Mint Season 5 episode 13 welcomes Mirror’s Growth Engineer Patrick Rivera who shares why you should think twice before dismissing the opportunity to mint a writing NFT.
In this episode, we discuss:
- 00:09 – Intro
- 06:41 – The Ideal Creator on Mirror
- 08:41 – Essential Tools To Build A Community
- 12:45 – Soulbound Tokens
- 22:23 – Why Collect a Writing NFT
- 24:26 – Why Mint a Writing NFT?
- 26:26 – NFTs as Social Graphs
- 29:36 – Insights Discovered While Building Mirror
- 34:34 – What Virality Looks Like in Web3?
- 37:06 – Outro
I hope you enjoy our conversation.
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Patrick, welcome to mint. Thank you for being on my friend what’s going on?
Patrick Rivera: Not much, thanks for having me.
Of course, I’m stoked to have you, thank you for being a part of season five. Mirror just announced writing NFTs. So, we have a lot to talk about in this episode. But I think the best place to start as I do with everybody, who are you? What does the world need to know about you? But more specifically, how did you get your start into web three?
Patrick Rivera: Yeah, so I graduated college a few years ago, went out to San Francisco, was working at Instacart, to grocery delivery company as an engineering. And that was a lot of fun. First experience working in a startup high growth, just constantly things were breaking, was a lot of fun. And then a little over a year in, I realized I wanted to try and challenge myself with something else and ended up getting in touch with a defi wallet called Dharma, and didn’t really know what defi was, didn’t really know too much about crypto other than seeing a few people in college like in the back of class, like trading on Coinbase. And having a lot of fun doing that. And so, I just thought it was yeah, like this speculative asset. And then once I actually went through the interview process, talking people realize that they’re very strong technical people. It came from great background, great companies, they’re really interesting and, and also that there’s this whole other side of crypto industry that wasn’t just around speculation, it was also around building and rebuilding the financial stack, whether it was lending, whether it was through exchanging assets, or whether it was through, like, more complex, like financial primitives, or global peer to peer payments, all sorts of stuff. And so, I thought that was super interesting. And that was really the first time I’ve worked in crypto web three, and it was there for a bit and then realized that although the defi stuff was technically very interesting, and a lot of it we’re still using today with NFTs and creators are you using as well, I realized that I was a bit more interested in like the social aspect of building a consumer social products, you put in creator tools, and that’s what ended up leading me to mirror a little over a year ago.
So that’s actually very similar to me as well, by the way, so I was working, I guess more on the financial side, I was working at a VC for like two and a half years. And I’m a drummer, you’ll see like a little bit, you’ll see that the drum sets mirrored, but you’ll see like the snare behind me and whatnot. And I’ve always been like creative and kind of going more into the traditional venture capital world. It was great. It was fun. I learned a lot. The bosses were amazing, and I just felt like I was kind of detaching from my creative side. So just like you I wanted to kind of like, you know, take control, like pivot a little bit, focus more on the creative stuff and quit and lo and behold, Mint was born almost a year ago. So wild, I’m actually looking at the date right now. That’s actually wild. But okay, so are you a creator yourself? Like what sort of creative thing creative things that have you done like growing up?
Patrick Rivera: Yeah. So, growing up, not too much. Actually, not I think about it. For me, I was mostly playing sports. That was a big thing I wanted to play in the Major Leagues, baseball, spent a lot of time traveling, tournaments all across Florida, where I grew up. And then wasn’t until after college a couple years after graduating where I started writing. And there’s one specific blogger that really influenced me named Tim Urban. And he writes this really cool blog called wait, but why. And the way he describes it is he focuses on very specific subjects. He’s written about AI, and about Elon Musk, he has written about religion and politics. And what he likes to do is he uses like, very funny, like stick figure drawings, like tell stories. And he’s just like, the way he writes is just hilarious. And so that really inspired me. And I was like, okay, why don’t I apply that to things I’m learning in my daily life, whether it’s through engineering, whether it’s in crypto, and so I really enjoyed writing. And I had a newsletter, I would write every couple of weeks. And that ended up leading me to mirror and before I got mirror, the newsletter was just like few close friends, family, people I’d worked with. But then once I was at mirrored, I started focusing on writing a lot about creators, web three crypto, and just like, natural things that I’d wished that I had known three months before, just things that I didn’t know until I spent a lot of time thinking about, a lot of time experiencing it with like actual customers or people using certain products and building things. And so, once I started writing about those topics, I was able to get more people interested in it and get more feedback on it. And that felt good, like knowing that something I was writing was helping someone with their business or as a creator, helping them build a community. And so, I started writing a bit more was active on Twitter. And so those are the two main channels that I have.
Got it. So. for those unfamiliar with mirror, which I find hard because it’s one of the most widely used like consumer applications in web three. How would you describe it to someone who’s not in crypto and is not crypto native?
Patrick Rivera: Yep, yep. So, it’s changed a bit over the past year. And for most of the past year, we were this general tool, this toolkit of different web three native tools, anything from, there was publishing, there was a crowd fund tool, there was NFT editions, there were revenue split, there’s governance, we had this entire toolkit where if you wanted to start a Dao, or if you wanted to publish a blog post to your community, if you wanted to sell NFTs, you’re able to connect your wallet on mirror, create a post, and then also embed, like different economic tools that were web three native, really under the hood, they were like smart contracts on Ethereum. And we did that for a bid, they had a ton of great partners and creators that were working with people like Song camp, Ethereum film, mag reality seed club, and a bunch of others. And we learned a ton from that experience. And we also realized that at the core of what we were doing, was this like publishing experience of really writing this blog post and telling your story. And what we really wanted to do over the past couple months was the double down on writers in that core publishing Foundation. Because we found ourselves, we were doing a lot of different tools. But there wasn’t necessarily like a very specific used case, or a specific customer that we were targeting was a bit more general purpose. And that allowed us to really experiment to learn, to get used to shipping things quickly at a high quality. But then now we wanted to focus all that energy on a very specific use case. And so recently, we double down on one of the writings used cases and building this new version of writing NFTs, which are, which we can talk a bit more about later. But yeah, that’s really the main thing that we’re focused on right now. So, anyone can connect their wallet, they can write a blog post, and then they can sell it as an NFT.
The Ideal Creator on Mirror
Yeah, so writing is universal, obviously, whether you’re a musician or an actor or a dancer, you still likely Right? Right. So, a lot of the crowd funds that I’ve kind of funded. So, I’m a part of Mad realities, I’m a part of M Club. I’m a part of overstatement, a bunch of other kind of like organizations that started and were funded and seated on mirror. And when you think about it, a lot of these organizations they otherwise are a lot of the creators in the organizations, their actual craft is not blocking, like their craft is not writing yet. The tool, the primitive is used as a way to kind of like form a community to fundraise and to kind of do all these really cool things that you guys have kind of empowered creators to do. So, with that being said, who is the ideal creator for mirror? Excuse me?
Patrick Rivera: Yeah, that’s a very good question. And, frankly, right now, we’re still trying to decide that and we’re trying not to be too opinionated about it. And really just build this tool that, really, at the highest level is anybody that’s writing about web three, or they’re using web three tools to build a community. And so, we’ve seen anything from musicians, like Daniel Allen, we’ve seen Daos, or these web three native communities that they launched this token they hang out in discord. We’ve seen people that are researchers, like great technical researchers writing about computer science, heavy topics, we’ve seen investors and said, from our perspective, it’s not necessarily focused on say, like an individual writer versus a musician, or someone with the newsletter, and it’s more around the topic of web three writing. And then also, we’re thinking a lot about, there’s so many great projects in web three, whether they’re NFT communities, whether they’re projects, building consumer products, or protocols. And we also want to be the place where they’re able to communicate with their community, build a relationship with them, and do that in a wet two native way.
Essential Tools To Build A Community
Yeah. When you when you think about web three communities, okay? A lot of them start on mirror. When you want to form a community in crypto, what are some of the more like essential things that you need to actually build a community? Like, what does it entail? And it might seem, it may seem like pretty, like okay Adam, why are you asking me this? But the reason, there’s a reason, because a lot of them end up actually starting on mirror, which is quite interesting.
Patrick Rivera: Definitely. That’s a really good question. Yeah, I feel like it’s in practice is not as obvious as a question would seem, and it said, there’s definitely a few key principles, I would say that depending on the type of community, the type of Dao that you’re starting, I really think that the one main thing is that you want like a core team that’s like heavily invested in the project. There’s a lot of talk about decentralization and community ownership. And sometimes it works. Just kind of like having this group chat that’s just there for the vibes and you kind of just like emergency come up with a mission or specific purpose. But I think on average, the ones that are successful, they have a very specific core team that feels ownership over the project. And maybe there’s official titles, maybe there’s not, maybe there’s working groups and leaders of the specific working groups. But regardless of the formal structure around it, it really just needs to be like a few core group members that are really invested in the culture, they’re invested in the mission, they’re very focused on it. And they’re willing to put in the work and do things that other people are willing to do. So that’s one thing that might seem obvious. But a lot of communities, they kind of forget about such one. And then to the tactical side, if you want to be a critical web three native community, there’s things like, you probably want a token, in order to gate a discord or telegram group chat, you probably want some sort of multi sig, we can hold high value assets in your treasury. And so, say that, as a community, you raised a bunch of Eth, from the NFT sales. And so, you want to hold that in a multi-SIG, which is basically just like a shared wallet, which is harder to for one person to actually be able to remove all the funds from and so there’s things like that everyone like on the web three.
So, how do you think about the difference between when you start a community think about the difference between needing to start with a social token, a fungible token as the primitive for binding a group of people together under a common theme, or using a membership pass, a non-fungible token? Has that means to bind a community together under a common theme? How do you think about the difference? Like do you have a mental model around that?
Patrick Rivera: For sure, for sure, I think that most communities, it’s probably better to use an NFT. And the reason is there they’re just simpler, it’s just a simpler mental model. Whereas with fungible tokens, there’s just a lot more you can do well, not necessary, a lot more you can do with them. But as it just introduces more complexity, where now at the fungible token, there’s like this liquid price for people listed on uniswap. And so, then you can have whales come in and buy up a large supply of them. Within now you need to set like a minimum number that people hold. And then you have to think about inflation. And so, there’s just like, Now, whenever you have a fungible token, it can end up looking like an actual currency. And you have to think about like the macroeconomics of it. And it just ends up being a lot more complexity than most projects need. And it’s easier to simplify and say, hey, we just have 500 NFTs not many more are going to be sold. First drop is going to be point 03 Eth, point 05 feet, whatever. And then once they’re all sold, you can only buy them on a secondary market. And then each NFT maps to one vote in our Dao. And that is a much simpler mental model as opposed to a fungible token where now, I’d say okay, there’s supply demand, you have a minimum threshold and stuff, which ends up being a bit more complex. Then also, the other reason we use an NFT is it comes with a visual representation, which is kind of a cool Totem or a cool way to express yourself, express yourself as part of the community.
Yeah, one thing that I would like to be seen kind of featured on mirror are soulbound and NFTs. And being able to experiment with that primitive. The reason I say that is because on the podcast, I build community on the podcast by giving out free NFTs. And initially, I started off giving popups but then I kind of switched to basically minting on my own site but doing it in a way where the NFTs are non-transferable. And they actually remain an individual’s wallet because the intention of the NFT, the purpose why people collect is simply because to signify and symbolize that they were first to listen to the podcast before others who enter and future seasons. And with that, I plan to do cool initiatives and cool activities that I hope to share more in the future. But I’m kinda like, you know, throwing in the breadcrumbs a little bit, taking it a step at a time. And with mirror being like that core platform where a lot of communities are born, right, members find one another, purposes are shared, people align under a common theme. I don’t know, I feel like a soulbound NFT could actually be a really cool kind of like implementation. And of course, like, you’re on the product side, you see these trends? You guys ideas on what to kind of integrate next? What do you think about soulbound NFTs? Is it just a meme? Do you think it has potential long term? I see it getting backlash. Why would I want anything ever soulbound to me? What are your thoughts around that?
Patrick Rivera: Yeah, because like so bad. MCs are like, the hot topic nowadays on crypto Twitter. And yet they TLDR they are awesome. I think that people like to get lost in the implementation details. And the reality is that, yeah, there’s still a lot to figure out in implementation and so, I’d rather not focus on because there’s tons of ways that can implement it. But the core idea to me, soulbound NFTs is, yeah, it’s gonna represent many different things. It can be something like your reputation, it can be something like, hey, I completed this task, or hey, this person thinks highly of me can really represent like, all sorts of types of relationships. And I think it’s gonna be a very important primitive, and I feel like it’s best to think through them in terms of examples, and I think like one core thing that we haven’t really seen yet on the internet is something around the peer-to-peer reputation. And probably the closest examples we have are like LinkedIn recommendations, where it’s like, hey, I work with Adam on this project, or this company and I thought it was great. And I’m gonna write up a paragraph or two about him and said, that’s interesting, but it only, you can only see that on LinkedIn site. And then eventually, maybe people don’t go to the LinkedIn site, because they don’t like hanging out there. And they just find it valuable. And so, it’s kind of trapped within that ecosystem.
Or they just don’t like getting DM the bunch by random people saying, let’s connect, let’s connect, let’s connect. It could also be, you know.
Patrick Rivera: getting notifications that Tesla just posted, or just got mentioned that there’s something.
Right, like, who gives a shit.
Patrick Rivera: But to that let just say, that’s like the closest that we have. And there’s other like reputation systems around like likes and followers and stuff like that. But they don’t really have much information attached to them. They’re like very fungible, like to view like likes and followers as fungible, it’s like you can, you have an unlimited number of them. And every time I follow somebody on Twitter, it’s like the same. It’s not like I can say, like, Adam is one of my favorite creators and at the intersection of web three, and creators or web three and communities, or I can attach this is data that says, as someone like blockchain Brett, web three, Brett is one of my favorite people in music NFT space, I can’t say things like that when I follow someone, but I think with soulbound NFTs that they provide this richer representation of social graphs and relationships between people and peer to peer reputation. So, I think there’s tons of stuff. There’s stuff like badges, their stuff, like, hey, you worked at this company, or you worked on this project, or, and so I think it just adds many more dimensions to our relationships online. And then kind of one closing thing about that is, yeah, a lot of people talk about social graphs, and how social networks are just like this graph of relationships, like you follow a few 100 people on Twitter or Instagram, there’s a few 100 People that follow you, and that creates this graph. And but now, it’s like that what connects those graphs is just like a simple follow are simple like, but now these NF T’s, they basically allow you to attach like all sorts of different types of data and metadata and much more information, which I think will be really interesting. And then now, you actually own that data, you can import it to different apps, people can build experiences around it. So yeah, I think it’s really interesting.
Okay, so two concepts right now. One, going back to a conversation I had with G money that I published today, it’s Tuesday, June 7, where he kind of he growth, hacked and bootstrapped more web three native CRM, and CRMs are what do they stand for Consumer Relations?
Patrick Rivera: Customer Relationship management.
Yeah, yeah. Exactly. Customer Relationship Management. Yeah, essentially a way to manage all your contacts online. And he basically built his own web three CRM by using poups and kind of rewarding his earliest contributors in his earliest connections in his career, as a way to symbolize that we have met like we can solidify this connection. And you’ve been a part of my journey. And now with admit one, he released this, like, exclusive 1000 person, NFT, gated community, alpha group, whatever you want to call it, with the floor last time I checked it, like at least 10 Eth. Right. That was a free mint. So, one way to kind of build community and reward your earliest participants, which was super interesting. Another interesting point on top of that is, I think it was Michael Blau, he was on I think the episode prior to G money, and kind of talked about one of the most exciting things for him is being able to create custom experiences based off someone connecting their wallet. And that custom experience is kind of like in the air right now. Because I will at least the most like standout example, is basically being able to say, when you connect your wallet to let’s say, a web three Twitter, it will be able to tell Twitter, whether you like something in light mode or dark mode, and it can customize the entire kind of like experience on that platform for you. Are you thinking about it the same way? Is that what you were kind of referring to?
Patrick Rivera: Yeah, yeah, there’s definitely the thing that I like about these different primitives that web three whether it’s an NFT, whether it’s a fungible token, whether it’s a soulbound token, it’s like, I really like this analogy. I heard from Chris Dixon on some podcasts, where it’s like NF T’s are like websites, where it’s like, it’s how you say, like, someone asked me 20 years ago, 30 years ago, like what do you think about websites? It’s like, I don’t own there’s like, there’s so much you could do with it. And I talked about specific examples. And so, I definitely think that’s a one specific example where you can customize the experience based off of it. You can, I think, the one that I’ve been thinking more about, though, is around, yeah, peer to peer reputation, and really thinking through like, how can we use that and what is it the web three native version of a like or a follow or retweet, what other information would you attach to that? And how could that be used across different consumer apps? And so, in many ways, that does feed into customizing the experience. Maybe it’s like, hey, if I have given soulbound NFTs, to these 10 creators, that maybe it knows that it can infer that I like this type of content, and it customizes the feed, and stuff like that. But yeah, again, basically, just having this new way of representing your relationship with other people and things on the internet, I think is super interesting.
Patrick with mirror being one of the more prominent platforms in like the web three, creator economy? How would, if you’re open to sharing, like, what is the thesis at mirror for the crater economy? Like, what does that look like for you guys, on a one-year plan, on a three-year plan, on a five-year plan? Like what’s the vision here?
Patrick Rivera: Yes, so from the very beginning, like our core ethos was really centered around like web three principles, and things like ownership over your data, things like having a, a global identity system that you control through something like Ethereum, like public, private keys, ENS name, and also the content that you publish. It’s not only walled by, by the mirror, to the mirror servers, it’s stored in a way that anybody can access, it’s at least from like a technical level, like those are the foundational principles and how those are implemented is definitely still open to what we learned from how people are using the products. But ideally, that’s like the core foundation. And then over the next few months, years, really what we want to do is provide a new business model for writers, focus through writing and NFTs and over time, building new types of features that are web three natives that allow people to not only like use the mere product in order to build their audience, to create content, to share the content, to monetize it through NFTs, but also building an ecosystem of other projects that are integrating with the underlying protocol for minting the NFTs, for building the community, for communicating with the community, and the news entire ecosystem of projects that are building on top of that, and integrating with that, and so that creators aren’t just reliant on the mirror products on Mirror dot XYZ, but also able to use other clients and other interfaces within the ecosystem and access the same underlying content data community.
Why Collect a Writing NFT
Got it. So, with that kind of comes your recent update at mirror of writing and NFTs. And when I came across that I felt like deep down that was the next step. But to see it publicly, was really exciting. And this whole concept of tokenizing media, I feel like there’s a new wave we’re about to enter, and something that the podcast will be exploring sometime soon as well. And one thing I want to ask you like, why would somebody collect a writing NFT? What is it utility based? Is it for the sake of collecting art just because you want to collect art? Like what is the mental model around that?
Patrick Rivera: Definitely. That’s really good question. And so that the, at this point, there’s many reasons and quite a few reasons for people to collect. One that we’ve seen is just pure patronage. Somebody likes the article that was written, and they want to support the writer, or they want to at least show a token of their appreciation. That’s one reason. Another reason is because people want to use this as like an identity mechanism where it’s like, hey, I’ve been collecting these 10 Ss, these 10 Ss are part of identity that things that I refer to often or have really shaped my thinking on a particular topic. And so, I just want to build tools to allow people to kind of curate their profile pages, display them in a way that kind of shows that says that that really means something to them. And using collecting this kind of this that is always on chain, it’s always it’s public, people can always view it, you can build other apps that can display this type of information. So, I think those are the two main reasons. One is patronage and then also as a form of identity, and kind of signifying and signaling in some of the things that are very interesting to you. And similar to, like, over the past few months’ music NFTs, have been very popular. And that says a word that is very similar to that word. It’s a form of patronage. It’s a form of speculation, for people that are selling on secondary markets, but then it’s also for people that are interested in building an identity around the artists that they’re supporting, and the artists and the music that they love. And so, it’s similar with writing as well.
Why Mint a Writing NFT?
You know, as a, as someone who wants to get better at writing, there’s a reason why podcast and there’s a reason why I’m also behind the microphones because I feel like I suck at answering people’s questions and I suck at writing. That’s why I’m a podcaster but as a writer, because I know people from mirror, listen to the podcast. When should somebody consider minting editions of their post? Like should you meant every single blog post? Are there specific situations where you should mint and you could say that okay, I’m to zoom out like think about it as if you’re releasing a song or you are creating a piece of art, you could apply the same mental model, but I don’t know, I don’t want to assume things.
Patrick Rivera: Yeah, yeah. So definitely, yeah, like valid approaches and different thinking on it. That for us is one way that we’re thinking about it is, yeah, if you’re publishing through mirror admitting everything as an NFT makes sense, because it kind of creates this record of this content that was published at a certain piece of time. And it allows other people to be able to, to collect it, to signal their affinity towards it. And it’s kind of like on Twitter, like Twitter doesn’t let you opt out of having people favorite your tweets. And it’s kind of like part of the game and like, we like to think about it is in certain aspects of mirror, we think about it as a game in the sense that there’s rules. There’s like a goal, there’s like this common pattern and kind of this balance of things that we allow you to customize like the price and supply. But then also like the standard things that aren’t necessarily customizable, like whether it should be minted as an NFT or not. And so, we’re kind of, we’re still thinking through it internally. But it one way to look at it is maybe everything should be writing NFT, allow people to collect it. And that’s part of the merit game, it’s part of the standard format that you’re not able to opt out of. And, of course, the cool thing about building things as protocols is that if we end up building it some way, another team can end up building an alternative client to it, and it still feeds into the same underlying protocol.
NFTs as Social Graphs
Yeah, I know one thing you’re also big about is like this whole web three social movement, which I’ve seen you tweet about online, mirrors inherently, to an extent a social platform, or at least the foundation of something much bigger. And what are your thoughts around like these crypto primitives being the I guess, the foundation for the next social graph, like NFT, sitting in your wallet act as a way to engage in form identity with one another who kind of aligned with those assets? I guess my point is, a lot of season five is about web three social or seeing projects like cyber connect, lens protocol, all these applications like coin vise kind of appearing, and empowering creators and with creators comes social network. creators are here because of the social platforms, right? Like platforms were created to empower creators. And in a world, that’s inherently decentralized, or at least what we hope that we’re building towards. I’m curious what this next social graph will kind of look and feel like, my question to you is, why are NFTs the best primitive to form the social graphs?
Patrick Rivera: Yeah, yeah. I feel like now one of the main things is a few things around them, they one of the core things is around portability. And what that means practically is an example a lot of people will talk about is, whenever you build an audience on a social platform today, whether it’s Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, you have subscribers, followers, etc. There’s a few issues with building on his closed systems. One is whenever you post content, it doesn’t go directly to all of your followers, it actually goes through this intermediary, which is Twitter, product, Instagram, YouTube, etc. And they basically decide what type of content gets prioritized or deprioritize. And so that’s kind of one thing that like, that is definitely not necessarily sustainable for many creators, or something that a lot of creators want to opt into. So that’s one and then two is over time, say that you want to build a direct relationship, whether it’s through email, whether it’s through building your own site that you can communicate to them, or something that you are paywall in content or token gating it like Patrion, then it’s not easy to export, it’s not really even possible to export your followers or your social graph. And so, they the portability, and having a direct relationship with your audience is really the core thing. And I think one thing missing right now in web three is being able to message and address a someone with a public key. And, like right now, people kind of find hacks around it, where you basically tie an email address to an Ethereum address or some other blockchain address, and then they send it to the email address. But that there’s definitely some issues with that in terms of like privacy Doxing yourself, but I think eventually, once there is a way to be able to message any public address, and of course, you’re gonna need like spam filters and content moderation, stuff like that. I think that’d be a really interesting way for people to build an audience on one platform. And then if they’d like to say the take rate of the platform is too high, in terms of the fees that they’re charging, or if they’re deprioritizing their content, then you’re able to go and build your own solution or integrate with some other solution.
Insights Discovered While Building Mirror
What were some, I guess, unexpected insights that you picked up while building product at mirror, things that you learned about web three native creators that you otherwise wouldn’t have assumed?
Patrick: Yeah, that’s a great question. I would say that. Yeah, one of the main things would be around how creators are based in hindsight, but the creators really want to focus on creating new creative ad on, the more that you can kind of automate and build tooling around, the more like running the business aspects, because I think that’s the real chief of crater economy is that it’s turning individuals into these institutions, is turning creators into businesses. And it’s like, the next version of small and medium sized businesses are going to be creators that have small teams, they’re like 5, 10 people, your distribution through the internet, you’re selling products through Shopify, ecommerce, drop shipping, etc. And yeah, like building tools around that’s like the main thing. And it really deepened my conviction around that like working with creators seeing the deep level of engagement that many of their audiences in their communities have and how obsessed they are, that’s one of them is around, like building tooling that allows creators to build businesses and other ones around kind of the viability of building an audience, or building a business with a relatively small audience, I can give a talk about like 1000 true fans, if you have 1000 true fans to pay you $100 a year, you can make 100k, six figures. And then now with NFTs you really need like, only like 100 true fans, because with a lot of these products with the access that they provide the exclusivity and the scarcity that they provide, you can build a pretty meaningful business with say 100 collectors, 50 collectors just because you are collectors. And so those are two of the main ones of creators are turning into businesses. And there’s a ton of tooling to build for them. And then also around not needing a massive audience and really building a sustainable business with just a few like core collectors or community members.
You know, what’s crazy is that you and the other folks that mirror are absolutely behind, championing a lot of the creative and financial freedom for people who otherwise wouldn’t have had that because of the tools that you guys have built, from the publishing platform, to the fundraising mechanics, to splits to automating token creation, all these things that otherwise would have made it incredibly difficult for someone to monetize their craft, online. And proof the amount of communities that were born because of mirror, the amount of lives that were changed. I mean, when Daniel Allen, for example, raised 180k, in a matter of like 24 hours, with 24, 48 hours with 200, Twitter followers, right? Just the virality of being able to kind of come across someone’s vision, and then being able to contribute to it instantly, is powerful, like, really, really powerful. And I don’t even need to say that, like proof is in the pudding kind of thing. And I guess my question to you, Patrick is like you have that responsibility, right? Like you guys at mirror have the responsibility to create these tools to empower these everyday creatives. What does that responsibility really mean in the grand scheme of things? Like it’s one thing to create products, it’s another thing to really see people’s lives change because of them. Right? And I feel like that should be so rewarding.
Patrick Rivera: Definitely, definitely. Yeah, did it really mean that you have to take things seriously. And one of the things that I love about engineering and building products is that there’s nowhere to hide. And you can, it’s like going to the gym, I like to do CrossFit. It’s like no matter how it is like doesn’t matter how you look, doesn’t matter what shape you are, what gender, whatever else about you. There’s no hiding once you like go to the workout, you got to do it. And it’s the same thing with like, building products is like, there’s nowhere to hide is like, either this thing works or doesn’t work. And whenever there’s like real money on the line, when there’s like real like, lives at stake not, I wouldn’t say there’s necessarily live the second, certainly like financial lives at stake and allowing people to raise this money or engage with their community and stuff like that, and build the communities that they’ve been spending so much time on and say, yeah, there’s nowhere to hide, if it doesn’t work, like people are gonna find out and it’s going to damage your reputation. And so, the thing I like about is like, yeah, kind of that adrenaline rush where every line of code, every pixel in the UI, everything you do, every way you communicate within the app, all the copy of it makes a difference. And they go in that extra mile and an understanding that had the stuff that you build, you create, you design, it’s going to be used by someone who can be very important. And the way that you make decisions is really going to it’s going to impact someone and it’s really a big responsibility but at least personally it’s exciting and allows me to kind of get some adrenaline and make you want to stay up a bit longer, wake up a bit earlier kind of sacrifice doing other things. And it’s definitely worthwhile for sure.
What Virality Looks Like in Web3?
One of the biggest features that have made creators incredibly successful on web two platforms is like their algorithms like their virality algorithms specifically Tik Tok right and how they’re able to make anybody and influencers or at least they were able to now it’s a little bit harder because it’s more saturated, but I’m curious from a product point of view from your mindset. What is virality look like in web three? Right like how can creators go viral? It’s one thing to go viral on Twitter. But I guess it’s another thing to kind of like leverage these primitives like NFTs and social tokens to kind of boost in create virality. I’m curious, like, what does that look like from your point of view?
Patrick Rivera: That’s, yeah, this is super interesting question. And, yeah, if we see, I think it’s really interesting that comparing how web three products get distribution or web three creators get distribution versus web two products and a lot of web two products, you’re using AdWords on Google, or you’re buying Facebook ads, or Instagram ads, in order to acquire customers, or maybe you’re going to conferences, or whatever. But really, in web three, it’s truly through Twitter through telegram, it’s through discord. And a lot of it’s really around, having, again, going back to the point around, it doesn’t necessarily matter, the quantity, or the size of your community, but more so the quality. And one thing about Daniel that Daniel Allen that I really respect is that he took, I think it was like 6, 7, 8 months of just learning and researching and being part of the community and supporting other artists and really like engaging with these different communities. And also, Matthew Chaim from song camp is another great example of someone who really took the time to understand the community, build deeper relationships, and really support others for ever asking for anything. And so by the time that they ended up building something and trying to gain traction with it, they’ve already built so much goodwill within the ecosystem. And, and I think that of course, there’s like viral growth hacks and stuff like that you can do. But I think that over the long term, decides that people will be weeded out and people won’t necessarily want to work with them or collaborate with them or support them on future projects. And so, I think that approach of and having a really solid foundation, embedding yourself in the communities, getting involved, being engaged, and genuinely supporting others and working on something you enjoy doing, like people can tell, like how genuine you are, and yeah, really taking it slow. And using these internet native distribution platforms, whether it’s Twitter, whether it’s discord, whether it’s Telegram, like really giving back to the communities. That’s really the best approach for the long term.
Yeah, and I think that’s also like, I think it’s like a little bit of a mic drop right there. And a good place to kind of wrap up, Patrick, before I let you go, where’s a good place to find you? How can we stay connected on all the things that you’re working on?
Patrick Rivera: Yeah. And so, my mirror blog is on pure dot mirror dot XYZ, and then I’m on Twitter, Patrick X Rivera, and then you can check out any updates on mirror at mirror dot XYZ.
Amazing, and I’ll link that stuff in the show notes. My Patrick, thank you so much. I hope to have you again soon.
Patrick Rivera: No problem. Thanks for having me.