Do you own any yet? I do, I bought a jpeg of a rabbit, a mummy and a fame lady. I wanted to learn what it was like to buy digital art. Before we know it, there will be a ton of information circulating on the internet, or IRL (in real life) about the blockchain’s version of digital art, NFT’s. So, for the sake of this article, we’ll start with the basics. What does NFT mean?
Every time I look at my social media messages these days I get a number of questions about the topic. I’m working on two of my own NFT projects. One is small scale, personal, art based and has tiny collaboration with other amazing artists. The other is going to be a company in and of itself, already includes a team of six people and will likely launch in 2023.
These things take time, but people want answers right now. People are hungry to learn about the space and the conversation is only just starting. So, I created a short montage of interviews I have done over the last couple weeks with leaders in the space. This article is pretty dope. But feel free to check out the video too because you get to hear it from the real experts.
So What Does NFT Mean?
To get right to the point, the acronym stands for Non-Fungible Token. While I would love to take a huge dive into Web 3, the metaverse and digital assets, I don’t have time, yet. I am currently focused on learning business, followed by filmmaking. “Justtries NFT’s” as a deep learning experience will just have to wait. In the meantime, I will share a quick introduction to answer this question, what does nft mean, beyond the simple acronym.
An NFT is a unique digital token. This token could be gifted, or purchased. And, this token can represent, or give access to anything our imagination can come up with. It could simply be digital art, to be collected, traded, or sold. It could also provide utility, something tangible you expect to receive for owning the token.
If this asset is rare, it gives few people, perhaps only one person ownership over it. It may also be part of a collection that allows you to be part of a greater community, or membership by owning it.
These tokens are represented in the digital sense by any type of media content. You can mint any type of video, images, audio, or files that can be bought, traded, or sold. Someone could transfer this asset to someone else free of charge. Or, it could be purchased by using cryptocurrency. In some rare cases like NBA Top Shot, using traditional currency, or fiat. In this first podcast trailer, Jennifer Sutto Aka Jenny from the blockchain shares how top shot got her excited about the culture.
The Non-Fungible Part of What Does NFT Mean
According to the dictionary, fungible means a contract is able to replace or be replaced by another identical item because these things are mutually interchangeable. One for one, if I trade you a dollar from the same year, it’s the same thing. Each one is the same.
Whereas, when something is deemed non-fungible, it is unique, or one of a kind. Examples in real life of something non-fungible could be one of one sneakers, trading cards, or diamonds. Each one is unique.
Web3, and the metaverse will be a massive space. Arguably this space will be greater than the internet as we have ever known it. And one of the most valuable players of this new wave of technology is the ability to have non-fungible tokenization beyond real life assets. Now, we can verify ownership of digital assets with the use of blockchain technology.
Ethereum is an example of the most popular blockchain to date. It stores the contracts on a chain of code, proving authenticity for that content. The metadata and transaction history of everything on the chain is trackable by everyone. There are many layers to the technical side of things, a ton of definitions and examples of many blockchains beyond ethereum, but that will have to wait until we build out the NFT specific brand.
I’m going to tell you about building NFT projects and why they are valuable. But, first, let me tell you why I’m so excited about this new movement.
Why I Am So Excited About NFT’s
I’ve always had a level of superstition around things that I intrinsically appreciate. I’ve always loved my Sleep Is For Suckers hoodie. In fact, it’s the first thing I ever shopped for online. I feel it represents me as a person. Simply by owning this shirt I feel a part of a movement. I’ve also been nostalgic about collecting things like golf balls from courses I’ve played. I hold on forever to certain books, or artifacts that have had an impact on me over the years. If something involves michigan footbal, aliens, ninja turtles, or the color F00A7F, I’m all in!
I am not a collector because I need to gather physical goods. And, I don’t like to trade things. I collect, because I appreciate the sense of ownership over a mission that those things remind me of. But, I am also a minimalist and so I don’t like to hold on to boxes of things that don’t bring me great joy as Mari Kondo would say. And my wife probably couldn’t stand to look at many more books. So, digital assets, stored outside of plain view really excites me.
The other, perhaps more valuable reason, is that owning a digital asset makes you an immediate member in a relatively scarce club. If you were to buy a non-fungible token from the majority of current projects out there, you would be one out of ten thousand, max, in the world who own such a thing.
We’ll get into why this can be so valuable in a moment, but for now, what really got me super focused on this space last year?
Gary Vee Made Me Fully Believe
If you follow my content, or coaching closely, then you know that I have been a big fan of Gary Vaynerchuk (Aka Gary Vee). I’m a fan because of his ability to help his followers stay ahead of the curve. He holds nothing back when learning about entrepreneurship and goal setting. And his take on digital ownership has been equally impressive for the last ten years.
Gary has talked about the concept many times. On podcasts, blog posts and on social media, he has stated on many occasions, this will be huge. It will be as big of a change for society, technology and culture as anything, ever. He has said it will rival the likes of the invention of the internet, or the rise of social media.
I personally knew about blockchain technology pretty early on. So, I’ve been excited for a long time. But, the content from Veefriends, Gary’s first NFT project pushed me over the edge in early 2021. This was my first NFT purchase. So what the heck was I buying?
Well specifically, I bought a Veefriend known as Radical Rabbit. It is one of eight in the world and it grants me access to Veecon, a social media, education and culture conference for the next few years. It also allows me to be part of the community that is known as “VF”. In perpetuoty, I will be able to access any perks, or benefits that could become available to members in the future.
Why Are They Valuable?
I get this question a lot. People want to know why the heck would anyone want to buy a digital picture? In one of my interviews with Josh Ong, aka Beijingdou, he raised the topic of “right click save”. Many haters of the digital art culture will say that they can just screenshot the image. This is true, so what makes it so special?
Josh goes on to mention that we can copy many things in the real world. We can make a replica of a painting, buy knock off purses, or glasses, but that the actual value stems from certainty that it is the real thing. That one person, or one group of people are owners of the real thing with certainty is what brings legitimate value.
Beyond the fact that the asset can be connected directly to the rightful owners, there are a number of factors that play a role in determining the specific value proposition of an NFT.
NFT Project Value Basics
I created the video, What Does NFT Mean? to show some of the basics on the topic of digital ownership. And, it serves as the trailer for my new podcast, coming soon, specific to Web 3, the metaverse and NFT’s.
In the video, Max Lyman, aka Crypto Jesus said that there are three things you must have done well to succeed with a great NFT Project. He said you must have great art, community, or utility. I would change art into content. And, I would add one more thing. I would add brand marketing.
We could argue that brand marketing is simply how effective you are at sharing the fact that you have great art, community, or utility. But, I feel it’s important to have it as a fourth pillar of a great project. In fact, in some cases, there have been companies that succeed with great marketing alone. In these instances you might get nothing from ownership, there may be a non-existent community, and the art is not particularly strong. Yet, there is so much hype that it sells out.
It’s also important to point out that “art” isn’t necessarily a digital painting, or 3d render. It could be a photograph, a podcast, or short video. Really, it could be changed to media, as opposed to art. But, I do think that such media content is your art.
To recap, I will state that art, community, utility and brand marketing make up the four pillars of a successful NFT project, or company.
One of the best examples of content based selling is Fewocious. His art, which can be seen on his website, was simply too dope to ignore. While he will likely hit on all pillars in his career, this young artist had the best paintings, which can be seen at his site “Fewocious”.
The media that you buy, trade, or sell could be art. But, in theory this does not need to be art. You could simply upload a blank square. You could upload a document, or any number of digits. This is content though.
You are uploading some type of content to buy, trade, or sell. This could be a book, an audio clip, video, artwork, or any other file. Essentially this answers the question, what are you uploading that people will be able to see and share?
Tori Batt is another artist who brings the heat when it comes to the art itself. She hand sketches all of her assets with pencil. It should not be under-appreciated when people put time, energy and effort into their artwork. Sure she will find herself in many ways building community, utility and brand. But, her art again was just too good to ignore and this was the main focus.
The community, in my opinion, is the best reason to own an NFT. By owning that asset you are now part of that community. Therefore, if the leadership team and fellow community members want the group to succeed, teamwork and collaboration will be evident. In the video, Kelsey Cole brings up some super cool community advice, to simply give, give, and give some more.
This also brings up the idea of social currency. You may want to identify as part of this group because it raises your status in some way, shape, or form. It may be the case that you just love having a sense of camaraderie and finding friends, or family that really understand and appreciate you.
There are many amazing community driven projects. And to survive, all of them will build community as a brand. But, one stands out because of a story that simply writes itself. The day that a few young Russian dude’s tried to scam five thousand plus people, a super powerful narrative and community was born. FameLadySquad is by far and beyond one of the best community built project there is. In fact they have grown with negative brand power, backwards utility, no cash flow and art that was catchy, but not overly creative. Yet, the community itself continues to march on and increase leverage. A true underdog, comeback story made for Hollywood.
This can be helpful, but can be a bit more difficult to predict if there is not an upfront promise made to collectors. Utility means useful, beneficial, functional and, or profitable. One example of utility is the fact that I can attend a conference exclusively for owners. Another one might be the development of a tokenization system that allows you to make financial gains from the ownership.
There is no upper limit to how great utility can become by owning your asset. At any moment, a founding team could decide to add a benefit to holding that token. Basically any way to reward, give back, or create products and services, free, or paid, but exclusive to owners is where this concept comes from.
A couple solid examples of utility driven personal brand projects are front of mind for me. The first is Ish Verduzco’s NFT Marketing Playbook. By purchasing the NFT, you unlock a guide to marketing your project that you can then resell to others. It’s a genius way to create an actual tangible benefit from day one, but still be able to re-sell. You can check out the play book at Ish’ Web 3 marketing site.
Similarly, Buster Scher created his “utility mics” which supports the growth of his podcast community, while at the same time rewarding holders with exclusive opportunities and gifts. You can buy his mics, or access the discord through the Buster Opensea page.
There is a reason I didn’t simply write ‘brand’. The ability to build direct campaigns, and share the value proposition exists beyond the existing brand. It may not be ethical. But, you can be successful by running a campaign to shill your project in a short period of time. Perhaps even anonymously.
There is a reason I didn’t simply write ‘marketing’ either. The ability to scale an NFT project on the basis of an existing brand is quite clear. When the NBA, NFL, or any popular hip hop artist launches a project, it succeeds because of fame. The name behind the brand created all of the leverage, regardless of having good media, utility, or community.
The reason why Veefriends will succeed long term is because of unfathomable utility. People get access to conferences, free asset drops, merch and many more surprises simply for owning a token. While this utility and community are second to none, the art was done by Gary himself with a sharpie. The people who bought into this project did so because they had a deep belief in the brand. Vayner has built an incredible level of trust over the years. From thank you economy to 12 and a half and everything in between it has been consistently creating leverage for that right hook.
Should Everyone Get Into NFTs?
Pretty well everyone will get into NFT’s. That’s the really interesting thing. In the conversation right now we see people view NFT’s as something that those interested in tech, or digital art would be interested in. But, in reality, nearly everyone will be impacted by the rise of this shift in our digital landscape.
Soon almost all of us will have digital wallets that store our assets in. I can think of many different use cases. Tokens could represent the courses you have achieved in school. They could take the place of tickets to any form of concert, or sporting event. NFT’s will be the way in which many musicians, poets and authors finally make a living from their work.
So, the short answer is yes, you should get into NFT’s. But, don’t do it for the money. The culture has taken a turn toward flipping them for a profit. While this is a potentially successful way to use these assets, as the space matures, so will our mindset. We will see more consistency around buying items with a ten year, or forever plan to hold that asset.
I feel like everyone can really succeed on their own by continuing to research, learn, ask questions and try things out. But, if it interests you to have some support and coaching en route to achieving your own big dreams, feel free to Apply For Coaching and we can find something that over delivers to you.
Stay Tuned For More On What Does NFT Mean
I could go on forever about this topic. But, that was a lot to take in if you are new to learning about non-fungible tokens. In a way we are all new. Having studied this for a year, there are too many things I would love to mention.
We could learn what it means to set up a digital wallet, how to build the four pillars of a project, and where you can trade, or buy. We could discuss immersing ourselves in the metaverse, or how to create the digital art in the first place. This is a lot, so we will have to wait until we take a deeper dive into the topic on “JustTries NFT’s”.
Besides, I want you to check out the video “What Does NFT Mean? And hear from such wonderful interview guests.
There are a few projects in the works for me and I can’t wait to share them with you. We will work like crazy to build amazing art, community, and utility.
This trailer is released before we build it out. So many people asked about the topic that I didn’t want to wait any longer. Please stay tuned for the new podcast that talks specifically about Web 3, metaverse and tokenization.
Be the first to know when these things drop. And, have access to subscriber only opportunities by signing up to the JKL Newsletter. Or, by texting me at +1 (313) 710-5499. You can also check out my existing podcast. It is geared toward helping you learn to achieve your goals and growth mindset. But, we do have some NFT specific guests coming soon at The LEARNED Podcast.
An article like this can also be super overwhelming because it makes us think of so many “ideas”. Check out this article that I wrote about curing this feeling. “Three Cures For Overwhelming Dreams” can help you feel empowered to focus and follow one of those dreams.