Lisk is best compared to Apple’s own language (SWIFT) or Google’s own language (Julia). They’re trying to provide a language that lets users create decentralized applications run on it’s consensus algorithms to form side-chains, which can have their own tokens if needed. From the business perspective, they’re a bit like MongoDB in providing a set of tools that lets developers do unique work.
The value of Lisk is directly generated by whether developers actually use it to run their dapps. In app-land circa 2013 or so, there were many similar platforms attempting to enable mobile app developers plug into third-party services to run their web application in a streamlined fashion. The main issue was whether third-party services could support a successful business once they got past a million daily active users. In many cases, that led to considerable technical issues that had to be addressed by re-developing the web application (made harder by not interrupting service). Lisk may run into the same issue. Fortunately, with the number of active users in dapps, its capacity to handle more users overall should also increase. That, however, places a premium on qualified delegates (parties who run security and implementation of Lisk side-chains). So there are still questions about whether the qualified delegates will increase in proportion to the adoption of lisk.
The company is trying to incentivize delegates by enabling block mining only for them, and are also trying to incentivize dapp developers by wrapping up their entire API in Node.js and JSON (already widely implemented in web apps everywhere). So they’re definitely choosing something that is easy to adopt. The main risk is whether anyone actually will adopt, whether their community can scale with that adoption to address the potential technical issues.
Lisk’s main value proposition as a smart contract platform