Cover photo

Picture yourself buying a Zombie Punk in 2017

First Tweet: August 7th, 2009

Cryptopunks Website

Cryptopunks Twitter

Founders: John Watkinson & Matt Hall

My 3 Takeaways

  1. Ship, ship, & ship: John Watkinson and Matt Hall (Larva Labs founders) did not build a industry defining project overnight. The duo started Larva Labs in 2005 and have been hacking and shipping projects since then. Initially they started off by building apps for the music space. And eventually progressed to iPhone games and then of course ended up finding their home in the NFT space. Their journey is a testament to continuous iteration.


The project they shipped right before the Punks was called Road Trip.

  1. Slowly, then Suddenly: It took several years for the Punks to gain the momentum and floor price we know today. In the first 3 years, the community was slowly building up. And then, eventually all the pieces were in the right place and the project took off. There really isn't such thing as linear growth with community and traction. In the early stages of any brand, founders and creators have to simply be consistent and focus on building and selling. Initially, the goal is to find the right audience.

    It's worth reading David Perell's piece on "Audience-First products". The Larva Labs founders didn't really know what the Punks brand would end up looking like. In the first 3 years, Matt and John were doing a waltz dance with their early community members and let the Cryptopunk meme take a life of its own.


  1. Digital Status: @gmoneyNFT wrote an awesome thread explaining why he bought a Punk. Simply put, they represent digital status. This is obvious today since we all know that the Punks are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. But what amazed me was seeing tweets from the people who were buying Punks from the 2017-2019 period. They had the foresight to understand what the Punks were starting to symbolize before the rest of the market.

    The analogy that clicks for me is thinking of early to mid 2020 when Clubhouse was starting to pick up steam. Those who realized that the app would takeoff and started their own shows and stayed active early on built a huge following very quickly because they understood the potential.

    A question we can all ask ourselves: How can we sharpen our foresight to sieze the right opportunities at the right time?

    How can we better interpret what memes will find meme market fit in culture?

    How can we better interpret what products will find product market fit?

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