“Every battle is won before it is fought” Sun Tzu
Grab your coffee or boba. It's time to talk Augur. This one will be short and sweet, so let's dive in.
The 3 Layers to Growing Augur
I tweeted about what I see as the 3 layers of growing Augur. All of these layers are critical and interlinked, and there is exciting work being done on all of them. These three layers also apply to many other DeFi projects.
4 Types of Cheap
To succeed, I think that Augur must be inexpensive to use in 4 ways. Two are obvious: it must require minimal spending of money (fees) and time (transaction speed). But it also must be cheap to use in terms of trust and mental effort/attention. It must demand minimal spending of each. It must be trustworthy and simple.
Trust and simplicity are often overlooked in comparison to money and time, but may be especially important for Augur’s first product-market fit: high-stakes political bettors. These bettors can tolerate high gas fees, since they will still come out to a small portion of their wagers. They can mostly tolerate slow transactions as well if they’re placing long-term bets. But they will only use Augur if they trust it and if they understand how to use it. If it demands minimal attention and mental effort.
Trust and simplicity may be comparatively overlooked for two reasons. First, time and money are quantifiable, objective things that you can measure, and engineers prefer to focus on and optimize such things. Trust and simplicity are less quantifiable, though they are no less real.
Second, trust and simplicity are easy to take for granted for us crypto folk. We understand that Augur is “trustless” or at least trust-minimized, in that to use Augur you need only trust code, no central operator or custodian. And it’s easy to take ease of use for granted, since if you understand prediction markets well enough to be building one, then it’s easy to figure out how to use it.
But for a newcomer to Augur, who doesn’t know the first thing about crypto or prediction markets, they may have no reason to trust it and a harder time understanding how it works.
Trust and simplicity are interlinked. We tend to trust things more that we understand and distrust things that are alien. So as we simplify Augur, we likely make it more trustworthy as well.
In the future, I’ll dive more into how I think overlays and the native Augur UI could be made more trustworthy and simple.
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Thanks for reading, guys. Feel free to say hi with any thoughts or questions, and I hope you have a fantastic rest of the week, wherever you are.