Mint Season 7 Episode 7 explores the fascinating intersection of skateboarding culture and the world of crypto as we welcome Gami, the founder of GnarsDAO. Gami shares his personal journey of discovering crypto, and how his experiences with psychedelics have shaped his personal principles and values. He also delves into the workings of GnarsDAO, its decision-making process, and the potential for growth with more resources.
I hope you enjoy our conversation.
- 00:00 – Intro
- 04:27 – Similarities and Differences in Skateboarding Culture and the World Of Crypto
- 08:20 – Being Featured On the Front Cover of a Magazine
- 11:59 – Personal Journey of Discovering Crypto
- 16:08 – Experiences With Psychedelic Journeys
- 18:34 – Personal Principles and Values Developed Through Psychedelic Experiences
- 24:31 – Initial Goals Getting into Nouns
- 26:46 – How the World Appears Through the Lens of Nouns Glasses
- 32:06 – One Thing That Could Be Changed About Gnars in its Current State
- 35:00 – How Decision-Making in NounsDAO Aligns With Personal Beliefs and Values
- 37:19 – What Nouns Does Well and Potential for Amplification With More Resources
- 39:54 – Cultural Contribution
- 50:25 – The Future of GnarsDAO
- 56:38 – Expression Sessions And Creating Content Worth Collecting
- 58:12 – Outro
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Gami, AKA Gami Nagles, welcome to the podcast season seven. Thanks for being on, man. What’s going on.
Gami: Hey, Adam, I’m doing well. Thanks for having me. I’ve been looking forward to this one for a long time.
I’m super excited to have you on, probably one of the episodes that I was looking forward to the most in the in the season, simply because of all the chaos and commotion you guys have caused around the Nouns brand across crypto Twitter. But I won’t do the reveal, I would love for you to introduce yourself. Who are you, Gami? What does the world need to know about you? We’ll start there and then we’ll work our way forward.
Gami: For sure. Yeah, I’m Gami, I’m from GnarsDao, the founder of GnarsDao and a couple of other things. For the Americans Listening. It’s Gnars like n-a-r-s, not Nas the rapper, so just an accent. But yeah, I’m a builder in the space, been in crypto since 2016, full time since 2017, and just one of the most Nouns-pilled people on the planet.
That’s for sure. I would definitely say that you’re one of the biggest proponents for Gnars that I’ve seen outside of the co-creators themselves. I think a good place to start, Gami, if you’ve really centered your entire life online around Nouns and the Nouns ecosystem. Beyond the financial incentive that comes with owning a Nouns and participating in the community, why are you so aligned with the Nouns vision, the Nouns brand and everything that’s sort of you do for the community?
Gami: Yeah, I guess there’s a bit of a technical reason that’s probably worth bringing up and it’s, in all the years that have been in crypto, which is sort of six or seven years every day, just full on barrage of information, super ADHD. Nouns was just like a welcome change of pace, slowing down community building to, you know, one NFT per day was just a really refreshing change and then as I dug deeper, it’s just got everything that I needed to do what I want to do, and the people that it’s attracted are very much aligned with the things that I’m passionate about. So philosophical and technical reasons. But yeah, I’m just very Nouns-niche.
Okay, so walk me more through your passions because you’re very vocal about skateboarding. That’s a big, big part of who you and your brand. Any other passions? I’d love for you to list them out.
Gami: Yeah, the list of passions are huge. I’m one of these people that gets really obsessed with things and then like goes super deep and you know, at the expense of everything else in my life, probably. But yeah, I grew up in like a tiny little mining town. Two thousand people, so there was literally nothing to do and then at the end of primary school, we raised a bunch of money through the council initiative that was in place and we built a skatepark and it was life changing, like in terms of having something to do, connecting with people, having something to be excited about and like content to seek out at the town library when I’d go on the internet, downloading photos off dial up and ordering magazines, in from out of town. And at the same time, I was playing high level squash as a junior. So that’s a racquet sport in a court similar to tennis, but you hit a small rubber ball against the wall. And so, sports always been a big passion of mine. And in terms of like creative endeavors, skateboarding was kind of the perfect mash up of culture, sport, and just the general vibes of sort of going against the grain and wanting to make our own rules and express ourselves in different ways. So, skateboarding has definitely become a big part of my life and it’s very fitting that by the first skateboarding now, first skateboard head anyway.
Similarities and Differences in Skateboarding Culture and the World Of Crypto
I’m curious, how do you see the intersection of skateboarding culture and the world of crypto sort of overlapping? What are the similarities and even differences?
Gami: It’s a good question. The main thing that comes to mind is like this whole middle finger up mentality towards the establishment. This is something that you see in skateboarding throughout history. And it’s because I look at skateboarders as artists, and there are people who are expressing themselves in a very pure manner, they’re moving their body, they’re using the world around them, and they’re combining those things into like this incredibly beautiful to watch and technically amazing self-expression. And I think there’s a very similar vibe in crypto, where it’s people who are sort of on the fringe, maybe they don’t fit in with the normal sort of crowd and they end up gathering in these communities of people who share their sort of ethos about the world, whether that’s like, you know, hoping for a better way of doing things or it’s just specifically more about the technical side. There are always these analogies for skateboarding that makes sense, you know, right from going out with your friends and hitting a spot and persisting until you show your friends what you can do. Or even just appreciating the technicality of skateboarding around how this special design by Rodney Moen enabled hundreds of different tricks to be invented. And that’s just one other thing where there’s a close affinity with crypto, is this basically environment that’s just perfect for experimentation and pushing the boundaries.
On a scale of one to 10, where amateurs want in tennis professional where would you say you lie on the spectrum as a skateboarder?
Gami: 0.5 I know that’s under one.
So that tells me you embrace more the culture than the actual skill set, although I feel like you may be being humble here. Because in our pre interview questions, and we were just shooting the shit. You’re very down to earth. So, I don’t know what to believe here.
Gami: Yeah, I’m not like a superstar skateboarder. I’ve been on the cover of a magazine and on the poster of a magazine, local one in Australia. That was, it was probably more to do with my cultural contributions than my skill. But I used to race downhill and skate straight and park and I basically combined all of those into my own sort of discipline on a skateboard. I combined usual flip tricks and grinds with styles, like dancing and downhill racing. And to me it’s just like the perfect way to get around a city, because like no matter what obstacles in front of you, you can find a way around it or over it. And so, I’ve sort of used my passion for skating and my ability to bring people together to build communities. So, I guess in terms of 1 to 10, for skating, technically, probably to be honest, maybe around a four, because there’s some amazing skateboarders out there. But in terms of like my cultural, you know, appreciation and relevance, maybe more like a seven or an eight, but yeah. That’s not modesty that’s pretty high.
Being Featured On the Front Cover of a Magazine
I’ll take it. I’ll take it. What was your cultural contribution that got you in the front cover of the magazine?
Gami: Yeah. So back in, I think 2010, 2011. I’d started a Facebook group, which was you know, I haven’t had Facebook in years. But it was basically a place where I’d gathered a bunch of the kids in my community. I was living in the city by that point. So, it’s a lot bigger than 2000 people mining town, but I’ve found that there are a lot of kids who were really passionate about the content, and then about creating content from their own skateboarding endeavors. And we gather these people into a Facebook group. It grew really quickly to 5000 people and then further. And we started hosting these huge events, where we would raise money for charity. And this huge flood hit the city that I was living in, and it destroyed like a bunch of homes, and you know, it was basically all over the national news for a good couple of weeks. And as a community, we basically did this flood relief event. And we raised a bunch of money and did a lot of good for the local skaters to show that you know, they’re not riffraff and troublemakers. And in the process, Downhill was really popular at the time. So, like my kind of skating was pretty cool in the eyes of the kids, which was cool for me, because I never really fit in at like the skate park with the purely technical or pool skaters. So, we sort of had this event and a few others happen afterwards. And then a few injuries happened, where kids were doing these really high-speed slides down mountains, and they’d come off and just get absolutely wrecked. And so, I made it my mission to make wearing helmets cool. And somehow, we pulled that off. So, it was something to do with that sort of cultural impact that the producers of the magazine were interested.
I feel like it’s very analogous to your role in the Nouns community. It’s very much creating cultural impact, similar to how you made the front cover the magazine for inspiring people to wear helmets is very similar. I feel like to putting the Noggles in that in that local city. What city was it?
Gami: It was actually in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
Yeah, I don’t know. There’s a lot of similarities between like finding your role in a community, right? And what value you bring and how you kind of like propagate whatever it is that you’re trying to do in that community. For you, it was wearing helmets. In this example it’s proliferating the meme of the now right the Noggles, which we’ll get to in a little bit, I just I remember seeing that online and that always standing out to me, it’s like one of the coolest crypto collabs today where nobody really knew it was crypto, but there was so much crypto involved underneath the hood from a cultural perspective, yet integrating that object into that environment give it new life. We’ll get into it a minute. It’s just a teaser for everybody that’s listening. Just I don’t want to jump into it just yet. But okay, so that makes sense. You’re obsessed with skateboarding. You’re this really cool guy from Australia. You’ve been skateboarding, I think you told me offline for 25 years, right?
Gami: Yeah, 25 years skating. My body is paying for it.
Personal Journey of Discovering Crypto
Got it. You got funding. So where does crypto come in? How did you come across crypto and more specifically, what was your first interaction in the crypto world?
Gami: Yeah, the story of crypto is sort of in two parts. One that’s very personal, but I’ll touch on it a little bit and the other side was just purely professional. So, in my previous life, I was working in engineering, at a firm that specialized in distributed energy systems. So I sort of think like, you know, control systems for switching electricity and providing renewables and all this sort of cutting edge stuff back then. And basically, I’d been married and divorced, really young, you know, a long-term relationship and then it basically didn’t last a month after the wedding. And sort of went into a pretty, you know, deep bout of sort of depressive behavior. So, part of that was, you know, trying to find myself traveling, financial problems, you know, all the things that come with a life altering experience. And had some other things that it all sort of bubbled up at the same time and just, you know, started exploring my own being and my conscious mind some more, and then sort of went down the path of using psychedelic drugs. And in the process of doing that, obviously ended up on the dark web, because, as a techie, I’d already heard plenty about it. And it was at that point that Bitcoin became obvious, and then I read the white paper and I took it into my work. And this was early, but I didn’t have like an investor mindset. So, it was like 2014 or something. And just I was aware of it, but I didn’t really fully understand like the economic impact. I just thought wow, this is really cool. Like they can’t stop me from buying drugs. And, you know, I’ve met a lot of people that were introduced to crypto through that same means. And it’s just because like the Silk Road and everything that followed it were huge success in terms of product market fit. There were tens of thousands of people using this stuff. And so having that background in these like distributed control systems and that sort of engineering understanding, it clicked with me, and I guess like, as soon as it did, I just got really obsessed. Once I figured out a way that I could get involved. And that was in 2016, where I started contributing to some different projects. Just various, you know, tooling, couple of like, early coins, couple of different communities and just really trying to learn and basically did that unpaid for a couple of years. And, you know, you’d get a few shit coins here for remuneration, but to be honest most of them just went to zero. So then, that obsession just continue to grow. And it was in 2017 that I came across crypto kitties, and as someone who’s very creative, but not really like a financial person. Like I don’t still to this day, I don’t really understand most stuff in defi, but I definitely understand culture. And discovering crypto Kitties and looking back on some emails from Coinbase back when I was sending myself each to a MetaMask to play around with that. It’s like really quite a nostalgic time. So stoked that I found crypto kitties.
Experiences With Psychedelic Journeys
That is pretty nostalgic. One thing that stood out to me in what you were saying is a psychedelic journey that you went on. And then how that sort of helped you stumble upon the dark web. And then the whole crypto rabbit hole kind of kicked in from there. Quick side tangent, what’s it like going through a psychedelic journey?
Gami: There’s a couple of experiences I’ve had where I felt like I lived an entire life. And then I was transported back like when I woke up. And I’ve experimented reasonably extensively because of some friends that I had, who were experienced and then like more from the theoretical standpoint. There’s a psychiatrist and also founder of a crypto brokerage in Australia. Dr. Preash Putpanathan and he used to go to Bitcoin conferences and stuff and speak on the topic of psychedelics and I actually I remember watching him do a talk in Australia, like, I think it was in 2018, about psychedelics and Satoshi. And so he does all this research into like psilocybin use and how that can help with the number of different problems we have, you know, psychologically as humans and just, it was one of these other things where I just couldn’t ignore, like the serendipitous experience of encountering someone like that, but also the fact that he’d seen all these sort of parallels between his previous life and his new life and then brought them together. And so that’s kind of like a bit of a metaphor for my experience with psychedelics as it’s like, it’s allowed me to see different connections that I didn’t realize before. And it’s just because like, you get outside yourself for a while, and you question things in a really different way. And if it’s done in the right environment, like I’m not advocating for everyone to just like go out and do drugs, but if you have the right people around you that can help you with that kind of experience, it’s really worthwhile.
Personal Principles and Values Developed Through Psychedelic Experiences
Are there any core principles or sort of values that have developed as a result of going through these psychedelic experiences that you live by? And if so, how does that affect your time and crypto?
Gami: Yeah, that’s really interesting because like my entrepreneurial experience has been, has also been really rocky, like my life. So, like, when I was like, 18, I got a patent for this idea, and developed it through to where it could, you know, be created into some software and all that sort of stuff and iPhones weren’t out or popularized at that point. So we were looking at things like palm PDAs for this, basically this idea that I had, and through assuming things and just like making assumptions, I got recked like multiple times. Like people took advantage of, you know what I was working on, or we didn’t see eye to eye or I just sort of was completely, you know, not misled, but just like misguided at my own accord. So, that combined with like getting it fresh perspective on things has really helped me to live by this mantra of like, assume nothing. Because when you do, you’re generally wrong. And the fact is, we’re surrounded by loads of data and like, plug to your own product Bello. There’s just so much data around and it’s readily available and quite often free. And yet, in crypto, we’re in this like, you know, don’t trust verify world and yet it astounds me how much people assume you know, there’s just wild assumptions happening all around us. And I feel like to be contrarian and find opportunities like in crypto, whether it’s as a builder or an investor or whatever it is you’re doing. One of the best ways to be contrarian is to just actually look at the data because most people don’t, and they don’t, they don’t look at like data from different perspectives as well. Like an example is, people love to post like charts that show the relative search volume of different keywords on Google. But there’s way more interesting uses of that data. So, you can put in a seed keyword into like Google AdWords planner, and get hundreds of other relative keywords and paint a picture of like a market and understand like, okay, how are people thinking about this thing, as opposed to how many are thinking about this thing? And for me, that’s just been like, the best way to find contrarian opportunities. And I live by that mantra now, I will say, so very handy.
So, there’s two things I want to touch on. I want to see how that relates to your sort of entrance into NounsDAO. But even before we go into that, you brought up a good point, despite how much data there is out there, people still tend to trust versus verify. And wouldn’t you argue that that’s just human nature to trust, those are the systems that we’re used to. And are we really at fault for continuously trusting because that’s maybe what we’re akin to, you know, it’s what we know, it’s what we feel comfortable with. This whole concept of verify, you know, is relatively new. We’ve never really had that at the scale that we have right now.
Gami: Yeah, that’s a, it’s a really good point. And most people do have good intentions. But as we’ve seen in the space, many do not as well, you know, like, lots of people trusted SPF, and then he couldn’t really be trusted, you know. So think it’s really like, it’s less about the trust part of the equation and just more about the verify. Like I don’t think it’s a, you know, binary trust or verify, I think it’s like this spectrum of like, where does someone sit when you receive information from them like? And it’s always healthy to sit somewhere in the middle and give people the benefit of the doubt but also have healthy skepticism that you can apply and use your own unique way of looking at things and that that avoids like the groupthink and sort of like the sheep or herd mentality, where you can sort of go your own way. And I think that’s something that gets missed a lot in crypto, is like a lot of people are just copying each other. And while I’m like a huge proponent of remix culture, because like that’s literally what I do all the time. I think that re-mixing brings, like innovation and, you know, creative advancements that might be impossible otherwise, so I just think it’s yeah, somewhere in the middle. It’s real fence sitter have an answer, but it is what it is.
That makes sense. So, in that transition to NounsDAO, because I want to spend the next half of the conversation sort of talking about IP CCO, NounsDAO and everything in between when did you actually officially join NounsDAO? What was the date you remember?
Gami: Yes. The 27th of January 2022. So, in two days, there’ll be one year anniversary. All right, and it’s going very fast.
Initial Goals Getting into Nouns
Congratulations. That’s great. Okay, so you said earlier when you go into things you don’t really go into it with expectations, right. My original question as a follow up was, what was your initial goal getting into Nouns, but now I’m understanding that there was no goal it was just sort of like buying this thing. It was cool, culturally relevant, and just let’s see what happens. Was that your mentality at the time or am I getting it wrong?
Gami: Yeah, like alluding to the earlier question around, you know, gaining new perspectives through experimentation and whether that was with like, psychedelics or work. I definitely saw it as a similar opportunity, because I already had like the idea for Gnars and then I just took that whole mentality of, you know, looking for a serendipity machine, which is like, I saw the opportunity to purchase a Nouns that aligned with what I’m passionate about. And so, it was like a great opportunity to, you know, create a new identity that is focused on building a certain thing. And that was really inspiring to see 4156, having done that with his ape punk you know, before Nouns. And then, I guess, I just really saw that it was like the best example of a serendipity machine in crypto. And what I mean by that is just you sort of; you take the plunge and then you open your eyes, and you start to see things differently. And that was really obvious to me with Gnars, because of the founding team, the environment in which it was founded, the sort of re mixing of different protocols and tools that resulted in Nouns as a protocol. And then just the really obvious meme around the glasses. You know, you put them on and then you see the world differently. And so, it just feels a gut feel to be honest.
How the World Appears Through the Lens of Nouns Glasses
How do you see the world when you put on the Nouns glasses?
Gami: That’s a deep question, because we talk about this sort of stuff all the time, but I like to really just, I like to keep things in threes because I like numerology, and it’s just, like, easier for me to visualize but when I think of Nouns, and the number three, you know, Nouns are literally people, places and things. And so, I realized that the combination of people, places and things is what brings us the magic that we see in the world today. So, for example, with skateboarding, or any actions for the secret sauce to making history, as you know, a creator in the space or an athlete or however you’re contributing is to find your people, explore new places and do your thing and it’s literally just this combination where it brings out the best in people because you’re surrounding yourself with the people that, you know, you align with. And then just like travel is really important as a young person. I think it’s also important to the work you do and to experience new cultures. And then I think in terms of doing your thing, it’s just this matter of like being unapologetically yourself and being as authentic as you want to be. And I think pushing the limits as much as you can. So, I kind of meandered from the question, but it’s philosophical for me and it’s kind of hard to define, to be honest how I see the world with the Noggles, the Nouns glasses on, but it’s definitely a combination of things and it’s just very inspiring above all else.
How would you say that compares to the other Nouner’s visions?
Gami: As in, like, other Nouner’s that are participating in the space.
Right. Right, right.
Gami: Yeah, I think a bit of a hot take, but there’s sort of two camps and Gnars. There’s, you know, people who are coming at it more from a financial primitive and sort of, you know, looking at it in similar ways to defi protocols. And then there’s the camp that I’m part of, which is more from the builder perspective, which is leaning into this sort of idea of serendipity being where the magic happens. And I think you see that in the way that we all interact and vote, that we have very different motivators behind the decisions that we’re making. And I just really, I really think that both important equally, because, you know, without a friction, there’s no spark. So somewhere in the middle, which is the proposals and the voting that takes place, that’s where the real innovation happens and that’s where like a lot of the greatest ideas come from. So, yeah, I hope it stays that way, too important.
Are there any proposals you you’ve regretted passing? Like voted on, yes?
Gami: Yeah, early on. I won’t name them individually, but early on, I was really lost with like, how to vote. Because some, there’s just so much information and so many different factors. And as someone who’s like, assumed, I think I would spend so much time like, putting the thought into my vote. And then I would just be like, okay, well, there’s no time left for anything else today. So, then I started to follow the herd a little bit, and I would find like, nowadays who had like less on that go. Well, you know, it looked that way, that they had less on the go, I’d pay close attention to their votes, and that would help me decide. And now it’s kind of just like a mix of having a feel for what the ecosystem is about. And you see that like with people who’ve just joined Nouns, like they find it to be quite overwhelming, because they’re like, how do I do all this voting on Prop House and NounsDAO proposals, and there’s discussions everywhere and it’s a bit crazy. But I think that everyone sort of finds their own niche within the now metaverse, per se. So, it’s, yeah, I’ve regretted maybe a quarter of the votes made and not because I thought vehemently that they’re wrong or should have been different but just because I know that I wasn’t in the right headspace to even make the right decision.
One Thing That Could Be Changed About Gnars in its Current State
With Nouns in its current state, if you could change one thing about it what would it be?
Gami: That’s a hard one. I think like the biggest problem we have is, well, I previously thought that it was capital allocation. So, I thought you know, we need to be entirely focused on getting the funds into the hands of people with niche expertise. And while I still believe that, because that’s part of why Nouns exists. I also believe very firmly that we have a problem with coordination around promotional effort. So, say we allocate funding and when we do all these projects, and people build amazing things, the attention marketplace is really fractured. So, like, any given day, there’s dozens of things happening in Nouns that use where the, you know, like, whether it’s an advancement in training AI models by the Nouns AI accrue, or it’s like some breakthrough protocol idea, or some, you know, governance experiment, or whatever, there’s just loads of cool stuff. And then even the flashy marketing stuff, you know, there’s just so many cool things. And at the moment, our attention is just like, fractured across all these different things. And if we could coordinate that attention, and just really focus it behind one thing each day, I think we’d go a lot further. And then that would also help us understand our communications much better. Because, you know, like I said before, if we’re making assumptions, and we’re not getting a good data set to make some decisions, that we’re essentially making assumptions anyway. So, there’s a few things that I’ve been working on with a couple of developers in the Gnars ecosystem and I’d love to be able to help solve those kinds of problems. So yeah, I tweeted out an idea of Nouns the other day, a lot of people mistook that as a newsletter, but it’s actually a clone of Hacker News, which is a Y Combinator incubated project and it’s kind of like a launch pad where every day people, you know, curate the top news piece and then sort of most of the attention is drawn to that top piece. So, I think we could learn from that.
How Decision-Making in NounsDAO Aligns With Personal Beliefs and Values
In what ways do you believe decentralization of power and decision-making in the NounsDAO aligns with your personal beliefs and values?
Gami: Yeah, that’s another one that I need to think about. You know, it’s like, in terms of my personal beliefs, like I just get really frustrated with bureaucracy. And while a lot of people might look at Nouns and be like, wow, that’s bureaucratic like a bunch of like, you know, people with ease, you know, swinging the things around and making, you know, decisions and trying to dictate what happens, blah, blah, blah. But if you compare it to like how we live our real lives, I’m much more in favor of something where everyone has equal opportunity to have a voice. And so, that’s why governance experiments are really interesting to me. You know, in Australia is a great place to live but it’s government, you know, wastes a lot of money, they take incredibly long time to pass important new legislation. They have a really poor network of support for entrepreneurs and startups. It’s incredibly hard to get capital here. And there’s generally not a lot of support for entrepreneurs in general. And I guess when you look at something like Nouns, it’s just this level playing field where it is what you make it and it has so many faults, and so many things are wrong with it, but the fact that it provides this like opportunity for autonomy, and autonomy as in self directing freedom, I think is what really stands out to me. So, to me, it’s, you know, you go out and you skate, and as there’s a sense of freedom. And I think that’s the part about Nouns that aligns closely with my values.
What Nouns Does Well and Potential for Amplification With More Resources
So let me re-ask a question that I asked just earlier. In with Nouns in its current state, okay, what do you think there’s one thing that Gnars does really, really well, that if you could pour more money into it and amplify? What does that one thing?
Gami: I think Nouns is doing a really good job of creating useful tooling that other communities could benefit from. These often get talked about as public goods or if you read Jacob horns, stuff from Zora, he speaks on hybrid structures, or public infrastructure in general. And I think like, Nouns has done a really great job with things like prop house. For simple innovation of using NFTs for governance, instead of ERC 20s. When they forked compound to create our Dao executor, there’s loads of stuff like that. That’s just very thoughtful. And I think it’s thoughtful because everything’s slowed down. So even though Nouns only took a few months from idea to execution and launch. It was one of these serendipitous things where like, the thoughtfulness that went into it is something that’s pretty hard to replicate. So, I just think like, the best opportunity that Nouns has to give a, you know, positive, you know, to give back to the space is to create this opportunity, where we can show the outside world that we’re not a bunch of crypto bros. You know, like, there is a lot of thoughtful people in this space who are trying to do really good work, that could you know, progress humanity for it, and it’s very big answer. But yeah, just billionaires put their names on libraries, right, like to sway public opinions and manage their reputation. And I think like Nouns is a reputation management opportunity for crypto as a whole. That’s the short answer.
That makes sense. Hold on. Let me write something down because I cut you off because I think.
Gami: That’s okay.
Give me a second. Okay, ready? I want to transition more into the core theme of season seven, which is creating content that’s worth collecting. And if there’s one community that has done it right, and knows how to delegate capital, to those who know how to create content with collecting it’s Nouns. What Nouns is done, or I guess its counterparts, it’s capital receivers. I don’t know what you guys call them in the community. But they’ve really amplified the Nouns meet, you are a prime example. And there’s a bunch of other content, either that was minted on Zora, that was distributed in went viral across crypto Twitter. It’s just fascinating to see the high level of production and the modification around the Nouns, the Noggles themselves, right? I want to talk about more of your cultural contribution, because it’s something that you’ve done very, very well. It’s the Embed of the Noggles, a physical pair of Noggles into real, into real skating scene. Can you talk about that? It was one of the more beautiful collaborations that I’ve seen come out of the Nouns ecosystem and something that always stuck with me. As to okay, this community is really different.
Gami: Yeah, for sure. I’ll start by saying, I had very little to do with that. I just set the environment that enabled ideas like that to flourish. But you know, and I tried to, I try to lead by example so that people are inspired, and they feel empowered. Hat’s off to the community from Brazil, who were in Gnars, there’s like 25% of our community are Brazilian. It’s crazy penetration there, which is awesome. And you know, the likes of Bob Bergquist have gotten involved. So, to have someone like Tony Hawk level famous skateboarding in our community is just insane to me. But to touch on the actual activation, one of our community members Vlad, who’s a pro skater. Made a proposal to partner up with I love 15, which is an organization in Rio that celebrates the legalization of skateboarding in Prosser 15, which is this, you know, basically is Town Square in in Rio, and it’s got like, European architecture. So there’s actually like ledges to skate and stairs and all this sort of stuff. And back in the day, it was banned outright for people to skate. Like so for many years, they were protesting as a group and there’s amazing footage out there of, you know, these huge protests were skateboarders, you know, essentially fighting for their right to express themselves. And last year was the 10-year anniversary since they successfully, you know, had the laws change. And there were 1000 skateboarders gathered into Prosser 15 and then many more spectators. And in the lead up to this celebration and this collaboration, which was essentially a collaboration with Nouns as well, because we use some of the funding, we received from them on this project. Only 6/8 by the way, and we built giant Noggles. So, a bunch of people in the community over there banded together, there was an architect who used his skills to design up these handrails, that are fixed as the arms of a pair of Nouns glasses. And you can imagine them, they’re just a giant pair of Nouns glasses on the ground. You know, maybe a bit over a foot high, and like a few feet wide and a bit longer. And in Australia, we use metric but anyway, the and the image that got around first on Twitter was basically a guy board sliding of this pair of Noggles, and it’s just this really striking photo and I shared it. It was something that came out immediately after the event. And it took off on Twitter and, you know, just I said we do a little proliferation. And people finally started to get like what Nas is about like, it’s a straight culture movement built on top of Nouns as a protocol. And I think of nouns as like this broader movement within crypto. And it’s this opportunity for us to bring two cultures together, one that is completely unrelated to crypto and other than the ethos and the philosophies that I’ve sort of talked about previously. And then, soon after that, a video came out that Narnish put together. Shout out to Goldie and 142 and their team. And basically, they took all this content that the community had filmed and put into a Google Drive. So literally terabytes of content, and edited together this brilliant short film, and it just sort of demonstrated what we did. And there’s this crowd of people pushing these giants, you know, steel Noggles into the town square and it’s filled with concrete by the way. So, the metal tubing is all filled with concrete, so it’s impossible to steal it. And permanently along with other sculptures, there’s like a giant skateboard, it’s basically skateable art in this town square and Rio, and it’s just beautiful. Gonna say I’m on Google Maps, and they update the aerial photos.
I gotta tell you, what a fun creative and unique way to take an object and place it in this environment, that has its own unique energy, which then gives it’s own unique life. Right? And seeing the Nouns glasses, and the Noggles in that setting, was such a lively experience from my perspective. And shout out to that team because they did a fantastic job editing that video and portraying sort of the excitement and the act of energy in that setting. And how that really, that really then amplified my feelings towards Nouns. Like I remember feeling a certain way, a different way about them, like wow, this is actually so cool. What a cool way to do something and to showcase a brand in a really fun fashion, that would otherwise be very mundane and very to a select few of people, you know, within across crypto Twitter and across discourse and a few like forums, you know, forums and I commend you for that. And it taught me a lot of what happens when you take an otherwise mundane object, you know, that has a lot of familiarity with a niche group of people and put it in specific environments, that has a completely new energy to it. It just elevates in a completely different way. I don’t know, I’m like going all in on this because I really felt something special when I watched that video, when it came on my timeline randomly.
Gami: I’m stoked to hear that because it’s honestly something that a number of us draw on quite often, to sort of demonstrate what Nouns is like outside of crypto, and it’s you know, like it’s something that we’re going to experiment with a hell of a lot more at Gnars, because of the success of that event. And we on boarded hundreds of people into crypto as well. Well, I wasn’t there personally, but the community did a fantastic job and that it’s sort of evolved into so many different things as well. So, like now, you may have seen that we had another proposal, that I sort of it was in hindsight is a mistake. I was experimenting, but it failed. But essentially, we want to scale out this effort, where we’re doing these activations and the sort of the reasoning behind that, is because we started off just sponsoring action sports people. And saying like use this A to like buy flights on trevalla. You can pay crypto, and book hotel and go where you want to go and like attend that contest or make that film. And it was great like we had Joe Atkinson, who’s three-time world champion in land skating. He was the first to join us and while it was so cool to see this individual go and win like the European Championships and get up on the podium with his, you know his merch on and see the Naugle’s and him spread the champagne everywhere. We would love that. But we came to realize that like it’s much more impactful to empower an individual to like to uplift their entire community. And that’s where like physical public goods come into play. So, we have experimented with refurbishing skate parks in different places and planning out these different events and opportunities to uplift different communities around the world. And it’s crazy what impact he can have with like a really small budget in a developing country. So yeah, plenty more on the way and just more and more crazy ideas every day in our community. So really stoked about that.
The Future of GnarsDAO
It’s incredibly inspiring and makes me wonder what’s next for NounsDAO? What is next?
Gami: Well, what’s next is in progress at the moment. About a week and a half ago, with the guys from collective, so shout out Rocket Man and Hardy and your team or their teams. We put together a new platform called that’s Narly. And so that’s Nar.ly. And it’s essentially a community curation platform, where anyone with any social media account or content can actually bring their content over and have our community upload their favorites. And we do a daily drop, which is an open edition. And we’ve had a really good run in this first week and a half, just with our MVP of testing it out. And it’s sort of painting this new picture of where a realization that we had with the giant Nouns glasses was after the event and the activation, the content just kept rolling in. And it’s like this never-ending expression session. You know, it’s a term derived from surfing. That’s pretty common in skating as well. You have a contest, but then afterwards everyone just like goes in and tries to do their best tricks and, you know, quote, unquote, make history. And so, we realized like, people are still going to these classes and throwing down their best trick and posting it on social media. Like that’s a really interesting outcome. And then we thought what if we could incentivize people to do essentially that, but everywhere in the world and have this like, huge collective expression session that never ends? And fortunately, the guys from collective were building this revolution protocol, where content creators can contribute content instead of funding, to get governance rights in return. So, everything that we do online, you know, at its core is media because like we need to distribute it somehow. And that’s Narly has become this, you know, this new seedling that’s starting to grow from the ground. And we’re starting to see like some big names’ skaters start to submit content on this platform and snowboarders and skiers and motocross riders and everything. And when once the MVP stage is good, and we’re happy with how it’s working, we’ll start to do outreach and onboard as many people as we can. And it’s been so cool to see skaters and stuff that have been on the platform and just like, submitted a cool video and then like walked away with 300 bucks the next day. It’s like it’s so cool. And then community love it because it’s engaging and it’s gives us something to do that’s positive impact. So that’s the immediate future and then we’re going to be going back to Gnars with a revised, asked from our failed proposal, which was entitled, extremely Narnish. So, we’re gonna go back with an extremely Narnish still. And the goal there is to do these activations all around the world and onboard more and more people to web three, and then Narniverse.
You brought up the keyword or phrase expression session. That’s very unique. I haven’t heard that phrase before. If you could attribute that in analogy to better understand expression session, what would it be? Like help me better decode that.
Gami: It’s like, I guess if you compare it to another sport, like say you’re watching like, basketball, right? And it’s like, at the end of the game, there’s a winner and the loser. But they also pick out an MVP, right? And it’s like, who was the player of the game essentially and you know, I was LeBron with that dunk that he did that was insane. Right. So, you that’s like, retro actively choosing a moment that made the day what it was. In action sports, they generally give everyone the opportunity to do that afterwards, because it’s very hard to land tricks consistently. So, say in skateboarding, if you look at street league skateboarding, like you’ll see people landing 20 trips in a row, and that’s just insane. Like that’s super high level pro stuff. But they generally do a rehearsed set of maneuvers. It’s like gymnastics in that way, where it’s like, well, this is my routine and I’ve been practicing it for weeks, I’m gonna nail it. But they’re not the most impressive tricks. The most impressive tricks are the ones like you tried 20 times and then when you land it, everyone goes insane. Yes, so, expression session is that realization of like, well, the game’s over. But there’s amazing stuff that could happen, so, let’s make history together. And everyone gets out there and they lay down the best trick that they can. And that’s when you see like, world firsts happen, where it’s like, you remember Tony Hawk landing the 900, Schinsky from Marin community landing the first ever kickflip down El Toro 20 stair, years ago, like 20 years ago. That is the idea of an expression session. It’s those moments that make history.
Expression Sessions And Creating Content Worth Collecting
I’m curious what you think the overlap between expression sessions and creating content worth collecting are? Any come to mind?
Gami: Yes, it’s actually like, such a perfect analogy for it because if I were to think about just any kind of content, like say it’s even just a tweet, like it’s you expressing yourself. And you’d generally sit down and put this effort into a tweet, to hope that it would go viral, right? Like you want to do something that impacts enough people. And you might have different reasons. It might just be a meme and you want to make people laugh. Or it might be a thought or a realization that you had that you think could help other people. And I think in terms of like expression session, it’s the same thing. It’s just a different medium through which you express yourself. And I think when it comes to, you know, content worth collecting, I think if there’s something that reaches you as an individual and touches you in a certain way, that that changes who you are or makes you laugh or makes you smile or makes you cry, or whatever it is, it’s like that’s a memento. You know, to me that’s worth collecting, just for the very fact that it impacted me in some small way. So yeah, expression session, it’s a big one for the for the crypto community should latch on to it.
Listen, this conversation has been really eye opening. Really cool to hear a more in-depth perspective, Gami, of your entire journey. From skateboarding, raising funds to buying that now and entering the community finding your voice very much. So, creating cultural relevance across URL and IRL experiences. I’m really glad we had this conversation. Thank you for being on. Before we wrap it up, where can we find you, Gami? Where can we learn more about NounsDAO and everything in between?
Gami: So, in terms of getting this message across properly, I’m going to use an American accent, because like I mentioned at the start, so many people misspell Gnars because of my Aussie accent. So, the best place to go to learn about Gnars is Gnars.com. And to join Gnars, you go to Gnars.wtf and I also have a link page up at Gna.rs. So that’s just Gnars, one word with the dot before the rs. And yeah, everything on Twitter is @Gami, My handle is 0xigami and that’s probably all you need to know.
Gami, you’re the man, thank you for being a part of season seven. I really look forward to the next conversation we have but till next time.
Gami: It’s been a pleasure, man. Thank you so much.