Mint Season 5 episode 6 welcomes Will Collier, co-founder of Decent.xyz, one of the more innovative and experimental music NFT marketplaces that have been making quite the noise lately. From fractionalizing royalties to optimizing artist liquidity through bonding curves, they’re focused on helping artists capture more value from their careers.
Will is an experienced entrepreneur whose origin starting a food non-profit very much overlaps with his new mission to change the old systems in the music industry.
In this episode, we discuss:
- 00:08 – Intro
- 08:57 – Decent.xyz Origin Story?
- 13:38 – Current State of Music NFTs
- 20:06 – Why Should Fans Collect Music NFTs?
- 23:24 – How Current Market Conditions Affect Music NFTs
- 26:15 – Web2 Fan vs. Web3 Fan
- 31:41 – How is Decent Strengthening the Relationship Between a Fan and Artist?
- 44:29 – Music NFT Price Psychology
- 51:17 – Decent.xyz Roadmap
- 54:39 – Outro
…and so much more.
I hope you enjoy our conversation.
Support season 5’s NFT sponsors
1. CyberConnect – https://cyberconnect.me/
2. Coinvise – https://coinvise.co
3. Mint Songs – https://www.mintsongs.com/
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Will Collier, welcome to Mint, my friend. It’s about time. Thank you for being on.
Will Collier: Of course. Thank you for having me, man. I am stoked to be here.
I’m stoked to have you, Decent has been making a lot of noise, we did what, season four was all about the music industry. And then the recap article I named dropped Decent because I was excited to have you guys a part of season five. Season Five is here. Here you are. So, let’s just dive right in. Who are you Will? I always start with an intro. Who are you? What does the world need to know about your like, what’s your background? And how did you get your start into crypto?
Will Collier: Yeah, so I guess hello world, I’m Will, glad to be here, I, I got my start in crypto back in 2017. A couple of my buddies from school actually introduced me to it during that sort of, you know, 2017 Bull Run. It’s, I mean, it’s a crazy small world, I feel like when you when you get into the space and so it turns out one of my good friends from school actually was an early member of the uniswap team. And so, so he got a few of us into it back then. You know, it wasn’t something that I dove into as a builder, or I think got too deep into for a little bit after that. But you know, thank God, he introduced me to it then. And I guess my background, I went to school at Brown University, I graduated a couple years ago. That’s actually where I met, you know, two of my co-founders. And my, my love for music starts far before then. But my journey into music started freshman year. One of my co-founders, Xander Carlson, he himself is a musician and artist. When I first met him freshman year, he was just, it was actually pre his current artist’s project. He was releasing his distributor account sophomore year, he recorded his first album in our dorm, he was still independent then, signed to an independent label junior year, senior year he actually signed to Sony palm tree records. And so, he’s been touring now for a while with cargo, he just had his first headline tour. He’s one of my best friends in the world. And it’s been you know, an absolute blessing for me to have that experience right on the sidelines of his growth all the way through every level of this industry. And so that’s been so special and something that’s been inspired me to get in and really want to work with him to change a lot of the inefficiencies and some of the I guess the macro problems that he has seen and experienced first person as an artist in the industry and so that has been really special to witness and now become a part of with him.
So, he’s had a big impact on I guess your journey into music in web three, right? Also, palm tree cruise is a big name in the space as well. Brett shear has been on the podcast season three, big music NFT collector as well. So, it’s interesting how small worlds are also I’m under the impression that we know similar people as well so my homie Bobby who was in YC with you also and AJ Eckstein, I guess who was with at a center with you or something like that, right? Okay.
Will Collier: Yeah.
Also, great friends, great friends. So small world, so your love for music, okay, I guess a lot of your path into wanting to work in this space stemmed from your friend, from what I understand but the origin of where your love for music, like kind of where does it start? Like are you a musician?
Will Collier: So, stint in music is actually, it’s half in, I guess a little embarrassing. A lot of people wouldn’t guess but I started as many kids do. I played piano you know.
Okay. There it is.
Will Collier: But, then in middle school, I joined the choir and in high school I actually sang acapella.
Will Collier: And so yeah, so something I actually don’t think I’ve talked about very much at all with people in the space, but I love singing, I love the, I think music in general is just so as it is for everyone. It’s just so I guess emotive and emotional and so that side of music is amazing. I love the way it makes me feel and the way that it makes others feel, but personally, I’ve never been creative enough to actually write and create that music myself. And so, you know, kudos to everyone that is able to because it’s insane.
So that was actually my next question like, at some point did you ever feel like you could do it professionally. Alright, so, I’ve been playing the drums. I think if you’re like a frequent listener, you know, I’ve been playing the drums, I talked about it a lot. But I’ve been playing ever since, like five years old. And I never thought I could pursue professionally because there I never thought there was money in it. For the most part, despite all the idols that I’ve watched, like growing up, and despite how good I thought I was, or at least what people told me, I never felt like I could do professionally because I could never, never make income from it. And I always be competing with the gospel drummers and all the people that play like grew up playing in church their entire, like, I don’t, I’m not gonna get too into it. But music NFTs are like the kind of like the aha moment for me like shit, I’m an idiot, like, I should maybe pursue music, and it’s dropped into this space.
Will Collier: I think one, something that I you know, I haven’t put much thought to in the past, but from what you just said, being someone that was, I guess, performing or being, you know, being a part of music groups, you know, casually as a kid. I never had that thought like you asked if I could do it professionally or make a career out of it. So, I guess I never, at that age thought too hard into, If I wanted to, how would I? But truly, I think something to what you said, as an aspiring musician, as someone that’s younger, knowing where to start and knowing Okay, I have my music, I have maybe some smatterings of people that think I can make it, some smattering of people that believe in what I do. Or I, you know, through the internet have built a small following maybe have gone viral. I guess. There’s no and to this day, there’s no real equation or there’s no one path as to how to get started in music. And I think that is something where, for example, I mean, just sort of comparison to if you leave college and you want to go you know, work in finance, or you want to go do a job path that is pretty marked out. I think that’s a lot less daunting than going and saying, well, I’m going to be a musician, where do I start? Right? I think that, like you said, music NFTs. Being able to rally together with a community, with a small group of people that believe in what you do. And then use that, that small network and slowly grow and build that together and work with this team or community around you are one of our main goals. Our mission with Decent is how do you accelerate and actually make it easier for anybody that’s looking to grow an audience, grow each to actually do that, through these interactions, through his engagements and by leveraging today, social networks and digital opportunities that have made it so easy, yet also so hard to get access to these audiences and this this broader sort of success in music, right?
Yeah, yeah. So, speaking of Decent, how did that come about? Well, every project has a really interesting like origin story. I know. You guys are a few co-founders, you guys went through Y Combinator. You guys’ recently finished Y Combinator. So, congrats on that.
Will Collier: Thank you.
Decent.xyz Origin Story
And I’m curious, like, how did you guys like all come together and say, okay, we need to build this new vehicle for the music industry. And we need to do it in a way where we envision a completely different vision because if you go on Decent, you see that you guys are actually up to something completely different. Which is cool to see which we’ll talk about more. But I guess before we even get into that, what is the origin story? How did Decent get started?
Will Collier: Yeah, so like I said, you know, that, I guess problem statement of artists, not necessarily capturing the value that they should or could be seeing the different inequities and deal structures throughout the industry that all really you know, stemmed from that experience of Xander but also, you know, from what I’d seen on the sidelines, and so we had started talking about how NFTs and the blockchain could play into being a part of that solution in early 2021. And we actually were lucky enough to, the team really came together in the late summer or early fall, all four of us, Will, Charlie, Xander and myself, we came together, Charlie got introduced through a mutual friend to me and Xander who had been ideating around, you know, the, the nascent idea of Decent for a few months had had done a bunch of artists interviews, and, and you know, unbeknownst to us, Charlie had actually been building a very similar platform, or, you know, his mission, his vision was the same as what we were doing. And so, we got introduced through someone that knew what each of us were working on, said, hey, I think you’re doing something very similar. And it was incredible. I mean, we actually all sort of clicked immediately it was, what was really cool. And I think actually, almost a metaphor for what we have continued to build in our buildings today is Charlie come to the same conclusions about the different inequities and what artists were facing. But from a very analytical perspective, his background, he went to Princeton, studied behavioral economics there, actually in college wrote a few papers about Bitcoin and, and the dynamics within those markets. And he was working in investment banking, but actually on the, in the music industry, in the music sector, so covering M&A and different deals between independent music technology companies, and so having to do a deep dive into them and figure out you know, what are these companies and how are they plugging into this independent artist journey
And so all the conclusions in what he was building, which was very, on point aligned with what Xander and I had been thinking was from this extremely analytical and sort of economic model based approach, whereas, you know, our approach thus far, what we had been really building before was also completely artist interview and in qualitatively driven and so by combining both of those things, and figuring out what is the best way to use some of these economic models to really optimize value opportunities for artists, while also making sure that the way that we come to those conclusions is figure out and talk to artists, figure out what is needed, what is what would be used? And then ultimately, the how of how did we then build the best opportunity to capture that, we came together, and it all just clicked. And so that’s sort of the initial origin there. But we really, I guess, I would say, the true. The true beginning really was sort of that they release what we did in December, and then ultimately, how that played into you know, the sprinting growth that we’ve been, you know, journey we’ve been on the last four or five months.
Current State of Music NFTs
So, since December, the music NFT space has kind of like has gone crazy, quite berserk, actually, artists are getting liberated, left and right. New works, new types of genres are appearing from like autogenerated music that I’ve never really heard before. It’s all these really cool things that artists are getting creative about, to these new economic models, which is something that’s also unique to Decent. And we’ve seen like an insane like rise, an insane rise, and a lot of that was covered during Season Four and why I’m continuing it on season five, I want to understand Will, but from your point of view, like how do you see the current state of music NFTs?
Will Collier: Yeah, I think music NFTs is a very broad term. Right. And I think everyone acknowledges that the, in terms of music NFT releases and platforms and different opportunities. There is in our eyes, I think, a little bit of a stagnation in sort of the movement of how things are happening, and the way releases are, are being marketed and occurring. Even though it’s you know, just this first year of music NFTs, it does feel like still to this day, the most prevalent, most leaned upon opportunities are, you know, limited editions or one of one. And there’s still either platforms or sort of central entities that are setting fixed prices. And there’s, you know, limited quantities in certain ways. And I think it’s, you know, obviously there’s a lot that goes into innovating and moving past and building on top of these things. But I think one of the core theses of how we’ve been approaching at a Decent is the only way that we’re going to continue to figure out what the true product market fit of music NFTs is as an industry or music NFTs as a disrupter, or an augmentation to web two music, is by just trying new things, and ultimately saying, okay, what did we learn from this last one? What was good? What was bad? How do we then keep the good? Well, finding new ways to sort of cut out those negative externalities in certain ways?
So, how do we ensure that like collecting music NFTs, doesn’t just become a fad and becomes a part of culture, it becomes a part of like an innate action that fans need to do to support in artists, like how do we ingrain that into society? And do we need to?
Will Collier: Yes, I think the answer to do we need to is yes, I think actually, in a lot of ways, I think what we’ve seen is web three, you know, maybe it’s not going to be 100% of fans, 100% of collectors, that are engaging in these new ways, engaging at these higher levels. I think the amazing part about web three is from what we’ve seen, you don’t need a million, two million true fans, you don’t need more than maybe even 25 or 50 so far. But if you’re able to, I guess have that true fan community, you can then you know, work together with it, leverage it in certain ways that can ultimately lead to greater growth, I think sustainability is the most important, most important part of making sure that and scalability, that this is something that sticks around and ultimately, that’s where with Decent, we really are trying to look at you know, what is the relationship? What is the artist getting out of the relationship? But what also is the fan getting out of it the collector, right, the marketplace or a transaction or a relationship? You know, everything has two sides? And I think there’s a lot of questions around how, and but also, I think the biggest question we need to answer for music NFTs is why right? In terms of why on the blockchain, why music NFTs? Why not, you know, just continue the sort of web two way of music.
Ultimately, if it’s very patronage based, collection based, that doesn’t necessarily to me feel sustainable, or like there’s long term, you know, vision associated or long term scalability. The why I think, with music, NFTs is, is like how are we using these new engagement methods between artists and their fans, artists and their collectors? How are these new communities and groups that are all you know, aligned on certain actions, that are aligned on value creation and ultimately able to, you know, have this incentive alignment such that by creating the community through music NFTs, by engaging at this, this next level, we like to say, you know, at Decent, we’re building this the next level beyond patronage, that post patronage relationship, the why of how that then allows independent artists, artists of all kinds to grow and accelerate their growth and actually grow their total fan base. I mean, if you look at sort of streaming fan base versus web three fan base, right now it’s truly bifurcated in a lot of ways. But how does web three integrate and augment the total success of an artist not just web three or web two, but both together that bridge that I think a lot a lot of times is, is debated whether it’s a bridge approach or a break approach.
Why Should Fans Collect Music NFTs?
Yeah, so thinking about like the why again, okay. What is the why right now for fans? Like why should fans be collecting these music NFTs, right? Whether it’s a patronage-based music NFT, whether there’s ownership attached to it and ownership again, that’s another question I have for you, like, what is ownership and web three, right, which we can get into later. But the first point is, like, why collect even? Like, why collect an audio file, right?
Will Collier: I think ultimately, it depends on the fan, right? It depends on the collector and what they’re, what they’re optimizing for, what they are really excited about. And in a lot of cases, so far, we’ve seen across platforms, across the music NFT space as a whole, a lot of people are excited by being able to support and discover these new artists that they haven’t before been able to find, a lot of it is relatively patronage based. I think the just acknowledging the crypto or NFT space as a whole, a lot of the hype and the current or the previous market conditions, I guess, this week has been, you know, a new story. But the hype of the first few months of 2022, there was a lot of speculation and flipping and growth of secondary markets. And I think, actually, so far, those secondary markets may not be entirely based on that same support and patronage. But it does seem like that a lot of that was sort of financially based. But I think that ultimately, the why for a sustainable long-term opportunity needs to really be more about what is the collector, the fan getting out of the relationship, getting out of the experience as well. I think the question around utility is a big question that relates to the why right? Is this relationship? Is it the being close to the artist? Is it that they are then in a community or in a chat or engaged with 4050? However, many other people that have similar passions, similar interests? Is it the opportunity to earn on this early support, early notion that this artist is going to be big, and I think the sustainable long-term answer is it needs to be a combination of it all? And there needs to be the ability for someone to participate, give early support, feel like they are winning as well, you know, create wins for not just the artists, right artists winning in terms of getting these new communities, these new resources, the upfront capital, all that, but also, for the fans, you know, the what’s in it for me is I think the most important, the most important opportunity for sustainability.
How Current Market Conditions Affect Music NFTs
Yeah. So, given the current market conditions, because you brought that up, like, is the affected? Like does that change? Like does that, does the relationship between the artists and the fan, different now that market conditions have tanked? And we’ve seen absolutely like, like, a destruction of everything. That’s like, that’s been happening.
Will Collier: I don’t think the Y changes, I think the Y is all that more and more, all that more important. The Y I think, is during a bull cycle, during a hype cycle, sometimes that Y can be a little obfuscated.
Yeah, it can become gray, it can come great when shit is down. Yeah.
Will Collier: And so, ultimately, the Y is I think going to be what makes it such that even in a bear market, there are buyers and there is demand, and there is this sustainable relationship that is not solely based on if I can, speculatively flip something or there’s going to be, you know, I guess liquidity through a secondary market or external buyers. But, you know, certain things that we’ve explored with Decent is the idea of assurances and the idea of liquidity and how, even with NFTs which, at a macro level across, you know, all verticals within the NFT industry, there’s not a ton of automated liquidity or immediate liquidity for NFTs. I think the big question that we look to answer is, what is that assurance? Or what is the sort of risk level for people entering and outside of the bull markets. In the long run, what are the next million, 10 million people going to need to be able to participate in these relationships, in this game and in opportunity with the artists and so, you know, that, you know, last year or so, the sort of early crypto adopters, I think, in the space as a whole, there’s a lot of, or there was a lot of, you know, irrational spending behavior, because it’s the hype cycle. And there’s so much value that’s been created over the last few years. But if you’re looking at now, we’re trying to get, you know, mainstream adoption, or the next, the next wave of demand into the space, that next profile of person is going to be a lot more of a rational sort of reserved consumer behavior.
Web2 Fan vs. Web3 Fan
Can you help me build a profile around what a web two fan looks like? And how does it differ from a web three fan, because it’s super important, and understanding this whole entire concept of what music NFTs is, where this excitement is coming from, who’s buying into this, what it means to them as a fan. And I think it’s super important, because a lot of collectors are obviously listeners, but not every listener is a collector, right? And understanding the differences between what causes someone to actually collect versus just simply listen, right? I think there’s similar, I think there’s similarities, like if an artist ends up opening, like an only fans or Patron, or Patron, or some other type of like, like subscription based platform to support them and their content beyond what’s publicly available, I think it’s like the person who subscribes to that is very similar into the category of who would fit into someone who may buy music NFT, maybe not at the price point that we’re seeing around $300. But at like a $20 price point, $50 price point, maybe someone who goes to a concert and buys merch, or buys the cups, or buys all these things, they would fall under that category, but from your point of view, because a lot of that the ethos behind Decent is bridging the gap between the artist and the fan in a much more intimate setting. Right. So how do you understand the difference between a web two fan and a web three fan?
Will Collier: Yeah, I think the sort of the, one of the core differences is that mindset of the relationship between the artist and the fan. So far to this day, it’s been very one sided, right, and I think through the distribution and the way that platforms work, even for artists, it’s a, it’s a very opaque relationship. And that’s something I think that has just kind of been accepted, you know, celebrity has been created, the idea of, you know, a person being a celebrity has been created, because there’s sort of a mystique around the fact that, you know, they’re being observed, listened, loved by, you know, millions of people across the world, but they don’t, they’re sort of at this higher level, right, you know, artists have been and different, you know, actors, whoever have been put on this pedestal, but I think web three, it does seem like the mindset shifts a little bit towards, oh, well, I love what this person is doing, maybe there’s actually a way that I can be a part of that, that I can, you know, get in and be a part of the journey, help accelerate what they’re doing. Be a mouthpiece for them as a person, as a brand, as an artist, as well.
The web two fan I think, is has also that mindset that in a lot of ways, the access to music, and music itself is something that is accepted as almost a given at this point, you know, streaming and the democratization of distribution and audiences through you know, DSPs and other platforms. The access to music isn’t inherent right and a lot of ways but that I guess the ways that people then decide to spend their money on you know, on the artists, isn’t that sort of merch opportunity. But in sort of the web three mindset, I think, really instead of being the artist and the fan in a transactional relationship where the mindset is, well, what can I give to this artist? What can I do to show my support in terms of just a transaction? It’s now, Will I have a lot that I can offer in a more active way? How do I participate and support and help them grow, but also retain, sort of, I guess, in this case, my piece of that because fans are really, in with artists are a part of that, you know, fans are the reason, the sort of momentum driver of artists success and so capturing sort of your small piece of this culture, this movement that you’ve helped create, and support and love and put yourself into now, it’s not just a one person at the head of it, but now surrounded by and appreciated and participated within, you know, a ton of different fans all working together would be the sort of mindset step, if that makes sense.
So where does Decent come into play now? Like, how does Decent focus on strengthenising? I don’t even think that’s a word. What’s the word that I’m looking for?
Will Collier: Strengthening?
Strengthening, strengthenisng, I’m gonna I’m gonna start using that I’m gonna make a word.
Will Collier: strengthenising works better.
How is Decent Strengthening the Relationship Between a Fan and Artist?
That is, right? strengthenising, I think that’s not a word, you guys will let me know if it’s a word or not. Strengthening. What is Decent doing to kind of strengthen the gap between the artist and the fan. And I guess that also goes into like, a lot of what makes you guys unique through this bonding curve model that you guys’ kind of went forward with? Can you talk to me more about that?
Will Collier: Yeah, ultimately, the big vision for the why, right, coming back to that, why, right. The whole point is to be creating more value for creating opportunities, tools, relationships, to better and accelerate artists careers, and where music NFT stand today, a lot of emphasis, a lot of the focus, it all comes around a mint. And in sort of a split second or a period of time, that’s relatively short, in which a lot of this value is captured in which a lot of this hype and marketing happens. And then postman, which is when I think the work truly begins and where the needle can really be moved is actually, I think it’s been under scrutinized or you know, there’s a lot of gaps to be filled there. And so, with the crescendo or bonding curve mechanism with that dynamic pricing model, the fact that you know, it’s community and network value, that is also you know, a part of that equation where, you know, the more people that participate and enter over time, there’s a correlation between then the price of the NFT as well as the returns to the community members as well. The idea is to really optimize and set the rails for that postman relationship because that is where we see the most important, the most important period for artists and their collectors and their fans and even today, I think the word community gets thrown around a ton. The idea of an active relationship, of you know, what can, or I guess the question is a lot of times what can the artists do to keep entertaining and giving utility to the collectors but I think that mindset again of it being an you know, a burden on the artists to give a or be making that utility or creating those opportunities themselves? I think that is a little misguided as well, but ultimately, how do the rails right, how does setting the ability for those active relationships to be incentivized, to be you know, made into a true opportunity for each individual within that artists community to share things with their networks, to spread the rich, to feel like they are, you know, actually making relationships with the other people that are also supporting the artists with the artists themselves. That postman relationship is where the needle gets moved for independent and emerging artists, especially being able to use that team around them. And that’s something that we think is deserving of a lot more focus than, you know, just that that initial mint. And so, with the bonding curves, with the NFT staking to earn social tokens and ultimately, you know, engaged to earn NFTs which we did with Marty Grimes, and are going to continue to roll out a few things along those lines. It’s I think, for us, it’s all about setting the rails for those relationships to happen, not necessarily giving exact instructions or being overbearing about that than takes form but making room for and creating the space for these artists and fans to continue to align and work together and create value jointly not extract value from each other, if that makes sense.
Yeah, that that makes sense. Hold on a second. Can you hear me?
Will Collier: Yeah.
Yeah, for a second. Yeah, that makes that makes a lot of sense. And I guess like more into your, like, your unique stack as to what you’re offering for artists that kind of makes you guys different from the crowd. I’d love to talk more about like the stake to earn right, models. And a lot of these like, defi primitive ask models that you guys have in place that introduce I guess more liquidity, right for artists and for fans. And I guess what that means, like big picture.
Will Collier: Yeah. Really, the, I think the opportunity to have something, you know, NF’s are really a reputation layer, right and NFTs themselves, the visual component, the, I guess, more tangible, excuse me, the more tangible, the more tangible sort of asset, the fact that it is something that has some sort of inherent in what it is, that is a big part of the sort of social side, in a lot of ways, sort of the cloud side of the why and music NFTs. A lot of people have talked about the fact that discovering music early now, if you do that, you can, you know, you can truly prove it on the blockchain have that NFT or asset that you can display and hang your hat on. But the defi mechanics, I think are something that is really exciting for how value can be elevated and created. Not just for the artists, but also for the fans and creators as well, where the, I think I said this earlier, we just want to find the best way for these digital models, these rails to be set so that relationships can happen and respond to real world artists problems, right? So, for example, when we first introduced crescendo, the bonding curve mechanism, one of the reasons that we did that was we were seeing that, okay, there’s a stigma that’s been created. There’s right now it seems like the market is trending such that metrics of success in music NFTs are a sellout. And how quickly did you sell out? And if you don’t sell out, it almost is sort of like what what’s going on? It’s a little bit, it felt like for a while they’re almost.
Will Collier: Failure.
So true. Yeah.
Will Collier: And so well, as an artist, it’s sort of counterintuitive to want to cap the amount of people that can support you, that can join your community, that can become this movement behind you. Yet, when you have something like a limited edition, that doesn’t necessarily have a fundamental value or an attachment to revenue or a stream of, you know, quote unquote value, then that initial, that scarcity, I guess become sort of the true value creator in that regard, right? But really, why? What is the true IRL logic of, well, if I want someone to be able to support me, someone else has to leave my community or someone else stop supporting me and so with the crescendo model, with the bonding curve, if there’s no hard cap on the amount, but as the fan, as the price discover, you can see that okay, right now, the NFT, if I wanted to buy is point two Eth, well, I might not value joining the community, joining this artists group, or, you know, what I’m going to get out of the experience at point two Eth, but someone else might and so, it’s allowing the market and the demand of the entirety of the market to dictate that true, I guess, scarcity cap or level, and similarly with the NFT staking, and also the vraicqueur model that liquidity I think I mentioned earlier assurances really, you know, how do fans feel like they’re going to be able to, you know, get in get out in ways that they want to sort of, in a way cash in on the value that they’ve created together with the artist and realize that opportunity and so they’re, you know, certain ways that they can do that with the automated liquidity within crescendo as well as you know, those social tokens and ERC 20s that are just an inherently more liquid, you know, piece as well, with the staking.
I guess I never thought about it like that. Like the end goal is to grow your community. And when you do, like kept additions like that, then someone does need to leave for someone to enter. Yeah, and I guess it’s like, it’s like counterintuitive for the most part. Because if you think about, like, what’s happening web three, I asked this question like, should artists choose virality on the web two or a niche group of collectors in web three? And you think about it, like, why should they have to, I guess, compromise, right? Why can’t you? Why can’t you build a big grandiose audience and web three, while also having your virality? But does it in a way where? Yeah, that’s a good point, I guess, like having someone leave in order for someone to come in. And I never thought about it like that. I guess I never thought about like that.
Will Collier: And I think it also then begs the question of what are you optimizing for? Because I think with scarcity and limited editions and saying, Oh, well, because there’s not that inherent or fundamental value here. The scarcity is what is providing that value. And so having that dictated scarcity is a way to sort of assure or signal to the collector that it’s going to potentially go up in value, or that there’s some way that it can go up in value, because, you know, to buy someone else to buy it from you. But if what Decent is optimizing for what we are focused on our vision is creating these communities, these individual, you know, every artist is independent, and they have their group around them rallying around them, but through the greater Decent and music NFT ecosystem, the network effects of being within Decent platform, within being, within, you know, these protocols such that I can, you know, click on someone else’s profile or wallet and see what artists they’ve been collecting and discovering and in a lot of ways, wanting those communities to keep growing and flourishing and not have that necessity for immediate scarcity that is a value driver. We really are looking at with all of our experiments. What is the real-life action that we want to create room for or incentivize, and then build the models that will allow that to happen in these relationships within the web three ecosystem?
Music NFT Price Psychology
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I also want to talk to you about well, like how do you think about price psychology for NFTs? Like when should one be priced at $5? When should one be priced at? I don’t know, $300, $4,000, 20 cents. Like, I know, a lot of it is just throwing shit at the fan right now. But if you think about scalability, and you think about onboarding, the next 100,000, a million like 10 million, right? And we try to think about it at the scale of the amount of listeners that kind of like our consuming music today? How can we convert more of those into collectors? And what does that mean? Is that the goal? Like how do we do that? Because I can tell you right now, and I think everybody knows this, you and I know this at least, we’re not going to get a million collectors in the space buying $300 worth music NFT’s right? So, when you think about designing a platform, when you think about designing experience, how do you think about the psychology around pricing these assets, without devaluing them without letting the artists feel like what their art is worth is not like, too little, let alone too much, right?
Will Collier: Yeah, well, so I think really where it becomes interesting, or it becomes in the web three native mindset, price curation. Everything becomes Decentralized, right? Everything, the point of starting to look at it as this network or, you know, a protocol where, you know, anyone can plug in, right, and that’s one thing that we’re really looking at is how at scale. I mean, if you think about Decentralization at scale, how does Decent look more like a protocol rather than a platform, right? where anyone can plug in, you as an artist can plug in with your music, with your fans, and start to build and create and flourish within our ecosystem, within the greater music ecosystem as a whole. The, sorry, for a second, I honestly just blanked on.
It’s all good. I strengthenising. Remember, that’s the word. No, no, no, no, the price psychology between? Yeah, figure out the right price point for these things.
Will Collier: So, sorry, in that nature of Decentralization for both the price and curation, I think it becomes a question of what does the artist want to set that initial price at? Or what do they think, you know, looking at the data of who has bought from them in the past, what they’ve been able to sell in the past, almost also being able to look at what comparable sort of artists or communities have had for pricing? You know, so far for us, we’ve actually, you know, been working with the artists on deciding pricing, deciding, you know, for a while it was, you know, addition numbers, all that and so it has been a burden in a way on the artists, on the platform to decide that, but to find the scalable opportunity, I think it becomes a market question of what really does the, like, if you put something out at point one Eth and no one buys it? Well, that’ll tell you that you need to lower that initial price, right? You put something out at that point 04 Eth and in there’s a ton of market demand, well, with this dynamic pricing mechanism with crescendo and sort of putting that price discovery on the fans, on the collectors, then, well, maybe those first few went for a lower price, but you’re actually optimizing in a way that true value capture where well for example, with Amanda Francis, you know, that first, she ended up selling within that first day or so I think it was you know, 34, 35 NFTs, and the price started at point 05 Eth and went all the way up to, I’d have to check it what it is now but in that, in those 35 purchases, she was then able to bring in something like 3.84 Eth of a value there, where she had just put out you know, the standard sort of 20, 25, 30 at point one, we aren’t necessarily sure that one, you know there’s no telling whether or not it would sell out immediately or sell out in a way where then there is opportunity for secondary market action but also even if it did, it would have left a whole point eight to one Eth, right, where with allowing that market you know the fans to decide there’s that that added value of being able to not just you know get the lowest sort of price point but also up to the highest of what anyone you know, anyone out there is willing to pay for it.
Yeah, I guess that is. Yeah, we haven’t seen like we’ve seen bonding curves, right. Like, it’s a thing. It’s happened before, I guess the most. The first example that comes to mind is, what is that one that OG, OG music project? Or their beats, I think. Yeah, Euler beats like they introduced the bonding curve, I think early on to bond.
Will Collier: That was Hujoe. I believe Hujoe. Yeah, go. You know, Jack, I believe was a jack. It was Jack’s, was a Jesse grew Shaq. And then Simon, de, I don’t want to miss de la riviere, I think they were the first one’s way back, maybe 2017, 2018 to do bonding curves and actually claim to fame. Simon, who I think is sort of touted as the inventor, the creator of this bonding curve model. Amanda Francis, when we did our drop with her, she actually, she made this incredible video that was explaining how it all worked, why it was being used. And he actually retweeted and shared it and said, you know, later, I’m still finding out new and better ways to be explaining my bond and your model. So that was that was something you know, props to her.
That’s cool. Listen, I think it’s incredibly innovative, what you guys are doing, I’m excited to see it kind of come to fruition and see this thing scale to more and more and more artists, you guys, out of all the platforms that I’m seeing, everybody’s doing incredible things. But I think like, I think Decent is the one that is like introducing new thoughts into my mind for the most part as to how artists could be issuing their minutes. And what that means to kind of growing a community, let alone leveraging their existing assets to build the community. Most recently that comes to mind as someone like Harrison first, using his social Token as a way to kind of introduce new value and new incentives for collectors who decide to stake his NFTs like we didn’t even get to talk about that. But we have an episode with Harrison coming up shortly that we’re going to be talking about the drop and everything. Because it’s something that I’ve been talking about on Mint for a while, like where does defi meet the creator economy, let alone music, right. And I think these primitives that you guys are introducing is the foundation for a lot of what’s going to come and is the right level of experimentation for us to kind of like, see this stuff play out in real time. So, I’m applauding you. I’m applauding the team. I guess before I let you go. Final question like what can we expect from Decent in the next few months?
Will Collier: Yeah, I think it’s same as you you’ve seen for the last few months, we’re going to continue to experiment and really, I think the next step, one thing that we’re really excited about is we’ve now you know, with crescendo, with the NFT staking, with the engaged earn NFTs, you know, everything that we’ve done to date, it’s been a lot of, I think the one piece of feedback that we’ve been really critical on ourselves about but also I’ve heard from some people is, you know, how does it all tie together, right? How are you going to tie it all together? And so, we’re excited to release a few, you know, blogs, white papers, actually start showing how these different sorts of one-off opportunities that we’ve introduced, are all going to tie together into a greater model into our sort of next step of the Decent product. And with that will come obviously more experimentation, we won’t lose that fire. But we are excited to start to release more analysis and learnings and say this is what worked this is what has not and really involved the, continued to involve the greater, you know, artists and music NFT community and helping us find that true model that is going to create that best relationship between fans and artists. And so I think in terms of innovation, and it’ll be you know, even this week, and the next couple weeks, we have a couple more sort of v2 of crescendo on its way, but also looking at, in general starting to take the different experiments and pull them together, tie them together in a way that is you know, going instead of from one plus one equals two, but you know, one plus one is now going to equal four and a lot of ways.
I like that. Will, well where can we find you? Where can we find Decent online? Where can we stay in touch?
Will Collier: So, Decent.xyz flows right off the tongue? Decent.xyz. You can find us on Twitter at Decent XYZ, I on Twitter, I’m WD Collier underscore. I am actively trying to grow my Twitter presence. It’s really hard for me. It’s tough. Yeah, the craziest thing is I never thought in a million years that I would get, you know, just going and trying to, you know, it’s like, oh, it’s a tweet. It’s, you know, a sentence. It’s two sentences. It’s like, well, it really matters. And so I feel like the most trouble that I have is like, okay, well, what do I write? You know what I mean? Like, what? I tried to tweet more and more, and it’s like, well, who cares about Will Collier, you know what I’m thinking, you know what I mean?
I saw a recent tweet recently, a recent tweet recently. That’s another good one, strengthenising and a recent tweet recently, that basically it said that tweet the way you DM people and you’ll find or tweet the way you DM and you’ll find your people. And I really liked that because it allows you like it reduces the pressure as to what you kind of put online even when I’m preparing my tweet storms for introducing the season. I reread it and reread it and reread it and double check it and put it through Grammarly and make sure nothing’s wrong, links there like everything. Right. And so whatever, it’s part of it. Will, this has been great. We should definitely do this again soon. Thank you for being on.
Will Collier: We look forward to seeing you on Decent soon, you know, we have our DMs open on the Decent Twitter, my DMs are open. We are always looking for feedback. I think that is the number one thing that comes with experimentation is you have to be open to and we’re excited about you know, criticism as well as positive feedback because that is I think one of the most important things for this space is we all want to support each other. We all want to rally around each other and, and really be supportive of every project of every person that’s putting themselves out there and trying new things. But constructive criticism is the only way to grow. So yeah, thank you. Thank you again, Adam. It’s been an absolute pleasure. And I’ll talk to you soon.