nft la la land
Let’s talk La La Land.
No, not Los Angeles and NFT LA…the motion picture La La Land from 2016! You know that completely topical, totally not controversial film that almost won Best Picture.
The Oscars were this past weekend and La La Land came back into my mind. It, of course, will forever be remembered for being “entangled” in the show’s now second craziest moment ever (thanks to the ‘slap heard ‘round the world’).
I revisited the film’s opening number and I feel it encapsulates a secret sadness that surrounds events like NFT LA and NFT Twitter in general. Let me explain.
You see, in the musical number that begins the film and on NFT Twitter both, there is a slight delusion that we’re all gonna make it (WAGMI). However, the sad reality is many of us will be left with broken dreams and high gas fees (hehe because there’s always traffic, get it?).
“Could be brave or just insane / We'll have to see…” ←That’s all of us buying JPGs and still trying to make it big even if the odds aren’t exactly on our side.
Back to Hollywood. Celebs get a bad wrap for being involved in NFTs (and oftentimes for good reason). However, I’ve begun seeing what certain celebrities bring to the community lately: they can be the social proof that many need to get started or spend big on NFTs.
First, I started noticing that Odell Beckham’s tweets were getting picked up by major news outlets and sports rumors websites. For those living under a rock, he’s maybe one of the most recognizable NFL players that doesn’t play quarterback.
He just won the Super Bowl, is currently a free agent, and tends to be a sparkplug of controversy wherever he goes, so he’s in the news constantly. When he’s quoted in the news, they often contain a screenshot of his tweets. His PFP (profile picture)? Deadfellaz.
I try to step inside the head of someone who would see this on SportsCenter or on The Ringer. The “NFTs are dumb” crowd will continue to hate. But what if someone wants to learn more about why Odell has that zombie-looking thing as his PFP? They look into Deadfellaz…and what do you know? These are one of those NFTs that everyone keeps talking about!
(For what it’s worth, Deadfellaz aren’t in the Bored Ape price range where it’s completely crazy to think a civilian who likes football could have one be their first NFT. Deadfellaz floor is currently around 2 ETH.)
Then, this weekend, I noticed next to Serena Williams at the Oscars was her husband…Alexis Ohanian (though attention was focused elsewhere, granted). If someone watching the telecast looks him up? Well, odds are they’re going to see he’s rocking one of his many NFTs as a PFP. Right now, it’s his Bored Ape, but it could also be his Doodle, or his Cool Cat…and his history as a Reddit cofounder might be the second thing you find out about him after his love of NFTs.
NFTs are quickly becoming a cool kids club. Reese Witherspoon has a World of Women as her Twitter PFP. Moonpay is buying Apes for everyone…including Madonna. They are talking about them (ok, making fun of them) on late-night talk shows and podcasts. People will want to be in this club because that’s how FOMO works. And monkey see, monkey do…they will probably buy an NFT that they see celebrities have.
The question then becomes what NFT gives you the most bang for your buck. It’s not realistic to think that just to look cool someone will pay 5-figures for something they know nothing about. But 4-figures? Now we’re talking.
I’d eye projects like mfers, the aforementioned Deadfellaz, and hell, even Rumble Kong League (see Paul George’s PFP on Twitter) to get in on “cheaper” projects who have notable celebs repping them and also a strong community that can exist with them inevitably fading as being “cool”.
I’ve never been concerned with looking cool because I usually find trends as they are on their way out. (I just got a fidget spinner and started doing the dougie.)
But even I would be remiss to not understand there is a premium in looking cool. And right now, being cool looks like a Bored Ape.
I think we have forgotten that being a PFP that showcases how cool you are is about the best kind of utility there is right now for NFTs.
Speaking of fashion, I have loved seeing a new type of FUD. This week Gary Vee and Mutant Ape Yacht Club both experienced “merch FUD”. Yes, your NFT’s t-shirts can now send the floor price plummeting.
It wasn’t very dramatic with either project, but people did question a lot of the decisions that went into some pretty awful-looking merch.
I can see how people see it as a bad reflection on the project at large. It goes back to the idea of being “cool” that I talked about in the Alpha section of this newsletter.
Did you hire relevant designers who know what’s trending and will look good? Did you put time and effort into it? Or are you doing the bare minimum to add to your roadmap and give your holders a little hit of dopamine?
MAYC merch got roasted for looking like a motocross rider named Kyle was just got his first screenprinting machine. While Gary Vee’s was criticized because it’s barely anything at all.
I’ve talked about the struggles of pleasing the merch crowd in previous newsletters. It’s the part of “utility” that I find to be the most overrated in the space. That being said, it’s essential. It shows that your project can follow through and give a quality product, delivered smoothly.
Merch drops really do tell a lot about what’s going on behind the scenes of a project. If you can’t pull off shirts, how can we expect you to do a successful airdrop?
(By the way, Cool Cats merch had some issues with shipping to a few of their customers that also caused a fair amount of FUD recently.)
My advice to projects is to start small…start with stickers (this post is sponsored by BivNFT and his efforts to get every project to send me a sticker pack).
Speaking of celebs getting into NFTs, my dad sent me an email that the Chive is launching their own collection with help from none other than the great Bill Murray. I think we’re just at the tip of the iceberg of random celeb NFTs.
The chain used by Axie Infinity, called Ronin, was exploited this week. The hacker has made off with 173,600 ETH. With that kind of money in hand, I always wonder why the hackers don’t just go full chaos mode. Imagine if you used it to sweep a major project floor and send them to a burn address. Put it on a Ledger and hide it somewhere. Then, start a Twitter and leave clues to where it might be. Some people like to watch the world burn, but not these hackers apparently. They are no fun.
I hope all of you are having fun at NFT LA in all seriousness; I’m just salty I can’t go. I’ll be in LA in a few weeks once all of you have left, unfortunately. I’d still be down to do something with the people who live there. Hit me up.