An NFT Collection Is Not Just Art; Because It's a Memory.
As the NFT (Non-Fungible Token) industry starts to come to life, there is a concept that few have adopted yet. This article is the basis of my perspective.
An NFT collection is not just art; it’s an experience with the best of them leaving lasting memories.
Does this mean artists making NFT art are worthless? No.
Does this mean photography NFTs are worthless? Again, no.
There are of course exceptions to this and I’m not at all interested in arguing over semantics. We all know that there exists no harmony-filled ecosystem of absolutes and perfections. This article primarily stands for individuals that start creating a project for the money and not because they were a creator previously facing an existing limiter that could not be surpassed.
Before we can understand what the most popular NFT collections will become in 2022, let's first understand where many new creators start and why it's the wrong direction and a path littered with failures. Often many individuals start building their first NFT project believing the experience coming will be as simple as:
- Make art
- Code smart contract
- Mint (Make money)
- Make community
That is wrong in so many ways. If you're thinking about making your first project and wonder how to make your project unique or how you're going to assemble the right team. Here's the fool-proof method:
- Stop. Burn everything
- Try again when you have the experience needed
Now, not everyone will be an expert the day they launch. That's not an expectation for any part of life.
— — — THIS ARTICLE IS BLASPHEMOUS. BAD. GARBAGE.
If you cannot plan, run, and build a project when creating it, it's not your time to launch a project.
— — — IT'S AN OUTRAGE!!! I AM NOT READING THIS ARTICLE.
If you think I wrote this article with you in mind, you're right. Precisely the person that gets frustrated at this perspective is the person it's intended to reach.
— — —THIS MAKES NO SENSE.
As we build a project in this space, you expose real people to actual harm. There is no reality where an efficient market exists without regulations as it does today. So, here we sit among the fire, being forced to personally accept that we've wrestled with the concept of holder-related obligation. That we understand the unspoken human-to-human oath you've sworn without saying a word.
It doesn't matter if we attempt to skirt the mention of SEC with fancy words. It doesn't matter if we forget the rules and procedures to create a security mechanism. It doesn't matter if we make a community-owned collection to renounce ownership to a DAO subsequently. None of this matters.
This isn’t true for just NFTs. This is human society as a whole. Your fancy mind tricks can work on others with words-crafting and a little marketing juice. Yet, the point remains simple to understand. This is a moral consideration and realization of where you've chosen to draw a line in the sand. Will you cross it?
When launching a project, you can't quickly determine the inner and moral obligation you (often unknowingly) set in your perception of what ethics are and how stringent you are on staying true to your compass.
- Can you collect $2.4m in minting proceeds and objectively fail even to deliver that level of value?
- Will you be the one to argue that if your minting sales out, the collection is worth that, and your job is done? (Art 🤌)
- Are you going to join the long list of people introducing dilutive mechanisms to extract money from a collection of people further?
The list of existential questions to ask yourself is endless.
The moral significance you will instantly feel the second the money becomes real is matched by very few experiences in life. The weight on your shoulders that you will feel is unparalleled. The network of friends and family you will need around you to proceed cannot be overstated. That's because this is a situation in reality that generally should not exist.
Are you prepared for that? This is the Digital Gold Rush.
I don't blame anyone for wanting to try launching a project of their own. They probably have an incredible grind and mindset in the enormous scope of life. Probably also a little people management experience, so building and managing a community is easy… Right?
Reality is far more brutal than many choose to accept until they are forced to. If we zoom out, the most common response to telling someone they should stop building until they are more familiar with the industry is: If my holders purchase, it is their responsibility as they choose to click buy.
While that's technically true, that's an effortless way to end up in a situation that many never consider because it's deemed so unlikely. Yet, it's the most likely outcome for a grand majority of project founders.
How does this happen?
We're cavemen. A civilized society is determined to build ever-modernizing ways to drain and then deploy the same liquidity in a never-ending cycle of consumption, spending, and accumulation. Today in 2022, you've found one of the best mechanisms to do so.
In 2018 while everyone was focusing on dropshipping other individuals were establishing their empires in the crypto and NFT space to be the experts come to the inevitable bull cycle. There appears to be more money accumulated into a single niche that is more easily extractable than ever before. That is what you've stumbled into now.
So, while we have all been accumulating our positions, building a brand, and laying the concrete pillars of our metaphorical skyscrapers, you were busy missing it. And now that you've found it, you have to hurry, or else you will miss it, and all the money will dry up, and your opportunity to be one of the few thousand that secured millions instantly will be gone forever!
— — — HAH! IT COULD NOT BE ME…
But that's all a lie. This is not a fleeting second in time where there was lightning that you had to capture in a bottle. This was not a second in a time of the constantly expanding universe that would soon vanish as quickly as it appeared. That is not what you've found yourself walking into this time.
Welcome to the actual future. If you haven’t realized you arrived, let me be the first to say welcome and I hope you find your home quickly. Things move fast and stumbling through the streets like a vagabond is rough in the Metaverse.
You don't have to take advantage of people by extracting money and never returning a tangible value. We can build an experience to remember together, but that is not possible with misaligned incentives or desires.
Making art and minting a token will not fulfill your obligation as a creator. No matter how bad you want, that to be true. If someone is paying a price you set, you deemed that token with that value. If you don’t want to battle this value concern, launch for free and make it about the art/experience. The ability to change this reality is not something you will manifest with a strong desire. This here is the raw reality of what follows when you subject a large group of people to what could be a significant financial loss.
So what does fulfill that obligation? For many in today's environment, everything that follows the initial sale.
— — — UGHHHHH, I DO NOT WANT TO WORK FOR MY MILLIONS…
Launching an NFT collection is not done in a few seconds, no matter how simple these TikTok videos make it look. We live in reality.
Where people make $3m in the blink of an eye, you're going to have to work non-stop to maintain any future revenue potential. The work you will do will vary. You'll wear a million different hats, and the nights will be sleepless. The variation between failed collections is minimal in this regard. Many share the same type of failure: creator breakdown.
The best creators? They have support systems, plans, passion, and countless other things that help them stay and operate at their best.
Teams doing something special are the constant in a successful project.
The teams that came together through a common desire of building their passion together reliably outperformed every other team origin-story. The losers? The groups formed to cobble together a machine primarily focused on extracting liquidity from the market.
Yet, even building a team isn't a fool-proof method that suddenly unlocks all the potential you had stored up in your brain. Keeping thousands of people happy is extremely hard. That is an entire stadium of people. Keeping every family member at Thanksgiving happy is difficult. You don't think multiplying that by a thousand suddenly makes things easier, do you?
Many amateur creators will quickly leapfrog here to the idea that the solution is faster building and more left-hand distraction tricks rather than ever pulling the bunny out of the hat. That's another path of destruction, yet it's a simple one to imagine, so let's keep moving forward.
Which finally brings us to the point of realization. The tokens of the best NFT collections are not just art, a simple game, or even a community. Simply put, they are an experience in every fantastical application of the word.
The experience is not limited to the typical confines of what modern-day society has grown to view entertainment as. It's far grander. As a project is built, many gain the entertainment value equivalent to that of 50 to 100 movie theatre experiences with the family.
Often in the fleeting hour of our day-to-day lives, we fail to realize the amount of entertainment and human connection offered by so many of the most significant NFT collections. Even this is just one tiny part of the entire picture. We have the special events secretly planned and built by the team to deliver an experience holders will remember for quite a long time. We also have all the planned things on the roadmap! And oh yeah, all the IP of the brand and collection. Still, that's not the whole picture. Still not it.
— — — HOW CAN THAT BE?
More succinctly, the project failed to deliver this type of experiential value that persists through time. The bests experiences at their core are nothing more than a memory. If it’s not remembered, time was wasted, whether it is your time or on the cosmic scale. The second an experience becomes a memory, the doors of the future are unlocked and blown wide open as the dream reality unfolds in front of your eyes. Without memories, the creator is back on the treadmill of "What now?" as the barking of their holders becomes louder and louder.
An NFT collection will not make it unless they form memories in the holders’ minds. When that memory expands outside of the existing holder base, the potential becomes exponential, and the gates of project death disappear as if they never existed.
The entire idea of building an experience relies on the idea that it is an event in time strong enough to leave a lasting memory on real people in the world. That is power. If your project can't deliver that, go back to the whiteboard. Go deeper into your desires. Find your passion and spread it. That is how memories are made.
Is your passion poorly drawn cartoon animals? I don't think so. If you aren't prepared to make memories, your NFT collection isn't ready to be launched. If creating experiences strong enough to become memories seems daunting, stop and come back when you're ready.
Successful NFT collections aren’t just art because they’re just memories.