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Why Collaboration is Key to Sparking Blockchain Progress

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Blockchain’s most revolutionary feature isn’t that it can turn crypto investors into billionaires. It’s the platform’s ability to form immensely detailed, immutable, and universally accessible databases of information. This immutability is unique in the technology world, rendering it highly useful for any applications that require record verification. And combined with sophisticated data analytic techniques, the blockchain can become a powerful tool for recognizing patterns and new areas for innovation, as sophisticated programs can be built to comb through layers and layers of blockchain data.

It’s a powerful platform, and some of its most exciting capabilities are unlocked through collaboration. Partnerships thrive when communication between parties is clear, and too many joint ventures fail because ideas and information are transmitted haphazardly even when both halves try their best. Because blockchain is immutable and accessible, however, it provides incredible opportunities to facilitate collaboration. Two or more partners working on a blockchain project have a venue for clear cooperation–one partner’s addition to the blockchain is immediately accessible and well-documented for the other. In this way, blockchain is an ideal tool for facilitating productive relationships.

But can collaboration help us build a better blockchain landscape in the first place? Companies such as Next Big Thing ( believe it can. NBT is an Internet of Things and blockchain company builder operating out of Berlin to launch promising companies around the world. Its whole business model is focused on collaboration. Entrepreneurs apply to work with NBT by sharing feasible ideas for Internet-of-Things-based products (which often incorporate blockchain as well). Accepted entrepreneurs work together as partners with NBT to develop their ideas into full, innovative startups. NBT staffs a wide array of technical and company-building experts, and collaboration between NBT and entrepreneurs allows both knowledge-based acceleration of the company-building process and fresh outside ideas and entrepreneurial autonomy from idea creators.

NBT’s CEO Harald Zapp  says: “As a company builder, mentoring and nurturing entrepreneurs is part of our DNA. The NBT founders and leadership team applies their expertise in serial entrepreneurship and business development to grow innovative yet feasible business models with our Entrepreneurs in Residence. Our in-house tech team shares first-hand IoT knowledge to speed up the right technological solutions. Our collective approach accelerates the learning curve – giving first-timers a head start in the race.”

Together with the Fraunhofer Institute and the Factory, NBT is a central spoke of the IoT Hub, Berlin’s deHub, Germany’s digital hub initiative by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy. This means when entrepreneurs and developers join NBT, they are instantly at the center of research, technology, in the vibrant startup scene in Berlin, and able to grow within our extensive network.”

In short, NBT is an environment that runs on collaboration. And collaboration has many long-recognized benefits in the business and technology spheres. When people from different backgrounds join together–whether that means they’re from different industries, or countries, or any other one of the numerous complex ways groups differ from each other–the combined knowledge and perspective base of the product teamer is greater. And it’s greater in a way that’s more than just the sum of its parts. When collaborators bring different expertise and different ways of thinking and talking about problems to the table, each collaborator can take the stimulation they receive from their partner’s opinions and ideas and use it to further build their own thinking, which they can then share with their partner to further stimulate their thinking, and so on. When the collaboration is taking place in an environment of many partners, this effect is amplified in a kind of network of stimulation and ideas, as each participant benefits from and adds to the other’s expertise.

NBT creates these networks in an environment that’s full of entrepreneurs, tech experts, and business launchers. And that environment has created some impressive startups. While nrgen is building a decentralized digital infrastructure for the energy markets of the future, assistr is advancing humane healthcare with IoT clothing and weeve implements a data trading platform between IoT devices using blockchain technology. The diversity of fields explored by NBT companies reflects the power of collaboration across industry boundaries–when ideas from two different sectors are combined, powerful tools can be created. Blockchain and the Internet of Things are two particularly useful tools for disrupting industry spaces. NBT sees potential for IOT and blockchain-based innovation in agriculture, healthcare, property management, security, energy, industrial and consumer processes, and transportation. These are areas that work best when smart data collection, management, and analytics are in play, but suffer from inefficiencies.

Collaboration is an essential tool for any innovator or business entrepreneur, but it offers particularly exciting possibilities for blockchain innovation. The network of ideas and innovation feeding on innovation that emerges when collaborators come together is perfect for creating new and disruptive tools with this promising technology.

How do you see collaboration changing the blockchain landscape?



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