Do you need a Roadmap for NFTs? – Updated for 2023

NFT roadmaps have almost become part of the integral launch strategy of all NFT collections.

The at-a-glance long term vision, and the journey and path on how the start-up planned to get there, was usually mapped out for early NFT traders to buy in to and use as part of their due diligence.

It formed part of the overall research of the buyers and gave a visual representation of the founder’s vision and strategy.

Although many NFT collections have a roadmap in one form or another, is a roadmap needed to launch an NFT collection?

A roadmap is not mandatory to launch an NFT collection, but it depends on the type of business behind the project. A roadmap is a useful for start-ups looking for seed capital to create a service, game, or tool. For artists, musicians, or those projects without an underlying business, a roadmap is not required.

Rarely did an NFT collection launch during 2021 that didn’t have a roadmap. Twitter account, Discord Channel, Roadmaps and Whitelists were the four main features every NFT collection included within its marketing content to entice NFT buyers.

This changed in 2022 with the arrival of one NFT collection that not only had no business behind the launch, but no Discord, no whitelists, no roadmap, and no utility – yet it went on to become one of the biggest NFT collections of the year.

Proving NFT collections do not need roadmaps to successfully launch.

Having researched and analyzed hundreds of NFT collections over the past two years I want to share some insights on how roadmaps became part of NFT collection strategies, when roadmaps are absolutely necessary and how one NFT collection changed the shape of future NFT collections.

What are NFT Roadmaps?

An NFT roadmap is a high-level visual representation on the journey and key activities an NFT project was due to undertake to achieve their business goals and objectives. An NFT roadmap is subject to change based on how the business grows and whether a change of direction is needed.

It gave those NFT buyers looking to get in on the project an overview of how the startup intended to achieve their vision and the timeframe to succeed.

Although all roadmaps, like all business plans, are subject to change as the business grows and potentially pivots, they formed part of investor due diligence.

Here is an example of a real NFT roadmap from the NFT Crowdfunding Group:

NFT Crowdfunding Group Roadmap
Copyright: NFT CF Group – The Roadmap

The Importance of NFT Roadmaps

Without an NFT roadmap there is no ability for a potential investor, or crowd funder (as essentially this is what some NFT buyers are), to understand how the project will reach its potential, how long it will take and what steps it will follow to achieve them.

Without a roadmap there is also no accountability. How can anyone judge or monitor the progress of a startup without a blueprint.

A venture capitalist will not invest into a startup without a clearly defined business case, strategy, and timeframe.

The same applies for startups looking for seed capital by selling NFTs in a crowdfund style and approach.

They will want to know how long the business will take to develop its offering, attract a market, and launch their product. This will provide a basis on how long a potential return on their investment will take.

Unlike the majority of crowdfund initiatives, NFT buyers look for two key factors as a driver for buying in to NFT projects:

  • A healthy ROI
  • Utility and benefits of owning the NFT within a project

The NFT roadmap helps to illustrate and bring to life the founders idea.

On the other hand, in 2022 a new NFT project called Goblintown.WTF launched. There were none of the usual features or characteristics associated with almost every successful NFT launch that preceded it.

There was no Discord channel, no whitelist, no utility, or benefits of owning the NFT and importantly no roadmap.

On paper, this should not have been successful, but it went on to become one of the biggest NFT launches of 2022 and made the founders over $4 million, proving that not all NFT projects need a roadmap to launch and sell out.

NFT Projects that Need a Roadmap

If so many NFT projects launched with a roadmap, but we’ve seen through the success of Goblintown.WTF it can be done without, it may be helpful to look at the type of NFT projects and businesses that should not launch without a roadmap:

  • Play2Earn games
  • A Business Startup requiring investment to build and grow
  • Software or SaaS solution
  • Web3 Project or Development
  • Where utility or rewards will be offered in the future

As you can see from this list, each one of these is a long-term project or business where immediate benefits are not realized.

If you intend to launch in the future after software has been coded, games have been designed, teams are recruited, marketing has time to bring in an audience and the finished product is ready to launch, then you need to give some idea to buyers how and when this will happen.

A roadmap will give clarity to buyers for businesses that will take time to get off the ground.

NFT Projects that Don’t Need a Roadmap

If you’re planning to launch an NFT collection without a roadmap it may be useful to compare your startup, venture, or the idea behind your collection against the project types below.

These are project types that have been proven not to require a roadmap before a successful sell out launch:

  • Free Mint Projects
  • Launched concepts where benefits and utility are immediately recognized
  • Vibe and chill type projects
  • Art
  • Music

These type of projects are best defined as immediate type businesses and concepts.

They do not require weeks or months of development to be realized, and for anyone who buys in to an NFT their rewards or reason for buying are immediate.

A long-term vision roadmap isn’t required if the NFT project doesn’t require one!

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