Mint Season 7 episode 5 welcomes Farokh, social media entrepreneur and Founder of Rug Radio. Throughout the hour, we dive into the world of web3 social, memes, and using NFTs to build communities.
We discuss the potential of monetizing your media using crypto primitives, common themes in viral meme pages and social media accounts, and strategies for turning web2 consumers into web3 collectors. Farokh also shares his motivation, focus strategies, and tips for other creators looking to start their own NFT-based media projects.
I hope you enjoy our conversation.
- 00:00 – Intro
- 04:50 – Common Theme in Viral Meme Pages and Social Media Accounts
- 08:21 – Comparing Web2 Followers and Web3 Collectors
- 10:02 – Being a Platform Rather Than a Follower
- 11:56 – Rug Radio
- 26:03 – Best Practices for Media Companies and Creators Using Crypto to Monetize
- 32:45 – The Potential for Making Money from a Select Few in Web3 as a Creator
- 36:03 – Potential Market Cap Growth in Tokenized Content
- 39:50 – Strategies for Turning Consumers into Collectors
- 41:58 – Suitable Types of Content for Tokenization
- 46:37 – Motivation and Focus Strategies for Farokh
- 48:59 – Tips That Would’ve Been Helpful to Know Before Starting Rug Radio
- 51:05 – Outro
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Farokh, welcome to mint season seven, baby. Let’s go. Thank you for being on.
Farokh: Yo, yo, yo season seven, lucky number.
Farokh: I’m more of September 7th, I like that, like it’s meant to be.
I think this was meant to be actually because numbers just line up, energies line up. And I’m glad to have you here. The whole theme for season seven is all about white three media and crypto native content creators. You might know a thing or two about that. I don’t know.
Farokh: Maybe we’ll see. Well, I’m trying as much as I got you though.
I think I think a good place to start Farokh, for those who don’t know you, for my audience. Just give a quick teaser about yourself, rug radio and all the good stuff that you do.
Farokh: Yeah, I mean, my name is Farokh Samad. You know, 28-year-old entrepreneur. I started media decentralized web three media ecosystem called rug radio last year. Actually, yesterday year ago, was when December 22, 2021, is when our membership pass was a free to mint, free claim, it was a year ago. So, we launched rug radio and also host of the Jim Web three morning show on rug radio and founder and so we you know, we do a lot, I’m sure we’re going to talk about this right now, with my background and you know, extensively social media. I’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember, I’m 28 now. So, I’ve been doing this since I was 17 but as for fun when I was a kid, like always on it, I’m really an internet kid and then you know found the love for passion for NFTs and blockchain and just dove deep in February 2021 and I never looked back. So that’s the very long story short.
What is your first memory of the internet?
Farokh: When I was, when I lived in Montreal, so we first moved to Montreal. I’m born in Paris, we moved and then before moving 98 for one year and we were first moving I was like four or five and one of those dial up computers type thing. I guess that’s one of my first memories is, but flashing, I’ve never been asked this question. Wow. So, flashing and then a little later around those, that ages, trying those big things, you have those desk and put-up thing and like the days Yeah, well, first memories would be around that. I think.
So, what? You couldn’t like use the internet and call on the phone the same time?
Farokh: Things like that, like it was, I never really understood at the time, and I still don’t but that’s around then I think, make me feel old. I’m 28, like a child.
Were you a Facebook kid though or an Instagram kid.
Farokh: Facebook, 2012 when Facebook came out is when I was like fuck. So, 2012, no early 2008, 2008 I was 12. So, this one I was 12 years old, Facebook came out, so 2006 and I remember I had to lie about my age, so Facebook still thinks I’m 91 instead of 92, 94 because I had to say I was over the age. No, I put 95 instead of 93, instead of 94 to show was like 13 or 12. Remember the AS status that was blocked. There was no DMZ was just a wall, it was something and like whatever. And so yeah, I was a Facebook kid, I started early meme pages on Facebook at 13,14 years old. I did my High School’s meme page that was called CMF memes. You know every school had their meme pages not to run it on all, out of 800 students I had 800 likes, likes were followers back then, it was called was called likes. And then 2014, November is when I saw Instagram and I was like bang, all in, like eight years straight on IG, built a huge network on there but I was Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, no Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram through 2020, clubhouse, Twitter again.
What was high school Farokh like?
Farokh: I mean I went to like this like strict French, like school here in Montreal, is like French system from like the French government. So, I was a kid that like actually had good grades, my Persian mom devastating for my mom. But you know, it’s, you know high school means just like I don’t know, it was just like very like, I was, I think I’ve been the same since ever, like from the stories I’m hearing as a kid child, as a baby. Even my mom tells me like have always been the same, so very energetic, very like always happy and shit and then but also like you know, I had like good grades ish but it was also really, like I used to talk a lot in classes to get a booted a class, like the most out of every figure. But it’s yeah, that’s high school me but I was cool dude, I was a kid trying to become class pres, like help other people out. I started the first ever strike in the history of my school since 90.
Farokh: Yeah, they kicked out a kid for no reason, our school was very strict. And if there was unfair, like sorry group on Facebook, we went on strike for whatever, they refuse to take our math books out of the thing, then they seem really fucking, all the principles to school do you want me in the fucking office and shit. No, get down with the people you already know. You know.
Common Theme in Viral Meme Pages and Social Media Accounts
The rebel, the rebel and I feel like that character also shows on the day to day of hosting rug radio, the GM show and every everything that you’ve sort of done leading up to where you are today. Each and every platform, at least it seems like from an outsider’s perspective, every platform that you that you’ve been on, you’ve managed to build a viral audience around, whether it be around your personal brand or even reflecting on the meme pages that you started. And I feel like there’s something that you can take away from every single platform, that you’ve sort of like build an audience around, that you continuously use and create, like feedback loops with. Share with me, what are those feedback loops, those lessons learned from the meme pages. The Instagram accounts, the Tumblr pages, the Twitter pages, web three. Like what, is there any underlying theme between all those accounts?
Farokh: That was what fascinated me day one, is that from the tip of your thumbs, you have access to millions of people for network from anywhere you want. And that’s why we show the formula, yeah, no, it’s busted up. But this is quick.
Farokh: Yeah. But it’s, but that’s always fascinated me, that no matter where you’re from, what religion you practice, what your beliefs are, whatever, like I started luxury pages on Tumblr early on. And when I was 47 years old, called Mr. Good Life, and I shared this, I was really, I had a fight. I had a passion for fine jute, like fine watches, architecture, nice cars, mama said since I was a child, I just always run after like Ferraris and stuff, and nice cars, and I was obsessed with it, collect Hot Wheels, watch f1. So, I was always obsessed with it, and find craftsmen and so, I started blog. The point being is it what struck me is that I learned throughout three years of doing this, that I will have followers, people from all over the world, that were following me and send me messages and no matter what they believed in, whether they fought between the countries, whatever they would like the same things. And so, what’s always fascinating with web two, and social media is that it can, it’s the power to recoup millions and hundreds of billions of people now, on to social networks, web three just empowers them. And then we’ll talk about it later, I’m sure but like, there’s ways to tap into that and empower people and creators and whatnot. But and these people, this network of people, so it’s a layer on top, but still like it was a common theme. We gathered around my High School’s Facebook page, we gathered around my Twitter, which was Montreal province, remember all something problems, they sit in New York, I ran Montreal province to take, like 2015 or like Middle Eastern problems, like Persian problems, like I am Persian, like, but it’s in then like the luxury pages and I started network of like 15 pages on Instagram with 15 million followers. I went from zero to 10 million followers in one and under two years on IG, around luxury, love, life hacks, nature, travel, pets, like different channels, right? And so, people were groups, it was always this like, it’s now NFTs web three. When I saw on February 18, 2021 when NFT was, it was I immediately got it because I had already been doing this for like 10, 12, 13, whatever it is. And I was like, but you’re telling me that now it’s this community on steroids because we all add to each other. And there’s actually this like feeling that you can give and receive at the same time and built to like togetherness, right? There’s like something there. So that’s what got me really early into the commute because I was like, I’m not a crypto G, I’m an internet kid. I understand communities, my expertise. I’ve been doing it 10 years already. So now there’s something can build on this layer on top of it. What the blog and then I found out that this is what the blockchain is.
Comparing Web2 Followers and Web3 Collectors
So, on that path. Okay, I like to break things down into model. And I’m trying to understand from your perspective, how you see the equivalent of a web two follower in web three, is that reminiscent of a collector in your eyes?
Farokh: In web two were publishers, and then went three were platforms. So, you were all platforms, every single network participant within the rug radio ecosystem is a platform, whether you’re a holder, whether you’re daily listener, participant, whether you’re a creator, you are platform. And that’s the beautiful thing about the space, artists that we go through art first, right? Artists are platforms, right? And so, the that’s why mindful shout out t Richard and their team, they Empowered that, they say own your platform, mint on your own smart contract, do this, you’ve seen it, like they do their own thing of ownership. It’s like the ethos, it’s like the core of our space. Now, when it comes to these followers, per se, they’re each different platforms, but also network participants. And they add to it, they’re not just, you go from publisher to platform, but you also go from consumer to participant. I don’t call our listeners on rug radio on our show, and every people with rug radio, NFTs consumers, I really call them participants because each one of them together, adds value to the show, which then add value to the Creator, then adds value to the show, then via the network, which is rug radio, which then rug radio manage to properly bring that value back to the participants and the creators of it. So, it’s just like that, but starts from the grassroots. I’ve always had a very reverse engineering type of mentality, no matter what I did, even on Instagram, and I think that’s how it works in this space also. Though, within.
Being a Platform Rather Than a Follower
So, part of being a platform, I’m trying to understand, just refine that more, because I talked about that concept a lot. Like wherever you go, your community follows, right. And there aren’t any gated silos or walled gardens anymore. But from your perspective, as someone who’s built, like the media brand that you’ve built, the number of participants that you have around the brand, what are the benefits of being a platform that you sort of couldn’t do with being a follower? Like break that down a little bit more.
Farokh: I think it’s like, in terms of a network effect. Like, as a follower, if you’re just a follower, I feel like it’s just there’s not that like tie, that’s like, there’s no special tie, there’s not a bond. So some people, like there’s some people that choose to just be follower of, but that’s not the kind of people you want, when you’re building your brand, or anything or network, try and build their community or like a project or anything, you really want the type of people that are participants, because they’re going to take actions and gonna help you, in order to build what you’re trying to do. But also, it’s going to help them back. There’s like these two ways conversion here. This is two-way street between you and the holder, like the blockchain, either the layer where people could just listen to my show, or they could decide to buy the rug radio NFT and thus becoming an active network participant. And then not only do I get something out of it as a creator, but also as the network or rug radio to get something out of it. But also, you do, because you will get value added back out of being part of this community. By value, I do not mean money, monetary, that’s secondary, right? But the primary value is all the added things that you can provide to someone who participates within your ecosystem. And you probably see it, you have people listen to your show, the participant listens, counts, shares, comments, people may be reaching out to you or helping you, your team. But there’s difference between feeling just follows you to just like, follow you.
Got it. Yeah. So that brings me to my next question, recognizing this shift in structure, this shift in attention. This shift in participation, that’s what led you to start rug radio, or how did rug radio come into the picture? Because I remember you being super active on clubhouse, and like owning that stage. And then now Twitter spaces came in and own that stage, too. So, was it like the next obvious step to do this incredible brand or walk me through that?
Farokh: So, like you said, So December 2O, 2020. So, I’m almost closing in on two years of doing this every single day. There is the everyday, multiple times a day, some days. But December 2022, I found out what clubhouse was, and I was P quarantined in Montreal, Quebec, like Christmas time you do nothing else. It’s got obsessed with life social audio, because I really understood the power because I already understood the power of voice. But now you’re telling me instead of video, image, whatever people value you for what you have in here. And what you have to say, right? Now just smart things. If you’re singer, if you’re musician, creator, you’re creative, like things you know that you could share. So, I mean, there’s live social audio, power, so I decided that I will just like go all in on clubhouse and then three months I and I already built like 75,000 followers on clubhouse by February, I had the biggest like social media club called all things social media, maybe 30, 40,000 members. I had the biggest NFT Club today called NFT. I was the first person to register the word NFT on clubhouse, so like that probably has like 50, 70k. I have to go check back, I haven’t looked since but like, so I was hosting. So, it was, I was getting to this social media club but then found out what NFT was one night February 18, 2021. In this clubhouse room out of all places, which pop like thank you, it was fuck Victor mascara Tommy Kimmelman, Richard. All these legends like Cory and Greg, Mike, lady Phoenix, on one stage like and I was like, whoa, like what is this. How does it work? Blockchain, art, what NFT. What’s an NFT? Like, I was obsessed. Then, that night, from midnight to 4am. I asked all these questions, it clicked. I don’t know how to like to tell you in a more honest way. Like it just clicked. And that’s why I say it anyone who asked me, it’s just like I understood the power of community. I noticed a season music production, I’ve understood memes because I’ve been creating the memes of production for 10 years, right? I’ve been doing this meme since you know, the kid with the first like the troll phase like the OG memes were just like writing on top bottom, toss that, you didn’t used to, memes are like, also to be used right? Like you know memes like that, right, like that kind of thing. And so, I was a creator of memes in a way, a distributor of memes, I understood always community building and had built millions of tens of millions of followers on other platforms before I’ve been doing this. And so, I understood and then all I had to do is had someone knocked me in and make me understand how blockchain adapts without crypto and web three mixed this better and amplifies it, right, and understood that night. Next thing you know, next day, I pretty much shut down my business. I was doing marketing, media marketing and that was in communication strategies on social platforms for eight years, Good Life Media and like I had a whole thing going on. 50 million followers, massive network, like I shut down my clients to zero and I bought my first NFT three days after December 21st, 2021. Micah Johnson, Aku Genesis, and I never looked back. And then in June of that year, I saw Twitter spacey starting to take over, I was like, well, so I was always very good at adapting and changing. Like I’ll quit a platform if I see it’s running to the wall. I saw Tumblr die, I’m out, 2014 I went to Instagram, all in, wrote the Instagram is still killing it. Instagram is still very important big, right? We can get to that. But anyways, so Twitter, clubhouse boom, so Twitter boom, so I went to Twitter to do the spaces thing, just like on clubhouse. And then on September 19, 2021, you know, I was hosting a 10-hour Twitter space, whatever, you know, we get down and like we’re talking all things web three, social media with a conversation like this. Like we’re chilling, like 10 of us, thousand people in the audience, fucking crazy. It keeps rugging, rugging, it keeps opening the Twitter space again. I’m like, yo, I’m gonna call this rug radio. It’s like a radio show because I’m running 10 hours straight. And people listen to me, to this person, to that person, to this person to this person. I was always very good at like, you know, like motivating the stage. And then like, and then next thing you know someone in my Discord because I had started discord 12 days later, earlier for my birthday, called House of Farooq. Someone’s like yo, I gotta go to back up my $11 hour job tomorrow. I was like, fuck it. How can we create your timing through, all I’ve learned from blockchain last like since February to September, like so it’s like nine months, it’s six months, seven months. Anyway, part of my math I just said, I can’t calculate but I was like, and I was like, is there a way to create a media company is decentralized. So, we’re also a decentralized in and Daos, Daos and I was very curious about Daos and I love Daos personally, but is there a way to build a decentralized media ecosystem that we all collectively can add value to the network and we get value back from it, where people are rewarded to listening because people spend 10 hours just now with us. We were on the 10th hour, most people spend 10 hours with us, listening. How can they get something out of it, right? So, they can educate, entertain themselves and web three because I generally think this can change lives and has changed my life, has changed your life I’m sure, you want to assume but it’s changed a lot of lives around us. And so, came rug radio and we went to the drawing board and two and half months later, we launched a free membership pass and then we sold the NFT is January 11th of this year and everything you have seen in lasts almost 12 months, working rocking and rolling.
Crazy. 12 months, you’re like what the hell, that was only 12 months ago.
Farokh: Anything I’ve reflected on, actually last night I wrote a post late about being our one year since the free membership pass mint that I minted, mint number one then everybody started minting him. And I reflected on seven, 5:35pm Eastern Standard Time, December 22 last year. And it was a free mint, 90,000 individual people got to mint rug radio membership pass for free. We managed to get one to one at first, on the very first match, back then gets like 500 bucks. I just checked I paid $30 guests for that membership pass. It was like we managed to get a low way and everything. So, it was like fair launch and it’s crazy. I do reflect on that, this week I did. And I will probably rest of the week coming. But it’s crazy.
If you could sum up those 12 months into one single word. What would it be?
Okay, elaborate on that.
Farokh: I want to find that thread. I just, actually asked because I want to read from it, because it was, I said it really well at the time. But I wrote a thread the other day about being a founder in the space, because I was actually starting my reflection like you’re saying, and I said.
You’re like don’t do it if you can’t take it. That was like, that’s like the tone that the whole thread started with, yeah, there was so much other value in there, I want to hear.
Farokh: It was meant to be one tweet, but then I was listening to like this James Brown Christmas, I have with them, and I was high, and I was jamming low. And I was like, I feel like I need to write. I kept writing three three, it’s four tweets, seven tweets, to keep going until 16. But I said there’s something about the chaotic energy, at times it can really take you down and make you feel like no matter how hard you try; you will never be able to make it but the rest of the time you realize you are at the forefront of something that can change the world. And so chaos in a way that, this year we saw it all. We came in hot from 2020 to 2022, we were rich, we were launching, things were fucking killing it, our NFTs were worth whatever Eth was 4k And you know what I mean, though, that we were rich.
The WAG me energy.
Farokh: By the way, I’m still a strong believer in it, right? But then February came, all this stuff, bear market, my first cycle, my first bear personally so obviously, for me personally has been the year of lessons, meaning, I’ve seen all-time highs and money that I think could have changed my life with my family, girlfriend everything to like whoa, wow, that’s what they meant by like watching an unrealized net worth evaporate in a few days and weeks. So sat while building right we lost our way to January 11 bro, so my year has literally been building this thing. January 11, when we sold 19,000 NFTs at a point 11 Eth and we kept 1000 back, so we wait. We sold 2100 Eth worth of NFTs that day. And since then, I’ve spent every single day trying to like to become better as a founder, learn the ropes and doing it properly. And also, like being very, having this like personality and public brand, facing brand and space, you’ve probably seen it, you’re part of the community, good things, bad things was like maneuvering everything this year of grill. So, this drill, I would say chaos, but also growing pains, which is good and bad. And I wrote about it too.
With that, I feel like there needs to be certain feedback loops, that you continuously kind of like you get feedback from, essentially, you know, how to improve things that you made mistakes on, where you can optimize, how you can delegate. What do your feedback loops look like? How did you put the system into place?
Farokh: There’s many, so there’s feedback loops from like, people close to you. And they can, you can. it’s all about surrounding yourself by the right people. Pretty tough, hardest part but there’s feedback loops from a community when you have a very large audience. So, it’s, I usually see like, you know, within our own community or greater holders, people around, I’m pretty good at maneuvering like social platform, like twitter, and like reading, like how people can be sentiment and whatnot, how things are getting received and done and whatnot, you know, I can see when something switches also like, oh, wait, people are catching on to this, you know, this or that. And so, and then also on the market, I have an NFT out obviously. So, like, you see it fluctuate on the price of your floor. But that’s harder, because of course, like people also control forces just by law or video controls for the watch trade on tokens, okay from tokens, like there’s all these things, but there’s many feedback loops in this space, which is amazing. That’s the beautiful thing about decentralized ecosystem, is that feedback loops can come out of, like so many different places. You just have to be good at like, understanding the signals. And like knowing and accepting when to have to change something, accepting don’t know something and understanding where to take it next. I think it’s important. Like there was a point in July 26 of this year, was our lowest point where rug radio was point 09 Eth floor, under men for the first time ever, that lasted about an hour. First time ever. The biggest punch my face you could ever give me is that there’s no personal punching you in the face. I don’t give a shit, I can get back from all the thoughts, whatever it is, because I just work hard and focus but professionally, I was like wow, like that’s not who I am, fuck. You never been like yo, fuck this, you know that I was like and so I turned that whole thing around, brought on the right people into the company and we went up 500% over this. What terrible bear market today and now you’re seeing all the good stuff happening with rug radio, but that’s comes from like, understanding feedback from the market, holders, community, broader Twitter ecosystem that they don’t like how, whether you’re acting, behaving, responding to things, working, delivering, and accepting that and being able to like to become better.
So, in that period, then what did you do more of and what did you do less of? How did you restructure?
Farokh: More bringing people that will actually help and surrounding yourself by people who actually add value like direct. Less focusing on the bullshit, the way to put it, like on like the low hanging fruit stuff, like less focusing on trading and trying to buy NFTs and this and that because no matter even if I have good intentions, people will try and make it look a certain way. It’s unfair and not true. For the most part, I generally mean that and less bickering and fighting over small things and more focusing on like, Mando sat me down pretty much one day and that’s why we never like, he like DMed me, like so what’s up, we’re best friends, we talk every day. I was on the phone with him until like five minutes coming in here. Like, I was like bro, because I called him on July 26. Because I need help, can you come help me, Keith Grossman, called him, said I need help. I hit a wall. I’m solo founder. I don’t know where to go with this right now. I have an idea, a beautiful idea, I’ve insane creativity. I know, this could become the biggest fucking thing in the space. But I need help and they came in. But Mando came and said, yo, you have the chance, the opportunity to build a billion dollar brand here, right, and something big. And he said in these terms, he said, do you want to focus on the short term, bullshit little thing? Or do you want to build something that’s literally going to be the biggest thing? And I was like that, and I knew that. But it was maybe good for someone to come and say yo, what is like, where’s the party? Keith Grossman, same thing. Where’s your party? Is the here or is it there? And it’s things like that and putting the right people in place and building the right you know, team around it. So, it takes a lot of growing bro. Like it takes a lot, it’s a lot more, that’s why I wrote the thread. People think is just hosting on Twitter and tweeting left and right. It’s managing teams, human capital, people, we have 15 people between part time and full time and rug radio right now, from five in the top of the bear. So, we’ve also grown to the like 30 creators, 30 or 40 creators, growing you know, it’s like, it’s a liquid engine now, partners, sponsors, business professionally, there’s so many ties now. It’s like, all these things behind the scenes. Like this week, for me, it was like, the longest week of the year, and I’m actually closing with you, because after this thing, I’m out. I’m gonna go, I’m gonna go get my acupuncture done. Go do you know, Shabbat and my girlfriend’s family because they’re Jewish in the Hanukkah week. Thank you. I mean, from my girlfriend. This week of my family, like, you know, it was a week of like, cause, cause, cause, work, work, work anyway. It’s just like, it’s nonstop.
Best Practices for Media Companies and Creators Using Crypto to Monetize
Part of hosting season seven all about, essentially creating content that’s worth collecting, web three media, crypto native content creators, is bringing people like you, Farokh, and reflecting on what it really means to build a web three enabled media company, and then building a network of crypto native creators. I want to pick your brain more on that subject specifically, okay. I’m curious how you’ve seen crypto affect the way we consume and create content as a whole, because we’re seeing people use NFTs, these token primitives, as a way to build, monetize and co-own their audience, right? And this is something that we were never able to do in web two. And like you said, there’s incentive alignment with bringing in the element of ownership, right? My bet is that every creator in some way, shape or form is going to be crypto native, in the next few years, right? Whether it be from the tickets that they sell to their concerts, that they have no idea what’s happening on the hood, selling digital merch and all these digital experiences around it. What are some ways that you’ve seen best practices of how media companies have enabled the use of crypto and how creators have used crypto as a way to build monetize on their audience?
Farokh: I think it’s like, we’re not yet like, creating like, I don’t think crypto has yet changed the way we consume content, or the way we participate, sorry, it didn’t change the way we consume content, the sense that we’re still using web two platforms. And like, I’m very well aware that rug radio started off with like Twitter spaces, now going out of all the different platforms throughout literally everywhere, now, it’s going to be even more now. And but that’s going to change with time, because we’re early, it’s not a bad thing, because we’re so early, right? It’s like, we have all the lenses. And the forecast is that all these different companies and brands that like you know, do the web three stuff. And so that’s going to come, we’re developing our own tech internally, and we’re doing a bunch of cool stuff, but like, so but it has changed slowly and will change over long term, what we get for participating within content or creating content or putting something out there. The added value of having a rug radio NFT, is not that you get to consume different type of content, or content is free. There’s no token gating of content within how we’re building, and I don’t, that’s not how I do it. Personally, I’m a big fan of token gated content. But that doesn’t mean doesn’t work for others. I was sitting down in Paris, have real vision, that was we had a conversation around that. And it went pretty well. For them. It’s like an add on, maybe director’s cut all these different things. I liked that but hear me out. For us the value is not, like I think content and access which should be democratized and free because how can we talk about onboarding another 100 million people into crypto and NFTs and web three, if we’re not going to like to give them a chance to with like, give them the content, we have to give them almost on a silver platter. And so, but the added value of being part of the ecosystem, well, you get you have the NFT, you get tokens yielded daily for being there. While now we launched our rewards program this week, actually last Friday. So, exactly a week ago but really push this week. Some of our shows you can get rug token for being a participant in it, for tweeting, for interacting with it, for coming in discord, not just the GM and what up like actually like interacting with being a part of and you can do different things and claim different things and reward. So that we’ll be building for the first quarter of next year. But it’s the added-on top of that, because web three doesn’t kill web two and web two is not a bad. That’s what a lot of people there’s a misconception. The way web two brands and companies and platforms were built are not incentivizing us enough as creators and participants and it’s wrong. The trillion-dollar meta valuation at some point, the $50 billion Twitter valuation, the clubhouses came because of you, me and everybody else. Someone, once they shook me, they were saying, why are you doing all this content, where everyone’s rallying around getting nothing because I don’t need to get nothing out of it. Dude, for most of my life have gotten nothing out of platforms I’ve built on top of, I’ve built a fucking business on Instagram of myself. I had to go on the side, get clients, everything. Ethereum never gave me something crazy on the platform. But we all like the added value to the network, but in this sense, in web three changes everything. Because in web two, it’s platform first creator, and then consumer and web three is just an everlasting circle, but starts with the participants because you become participant, the creator is educators most important people in the space, right? The most important creators, the educators and people out there, the entertainers, and then the network gets the value, but they don’t really, like I was saying earlier. So, I think it really changed the way, not the way it’s consumed, but the way you know, it elevates and enhances experience of it. And I love the ticket and you’re saying about the access, like the best used case for NFTs, aside from like gaming alone, people love to talk about gaming is media, it’s access, it’s ticketing, it’s rewarding, right? Like people, you do your NFTs for them, for the show, maybe people buy it, you buy, like this goes back also to helping you like. This stuff clearly comes free, you know, the road caster, all this stuff, like, you know, like, and at scale, we have a lot of creators that we’re trying to help. Like, you know, it’s definitely not free and not easy. So, I think that’s what it is, I think it’s, it allows us to layer on top of it, and we’ll see where it goes next. But it definitely gives more power to the creator. And that’s very important and every platform right now is fighting for attention from creators, what Elon is tweeting about rewarding creators better than they’ve done at YouTube before. Even though the jokes of Mr. Beast being CO Twitter and all these things, like because they understand that it’s either you adopted that or die. But the problem is with based companies in large platforms, it’s taken them too long to adapt to like, so we’re gonna see at some point, this new platform come out, and it’s gonna be it and it’s gonna work out, where like everyone can build on top of. That’s what we’ve built something’s platform agnostic, that we can tap on top of everything. That’s a beautiful part of the Ethereum blockchain Legos.
So, on that concept of media Legos, there will be a platform, what’s going to cause that platform to win? Like, what does that platform need to get right?
Farokh: I mean, content is king, but distribution is queen. I’ve been saying this for over 10 years now. And that’s why I’ve always tried to master the business of distribution. And even at rug radio, if you’ll see at some point will become much more on the distribution level, to help creators distribute the content, because they are the platforms, right? And they own their content, their IP, you don’t want to take that away from people in this space. It’s the worst thing. And so, I think the proper one is going to master distribution. And then everything I’ve been talking about, like the reward side, and like the incentive, and everything and also have all the good stuff. Like we love Twitter for a reason. Like there’s something about Twitter, it’s like the conversation. Now if they managed to add video for like the nicely, and then with, you know, I don’t know, I don’t know yet exactly what looked like, last, I’d be doing it.
The Potential for Making Money from a Select Few in Web3 as a Creator
So, that that brings up another question because that’s you kind of alluding to, that we should be building still for distribution and virality, maybe versus building for like a select few, right? Like in crypto and web three as a creator, there’s this notion that you can make money off of select few, right? And create the content that you love if you find your pockets, your niche pockets, just do what you want to do, sell those NFTs, create content that’s worth collecting, and you can make a living, but you’re suggesting that actually it’s a build towards better distribution, right, more virality, more eyeballs? Or is it a mix of both or how do you see it?
Farokh: I don’t know yet. Like I just love how Twitter works. But as far as but there’s just something about it. It’s just like, if they managed to keep all the attention within one app, like I know, in the other side of the world, they have WeChat just like everything else, right? And it’s working pretty well. Like we don’t have that on this side of the world yet. When are we gonna get it, like the super app that has all of the elements that people looking for, like clubhouse is the best live social department, so fucking good, but I want it on Twitter, you fill me. I love Instagram, I’m an Instagram kid, you know, made me in a way, still have millions of followers on there. I want to go on there. I want to do my stories on Instagram. I love Instagram stories. I’m a big Instagram stories because I had posters almost every day, added my own photos. I’m a big like, I love photography. So, I take my own but like point being like, I wanted fleets like it was on Twitter like I just wish everything was one place. And there’s gonna be the everything up next on this side of the world. It’s for sure but WeChats been there for whatever long, like over there, like they have it already. Imagine the one that matters this with Blockchain integration web three integrations, right so it’ll take time but every five years, every few years, like your last one that came out of nowhere, which blow everyone out of their seats will be like, before I’m talking even, before like Tik Tok and Snapchat before that. It was like Vine, all these ones and then there’s gonna be that one. That’s going to be like, that’s gonna come out. I’m gonna, like dominate in a way and take so much attention. So, we’ll see. That’s why I’m sure Elon, I’m bullish on Elon on Twitter, because I have a feeling that’s the vision. Yeah. I mean, yeah, I’m one of them. But, you know, I think that’s the vision from what I’ve gathered, like a thing that’s the vision. And yeah, and then anyone can build their own little platforms and tap onto that, we’re building on platform, we’ve been working on for months already, which is like web three enabled platform that allows you to like, you know, get rewarded for consuming content, particularly with content on set platform, but in a way through the blockchain, and through our dynamic NFT, which is our membership passes, we can track better and create better for type of content you want. And also cater for poapp tokens, whatever it is, and experience for you, but also like reward system based on like, who you listen to more like, oh, I listened to Adam Levy more to Austin, on this morning show. I know that so all these metrics on chain, like I have a big vision for media, I think it’s gonna take us a few more years to get to where I’m trying to get, I think, maybe two or three years, where you’re in. So, into your two but it’s, you know, I think there’s just, you know, content on chain, all these metrics on chain curation, aggregating of content like this, I’m bullish on those types of things. That’s where my head is at for next year.
Potential Market Cap Growth in Tokenized Content
So, let’s talk about user generated content as an asset class from it. Okay. How do you think the value of tokenized content and just UGC in general compared to traditional assets like stocks or real estate? Do you think there’s a market of competition or do you think content in itself, tokenized content will reach the market caps of industries like those? Any thoughts on that?
Farokh: I’m not too sure on that part. Like I don’t know where it’s gonna go. But like I love, I’m a big UGC guy, bro. Like I studied Warby Parker when I was like, I’m a social media nerd in numbers nerd, I like deep dive, like in my spare time into that stuff behind the scenes. And I just love it like Warby Parker got like a one to $3 billion valuation to classes 56,000 pieces of user generated content. And that was their only marketing. There you go. But guess what, like they were pushing people to tweet hashtag, like Instagram and all that stuff. And so, I used to do like viral marketing and all that stuff. And it was big. It was a lot of it, it was UGC. And I will use it with like, pay out like tons of micro influencers and influencers across the world, like up to 100 million followers worth like, across the book and like have them like do content, whatnot. But the other day like UGC, like when all these companies are using these people to get through binder brands, the people got nothing. Oh, they got to repost in the Warby Parker Instagram account. It’s great, but like, and maybe some of you don’t give a shit, like don’t do anything. But for those who want and can get something, I think it’s like, incentivize like, I love the Instagram platform, Twitter, I love the idea of like NFTs on Instagram, because what if I go get, go to brunch place, and I take a bomb picture, which I do, and I post it on my feed, but it’s on chain, which is dope, what is the restaurant when they just buys it as an NFT, 5, 10 bucks, 100 bucks, whatever it is, you can use it. And then market like, it just enables so many things that people are not thinking about, which is cool and allows everyone. Now, not everything is to be a micro transaction or transactional professional, but it’s cool to have this provenance. It’s cool to have like these, you know, these you know, these data points and whatnot.
You know your comment of like Warby Parker building this billion-dollar enterprise and then having the end user kind of like create their own free marketing around it. And then the comments of like, they don’t get anything for it. My devil’s advocate mind comes in is like, did they need to get anything for it? Like the system works, right? Like they got the sunglasses that they love? Why do they need upside and CO ownership, right?
Farokh: You’re right.
And I try to think to, Farokh, like, this whole narrative of co-ownership, are we pulling that out of our ass because we’re getting greedy, and we see the value we’re creating? And because not everybody realized and quite frankly, not everybody cares. Like people just want. So, what is the market like for people like that as a whole?
Farokh: I don’t know. I think some people will always just remain like the passive, like consumer, that just doesn’t care. Like a lot of gamers just wanna play games. I’m gonna fuck with NF T’s, like they actually hate NFTs, whatever, right? So, I was on the stage last night we get related, Jonah Soby, Bryson, everything we talked on Spaces about that, like a lot of gamers are still like, they don’t care, right? They don’t want to make money out of playing and they want to play fucking video games. Like they love that stuff is their passion. And some people just want to consume content, like listen to the show, cuz they don’t care about getting the rug token, they don’t care, right. But there’s a lot of people do. So, I think if we put our focus towards them first, without shoving web three down people’s throats and forcing them into it. That’s how it works. I mean, it’s almost like Reddit, Twitter, Instagram, like all these platforms, like Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster gave out 10 million NFTs this year. So, people don’t talk about or mentioned a lot, but people don’t know. And people are not going to know. The adoption of media and NFTs in general, on the blockchain is not going to be through like people necessarily knowing that they’re getting an NFT. You know, and I think that’s also a major part of it.
Strategies for Turning Consumers into Collectors
So, on that topic, then how do we turn more consumers into collectors because every collector is a consumer, but not the other way around? Yeah. What do you think the strategy is for that?
Farokh: By the value you managed to bring, so a lot of people listen to my show, that doesn’t mean that they are holders. But a lot of people in the last couple of weeks have noticed through market sentiment on Twitter, because like, oh, I’ve been listening to Farokh all this year, because maybe they’re reflecting on the year or whatnot. Or I’ve seen rug radio a lot every year, not just for 30 creators, so they it was international digital metal. Also now, want to be part of it. So, it’s like the added value. That’s why as a founder in the space, you need to always focus, this was very hard, you have to focus on the day to day, hour to hour minute to minute sentiment on people, you have to focus on building a company, which is, this isn’t the other currency for another hour, right. And then you have to focus on bringing value back. We talked about earlier, which again, not monetary values on the, if you get what I’m talking about, bringing genuine value back to the ERC 721 that you sold, in this community that you’re talking about. And so that’s very hard. And so, if you managed to master at least two of them, you’ve been a good place. And and the thing, that’s the added value, it’s like this, how he turned consumers to participants, is by giving them the proper value. Someone asked me the other day; I already have a rug radio NFT. What’s the added value having to because I’m contemplating it, but right now it’s little more expensive, like why would I want to. And my answer was, well, because you want, maybe you want more rug token because NFT has rug token and also, we have a PFP coming up and you get something else, that’s added value that they’re going to be able to do with it. But with regards to access one NFTs, you have 150 or 300, you saw the same I have access to what we’re building. So, it’s just like the little things very intricate, it’s tough, you have to really focus on, that’s why I said like, if you’re thinking of doing this, you know, you can’t do it can’t take it, don’t do it. Because there’s a lot. There’s a lot that you’ve maneuvering with, your 15, 25 employees, 100 employees, your 10,000 holders, millions of people on social media, like you know.
Suitable Types of Content for Tokenization
Right. So, on the subject of creating content, okay, do you think there’s types of content that are more suitable to be tokenized versus others?
Farokh: I mean, there’s ways to tokenize almost every piece of content, like your podcast, you do seasons, right? Once a season, we don’t really tokenize our content yet, we may do some stuff we’re exploring, but like, you know, we’re thinking both things.
So that’s, by the way, that’s a question right there, why haven’t you dived into tokenizing your content yet making that collectible.
Farokh: Because in a way like we already have our set of collectible assets, that brings you back to you, so I want to find a way to do it without having to dilute or confuse the ecosystem. We have the membership pass already, which is a low hanging say $20, point 01 Eth and that gives you access to the ecosystem events, with a free merge do bunch of cool stuff allow this so much and the platform comes out, it’s gonna be key to get in web three. It’s a rewatched program, you can only access a rewatched program if you have either Genesis pass or Genesis NFT, the membership has an NFT, right. And then we have the rug radio NFT, which shields token system or premier asset that people pay point 11 Eth, that’s around point four Eth right now on the floor, but like, but that one ERC token, it was more. So now if I start giving out NFTs for every single show, I almost every day, bro, like my morning show, like with OSA for Mando, is how many episodes a year, it’s like five days a week for 52 weeks. It’s 260 episodes a year. Well, maybe we’ll do weeklies, maybe we’ll do monthlies. I like pull ups and stuff. For us is gonna be once like the platform is ready. You’ll be able to work people maybe art and token and this and they will also have a token, we have the rug token, ERC 20. And then here’s another one that stood rubbed out token. So, I already have a lot going on. You get the rug token, you can get the rug token for utility or you can swap, it’s 100 of it for Dao token, which is governance and everything, we actually run rug radio as a proper Dao, like that when we put a million dollar budget towards the Dao, I had to make a proposal to the Dao in the open, explain why the money how I’ve been doing quarterly reports. Like we actually report how much we made, where we spent the weather and everything. So, it’s we already have a lot. So that’s what Farokh has to why not doing it. But in general, for people I think tokenizing content is core more about the memory, like we dropped a pull up on September 19 2021 when I came up with the idea of a radio and that’s iconic now, we broke, we actually broke, like for five hours engineers had to get back to work and like get booted back up again, it was crazy, but like everybody who has the rug radio pull up, from that day I’m fighting for you but knows that it was the moment of the conception of rug radio. So, I was more refined for this stuff, for like specific like moments, events like you know, collectibles, like you do seasons, I‘m a big fan of that, I love that. Talks about doing things like so many times and it’s really cool. Like, I’m a big fan, I think. I think everyone should do something on chain, like it’s awesome. Like I love showing my, I mean, I’m also like you are probably a big nerd so I love showing my NFTs but like, now it’s like, I’m gonna find it for you immediately. But you know, it’s just something about it like though, you know.
How do you think the bear market has changed the way we create? Oh shit, look at that.
Farokh: That’s for rug’s wallet, so everyone can see my rugs and everything I went, September Yeah, it’s all there, start date. It’s so funny. You go to the details, if the contract address and the date and time of it like you know, things like that, like it’s so fun. But what was your question? Sorry.
No, you’re good. I’m glad I saw that. Because that’s like memorabilia right there. That’s my momentous, you know that. That’s as OG as it gets. And so, celebrating the origin.
Farokh: You know some people come up to me in events, like you, I was one of the people that was there with the poapp, imagine 5 years, given that we become very successful, what we do as a network and with everyone, imagine where we would have generally becomes one of the biggest brands in space, like you’re gonna have that, like yo, like I was fucking there, you know, like, it was there.
And I can prove it.
Farokh: It was there on chain or like, you know, I mean, it’s like, things like that. It’s like.
These are things you can’t do with traditional media.
Farokh: You cannot go back, you can’t put the chain back, you know, you can’t go back, you can’t go back.
Motivation and Focus Strategies for Farokh
I’m curious, Farokh, how do you stay so motivated and focused on the work that you do, as a creator running the company, especially in a time where everything is low, morale is low, engagement on Twitter is low. How do you power through? What keeps you motivated?
Farokh: I mean, honestly, like, it’s been the most successful part of us, for us, like this whole bear.
That’s what I like to hear.
Farokh: I mean, I told you like, we got the stuff rolling like sales, like we’re doing like, about 1000 Rugs moves hand per month, on average, stock transfers, and we’ve been doing a lot of volume, has been really pretty well, you know, floor price earnings of like, 500% new people, new entrants, new market participants, more shows, so I keep busy in this time, there’s nothing else to do, like I’m here. Like, I just sit down here all day, and I just, I just do it. And then I just like, how do I stay motivated? Like, I love it. Like, I don’t know what else I would be doing. So just to me, I’m like, I really love it. Like when you’re aware, like I’ve become really like, aware of what I have in my hands now. And what we collectively have in our hands with my team, with everybody that’s part of ecosystem like, we have really a beautiful bed in our hands, rug radio, and has so much potential that’s being shown already. And I generally think it’s going to be really big. So, it’s like I wake up I’m like, that’s fucking cold. Like, you know, like, you know, I’m doing my team off on Monday and stuff but I’m gonna be here hosting my show. People like you know, doing things and having fun like yeah, I do the whole Christmas stuff. I love it because like I do the holidays with family.
I still love what you do.
It’s so fun. Like it’s, come on, it’s fun space. We’re lucky. We’re lucky that we’re hoping a different generation that had to go to war or this or that or like, dude, like, we’re born a dope, like, generation like this blockchain technology, the Satoshi this world, metallics of this world that people have brought this shit to us also, like the inner like, dude, like, we’re so lucky. Like, so, you know, I don’t have to wake up in morning and change to just jump out and like, and it’s not like I generally like it, but also like, had to do that, right? But 2017 was my last job ever. I was like, fuck this shit. And I dropped almost 1.1 But like, but you know, like it’s so fun. You know, it’s and so, that’s just one is going to be these days, like I’m genuinely passionate about like, what we’re building, like a lot.
Tips That Would’ve Been Helpful to Know Before Starting Rug Radio
My final question for you, Farokh is, for those who want to become crypto native content creators. They want to start media businesses that are web three enabled. share some tips, how can somebody get started. What’s like the first sort of few steps, that you wish somebody would have told you before you got started with rug radio on your entire journey?
Farokh: Honestly, it’s a lot about like, I spend a lot of time listening. That’s why I ask the questions. Usually, I’m usually on the interviewee, interviewer side, but I listened a lot. Like early on when I got started in the space, I asked a lot of questions. I still ask a lot of questions. educate, educate, educate, educate, educate, educate, gotta be curious, stay curious, stay on it. And like you know, give, give, give, give, give, give, give, give, give, like I’ve put people on I put people on every day, and people put me back on since the first day. I’ve had a lot of people put me on and helped me, I’ve helped a lot of people, it’s like you got to collaborate, cross pollinate and just focus, just like focus on your content and just elevate, elevate, elevate every day, like it’ll compound effect like, it’s like people are like, oh yeah, this week we had Joe Lubin on the show, co-founder of the next day with Tim Ferriss and the net day we had another cool interview with like, it was funny, different, was funny. And then we have the guest and that like and like we go every day, we get all these listeners, and you see rug radio, like none of this is like, necessarily just look like it was the compound effect of like, I’ve been creating content for like 10, 12, 14 years, I don’t know, at this stage. Like, you know, it’s like the added effects, it’s just gonna, in this space, like is grows faster than any other space. So you have the one in the million chance, like really grow faster than anybody else. So, you can decide to take it or not, but like there is a lot of chance and opportunity in the space a lot. Like especially for creators, like you know, like I look for new careers all the time, we give people new creators opportunities all the time, I’m always out there trying to down to help work with other creators and distribute their content and collaborate with people like you know, like come see what’s up with like, people come through like you know, it’s just like.
I love that. Yeah, look, I admire your consistency, I admire energy, you guys are killing it, rug radio. Shout out to rug radio, shout out to everything that you guys are doing. Before I let you go, where can we find you? Where can we learn more?
Farokh: Farokh, on every platform like occasionally every single platform but mostly Twitter, if you like want to see my instagram stories, I mean a pretty bomb, not gonna lie. But photos, but you know, rug.fm for anything video related that comes with discord or Discord is a very well-oiled machine, a very part of oiled machine, very proud of my team, incredible people. So, our team is super fun, super nice, you know, kind communities like positive like we’ve really nurtured that, right? They want to be part of the change, right? And so, they’re cool so rug radio on Twitter, you know, rug.FM discord.
Thank you for being a part of season seven. We’ll have to do this again soon. But till next time.
Farokh: Let’s go.