Abridged: Building Platforms for Mainstream Adoption

Panvala Observer Weekly Newsletter

This week we spoke with James Young, CEO of Abridged, a blockchain application development platform designed to help users build and manage decentralized projects, empowering collaborative communities and economies using seamless blockchain UX—no coding required!

A Shot at Helping Build Web3

Many years ago, James Young watched as Web1 transitioned to Web2.  In fact, he devoted two years of his life to working on the development of the internet before the dot com bubble burst.  Disheartened after the crash, he shifted his focus away from his belief in the next iteration of the web and found his way into video streaming, gaming, and eventually online advertising.  Of course, all of his former contacts who had continued to believe in the power of a two-way medium ultimately reaped the benefits of hanging around long enough to see Web2 through.  Flash forward to a few years ago—James was watching as crypto took shape and his mind began wandering towards the possibilities of this technology.  He started thinking about scalability and the organizational aspects of crypto, becoming captivated by what had happened with The DAO and how people could coordinate large sums of money at the time.   Finding the crypto world “endlessly fascinating” with a wide open design space, he thought, maybe this will be my second chance.

In 2018, James launched Abridged.  “It started as developer tooling, but the focus for me has been and still is mainstream adoption—and that mainstream adoption can only happen through appropriate user experience.”  The user-friendly platform allows you to build applications and projects using blockchain and crypto without having to know how to write code—opening the space up to non-technical creators.  “I think that gatekeeping leads to lack or slowness of innovation,” James remarked, wanting to take an egalitarian approach to ensure that the crypto space is welcome to more than just tech-oriented individuals.  “What we did initially was ensure the user experience was very easy.”  Abridged began creating things like a counterfactual smart contract wallet and a bot that allowed you to launch a DAO, submit proposals, and vote all within Telegram.  When they moved the bot over to Discord, it gained quite a bit of traction.  Startled by this quick adoption, the Abridged team shifted focus from developer tooling towards token gated access, specifically on Collab.land.  The Abridged team (a small group of about 5) remains motivated by the goal of mass adoption, and now sees PFP NFTs as the road to get there. 

Abridged Wants Your Input!

If you’d like to learn more about Abridged, you can check out their website and twitter.  As a community you may already be using Collab.land, and if not, James encourages you to check it out and offer your feedback on how to make it better!  James also had a special ask from the Panvala community – he is looking for opinions, feedback, wisdom, ideas, and general thoughts regarding a particular dilemma he is facing with Abridged—one that he believes a lot of projects are confronting but are not as vocal about.  His query is about sustainable funding—specifically whether to seek funding via a more traditional route (seed funds, involving venture capitalists, etc.) or to try a different path that is more aligned with Abridged’s communities and involves raising money via an NFT backer event.  Perhaps there is a possibility of doing both?  Ultimately James and the Abridged team want to keep Collabland free to its users and continue toward sustainability, without losing sight of the values that keep this community alive.  Reach out to @Jamesyoung on Twitter to weigh in!