I have said it several times already. This year and this space has been tough on a lot of people for a lot of reasons. What's remarkable is the amount of commitment, desire, drive, energy, passion, positivity, resilience, support and more that I see on a daily basis. You are all remarkable and have a lot to be proud of! I want to talk about founders, adulting and asking difficult questions today.
This is a topic that isn't talked about enough. The expectations of founders in this space, by founders and their communities. When our Twitter Spaces started, something Beluga was a huge advocate of is removing some of the expectations creators places on themselves. No one can expect anything for $5, beyond the art, it's just not reasonable. And think about this in terms of a product in a shop. If you spend $5 what to you get? Do you get 24/7 access to a founder? Do you get cutting edge tech? No. You get a product that you can use. As an example, sticker books. Have you ever completed one for $5? Do you get exclusive membership access to Panini for that? What do you get for $5, think about it. Art is enough.
Founders place unreal expectations on themselves for a lot of reasons. Some of it is the perceived success of others, some of it is the want to deliver on their dreams and promises, some of it is over excitement. There are plenty more reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is often desperation. Desperation to 'make it' and desperation to prove themselves. You may wonder at the second part of that statement. This is their dream, their chance to deliver and their chance to prove a lot of people wrong (family, friends, work colleagues, the world). This adds a lot of internal pressure.
A lot of founders (almost all of them) aren't BAYC or Pudgy Penguins. They don't have full time teams around them and they can't afford full time teams either. They are working in their spare time to build their dreams. They need support, not more pressure. I understand why people want to see projects be successful. People buy into them because they believe. That could be belief in the art, the founder, the team, the idea or belief that they will be able to sell for a profit. If you don't work together with founders, it's hard to achieve any of the goals associated with any of that.
What does a project founder have to manage? A lot. They have to build their idea and then execute it. They have run social media channels, especially Twitter. They have to manage a community in Discord. They have to be visible so people stay believing. They have to create art as well as the idea. They have to budget and plan effectively. They have to build and manage a team. And unless they come into this space with a lot of resources (finance and time) they have to do all of that and more in their free time. The pressure is very real.
The best thing anyone can do to work towards success, as a founder or as a holder is work together. As much as founders need holders to grow and promote their ideas, holders need founders to deliver. Without holders support, founders struggle to deliver, no matter what their intentions. Burnout is a huge risk and then no one has anything apart from some art.
To finish this point, if a founder who is working a job full time uses everything up just to try and maintain this industries expectations, what will they have left for you? Patience is a virtue, and one this industry desperately needs to learn. 100X's are very rare, 10X's don't happen often and in the current market a lot of traders are happy making a 1.25X on an NFT, and when it gets there, they will sell. Profit is their main driver, this isn't a problem, just something founders should be aware of. Right now the vast majority of people in this industry fall into two camps. Builders and Traders. The casual investor has run away until the next Bull market.
Something we all have to do at times is adulting. This is something I haven't done as well as I could have done in the last year for a lot of reasons. This space is very distracting, if you hadn't realised! I have enjoyed the freedom of not being tied into a property since my partner left, a while ago now. It is time to sort that out (not the partner, the property!). The first steps were sorting out some wheels so I can be where I want to be and now I have a lovely Ford Fiesta that needs a name. She is sleek and a little nippy, I am sure her name will come to me eventually (my first car was called Lucille and my last car was Gloria).
She wasn't cheap, over £3,000 all said and done for an old new car. Although I did get it back below £3K by scrapping Gloria. This was painful and a little upsetting. It's amazing how you can become attached to a machine. All of that aside, the way the rental market is working in the UK right now means that you need to view a property to rent it. I am about 250 miles away from where I want to live, and it is difficult to view properties 250 miles away without a car!
I want to be back in North Devon, ideally with a river view in Bideford, hopefully it will happen sooner rather than later. I can at least go and look now. I have some other real life stuff on the horizon. It's 3 weeks until the first anniversary of mum's passing and this is going to be tough. My work gave me the day off, without me asking. That means a massive amount and to feel valued and appreciated is huge.
I ask difficult questions. The hardest ones are the ones I have asked myself. In previous blogs (that need to be uploaded to Paragraph) I have delved into this in some detail. My life dramatically changed 5 years ago. I lost both my remaining grandparents in a very short time period, I was on a medical steroid prescription for an illness and then my partner of nearly 12 years walked out on me for another guy. In the space of less than 6 months, everything changed for me. I was in a hole for a while and it was a hole I did not want to be in, but I did not know how to get out of.
It wasn't until I started to ask myself some difficult questions about who I was and who I wanted to be, that things started to change. And so much has changed. My physical appearance, my mental approach to life, a job I am happy with as well as other things. All of that has enabled me to create the opportunities I have forged in this space, for me and for those around me. And I do create opportunities. If you have followed me for any time, you will have seen this. I want to build things that help anyone interested enough to support. I think I do a good job of that, and I haven't truly started.
I have always stood up for 'The Underdog'. I would fight corporations for people that I thought were being taken advantage of. But I didn't do it in a positive way, not for myself and likely not for the people I was trying to support. The weight of the world was something I always felt on my shoulders. My vision of fairness was a crux. And some of that was definitely due to the people I hung around with, including my partner. Find those that lift you up, it is so worth it.
How does all of that translate to the Web3 industry. It just does. There are arguably more barriers and unfairness in this industry than there is in the Web2 industry and you know where you stand in Web2. The companies care more about profit than the end user. In Web3 it is the same for a lot of companies or entities, they just talk the Web3 game very well, when in fact all they see is that their end users are their latest cash cow. I will ask questions of those people. I am here to breakdown barriers to entry not build them up.
Those barriers could be financial, knowledge based or access related. I don't care. Web3 for me is about reducing these barriers to give everyone the opportunity to be who they want to be. My latest line of questions is around AI. I am not going to deep dive into that here. People who take offence to me asking questions aren't worth me worrying about. And if they are offended then they should dig a little deeper and not just read the 'headlines'. The vast majority of offence is taken, not given in my opinion.
We need to ask questions, especially when we are playing with technology that is exciting, innovative and potentially (probably) world changing. Those that aren't willing to ask questions are far more dangerous than those that are, at least from my perspective. And believe it or not, I do not like conflict. I like discussion and debate with reasonable people that are able to see another perspective without losing their mind. Asking the questions I do, about the things or platforms I do, creates conflict. And I still ask, because I know how important it is. Not just to me, but to those around me and potentially for far more.
My latest NFT was sent last night. I will be sending an email to all of my holders soon. This will include a form to be included in my 30K Twitter followers celebration, if you want. No pressure, but the 15K one was epic.
It doesn't necessarily get easier as such. Life in general that is, but our attitudes towards life make a huge difference on how we feel. Being happy is a choice, at least for me it is. That was another difficult lesson to learn. Choose to not be offended, choose to make a difference and choose to smile. Have an amazing week and I will catch you next Friday.