I've done a bit of research on ICOs, but it seems the most important information is always missing: what do ICO token holders get for their tokens? How can those tokens be used to derive value from investing in them?
I understand every ICO is different, and I'm not looking for any kind of exhaustive list. But a few examples would be nice.
If holding an ICO token only gives you the right to sell it later to a willing buyer, then the fundamentals of the token are all that matters - not the health of the company doing the ICO. In this case, I would hardly even call it an ICO. It would just be another alt coin.
If holding an ICO token is to have any value related to the issuing company, it needs to have some kind of value that grows if the health of the company improves. An obvious example would be if an ICO token were equal to X% of the company's equity, or if it were equal to X shares in a situation with VERY well defined share inflation parameters (ie policy around issuing new equity). But my understanding is that tying an ICO token to a company's equity isn't legal in most cases (unless you're doing a plain old IPO).
So do ICO tokens usually give the holder a right to demand something of value (and importantly, something who's value grows as the issuing company grows in value or some related success metric)?