Crypto Creator Economy Roundtable with Megan Lightcap of Slow Ventures

Megan Lightcap of Slow Ventures interviews Mint host Adam Levy on various topics spanning the web3 creator economy, from on-chain data, understanding web2 and web3 creators, the pseudonymous creator economy, and so much more.
Megan Lightcap of Slow Ventures interviews Mint host Adam Levy on various topics spanning the web3 creator economy, from on-chain data, understanding web2 and web3 creators, the pseudonymous creator economy, and so much more.

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Background

Mint Season 6 episode 5 welcomes a fun conversation between Slow Ventures’ Creator Principal Megan Lightcap and Mint host Adam Levy on the pseudonymous creator economy, why on-chain data is the most exciting opportunity for creators, 

Time Stamps

  • 00:12 – Intro
  • 04:17 – Recapping NFT NYC
  • 08:39 – How Does Web3 Empower Creators?
  • 15:12 – The Divide Between Web2 Creators and Web3 Creators
  • 24:29 – Thoughts Around Social Tokens
  • 29:26 – How Creators Should Use On-chain Data to Serve Their Communities
  • 36:40 – Pseudonymous Creator Economy
  • 40:33 – Advice for Web2 Creators Entering Web3

I hope you enjoy our conversation.

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Intro

Adam Levy: So, my name is Adam Levy. I’ve been in crypto since 2017. I got started in college. I did community college for two years and then later transferred to USC Marshall School of Business. Around that time, it was like 2017. I sort of saw Bitcoin at its 20k Peak, was like it’s all time high. And I was like, how the hell can something be trading at like $20,000? I never saw something like that, at least on the public markets. So that’s what caught my attention. But what kept me in was see what you can do with Blockchain tech. So that was really cool.

Were you, sorry to interrupt, but were you like a tech person?

Adam Levy: No. I’m a drummer. I’m a drummer. I’ve been playing the drums since five years old. 

So, what caught your attention?

Adam Levy: My dad is very, like the tech person in the home, like my dad migrated from Israel. And he was like one of the first people to come to LA from like, the social circle. And he was always on the frontier of all tech, like everything tech related. So, I think my love and interest for that came from him. And also, I think, a little bit of the music stuff. So, what kept me in is seeing what you could do with the technology, but what it was doing for musicians, so very much like in parallel. So, at the time, there was a company called Media chain, if I’m not mistaken. I think like Jesse Walton started, a company, got acquired by Spotify was like, oh, you can do more than just like a trade with this stuff. So that’s sort of what like, what kept me in and read the Bitcoin white paper, was fascinating. And this was around like my winter break. So, I had like four weeks just to like, catch myself up when everything was happening. And then I started writing in Facebook groups on campus, if you want to learn about like peer-to-peer payments on a Saturday, like 3pm, I do like a whiteboard session, okay. I know. But like three people showed up, and then did it again the next week, like five people showed up. And then at the time, there was like a club that was starting, what sort of was like five people on weekend then slowly turned to like 350 students on campus, or at least measured by like the newsletter and like type of event attendance that we had, where we did white paper roundtables. We did recruit events for Coinbase. We did hackathons. We also like started like a venture arm where we’d invest in like projects, which was through a separate organization. 

But yeah, so around that time I got my first internship in the space to, I got started like working on a VC fund. One of Tim Draper’s like subsidiary funds, it was a small fund. Now that two partners were long gone, and Joseph Home and Tim Draper, and learned a ton from them, was working with them for about a year, that ended. And then I had the opportunity to study abroad. And I told my advisor, I want to study in Switzerland. And this is maybe early 2019. In Switzerland, as a small city called tube, which is not for Crypto Valley, I want to go study near over there and try to find work over there because Ney York was way ahead of the game and the US, was there for five months trying to find a job, working like illegally with different startups over there. Only to graduate. I moved to Vienna, work with like a blockchain IOT startup, was there for a few months, they had an offer to get acquired, they dropped me like came back to LA and joined the fund that I was interning for full time, I was the only full-time employee between the three partners. And it was great. We had like 22 portfolio companies by the time I quit. And I learned a lot from alone, Joseph and Tim. I really credit them for like a lot of the marketing and like PR stuff that yeah, so three partners that are great. But the podcast thing came about, long story short, and podcast is called mint, kind of goes back to my roots as a drummer, as a creative, seeing the overlap between the creative and like the tech side. So, I wanted to cover were crypto meets creative. So that was super interesting. Yeah. So, I started this podcast as a way to just like selfishly learn about the space, but also documents what we’re doing over here. 

Sure, yeah. Awesome. How long has the podcasts been running?

Adam Levy: So over 120 episodes over a year. But I very lucky to talk to three types of people on a weekly basis. Crypto native creators, collectors/ investors, founders, all sorts of building for the web three native crater economy.

Great. We’ll have to get some slow books. Yeah. So, we first got connected through Carolina and Claire, through my colleagues at slow. Yeah, so I guess you ran into them at an NFT NYC. 

Adam Levy: Correct, yeah. 

Recapping NFT NYC

So, on the topic of NFT NYC, what was your diagnosis of this year’s kind of events, given the market kind of backdrop, to kind of more broadly and then with respect to the Creator lens?

Adam Levy: So, we’re in a bear market right now. Right. And typically, when there’s a bear market, a lot of the noise gets like sort of flushed out, but surprisingly enough, it was still I think the biggest conference they’ve had to date and NFT NYC is like a creator first conference, right? So even when you’re picking up your badges, you were able to identify what type of creator or individual you were in the space, whether your music, art, fashion, like they had all these different lanyards, which I thought was really, really unique. So, yeah, I think overall, like it was a great conference. I think what’s even better, though, are the side events and the type of people that sort of like show to the side events. I didn’t really spend too much time at the conference. But all the NFT related side events were really strong, and they really curated like the right crowd.

But was there discussion of what’s happening in the macro backdrop or was it kind of like, let’s look the other way and pretend it’s happening?

Adam Levy: Yeah. So, what do you mean by that?

Was there discussion of what’s happening more broadly in crypto markets? Or were people kind of like, continuing on as if we’re in 2021?

Adam Levy: I think it was a combination of both. I think we have no, like, everybody realizes that we have no choice but to continue, right? But I think there was also a lot of like speculation as to like, what the future really entails. Because the first wave of NFTs was very like gambler, degenerate, driven, right? But through the cracks, we’re seeing, like really innovative communities’ kind of come together, we’re seeing really interesting creators sort of come about new types of like technology, sort of like get birthed that supports this new class of users. But it’s crazy. It’s cool for me to see because when I got into crypto, it was even before defi started like NFTs were just like starting with crypto kitties. When I was taking like solidity classes at USC. And we like built the apps. But nobody really knew what crypto kitties were like, It was just like a cool, fun thing to do. And I remember when I was at Draper going home, the whole defi summer, like sort of kicked off, right? And for the longest time, it’s either you were basically just like crypto was defi, right? But then culture came into the picture and NFTs and defi like emerged. But now we’re at a stage, which I kind of learned from NFT NYC that now defi NFTs are sort of converging, right, which is super interesting. Because to be an NFT user, you probably also need to be a defi user at the same time, right? For you to get access to different currencies you have to use uniswap, right. And now there’s people sort of like lending and borrowing their NFTs. So, you’re seeing like the two sort of overlap in real time. And I think NFT NYC was like a good hub as a way to kind of see like, what are the next few months look like? I also think, though, with large crowds, comes with the deterioration of quality, people to which we love everybody, everybody’s welcome. But if you’re really trying to get like insane, alpha, you’re going to FWD fest, you know, are you going to MCON, where it’s like the people who are actually like leading the frontier and like actively building whether developers or you go to DEF CON, right? Like those may be the better examples of trying to understand what is the next few months look like or yours look like from a tech point of view?

Yeah, I mean, that feels like a very technical first approach Versus like, if I just put my like, simple consumer hat on, like, it’s still feels, crypto broadly, still feels pretty inaccessible. And my litmus test is, you know, having this conversation with friends of mine outside of finance and outside of crypto, and like, what their sentiment, almost doing, like a sentiment analysis of like them and kind of like their point of view. And I mean, it talking to them now they’re like, Isn’t crypto dead? Like isn’t over? Why are you still talking about this, which is like, it’s just an interesting, like barometer of, you know, where are we in the cycle?

Adam Levy: See, my bet is that every creator is going to be some type of like, crypto native creator. That’s my bet. 

How Does Web3 Empower Creators?

Okay, well, we’ll get into it. Yeah. Well, I packed this. I guess in that vein, I’d love to break down the question of it with the kind of the creator hat on you know, what is crypto enable that web two doesn’t? And if we can think about five and three broader categories, one NFT kind of what their utility is, What’s their purpose? Daos, and then social tokens. So, starting with NFTs, what does the technology enable for creators and how can they use in your perspective NFTs most effectively? And understanding that, like, there’s also different types of NFTs via music, or art, or IP or whatnot.

Adam Levy: I guess I can talk about like, how I’m using them as a creator. 

Sure.

Adam Levy: And sort of other like use cases that I’ve seen from other NFTs, okay. So, for me as a creator, I’m very much like a web two and web three creator, I can’t be a web three creator without web two right now. Right? So, I need the virality algorithms on web two platforms in order to funnel users to my web three products, right? That’s just the reality of it. So, from my point of view, the way I build an audience in web three, is by issuing NFT’s as sort of like tokens that are like touch points to kind of realize who my listeners were, as every season progressed. So, I’ve been giving out free NFTs to my listeners since season two, as a way to sort of thank them for being a participant in the listener, and for them to have this ego thing where like they found me before, like other people were able to find me.

But just to double click on that, what is the tangible value that they accrue by being a token holder for an NFT?

Adam Levy: Financially?

Financially or otherwise?

Adam Levy: Financially nothing, but the NFTs unlock a level of utility of additional content that other people won’t have access to?

So, could they not just get like a friends and family discount? Like, I’m just I’m trying to push.

Adam Levy: Yeah, please.

What are the tools, that web two tools that could achieve the same result that don’t necessarily have to be went three denominated? Right, like, if you want to give them a special access to content or a one on one with you, it feels like that could be achieved streaming, patriotic cetera.

Adam Levy: Sure, but it technically can, but in the grand scheme of things, like there’s pros and cons to it, if I were to be a Patreon creator, and do that exclusivity and they pay a subscription, or they just subscribe for free, right? I’m bound it to the success and the foundation of Patreon itself, right. And you see this oftentimes, like some creators have hesitation with using these platforms, because then they become so platform dependent. And then it’s hard to kind of do anything else beyond that platform. We saw this happen in real time with the introduction of Tik Tok, too. You saw a lot of Instagram creators sort of not do as well on Tik Tok, because they weren’t able to one, transfer their audience directly from one platform to another. And a whole new class of creators arose through Tik Tok that otherwise, maybe won’t be as powerful and Instagram.

But what you see now, which is really interesting is like, you know, you have these two parts, or three parts, like Tik Tok series, and they’re like, they pause like right at the cliffhanger, and they’re like, go to my Instagram to see how the story ends. And you’re like, dammit.

Adam Levy: Like, there’s so many funnels, web three, which you can’t do with anything else in web two because platform that sort of siloed onto their own islands. And web three, there is this new sort of like wave coming about with this, like, concept of fan interoperability. Okay. So, in web three, creators are the platform, not depending on platforms to be creators. So, what does that mean, in actuality? And web three, what I have an NFT based audience, I can sort of take those followers of me from platform to platform to platform to platform, so that I can never get shadow banned by the blockchain, right? I can take my audience with me. And depending on every primitive that I want to sort of like experience with X, whether it be an email list, whether it be cameo related videos, whether it be whatever, a new Twitter type of thing, I can take those followers from platform to platform to platform. In web two, I can do that. The same problem that a lot of creator’s sorts of like, experienced in web two, where if I didn’t get all the Tik Tok trend, then I’m fucked, you know. And then I’m just limited to that platform. And in also web two you also so dependent on like building in adjusting your growth strategies per platform. And you have to start from scratch many times. So that’s like one utility.

Yeah, but it’s an, sorry, to interrupt. But it’s, it’s not to say that the platforms are valuable, because they are so valuable in terms of discovery, like if everyone has their own independent platform, it’s too fragmented a world in which it’s impossible to find and seek out, you know, your niche or whatever. So, I think the perfect world is like this coexistence between these platforms, but then also like owning your own data. 

Adam Levy: Yes. I think also the way platforms build moats in web three. And maybe moat is not the right word. But web three is very much like the financialization of everything, right. So, being able to create incentives, like financial based incentives for creators to sort of be co-owners along with the platform is something that’s super interesting that I often talk about on the podcast, right? So, you really build like in crypto, you really building a lot through like user experience, because applications still suck, for the most part, and through liquidity, right? How that sort of pertains on a social platform level is to be determined, because we’re still early there. But I think the ones who end up sharing the value with the creators, right will be the ones that sort of prevail long term. Right now, we’re the product of the platform, right. In web three, it’s like, the other way around, like we own the platform, we bring on, it’s like, there needs to be the right incentives for me to start using your tool. And one of the biggest ones is like me being able to take my audience from place to place. So, if you don’t have that, like, I got to start from scratch again. So that’s through NFTs. Also there’s the obvious of issuing a community based collection, minting billions of dollars and building the minimum viable community and then finding common interests and common themes and then trying to productize that somehow or doing experiences and events or conferences, you know, which sort of what wouldn’t be able, like you wouldn’t able to do that prior to this technology because there’s also like the primary and secondary marketplaces of being able to sort of be aligned with the financial incentives that come with collecting something, again, it comes to the financialization of everything, as long as it’s digital, and you can tokenize it, then there’s a market for it, whether it be big or small, which I think is like the like part of the innovation here.

The Divide Between Web2 Creators and Web3 Creators

Yeah, I think it’s broadly like how do you bring liquidity to these like previously, super illiquid things, be it like, member of a community or an illiquid asset class or what have you? It’s interesting, though, I mean, with respect to creators, I think one thing I hear a lot from creators is like, they have an endless to do list, right? Between content, editing, production, business development, sales, all that stuff. They’re running, in many instances, small, like not even small businesses, like real businesses and educating themselves on web three or NFTs or what have you is so low on their priority list. So, knowing that to be true today, do you kind of see this bifurcation of creators between like, pure web two creators and then web three creators?

Adam Levy: Yeah, web three, just like Tik Tok Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, email, sub sec, all these things are their own individual platforms. Same thing applies to web three right now. So, you typically hear the phrase, or maybe I say this in mind, and maybe the only one, but like, there’s crypto native creators. So, they use these web three based primitives as a way to build, monetize and own their audience in ways that they can’t really do so on traditional platforms, because they’re bounded to the monetization channels and funnels on the platform itself. Right. So, but what’s interesting is, because there’s a new class of creators, it’s like what happened with Tik Tok, it’s like when new class of creators are emerging on tick tock, a lot of the attention started to shift over there. Because they were either willing to like able to build audiences in a viral way like never before, or they were able to get brand deals because they built that level of attention, like same thing is happening in web three, you’re seeing crypto native creators sort of emerged. And a lot of the attention is being forced on them, because now they’re finding new ways to monetize and grow community, but also on a smaller scale. So, I think there’s a really good tweet that RAC pushed out a few months ago where, I forgot what the numbers were. So don’t quote me.

Musician.

Adam Levy: The musician. Yeah, the artists, I think Grammy Award winning musician, producer. So, he basically pushes out a tweet, he’s like, I had music NFT drop, and 136 people generated the same amount of value, monetary value that all 9 million listeners would sort of generate on Spotify, which is crazy to think about in the grand scheme of things now. You may question it and be skeptical. Okay, how scalable is that? Because RAC is like, oh, gee Ethereum, you know, or like OG creator on the Ethereum network. And a lot of collectors understand him. And I’ve seen him around the blocks a little bit on him, like, is that scalable for other creators? I don’t know. But also, if you look at like the revenue model for like, sound dot XYZ, for example, even being able to crowdfund one Eth, like 2k right now, how many listens, it’s required to make 2k.

Yeah, I mean, I think that also speaks to the unfortunate economics of the music industry. That’s a whole separate.

Adam Levy: But it’s also like views on YouTube. So, for views on YouTube, Facebook, right? On Tik Tok. So, like Tik Tok has the creator fund and maybe misinformed, maybe they’ve changed it since then. But from what I remember, like the creator fund is kept versus like YouTube, maybe more available, because it’s based off like the ad revenue, for example. So that’s on the NFT base including the Dao. So, I have a hot take. I think Dao, yeah, I think Daos are very much romanticized right now. I think there’s a spectrum to Daofication. And I think a lot of people maybe want to try to be a Dao but they’re not yet a Dao. The way I see it for Dao to really operate successfully, in the way I understand Dao is like, everybody needs to be very much like a go getter, and very independent themselves to sort of like, co-create amongst each other in a way where they don’t need to be micromanaged, that’s how I sort of envisioned it Dao. Now, obviously, it’s not like that right now. Like you have people form pods within Dao as a way to sort of like, organize and make sure that things are being delivered upon and whatnot. So, there’s a spectrum to being a decentralized organization. I think from a creator point of view, there isn’t really like a decentralized creator, if we look at it from one creator to an audience, but if you look at it from a brand, right? From like a community of creators to a group of collectors, there’s a ton of those, like Bay dot club, again, one of those like profound communities, everybody, almost everybody knows about them. I’ll just use them because people may know them. They, for the longest time, sort of just like had the NFT as like the access pass to the community, you could draw on the whiteboard, you can attend the events, whatever. 

And now they started to Dao phi with a social token, the ape coin, right. And now they have like a Dao committee, where if you’re an ape holder, you can sort of vote on things for the ape Dao, so I like thinking about it, like what does a modern-day fan club look like? And I see NFTs in the form of like membership passes as the entry point for starting a modern defend club. And depending on which rarity traits you purchase or depending on how many you buy determines your contribution, your level of monetary sort of like dominance for the organization. So, I love Lady Gaga, and she was more of a web three native person, I could see myself buying multiple NFTs just to support them and have a voice in the community because I love whatever monster community whatever. But what’s interesting, which we have yet to like, crack the code on. The best community builders today, don’t manage the communities. If you go on Facebook groups, and you search Lady Gaga, you’ll see hundreds of Lady Gaga fan clubs where the Lady Gaga fans, they manage that group, without any monetary incentive, without any sort of align whatsoever, without any tokens without any NFTs, any snapshot and all that stuff. They just do it because of love. So that’s why I’m not sure where this sort of fits into grand scheme of things. Yeah. You get my dilemma?

I do. And as you’re talking, like, I’m really struggling to understand why. Like, if you take the fan club example, like, what about a Dao structure is advantageous.

Adam Levy: Advantageous part is that financial incentives are aligned, right. And you could sort of like, quantify the financial incentives by part through participation, right, where either one token equals one vote. And if I’m a big fan of like, let’s say, I think the best examples like Daniel Allen, he’s a, he’s like one of the tops like music artists in the space. I love collecting his stuff. I’ve been a big fan of his music as well. So, I now feel like I have a much more personal connection to him and his music because I’ve actually spent money collecting his stuff, participating in the overstimulated Dao, being able to vote on things, right. Whereas, if you’re on a Facebook group type of homepage, it’s disconnected. Yeah, it’s like sick. It’s powerful, right? Like, it’s great. But it’s a different type of community. So, with Daniel, like, I know, if Daniel continues to deliver value to the tools that he’s built, to the assets that he built in web three, then I know, as a listener, I’m going to really benefit because he’s just gonna do better because I’m able to front run your success through capital, right. But also, I may have upside because I got it early on Daniel Allen, before the rest of the world got in on Daniel Allen. And if he actually ends up becoming, and I believe he will be right, someone who’s like huge and great, travel the world like super talented DJ, his audience is going to grow and the limited amount of NFTs and tokens that he released very early on in his career, maybe hot items. And by the way, and you’re already seeing that pieces prevail with like his early sound drops, his 25 base additions, I think of like a 5 Eth floor, because there’s just so like, iconic like memorabilia-based collectibles, right?

Do you think this is ever going to break into the mainstream or do you think it stays within these web three native creators?

Adam Levy: I don’t think it’s everyone just like, not everybody collects baseball cards, right? 

Yeah, but baseball card collecting, broadly is pretty mainstream.

Adam Levy: It is mainstream, but I also know a lot of people that don’t really align with that, right?

But what I mean by mainstream is that there’s really no like educational barrier to to be a baseball card collector, whereas I feel like there’s a huge technical gap. If I’m a regular way, music aficionado, right? Like for me to participate in this structure, feels like a really big step versus what I’m used to today. And it may just be that like, the consumer interfaces on some of this stuff, have just like not evolves to that place.

Adam Levy: I look at it from this point of view. Okay, this is great. You interviewed on YouTube, from the early days of the internet, I think it was like one of the late shows, I forgot who was the host, and it was on there. But it could have been like a new segment I don’t remember. And they’re like talking about the internet, where they talk about it. Like, there’s this crazy new thing called Internet, you know, and when they say there’s, this crazy new thing called Internet versus like the internet, you know, it’s like, it makes you think how early we were at that time. But yeah, things got super more approachable, and sift, like, all the inconsistencies within the technology and the user experience sort of improved over time. I may be drinking the Kool Aid too much. I may have too much money invested. But I do think it’s here to stay. And it goes back to my thesis, like every creator is going to be a crypto native creator.

Thoughts Around Social Tokens

Yeah, I guess I straddle this world of like, so like non crypto people, but then I also have a lot of exposure through work and otherwise, that like, it feels like this consistent struggle of trying to reconcile these two worlds. And like, when does it actually converge? And what is the catalyst that drives that convergence? But anyways, conversations. So, the last category in our social tokens, right? So, I mean, we’ve touched on it briefly, how do you think about social tokens for creators and how to leverage them and our reach really, where are we kind of?

Adam Levy: Yeah, good question. So, I always, I do a Sunday newsletter. I’ve been doing it for almost a year, I think this Sunday is going to be issued 50. And when I started doing it, social tokens were really hot. And I’m an issue 50 now, and I can barely find news around social tokens anymore. And I tweeted this a few, I think a couple months ago, I was like, why am I not seeing any activity on social tokens? Like what’s going on? And it’s interesting, because you saw a trend sort of shift from communities that are being built off, like fungible tokens. Now shifting to non-fungible tokens. I think the best example, that I recall is some a group like developer, Dao, where at the time, if you look at all their peers, they were typically launching communities using ERC 20s. But developer Dao sort of issue like membership passes through NFTs to get rid of this, I guess the speculative nature of what ERC 20 may bring to a community versus what a membership has membrane right now, like taking consideration, like NFTs are also speculative, very much so. But the way I try to understand them is like it’s in human nature to receive a ticket to get into something versus buy like stock to get into something. So, I think from like an end user point of view, there’s just more of a level of comfort and a level of understanding from doing that. So that’s number one, two, social tokens for the longest time have been tied to fungible tokens like ERC 20s, but NFTs are becoming social tokens to originally the initial vision for social tokens like human stock markets and creator is sort of the publicly traded and being able to sort of make a bet on a creator through its fungibility. Yeah. Which don’t get me wrong, I still think there’s like a promising future for it. But I think for creators, it’s more threatening, sort of to be publicly traded.

Yeah, I mean, it’s like, imagine having your stock traded like every day, you see where your price has, quote, unquote, settled, like, that’s a really, feels like a really big step from where we are today versus just like patronage and fandom and whatnot.

Adam Levy: But what I do see it, I do see it as a currency for the community. So maybe Lady Gaga won’t have the Gaga token but you’ll have the monster’s token. So, the token can sort of be used, just by naming it differently. It’s sort of like insinuates a different purpose for it. So, you’re not publicly traded Gaga, you’re more of using the currency as a form of a token within the community. So, for example, okay, let’s look at someone like Ali McPherson. Okay. She’s a gaming creator. I think she’s on the rally network. While she ended up using her name as a token symbol. She now does like brand collaborations where she uses the Ali coin as a form of currency, to be able to purchase things, right, and to get sort of like exclusive discounts and perks just by using the currency as a form of like, as a currency. It’s a community. Yeah. Also, if you look at the platform’s building for, like, fungible token creators, like they’re not doing like so well most part, a lot of them also introduced NFTs as a new type of token because they’re seeing a lot more creators. And I look today, I saw there’s over 146,000 collections, NFTs collections on open sea, a16z sort of measures the number of creators and web three based off that number, their 2021 report, they said there was 22,400 creators of web three, measured by the number of collections on open sea. So, if we continue with that same train of thought, there’s over 140,000 web three native creators measured by the number of collections in the space. There are over 140,000 socials like ERC 20 creators. So obviously, there’s something about like the non-fungibleness, for community that makes much more sense, when I think it may go back down to the point application as a speculative nature of being able to like to tokenize, everything, financials everything, but my point of view, it’s like, I get the concept of purchasing one thing to get into something versus like.

Yeah. It’s like, if you’re a stockholder of whatever, you get invited to the annual shareholders conference, but that’s pretty much it. Other than that, like, what’s the, what does that get you access right outside of a future of.

Adam Levy: Yeah, it’s like, it’s like buying 75 FWB to join, FWB, why don’t we just like, buy like a membership pass? To enter the community, you know, and maybe there’s like tears in the membership pass, or you just to buy one thing versus going uniswap and like, swap 75 things. I don’t know. I could be thinking about it wrong. But that’s just like my point of view.

How Creators Should Use On-chain Data to Serve Their Communities

Yeah, I know, you’ve given this a lot more thought than I have. Yeah. So, two more meaty topics. What I know that you’re super passionate about is how creators can use on chain data to better serve their communities, build communities, and just be a little bit more intentional about how they use that data. Do want to share? Okay, so what I’ve you down there?

Adam Levy: Let’s talk about the web two creator like a music creator like regardless okay, there was another tweet just to back this up a little bit more. I forgot by who. But he basically tweeted like, I have over 27 million listeners on Spotify, but I can’t really tap into that, like, I don’t know what the hell they are, you know, and maybe if I’m lucky, Spotify will give me the ability to sort of tap into that 1% feature that they have, maybe it’s a few more percentage, I couldn’t be butchering the percentage, but it’s a much larger proportion to what I’m actually like delivering value to. Whereas in web three, everything is open. Everything is transparent, as long as we’re building on like an open network, and everything is built with like, the same consensus algorithms and the same sort of like primitives. And the same amongst different, like, if we’re all building on the same sort of mission, right, which is, let’s say the Ethereum blockchain. And everything is publicly accessible. So, this goes back to my thing as a creator, like, if I’m posting on Twitter, like sure Twitter provides data analytics or on social metrics. But I don’t really get much more than that. Right? If you look at like Facebook ads, like sure, I can sort of understand what my audience is, and I can target accordingly, you know, and, but I don’t really know their level of a fluency in crypto, because the blockchain is so open and transparent by design. We as creators, like the reason why everybody should be a crypto native creator, because of all the data that you can get on the blockchain, you know, of understanding who your audience is, and creating better content, accordingly, growing your audience accordingly and monetizing more strategically. What do I mean? I give out free NFTs to my listeners, like I said every single season, majority of them are now sold out NFTs, I think it’s like over 10,000 NF Ts today. For the longest time, I knew nothing about my collectors were right. Okay. Which sort of like collectors.

Being listeners.

Adam Levy: My listeners, but those who sort of minted my free NFT, okay, I know who they are off chain. I have Google Analytics and Spotify data and all these other data sources to sort of understand who the hell these people, so I can grow my podcast accordingly. But what’s even more interesting is understanding who they are on chain. Okay, so that I can create better content for them based on the communities that they’re a part of. So, I know to sort of design maybe like beginner level courses based off their wallet age. So, if I know they just entered into crypto, maybe I should be doing more like beginner friendly content versus that they’re three years old in the crypto space. They’ve been through a cycle, I can do more like complex thinking, defi related type conversations. So, we built this tool called Bella. And Bella sort of allows the creator to understand more about their collectors Mulberry. Think of it as like a Google Trends point of view. So, Google Trends, you search a keyword here, really visual data on it, same thing with this data tool that we built. I don’t want to show the data tool, I want to sort of talk about, like, what it’s allowing you to do. So, I now see.

You’re so excited.

Adam Levy: I’m super excited about it, because I think a lot of creators aren’t getting the point as to why you should become a crypto native creator.

Yeah.  

Adam Levy: Okay. So, I learned that a lot of my collectors, 27% of them collect on Zora. Okay. Why is that important? Because I’ve really never had someone on the podcast from Zora, I needed to bring someone on the podcast from Zora. It’s a marketplace, okay, whatever. Whatever, 27% of my collectors collect on this one platform. I never had an executive from that platform on the podcast. And I should have honest, but I had no way of knowing that that’s what I should be doing. But I learned that there’s an alignment and interest between my on-chain audience, so I brought someone in from the team, we did an episode, in that episode about 41% more downloads than a typical podcast episode. So, I was using on chain data as a way to understand who my audience is. And I add full transparency on who they were right? Without sort of revealing intrusively who they were, and I was able to optimize accordingly. I also learned that a lot of them are also like defi degenerates on a Ave. And they hold, Ave recently released lens protocol, right, a new social graph on Polygon. There’s an overlap between sort of getting a new sponsor based off that as well. We showed this tool to a music festival organizer, where they sell tickets as NFTs. Now they’re able to understand who their attendees are. Eventbrite doesn’t give them data, you know, party pool maybe gives them maybe a little bit like, they don’t give them an amount of data that they can sort of tap into if they were to use on chain tools as a way to sell tickets and grow community online. So, we learned that a lot of them are already music NFT collectors, right. And we also found out which artists they collect, guess who’s going to be performing at the Music Festival, the artists that they collect? Oh, and on top of that, we also realized that a lot of them are like sand holders from sandbox, the token sand. That’s a sponsor for the festival, right, there’s already an audience alignment over there. So, you’re able to see on chain data as a way to sort of further guide your audience growth strategies, your monetization strategies. Another interesting thing is like.

Stupid question, so Can this ever be because I’m just thinking like GDPR like California protection, all that stuff? Can this ever be regulated? Or like a bit like what, I guess what governing body would step in and regulate this sort of complexion of data for users.

Adam Levy: You got to think about like, to what level they would regulate it because everything is already anonymous, without unless you like go on Twitter, Levy.eth. Right? You can see my address right, then that’s on you. Right. But I would argue there’s more anonymous people in there aren’t people.

And I guess the average, like, address holder is not complex enough such that they’re making, you know, multiple addresses for each different activity that they can like really to obfuscate?

Adam Levy: Yeah, I think anything that the government, like, it’s crazy to say, but the government would actually love something like this. Yeah. Because they only have, like, I’m sure they like complex systems, whatever, I’m not going to doubt what type of tech they have. But this is like proof, like the reason why they want to create CBDCs. Right, so they have government backed currencies, right. So, they can sort of track everything that’s happening on chain, right, like that’s like a real value add sort of, but you can do it in a non-intrusive way without revealing your first name, last name, home address social security, like you don’t have to do that unless you’re an ad and you Doc’s yourself like that, right? So, from a creator’s point of view, when we talk about building an audience, the more information you have on your audience, the better suited you are to create better content for them, to monetize better, to create better experiences for them, and to just be an overall better creator, right. And already in web two of the smartest creators in web two use data. They like Mr. Beast, there’s a great interview with him on Joe Rogan, where he talks about, he’s like, he’s obsessive over YouTube’s analytics, tracking, like thumbnail performance. And if he can’t figure out what thumbnail to create for video, he won’t post the video.

But that’s not user. I mean, it’s user data in so far as you have like click through rates and views. And it’s not.

Adam Levy: But it’s not like user, user data. Performance based data. Right? Yeah, right. 

Pseudonymous Creator Economy

Yeah. No, I mean, I think there’s definitely an opportunity there. Yeah. So in that same vein, in terms of anonymized data and whatnot, there’s this whole trend within crypto in and around pseudo anonymity. I mean, you spend an hour on crypto Twitter and whatnot. And like, no one has their actual face in their profile picture, or name in their handle. So how do you square to intimidate with being a creator when being a creator by definition is personality lead and identity lead?

Adam Levy: Good question. Another hot take maybe, I think like the creator economy will grow as a whole as more pseudonymous creators sort of get normalized. And what do I mean by that? It takes a lot to be a front man or front woman to go in front of a camera, right? And like do a dance and like be very vulnerable like that. Right? I know a lot of creators that do that. But I also know a lot more people that really enjoy do that, but don’t have the balls to go on camera. And like do that whole type of thing. So being a pseudonymous creator actually reveals a new level of comfort for creativity, where you can maybe feel more like yourself without really being yourself and construct the identity that you want to be seen by others. Right. So, I think it’s actually very net positive for the space. And a lot of the Twitter characters online, if you haven’t met them at conferences, you would otherwise think they’re anonymous, or pseudo anonymous, whatever it may be, right? And they post like the most like, crazy shit online, you know, but you know, who they want to person, you know, but that’s part of their character, like, that’s part of the personality.

Yes. And I think the most important part is just that, like, being consistent with that character, whoever it is, it almost doesn’t matter. Who’s behind it. So as long as it’s the same person throughout the character, or whatever, through and through.

Adam Levy: yeah, and there’s this one podcaster that I came across. I think it’s Jacob or whatever. I remember his website being blue, okay. He has really top guests. He’s killing it, he’s in great job, but he has no like, social profile online, you know. And I maybe discovered him after he maybe docks himself, but I haven’t really found anything, but I now know him as like, Jacob. I don’t even know if that’s his name, you know, like his real name. But I know him as like Jacob blue. You know, like, that’s what I remember as and he’s a synonymous like creator. He’s a podcaster. And you’re also seeing AI tools being built sort of to like manipulate people’s voices, so that they can sort of sound up who they want to be. And now you’re seeing like Avatar based tech sort of being created so that they can become the PFPs virtually, G money does this really well. There’s another one. He helped start Vainer NFT, I’m blanking on his name, so forgive me, but he created this company where you can create avatars of your PFP right? And be that character, whoever you want to be. Right? Yeah. 

No, I buy that it actually expands the opportunity set. I think it brings more people, It makes being a creator more accessible to more people. And then I also think with respect to brand building, it’s a really interesting opportunity just because it feels like the because you can be whoever you want, right? You can be like a tree avatar or whatever. It can be anything not just a single individual or person and so as you think about brand extension, you can just get a lot more creative.

Adam Levy: Also, a PFP is like the perfect like sort of template to sort of form yourself into a different character. Right. So, I think a great example of this is goblin town. And they’re sort of known for their like rabid voices that they create. That’s like super funny. They had a Twitter space that went viral in that a lot of the community participated in and they sort of like that’s like a creative act. Yeah. And there’s a tokenization element where it’s financialized. And a lot of like, floor went up like crazy. And everybody that minted it for free made great money from it. So that’s like an example of like creators as a collective right?

Advice for Web2 Creators Entering Web3

Super interesting. Well, what is one piece of advice you would give to creators that either want to learn more about web three, or just get smarter on the space and just are very intimidated by it today?

Adam Levy: if you’re a web to creator, for example, trying to get into web three, and you have some type of an audience, do a twitter poll or Instagram poll on your story, and be like who’s interested in crypto, who is not interested, whoever says they’re interested, DM all them a link to join a telegram group chat, give them a free NFT. And then sort of start building like, some type of community, as long as you’ve given them some kind of like on chain asset, whether it be a pull up, whether it be something that you’ve minted for free, whatever it may be, just get them involved. And I think that’s the best way to sort of migrate your web two community into web three. Yeah, right. There’s another concept in crypto called, like, the minimum viable community, right, we first build out audiences and then we productize them. creators are like the definition of that. You know, so there’s never been a better user for crypto tools, then the creator, they embody naturally, what a web three sort of like environment sort of looks and feels like from a decentralized level. So go on Instagram, put on a poll, who’s into crypto yes or no, everybody that marks Yes, DM them, send them a link to telegram and then send everybody a pull up. Just give them a free NFT, just get them involved and then start from there. Do you like a weekly session and you just like, so when you guys want to do now? You know, like I’m curious about this. What questions do you guys have, you know, and then if you want to do a drop, like create videos on how to start a Meta mask, and how to transfer money from one place to another and get your audience familiar and comfortable. Yeah, I think that’s what I would say.

It’s good advice. That’s the playbook right there. Yeah. Well, thank you so much for doing this.

Adam Levy: Sure. Thank you for having me.

Yeah. You joining.

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