In this episode, we speak with Evin McMullen, CEO and Spoke Lead at Stow Protocol (formerly Linnia). Stow Protocol is a web3.0 backend-in-a-box that helps developers build decentralized applications without knowledge of cryptography or solidity, and gives end-users control of their data. We cover a lot of big topics in this discussion such as how the Stow Protocol team uses design thinking for building a backend protocol, how they are thinking about business models, their approach for roadmap planning, and much more.

Evin and the Stow Protocol team have taken a really interesting approach to prototyping and validating assumptions. With an emphasis on building enough to host hackathons, they are planning to use those events as a way to get concentrated user feedback. For those trying to understand the challenges of developing more infrastructural and backend products like Stow Protocol, this will be a particularly interesting deep dive into that world.

We also spend a lot of time hearing from Evin about how the team has confronted and pushed through tough decisions about strategy. Having worked at companies trying to make the most of user data, we really had a great time exploring how Stow Protocol is trying to make a more equitable web by giving users control over their data and better, more secure access to developers.


Show Notes

  • [0:31] Episode intro
  • [1:24] Evin’s background and path to crypto.
  • [4:35] How Evin’s experiences growing up ultimately drew her to the philosophical aspects of crypto.
  • [11:25] Overview of Linnia protocol, history of the project and what problems they’re aiming to solve.
  • [18:52] Where the name Linnia came from.
  • [19:24] The team’s perspective on tokens and the potential for a Linnia token in the future.
  • [21:47] Evolution of the problems and solution space Linnia is focused on.
  • [26:00] Who was involved in honing the problems to focus on, what we’re their roles and what did the process look like?
  • [27:57] How does the team handle conflict and pivots in strategy like how much decentralization is ideal?
  • [30:50] The team’s approach for validating who their ideal users are and market sizes for each.
  • 35:18] Thoughts on evaluating the competitive landscape and the fuzzy line between competition and collaboration.
  • [39:27] Perspective on business models in the crypto space.
  • [44:39] Approach to validating assumptions.
  • [48:15] Linnia’s application of user experience and design thinking process.
  • [55:24] Prototyping tactics.
  • [57:55] Challenges that are unique to blockchain from Linnia’s perspective.
  • [1:05:44] Team size, composition and responsibilities.
  • [1:09:02] Stakeholders in the Linnia ecosystem.
  • [1:14:05] The Linnia product roadmap and process for putting it together.
  • [1:17:27] Interesting tidbit about Evin.