We Want it to Feel Like a Cross Between Gardening and Going to a Rave: Q&A with Matrix Founder Justin Zheng

Avatar of David BanysDavid Banys
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We sat down with Justin Zheng from Matrix, a new platform for supporting creators and creator communities online.

We were eager to hear about Zheng’s vision for creating gamified creator communities and what that might mean for the future of gaming. We also wanted to know about how to build a two-sided community from the ground up.

Let’s get into it!

Matrix (mtx.gg) is a new platform for supporting creators and creator communities.

Matrix (mtx.gg) is a new platform for supporting creators and creator communities.

Railway: Matrix has gone through a couple of iterations in its early stages and is now focused on building a platform for brands and creators to engage with fans. What can you tell us about the story so far?

JZ: We started off as a stock market for Esports teams and did a bunch of iterations in the space. However, there wasn’t a lot of market need for this and in my opinion there still isn’t. I don’t think that pure “economic/market” plays do too well with consumers.

We’ve now shifted to a model where people earn better community experiences instead of financial rewards. We want Matrix to be a product where someone can feel like they’re cultivating a community while also having a great group entertainment experience.

Even though it seems like two very different experiences on the surface, the product experience should feel new and exciting – something like a cross between gardening and going to a rave.

The Matrix dashboard gamifies interactions that you can have with content creators.

The Matrix dashboard gamifies interactions that you can have with content creators.

Railway: One of the things you guys talk about on Twitter is that you can build a product on-chain without users knowing it. Can you say more about that?

JZ: Nothing on our site says “blockchain” or “crypto.” People never need to make a wallet.

For us, crypto has a use for interoperability with other platforms, but this is an infrastructure system that shouldn't necessarily be exposed to the end user.

To the user, Matrix is just like using any other social platform. Our goal is to cut latency down to parity with a Web2 platform.

Railway: What can you tell us about the early adopters on the platform? Creators seem to be coming from different gaming backgrounds and online communities – how are you identifying creators to work with and what are you looking for in early partners?

JZ: We’re super lucky that my CoFounder Louie is a former Clash Royale world champion. Through him we’ve been able to make a lot of connections in the gaming space.

We’re primarily looking for creators with active and growing communities that are open to experimenting with us to build-out the platform together.

Each creator has a leaderboard of top fans on Matrix.

Each creator has a leaderboard of top fans on Matrix.

Railway: What can you tell us about your use of Railway so far? What have you been able to accomplish with the help of Railway?

JZ: We use Railway to host all of our databases. Railway has allowed us to quickly spin-up hosting for anything we need.

We’ve also moved data storage that didn’t need to be on-chain onto Railway. This mix between on-chain/off-chain gives us a good mix between building an interoperable platform and having the speed that consumers expect.

In addition, due to the simplicity of Railway and its SQL client, we’ve been able to onboard our non-technical or less-technical members onto Railway to let them interact with our databases.

Railway: Where does Railway fit into your development cycle? What attracted you to Railway in the first place?

JZ: Railway has completely eliminated any other database provider for us. We use Railway for data storage in both Production and Development. We also store user account information, on-stream data that updates live, user progress, and more on Railway.

Railway was initially attractive due to the ease of use and aesthetics of the platform. It’s by far the best looking DevOps platform I’ve ever used. It’s literally a work of art compared to AWS dashboard lol.

Railway: What else can you tell us about Matrix? If readers would like to learn more about the product, where should they go?

JZ: We’re super excited to create stronger, more connected, and self-sustaining communities. The best way to learn more about us is to follow our Twitter at @YouAreMatrix and to check out the site at mtx.gg!