. Please review those links on this page.

But growth is not necessarily the best measure, because growth can be done unprofitably (marketing costs to acquire customers are too high, economies of scale do not materialize, product quality diminishes with volume, customer service diminished with volume, etc).

I think the ultimate goal in any company is to acquire AND retain customers where costs to acquire and retain are less than expenses, which leads to profits.  Web3 has the potential to help a company do this better than web2 does now.  That could also lead to growth, but it does not have to if a company does not want that.

Yes, those are the primary goals.  By leveraging people to help research the marketplace and by learning from what each one of us actually does, we can hopefully minimize mistakes and be as efficient as possible in terms of what we spend in web3.

  1. Share what you know so others can challenge your assumptions and thinking so you can improve.
  2. Sharing what you know helps force you to think more clearly about what you are saying to others, which will help you improve your thinking.
  3. Do you want the best chances to succeed in your company and your career?  Share and you get access to the same from 100-plus other people so you get a lot smarter that you where before. Pay a little and get a lot back.
  4. Ask questions and get answers from people who have already been down the path you are on so hopefully you waste less time and money making fewer mistakes.
  5. Learn web3 for consumer brands really fast.
  6. Make connections to new people, new companies and possibly new marketing partners.
  7. The greater good.  Knowledge, experiences and expertise do no good locked up in our heads.  Let’s pass it on to help others.

Most likely, but when and who is your audience are better questions.

In general, web3 is better for consumers, and odds are that is what they will want so companies have no choice but to add web3 to their technology stack.

But web3 is currently attracting early adopters of technology, not the mass market, so companies in general may not need to add it now, but need to plan for it.

When depends on who your customers are and if that is what they want:

  • Are your customers early adopters of technology?
  • Are they a younger audience?
  • Do you want to attract a younger audience?
  • Do you want to establish your brand now in the minds of younger audiences so that when they grow up, they are familiar with you and could become customers?

If you answered yes to any of the above, then you will probably want to start incorporating web3 now.

Web3 is also emerging as a key technology and interoperability layer for the metaverse. Companies that want to expose their brands to younger audiences that will grow up to become potential customers want to start experimenting with the metaverse as soon as possible, and web3 is a good way to prepare for that.

Further, if you are a brand that sells durable products with higher price points, you may want to seriously consider adding at least some web3 elements to your company right now.

Even if you are a few years away from making web3 operational for your customers, what you do now could bring you more revenue down the line with the products you are producing and selling today. The longer you wait, the more lost revenue potential you will experience in the future.


Sidenote.  Web3 is not the metaverse:

  • Web3 is operating and technology protocols that many networks in the metaverse are adopting – think of it as infrastructure;
  • The metaverse is considered another channel to create products and market to consumers;
  • The metaverse is a collection of virtual networks that consumers can jump in and out of, which includes online game platforms like Roblox, Fortnite, Minecraft, etc, and stand-alone virtual reality networks like Decentraland, The Sandbox, Facebook/Meta’s Horizon, etc., just to name a few.

If you do not know what is web3 and why it is important for consumer brands, read the initial educational content on this page to get oriented quickly.  Do that and you will be far ahead of most people in a very short time.

Can I come back in a year? Yes, but I encourage you to start on web3 now:

  1. As already mentioned, if you are a brand that sells durable products with higher price points, you may want to seriously consider adding at least some web3 elements to your company right now.  Even if you are a few years away from making web3 operational for your customers, what you do now could bring you more revenue down the line with the products you are producing and selling today. The longer you wait, the more lost revenue potential you will experience in the future.
  2. It is far enough along that it should not be ignored, and it might be at tipping points toward mass market adoption where a year all of a sudden puts you behind. That is the funny thing about trends and change – they happen slowly and at a certain point, all of a sudden.  A great example is melting ice.  We see nothing happening from a rise of 0 to 20 degrees or 20 to 30 degrees, but at 32.6 degrees, significant visible and structural change happens.
  3. Working together we can get further along with less individual effort.
  4. You might not realistically do anything in web3 for the next year, but the learnings can help you plan for and position your company for web3, rather than coming back in a year and playing catchup.
  5. Web3 is potentially introducing revolutionary ways in which consumers and companies interact.  It is best to start thinking about web3 early so you have time to understand it and make sensible plans about transitioning it into your company.

Read the initial educational content on this page to get oriented quickly. Do that and you will be far ahead of most people in a very short time.  Those docs are also listed in the knowledgebase roadmap, titled:

  1. What is Web3 and Why It Is Important For Consumer Brands;
  2. Web3 Wallets;
  3. Web3 NFTs.

Following that, review the document titled “Web3 Strategy Framework”, which is a framework for organizing web3 products/services that brands can use to think about for web3.  It is only available to knowledgebase members.

In addition, during the onboarding call, we can discuss where I think your brand has the most potential for new revenue and brand marketing using web3, and what you ought to consider now to get there.

Because, web3 is big enough for all of us to plot our own unique approach that differentiates us.  We can each learn and then go off and apply the pieces that fit our brand which makes us different from everyone else.

I suggest reviewing the strategy tool that is part of my startup roadmap and resource set.  Pay particular attention to the Brand Pillars section and the accompanying worksheet.  Web3, because it allows for tremendous creativity, is another way to craft unique brand pillars to allow companies to stand apart.

Brands may even want to collaborate together because web3 allows for tremendous creativity that did not exist before. Web3 is quite different from web2 and is forcing us to rethink business models, and not just how we conduct business, but with whom as well.

And working together to steward this new paradigm for our industry and our customers may mean that it ends up being a bigger pie than it was before.

Yes.  We have to learn about wallets, NFTs and using web3 apps personally and use it first before we can expect to deploy web3 in our business and expect our customers to use it.

If we come across web3 apps, we should try them out ourselves, or assign a new app to a person to test out and create a how-to guide and screen recordings.

There is so much coming out in web3 and there is no way one person can keep up.  We need a small army that helps find this stuff, try it out and report back to the knowledgebase.

$0.

If the knowledgebase membership grows and shows that it can deliver real value, then my thought is to let the membership decide on the structure of and amount of subscription fees.

I plan to build the knowledgebase membership and its content, tools, and datasets, and fine tune the crowdsourcing and collaboration processes.

But I am a builder, not a manager, so my goal would be a membership whose subscription fees support hiring additional help that can manage the knowledgebase for all of us.

I think it is important to set goals to drive activity on the knowledgebase.  They are generally as follows:

  1. Stage 1 – Development: web3 is in its nascent stage with comparatively little adoption and use, so we should drive to build out the knowledgebase roadmap and all its tools for members to use.
  2. Stage 2 – Activation:  as web3 grows, members can use the roadmap and its tools to start deploying web3 in their companies.  Members can provide feedback and support to each other to help promote successful activations and web3 projects, which feeds back into changes to the roadmap based on actual experiences from members in what works and what does not.
  3. Stage 3 – Operations: web3 activities are public on-chain, data which is affording tremendous potential for public analysis so that all can benefit.  Ideally it would be helpful if members can also provide backend performance data about their web3 activities to form benchmarks from which to help determine successes.  This is where operating best practices emerge.
  4. Stage 4 – Collaborations: web3 technology could be used as an interoperability later for brands to more easily partner and collaborate together for mutual gain, so as more and more brands activate web3, that opens up the ecosystem for potential partnerships and collaborations, which the knowledgebase may be able to support by aggregating web3 activities into a dataset for members to use.

But also somewhere in the above could include the development of SAAS products geared towards the outdoor vertical that members can use to help run their web3 operations. The roadmap already contains ideas.

The outdoor consumer brands vertical can be categorized many different ways with many different participants, including:

  • Recreation categories:  watersports, snowsports, running, other, mountaineering, motorsports, hunting, hiking and backpacking, fitness, fishing, climbing (rock and ice), camping, biking
  • Channel categories:  manufacturing, retail (offline and online)/rental, guides, events/tradeshows/races, locations (ski areas, adventures parks, indoor climbing), wholesalers/distributors, publishers, influencers.
  • Service categories” nonprofits, consultants and service providers (agencies, recruiters, lawyers, technology), schools, government.
  • Size:  by revenue
  • Location:  county, state, geographic region
  • Ownership: white/women/minority/veteran/disability-owned

The ideal makeup is a large share of the membership geared towards manufacturers, ideally across many recreation categories, with participants of different size and location and with inclusive representation by ownership. A smaller share representing different channel participants and service categories.

Most of it yes.  But some should be made available to non-members and the public.

Web3 is in its nascent state and if stewarded properly, can become bigger and better for brands and for consumers.

I can think of two very important parts of the knowledgebase roadmap that the membership should assemble and make available to the wider outdoor industry, which includes:

  1. a framework for measuring and mitigating web3 activities carbon footprint;
  2. framework around the issues of secondary market royalties and designing such into smart contracts.

The knowledgebase technology stack includes:

  • A WordPress website hosted on WP Engine (a dedicated WordPress hosting company) which includes a member login to protected content with directories of published tools, content and datasets.
  • Tools are published in Google Docs and sheets.
  • List emails running through Mailchimp.
  • A backend database, whose front-end runs on Knack and the database through Amazon S3, manages the roadmap, market intelligence, member CRM, industry datasets, and helps track knowledgebase processes and member responsibilities; datasets are published to their own pages.
  • The discussion platform running on Discord, a popular cloud-based discussion application used by many companies and online communities.

The knowledgebase is nested under its own domain at Open3Collective.com.

Yes, they can.  It will be up to each member to decide if they want to participate using their name or a pseudonym. I personally prefer my name because that is a great way to network one-on-one with others.

CRM

There is a CRM and it is basic so that members can attach some context around the makeup of the membership base in order to find each other and interact one-on-one as they so choose.

Included is first and last name (or just a pseudonym for those that want to remain completely anonymous), company name, product(s) description, location (city/state), and title/responsibilities.  If people want to use their full name and company, that is fine too, and I expose those CRM fields for people OK with that.

The goal is to allow networking and interaction to the level that each person feels comfortable.  I would also like to associate members to their knowledgebase contributions and use shoutouts to help promote members. Perhaps we also use public platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter to promote and elevate each member with their contributions?

Outdoor Industry Dataset

The industry dataset includes a directory of outdoor company web3 activities that members can use for market research and identifying potential partnerships and collaborations.  Web3 technology could be used as an interoperability later for brands to more easily partner and collaborate together for mutual gain.

Many web3 professional networking and discussion platforms have popped up.  I am a member of several.  I have yet to see a platform with the heavy facilitation and curation that I am doing here and have not yet seen anything focused on this vertical.

Besides building this based on my own extensive experience participating in current and past online professional networking and knowledgebase groups,  one that I am modeling a bit is Bravado, a sales professional networking platform. They built the community first, which led to the company developing additional products and services based on what the membership wanted.

I have my own ideas for web3 SAAS products for consumer brands, but after analyzing Bravado, it seems to make much better sense to build the community first where we can collectively figure out what we need.

Consumer Brands

Since the early 1990’s, I have been an entrepreneur/CXO in the DTC/B2C/B2B2C/consumer brands marketplace: sold 1 company, built 6 and crashed 2.

I have deep operational experience developing, launching and growing products across the entire operating segments of a company, and am using that experience to guide the development of the web3 knowledgebase so that it drives meaningful new revenue and brand marketing for a company.

Technology Stack

I have written extensively online and published a substantial library of methodologies, processes, tools, spreadsheets, diagrams, resource lists, research, data and software, organized to take a DTC/B2C/B2B2C/consumer brand startup from idea to $50 million in annual sales.

This past effort has greatly informed how I am building the web3 knowledgebase and the technology stack I am using.

And as mentioned in an earlier FAQ, I have spent a lot of time since the late 1990’s, when the Internet first started, in online networks and professional knowledgebase platforms and have developed my own processes to address shortcomings that I have experienced.

Blockchain/Web3

My journey in blockchain started in 2017 as an investor (web3 is built using blockchain protocols). For web3, it started in 2021, but with specific emphasis on answering the following for DTC/B2C/B2B2C/consumer brands, including my own brand:

  1. How to filter out the hype and inflated expectations to understand this new paradigm and its benefits;
  2. How to drive new revenue using web3;
  3. How to strengthen relationships with customers using web3;
  4. How to operate cost-effectively in web3, with emphasis on revenue and costs in context of a strong ROAS (return on ad spend).

Why The Knowledgebase?

My mode of operation for learning and doing is to write what I learn and create tools that I can use.  But despite the time I’ve spent on web3, I still have trouble keeping my content and tools current given the fast pace of change happening in this technology paradigm.

And if I am having these problems, odds are other business owners and managers are also having the same problems.

This lead to the idea for a crowdsourced knowledgebase as a way to help all of us navigate web3 in a much more time and cost-effective manner.

But it is more than just crowdsourcing so us members drive more revenue and brand marketing for ourselves. Web3 is in its nascent state and if stewarded properly, can become bigger and better for brands and for consumers. As a group – even just a small group – we can help figure it out and produce tools that we can make available to the wider industry. Web3 needs this kind of leadership now, which the knowledgebase and its members can provide.

If all this knowledgebase does is make me a lot smarter than I could operating alone, that is a great end.  But I am a serial entrepreneur and hope this knowledgebase evolves into a business on its own.

As mentioned already, I am a builder, not a manager, so my goal would be a membership whose subscription fees support hiring additional help that can manage the knowledgebase for all of us.

From there, I have B2B SAAS web3 and white label B2C SAAS web3 product ideas that, with the help of the members, I can flesh out, potentially develop, and which the members can then use to help run their web3 operations.  Again, borrowing a bit of the Bravado model that I mentioned in an earlier FAQ.

More about me at https://eddiesoehnel.com/

Public Knowledgebase Content

The following tools will educate about web3 and give DTC/B2C/B2B2C/consumer brands industry practitioners a good basis for understanding the technology paradigm: