“Community Represents The Project”
**Disclaimer) The opinions expressed in this interview are those of the interviewer and do not represent the official statement of DeSpread.
Hello, I’m Eunji Cho at DeSpread. DeSpread is a company of “Degens” who are immersed in the Web3 industry. Each of our team members has a unique personality, but we share the same DNA: a genuine love for Web3. We work in a free-spirited atmosphere, but we’re all professionals in our respective fields.
Last time, we interviewed TaeYoung Kwak, Developer for our 9th Coffee Chat with D’s Friends. This time, we had the opportunity to chat with Gome Lee, who has been in charge of community management for a long time and is a sincere supporter of Solana. Gome is currently serving as the Brand Marketing Lead at DeSpread. We’ll explore his firm beliefs in community management and delve into the world of Web3 brand marketing!
Eunji: Could you please introduce yourself?
“Hello. I’m Gome Lee, the Brand Marketing Lead at DeSpread.
Before joining DeSpread, I was actively involved in the Web3 community under the nickname ‘Hangome (항고매).’ Hangome is a Korean abbreviation for ‘항상 고점 매수 (always buying at the highest point).’ After joining DeSpread, due to the nature of my job requiring an English name, I now operate under the name Gome instead of Hangome.
Although I majored in computer engineering, I am currently responsible for marketing tasks at DeSpread.”
Eunji: How did you get into the Web3 industry?
“In early 2021, I began investing in virtual assets after learning about the space. However, what stood out was the way projects were operated, with a strong focus on community involvement. In this market, it’s common for the CEO or executives to personally respond to questions in the community, conduct Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions, and engage in communication directly with the community.
This culture was fascinating, especially coming from the absence of such practices in the Web2 world. For instance, in traditional stock markets, it's unlikely for the CEO of a company like ‘Company A’ to be active in an open chat room or answer questions.
However, the horizontal culture mentioned earlier in the Web3 market was appealing, and from an investment perspective, the dynamic nature of things compared to traditional assets was quite attractive. The aspects mentioned, including the technological aspect of blockchain, drew me towards the charm of the Web3 industry, leading me to consider getting involved in the Web3 industry more actively.”
Eunji: What do you do at DeSpread?
“I am working as the Brand Marketing Lead at DeSpread. Simply put, you can think of me as the Project Manager (PM) lead.
When a project proposes collaboration with DeSpread, the decision to proceed with the collaboration is determined through internal evaluation. Subsequently, the most suitable talent for the project is assigned as the PM. Alongside practical marketing work, I provide feedback on the aspects handled by other PMs and manage the overall PM workflow process.”
Eunji: Why did you choose DeSpread within Web3?
“I started my first career at DeSpread. Thanks to my active involvement in the community during my college years, I worked as the Community Manager (CM) for consulting projects at DeSpread. The connection led to an initial proposal from DeSpread, and I ended up joining the company.
Apart from DeSpread, I had collaborated with various agencies responsible for Web3 marketing, but none of them seemed as genuinely committed to the Web3 industry as DeSpread. For instance, while managing the Layer project community, I encountered situations where other agencies could not provide clear answers to questions about the related ecosystem or seemed unfamiliar with the projects they were marketing. It felt like they were operating the community merely as part of their contractual duties, without a sincere interest in the Web3 industry.
On the contrary, DeSpread had a systematic project management process during practical tasks, and the team members I communicated with approached their work with a ‘Web3 educator’ mindset. The enthusiasm and the atmosphere of responsibly leading projects were appealing, making me think that working at DeSpread would be great.
In fact, during the early days of the Web3 industry at that time, there was less available information compared to now. However, DeSpread actively stood out for its efforts in on-chain onboarding since then. Consequently, DeSpread seemed more outstanding compared to other companies at that time.”
Eunji: How can we define a community in the Web3 industry, and what responsibilities are associated with community management?
“In the Web3 industry, one could say that the community is everything. No matter how technically advanced and well-backed a project is, it is not easy to thrive without a supportive community.
At first glance, a community might seem to be just a platform for sharing announcements and news through channels like Telegram or Discord. However, its essence is more complex.
In reality, even small details such as the words and emojis used in sharing news or responses play a role in shaping the project’s image. The way information is conveyed can significantly impact how users perceive it, even if the content is the same.
Moreover, a project needs to be aware of its desired identity and strive to convey that identity as authentically as possible.
These aspects accumulate to create a certain atmosphere within the community, and depending on how users engage within that community, the project’s direction can be significantly influenced. In essence, one could say that the community is the ‘face of the project.’”
Eunji: "What is the Web3 brand marketing you mentioned earlier, and what do you think are the distinctive features unique to DeSpread?"
“Web3 brand marketing, as mentioned earlier, can be seen as marketing where the project strives to maintain its desired identity while tailoring it to fit the Korean community and culture. In other words, it is marketing that adapts to local characteristics after understanding them.
Sometimes, when observing other communities, there are cases where projects fail to grasp the core message they intend to convey when releasing new updates or content. Additionally, there are instances where English words or grammar, not commonly used in Korea, are directly translated. While these may seem trivial, each of these aspects can impact the project's brand image or result in the miscommunication of intended messages to the community.
However, DeSpread customizes its marketing to the emotional context of the Korean market while maintaining the branding of the project, from the community to the blog. Furthermore, efforts are made to convey the intended message of the project accurately in news and content delivery.
Additionally, I believe that marketing efforts synergize further through the Media PR from the Media team and project research from the Research team.
Lastly, DeSpread benefits from a corporate culture where all employees have a deep understanding of the Web3 industry. This enables proactive feedback exchange even for minor tasks, fostering an environment conducive to marketing that aligns well with Web3 culture.”
Eunji: What do you consider to be the most important aspects in community management and brand marketing?
“I believe the most important factor is the users actively participating in the community. The fundamental reason for conducting community management and marketing is to increase the number of users engaging in the project. Therefore, it is essential to understand what thoughts and desires users have.
However, these users differ slightly depending on the project. For example, for layer projects like Solana and Stacks, it’s enough if users have an interest in the project, even if they don't directly participate in the ecosystem. On the other hand, for dApp projects like Aave and Radiant Capital, actual users utilizing the dApp are crucial. Recognizing these differences in user tendencies based on the project is crucial when dealing with community users.”
Eunji: What project are you currently in charge of?
“I’ve been involved in various projects such as Solana, Injective, and Star Atlas, but currently, I am responsible for the project management of Aptos and Polygon.
Aptos is a layer 1 derived from the Move language of Facebook's Diem, providing a fast, stable, and flexible development environment. Thanks to these advantages, many developers are working on various projects based on the Move language.
Polygon is a layer 2 scaling solution for the Ethereum network, building a vast ecosystem through robust scalability. It was created to address the high gas fees (network fees) and slow network of Ethereum. Due to its excellent scalability, there are numerous projects building ecosystems based on Polygon.”
Eunji: You recently published a report on Solana. Are there any projects within the Solana ecosystem that you find interesting?
“I have a favorable view of the Jupiter aggregator. Jupiter, a project created in 2021, came at a time when the utility of Solana was fragmented. The decentralized exchange (DEX) landscape had varied swap mechanisms, making it a challenging environment to navigate.
Jupiter has successfully addressed these environmental and technical challenges, establishing itself as a prominent aggregator representing Solana. One of Jupiter's greatest strengths lies in its user-friendliness. However, Jupiter doesn't stop here; it continues to expand into derivative DEX and launchpad domains, while also planning to explore new decentralized finance (DeFi) initiatives within the Solana ecosystem.
It’s impressive to see an OG (Original Gangster) project like Jupiter embracing innovation and venturing into new territories. The term OG project refers to a project that has been established since the early stages of the ecosystem.”
Eunji:I understand that the community or developer atmosphere can vary slightly for each project. What distinguishes Solana from other projects?
“This is one of the reasons why I like Solana the most among the projects. As well-known, Solana has the advantage of being fast and cost-effective in terms of network, but its most significant strength lies in the healthy development of its ecosystem.
In cases where Ethereum Layer 2 or Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) networks, like Avalanche and Arbitrum, are compatible, there tends to be a concentration of network liquidity in one place due to the presence of large-scale dApps such as Uniswap and Aave. From the user's perspective, they can simply use the existing dApps, leading to this centralization. As a result, early adopters of dApps monopolize assets, contributing less to the ecosystem.
However, Solana does not have compatibility with EVM, so every project started building from scratch. Thanks to this, a strong and supportive relationship formed among projects. Consequently, many projects are on friendly terms with each other.
The community formed in this way, among developers, helps emerging communities by filling in each other's gaps. This has led to a different atmosphere compared to the EVM ecosystem.”
Eunji: What do you think are the advantages of the Web3 industry?
“I believe the most significant advantage is transparency. Of course, there is still room for improvement, such as the issues with the former CEO of Binance involving money laundering and funds being used for illegal activities. However, there is no industry as transparent as the Web3 industry.
In traditional industries, if a hack occurs, and damages are incurred, it can be concealed, and one might never know. Unless a company discloses through public announcements how it operates, access to relevant information is limited.
On the contrary, in the Web3 industry, details such as which project transferred funds where, how they were used, or precisely how much was leaked in case of a hack—everything is publicly accessible by tracking the on-chain information.
Considering that the Web3 industry operates with full transparency and is a highly trustworthy sector, I think the possibilities are limitless due to the vast array of things that can be attempted.”
Eunji: Do you have any personal goals for this year or goals you want to achieve at DeSpread?
“The goal is to increase the overall on-chain user base in Korea by more than tenfold. Currently, the Web3 industry is a market that is difficult for new audiences to enter, and this is a widely recognized challenge. I want to contribute to breaking down the high entry barriers of Web3 and facilitating the smooth onboarding of new users.
DeSpread provides refined perspective for web 3 pioneers.