Venture advisor and strategist William Mougayar made waves this week when he sorted several blockchain companies and projects by the accuracy of their marketing efforts. Last Sunday, Mougayar posted a chart on Twitter that separated a handful of well-known blockchain products into three different categories:

Mougayar has worked in the blockchain industry for the past six years, and he claims to have made his choices based on “several conversations” with blockchain leaders. However, this didn’t earn him the community cred that he expected. The chart quickly became controversial and spawned an argument with hundreds of comments.

Controversy Brews on Twitter

Mougayar intended to be impartial, but his audience perceived some categories as much less desirable than others. Due to this imbalance, the response to the chart was overwhelmingly negative. Broadly speaking, commenters objected to the fact that Mougayar’s chart effectively sidelined plenty of well-regarded projects.

According to Mougayar, over-marketed or “overhyped” blockchains make promises that they don’t deliver on in a timely manner—not a desirable quality. Meanwhile, under-marketed blockchains deliver on their promises, but don’t make their accomplishments known—a veiled compliment of sorts. Right-marketed projects strike a perfect balance.

Some commenters observed that Mougayar’s role in the blockchain sector was, in fact, a conflict of interest that he failed to make clear. Mougayar serves on the board of the Kin Ecosystem Foundation, and he implicitly suggested that Kin has unrecognized potential by categorizing it as “under-marketed.”

Others noted that many blockchain projects do not actually pay for marketing or have an actual marketing team, making the chart fairly misleading. However, Mougayar insisted that word-of-mouth publicity and web content count as marketing and defended his choice to list community-led projects.

Choices Are Questionable

Although Mougayar has published a separate post that touches on certain platforms, most of his particular categorization choices go unexplained. Mougayar has admitted that “some will push back” against his decisions, and commenters did indeed fight back against what they saw as an attack on respectable projects.

Many classifications are quite questionable. Mougayar classifies Ethereum as under-marketed despite the fact that many of its features and upgrades have been delayed. Conversely, blockchains like as EOS and Ripple, which have delivered fairly popular products with few delays, are classified as over-marketed without any justification from Mougayar.

One particular blockchain has even responded to Mougayar’s claims. Lisk was classified as an over-marketed blockchain, and the platform’s marketing director, Thomas Schouten, reluctantly agreed with the designation. Schouten admitted that Lisk has sometimes failed to deliver on promises.

Schouten did, however, criticize Mougayar’s bias toward for-profit companies and exchanges; Mougayar describes Coinbase and Binance as “right-marketed.” But in Mougayar’s defense, it seems clear that two of the most successful crypto exchanges in existence are marketing themselves quite adeptly.

Suggested Reading Learn about the best cryptocurrency exchanges. 

A Good Model?

It is unlikely that Mougayar’s model can serve as a useful predictive tool in most situations. Although traditional market cap rankings have been widely criticized, Mougayar doesn’t offer any systematic way to measure marketing efforts. However, he does touch on one thing that is important: even minor projects can achieve recognition by filling a particular niche. He writes:

“Take any [market] segment. For example, when you think file storage, you probably think Storj or Filecoin because that’s the position they are occupying. When you think prediction markets, you probably think of Augur or Gnosis. And when you think of stablecoins, Maker comes to mind.”

In a crypto market that is highly competitive, filling a niche seems to be an increasingly popular trend, with Ontology focusing on identity, VeChain focusing on supply chain management, and IOTA focusing on the Internet of Things. Of course, marketing success will never be as objective a measure as market value, but it should not be ignored altogether.

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