[Thoughts #34] The 3C Framework

TPan's Holy Trinity of evaluating NFT success

Hey there! This is my first “Thoughts” piece. Last week, I shared an update on how I will be categorizing my newsletter content which will consist of:

  • Shorts: <5 minute read

  • Thoughts: Medium length read 🤔

  • Dives: Think Harvard Biz School case study. Deep but fun 🤓

Whenever I share my story about how I got into NFTs, I always credit STEEZY, where I led Growth and Marketing prior to diving into Web3 full-time.

What does STEEZY do? They’re an online dance education platform helping people learn how to dance, no matter where you are or what your skill level is. Not to mention they almost have 1 million subscribers on their Youtube channel because their content is 🔥.

So what the hell does an online dance platform have to do with TPan’s experience with NFTs? Everything…for me at least :)

Even though my professional background has honed in on the more quantitative aspects of Growth and Marketing, I’ve always appreciated the qualitative aspects of those disciplines through my interests.

Thinking through what really attracted me to NFTs and my existing work experiences really helped me formulate my broader hypothesis around NFTs:

  • Why are NFTs taking the world by storm?

  • Why is crypto and Web3 so hard to understand?

  • Why are certain types of people more/less attracted to NFTs?

  • Why are certain NFT projects successful while others aren’t?

It isn’t perfect, but I’ve developed my own POV around NFTs through the core pillars of Community, Creators, and Culture. Otherwise known as the ‘3C’ framework.

But first, let’s get back to STEEZY, dance, and how that experience helped me to formulate my 3C framework.

Dance and the 3C framework

Let’s set the record straight: I am not a dancer. I basically have two left feet, so I am the ideal STEEZY customer. Fortunately, STEEZY has helped me to be more comfortable in my own skin on the dance floor.

When you switch ‘NFTs’ with ‘Dance’, the 3C framework holds quite well.

Let’s go through it:

Community: Dance is inherently a social activity.

  • Learning how to dance? Go to a studio and learn with peers.

  • Going out to dance? Do it in a group setting where you are dancing with your friends and other people.

  • Want to get serious about dancing? Join a team or crew that practices and competes together.

To foster community, STEEZY created a private Facebook group as a substitute to the in-person factors community provided. Naturally, those that were active in a community were more active with STEEZY and generally showed more progress with their dance journey.

Creators: Whether you know it or not — If you dance, you’re a creator with your body. You can choose to amplify the creation by posting it on social media, but you’re creating regardless. You can do it poorly (like me and my rigid jerky movements lol) or expertly, but. you’re. creating.

Culture: Dance is now at the forefront of mainstream culture, thanks to a big assist from Tiktok.

  • Numerous network TV shows focusing on dance have popped up over the past decade: World of Dance, So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing with the Stars, America’s Best Dance Crew, the list goes on.

  • If you see someone dancing, they’re automatically cooler and sexier, that’s a fact. If you disagree, you can unsubscribe (jk, plz don’t 🥺).

  • Breakdancing will be an Olympic sport starting in 2024.

  • Nike recently released a shoe specifically for dancing and has partnered with dance superstars such as Bailey Sok. I wish I were that cool when I was 18…


A post shared by bailey (@baileysok)

NFTs and the 3C framework

Now that you have an idea of how I connected the dots for Dance and the 3C framework, NFTs make more sense.

Community: NFTs are a shared experience with projects having a bustling community of holders and fans. The most empowered version of a community is a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) where members are able to propose and vote on initiatives to push the organization’s efforts forward. Bored & Hungry is a great example of how a NFT community is empowered to propel a project forward through aligned incentives.

Creators: Many NFT projects in the space not only support creators, but it puts them first. Whether they’re famous like Beeple with a record breaking $69 million sale to artists that are dipping their toes into the NFTs, creators are more empowered than ever to do what they do best. Create.

Culture: When mainstream media starts talking about something, you know it’s part of the culture. With early adopters from gaming, media, sports, and music coming in, NFTs are going to become ingrained in our day to day.

Cool and cringe at the same time

Applying the 3C framework

So we’re in general agreement on the framework. What does this look like in action?

I believe that successful NFT projects don’t need to nail down all the pillars of the framework, but need to execute at least one of the pillars really well. The other two pillars help to augment the project’s primary pillar while nailing all three lead to a top-tier project. What might this look like?

Community-led: Pudgy Penguins was a project left for dead but was revived through a strong community and a new project owner that is dedicated to the long-term success of the project.

Creator-led: FewoWorld is a project by Fewocious, a 18 year old artist that has shot into the spotlight. His works have been sold at Christie’s for hundreds of thousands each.

Culture-led: Goblintown has captured NFT culture in a bottle and is continuing to capture everyone’s attention in the space.

What does this mean for us:

For consumers:

  • If you like a project, why do you like it?

  • How is the value of the project you’re a part of derived?

  • Which of the pillars of the 3C framework does the project lead in, and where does it lag?

  • Is the project making an effort to address the lagging pillars? Does it matter?

For NFT creators:

  • Which of the pillars will your project lead with? All 3 are important, but it’s difficult to nail all 3 out the gate.

  • How do you balance each of these pillars pre-launch and post-launch? What are you willing to trade off?

  • If you’re already an established Web2 company/brand - What pillars can you easily migrate over from Web2 to Web3? What will you have to build from the ground up? Are you able to build that pillar from the ground up with your existing set of resources?

Below is an example of how to evaluate a project in a simple manner.

Successful or not, it’s hard to say. However, having a mental model like the 3C framework will help us to better understand the crazy world of NFTs a little bit better.

See you tomorrow folks!

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