If You Build It They Will Come

What to build when building the next great ICP Dapp

ICP Jesse
3 min readMar 23, 2022

Are you a developer trying to figure out what to build next? Have an abundance of talent, coding skills, Motoko know-how, and Rust knowledge, and looking for the next big idea?

I’m here to help.

Build your next-generation app on the Internet Computer. Well-designed applications that tap into the incredible power of the IC will have a leg up on competitors built on legacy technology while taking advantage of the cutting-edge tools needed to make a splash on a crowded internet.

The Internet Computer is built on the twin supports of a cloud-style, distributed web host with computing power and scalability, and a world-class blockchain. Combine these two core strengths with IC’s security, cryptographic expertise, and speed, and you’ve got a platform primed for growth. All it needs is developers to take advantage of these unique talents.

So what do these next-generation ICP apps look like? They are a reimagining of Web2 technologies, with crypto-currency and blockchain features added in as an extra bonus.

Currently, the bar to get involved in the world of crypto is high: it’s an overwhelming alphabet soup of jargon with potential scams waiting around every corner. But applications built on the Internet Computer can remove this barrier to entry by making their core features centered around things people already want, and then adding in crypto features to enhance and grow the community. Instead of crypto being a solution in search of a problem, it’s the perfect finishing touch that really ties the room together.

Some examples of applications on the Internet Computer that are already doing just that:

DSCVR — On the surface it’s a Reddit clone built on the Internet Computer, but look deeper and there are layers of crypto functionality empowering its users: each Portal (subreddit) is a DAO, enabling community leadership and voting. DSCVR is under constant development, with new features being added regularly, including token gating, NFT airdrop abilities, and more. It’s a message board, it’s a next-generation crypto community — it’s both! Integrating crypto features provides a path for future growth, empowering its portals to unlock crypto’s potential for community building.

Catalyze — Catalyze is the newly upgraded WeAct, a Web3-enabled Discord killer. Smartly targeting social-good communities, Catalyze put SocialFi functionality at its heart, integrating chat with NFT and crypto features. Wallets are built in at the app level, providing a smooth onramp for new-to-crypto users. Catalyze can’t launch soon enough, so I can move some of my own communities from Discord (which goes down every time AWS has a hiccup).

Distrikt — Distrikt offers a level of polish I’d like to see all apps strive for. They smartly have native mobile apps deployed in the iOS and Android stores, opening the door to mainstream adoption. Logging in doesn’t require a wallet, seed phrase, or other crypto-specific gatekeepers. Instead, the app takes advantage of Internet Identity, the Internet Computer’s native identity management system that offers anonymity and security through biometric login systems already built into most of our phones.

These are just three examples of social apps that are leveraging the Internet Computer’s core strengths. But there are so many more waiting to be built: Photo sites that allow you to license your images as NFTs. Instagram competitors that allow the use of crypto for tipping, sales, and licensing of content. Membership systems that use NFTs in new and unique ways. Gaming communities with blockchain-enabled leaderboard. Games with NFT components that empower players instead of seeking to nickel and dime them. DAOs that fund projects led by communities.

Users are out there, hungry for the next big thing, and the Internet Computer is an unplowed field of unlimited potential just waiting for developers to take advantage of it. Developers can bring these two resources together and build communities and businesses that reward everyone involved. With the power of the Internet Computer at your fingertips, massive success is just a single DFX DEPLOY command away.

Like the whispering voice says: If you build it, they will come.