What can BitShares do for me? How easy is it to jump on there and make it do what I want? The most important thing is getting the user experience right. The light wallets and on/off-ramps, etc., can make this thing easier to use. I understand the cost-per-user calculation, but what about a pain-per-gain calculation?
At the moment, the pain is the huge freaking hassle of getting started with gateways and exchanges and Bitcoin and then having to arm-wrestle this client, etc. And that's if you even understand how this thing works. To get that far, you'd need to see some value for yourself from the gain side of the equation also.
That side of the equation is simpler, though, since BitShares offers a great deal: instant transactions, nearly zero cost, market-pegged cryptocurrency, plus the upcoming possibilities with user-issued assets, and a ton more. So if people actually understand it, the gain side is monumental; this technology is earth-shattering and transformative. But the pain side still makes these benefits very hard to sell, even when one successfully manages to explain one or more of them.
I'm not only hanging on here, but I just increased my BTS holdings by 10%. I think this is going much, much higher, but it's not easy to change the world.