After several years of a bull market, entrepreneurs across industries — including many Web3 creators — are facing sustained bearish market conditions for the first time. While it’s important not to panic, Web3 creators can’t ignore or hide from prevailing economic conditions if they hope to survive until an upturn.

There are smart strategies that can see those in the Web3 community through current conditions — often refocusing on the fundamentals is a place to start. Here, 16 members of Cointelegraph Innovation Circle share important things Web3 creators should focus on during a bear market, and why.

Focus on a slow build through meaningful, long-term connections

Web3 project creators need to keep things authentic to their brand and really put their “consumer hat” on when making decisions. It’s really easy to get carried away with wanting to have “the biggest idea in the room,” but it isn’t always the most effective strategy. Nine times out of 10, focusing on building your brand 1% at a time through meaningful long-term connections is the most effective strategy. – Chloe Janicki, Nightshift Agency

Play the long game

Now is the time to focus on projects that recognize and reward things like engagement, loyalty and evangelism. The bull market money-grab days are over. – Jamie Tedford, Tokns Commerce

Don’t lose conviction

There’s a reason NASCAR drivers only focus on the road ahead, not the obstacles. Similarly, Web3 project creators need to be focused on the mission and not be distracted by what seems to be a constant stream of bad news in the mainstream media. Celebrate your own success and become one of the strongest #BearMarketBuilders! – Ganesh Swami, Covalent

Set scaleable foundations for future favorable markets

In bear markets, you need to be long-term-minded. You might not see the amazing ROIs on your growth efforts that you see in bull markets. Set foundations that are scalable in more favorable markets. Also, build your network while things are calm; crypto bull markets are crazy, and you won’t be able to get people on the phone. – Ty Smith, Coinbound

Clarify your vision and build for the long haul 

Don’t waste this moment. I’ve been through several downturns, and while they can be nerve-wracking, I’ve always found them to be great learning opportunities. This is an ideal time to clarify your vision, cement your team and build for the long haul. But first, you have to do an internal audit to make sure you’ve got the right mindset. You’re signing up for a war that might take years to win. – Shafin Tejani, Victory Square Technologies

Remember the silver linings

It might be painful to build in a bear market, but there are some silver linings. First, the obnoxious “carnival barkers” have mostly gone away. Too much oxygen was sucked up by the loudest, many of whom had agendas. However, the most deeply engaged builders haven’t gone anywhere. And second, projects with a tech advantage and product-market fit are weathering the storm. Once the sun reemerges, they will thrive. – Brandon Neal, Euler Labs

Work to provide value to users

A bear market is the best time for Web3 projects to specifically focus on continuing to build great solutions and platforms that will provide value to users. That way, when we emerge from the bear market, you’ll have something great to promote and hype to the world, and journalists will be eager to share your story. – Ayelet Noff, SlicedBrand

Put full focus on utility and continual value-add

Building during a bear market allows full focus on the utility and continual value-add of the project rather than the token price. Bear markets are a long-term necessity and a valuable test for projects, because market downturns reveal and eliminate the unviable in favor of those that actually serve both creators and consumers. – Jae Yang, Tacen

Consider how your project impacts your audience

During leaner times, luxuries lose ground to the essentials. In these climates, builders should consider how their projects impact the everyday experience of their audience: Is it innovative enough to stand out? Does it offer a solution to a real problem? Can its utility reinforce its value? Answering these questions honestly and proactively could help you avoid the pitfalls of purely value-derived assets. – Oleksandr Lutskevych, CEX.IO

Turn to spaces for connection and collaboration

A bear market entails a shortage of capital as investors disappear or sit on the sidelines of the market. Only a handful of serious project developers, entrepreneurs and long-term investors stay back to support each other. In such times, incubators, launchpads and accelerators give a space where developers and businesses can connect and collaborate to sustain themselves and the industry overall. – Vinita Rathi, Systango

Don’t neglect networking

A bear market is not a time to neglect networking. Building is very important, but you need to recruit and find more available talent, co-founders and others who will earn sweat equity through your project. Don’t silo yourself — get out to events and connect with others who are more willing to partner and be collaborative, or work with you, in the bear market. Network constantly in a bear market. – Brian D. Evans, ReBlock Ventures

Find product-market fit

Market fluctuations will always exist. But the road to building, surviving and thriving in a bear market is to find product-market fit. Identify problems or gaps first and then think about solutions. Build for purpose, not for hype, and the market, in time, will correct itself. – Yaoqi Jia, AltLayer

Carefully monitor operations and spending

A bear market is the complementary cycle to a bull market and is necessary for every industry to grow and consolidate over time. Since Web3 is a relatively new industry, project creators should be very careful with managing their operations and spending. A bear market is the perfect time for projects to focus on building innovative products for the next bull run. – Carmelia Ray, Kindly

Build, build, build

For better or worse, bear markets usually eliminate a lot of “freebie” tools to promote and gain support for your project, including overhyping it by implying big profits for users. This can be a positive thing, as it helps projects focus on building long-term growth. AWS, Google and other major companies grew up during times of bear markets. Now is the time to build, build, build! – Sandy Carter, Unstoppable Domains

Prepare for crypto’s next growth cycle

During a bear market, Web3 project creators should keep in mind that now’s the best time to prepare for crypto’s next growth cycle. Exploring partnerships and integrations while building out your infrastructure and key features will ensure you’re well-positioned for success when crypto hits its next bull market. – Molly Glennon, Ditto

Manage your money

The most important thing for a Web3 project creator during a bear market is managing their money. What we have seen in the past is projects holding their money in cryptocurrencies in the hope that they will go up and generate a longer runway. This is, of course, not only irresponsible but also not viable in the long run, as we have seen through the cycles. – Sami Rusani, Rusani Ventures

This article was published through Cointelegraph Innovation Circle, a vetted organization of senior executives and experts in the blockchain technology industry who are building the future through the power of connections, collaboration and thought leadership. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Cointelegraph.