tl;dr: I’ve got 1,000,000 tokens for mint to raise a total of 250 ETH for my ideas and projects. Head here to mint yours.
Hi! I hate a lot of things but for the context of opening this conversation up (I hope what I’m writing here becomes a conversation), I hate decks. Having made decks for things spanning from music festivals to events to business ideas, I’ve grown familiar with them. My girlfriend, who is my biggest supporter in my journey to wherever I’m going, texted me one day saying Salehe Bembruy said in an interview that decks lead to checks…and while I agree, I still hate them. I was talking to my friend Mikael, who is a wizard/genius who works with wizards/geniuses, about this topic and he said “audacity get checks too” and since that line of thinking is more my personal speed…that’s how we’re approaching this post. I use the word “ambitious” in the title of this conversation starter (we aren’t calling this a post or entry), but I think we could just as easily substitute it for the word audacious. I’ll stop with the vagueness and dig into some thoughts, ideas and my action around this opening paragraph.
I’ve been thinking a lot about different ways to get funded as an artist in(/using) web3. Different ways to make money. This is absolutely a technological paradigm shift we’re going through in the moment with the advent of web3, and I’m into looking at all of the ways we can take advantage of it, especially in these early times. The most straightforward and obvious version of this is through minting NFTs and selling them. While selling digital goods isn’t new, NFTs are a technologically supercharged version of this with new features, namely public provable ownership and a secondary matket that the original creator benefits from. Toward the latter part of 2021 leading into 2022, there was a large focus on different crowdfunding mechanisms for artists. This was interesting to me. Leading the way on this was Mirror and PartyBid, who are both still alive and well, despite having gone through many transformations. One of my favorites is the homie Ibn Inglor raising 20 ETH to execute his album, Danger Zone. The most straightforward crowdfunding method on my radar right now is Juicebox. Most recently in my field of vision, the musicians guild Campfire raised over $4,000 for their Miami Art Basel activation.
Aside from artist driven models, such a direct sales or direct crowdfunding, there are a few external models that exist that are worth talking about. The one most in front of all of us every day is the grant based model of funding. All over web3, you’re able to find places to apply for grants, whether it’s through an organization like Gitcoin or with a blockchain or protocol such as NEAR or Optimism (Gitcoin is also a protocol but plays both sides), or one of the many NFT projects that allow you to apply for grants paid to. you by the project’s treasury. Something a bit more contentious but I think will be true in the future will be small, high specialized agency-style cohorts will invest their skills and resources into projects in order to support their potential success. I think the “web3 labels” model will look a lot like that. Only time will tell with that one.
On the far end of the spectrum, you encounter the most polarizing person in web3 music, Cooper Turley, and his investment fund Coop Records. Coop Records is overall pretty boring normal web3 tech investment vibes but the one interesting thing he outlines in his announcement is this idea of “Artist Seed Rounds” which is essentially an artist “going public” with an investment from Coop Records. In exchange for a percentage ownership of your overall business, you’ll receive the advice, tutelage and capital boost from the Investment Fund. His ideal investment is around $250,000 per artist he invests in. This sounds wild and massively interesting to a nerd like me, in both good and bad ways, but only accounts for around 10% of what Coop Records will do. How do you valuate an artist? How does Coop Records “exit” from an artist? Do they ever? When talking with Cooper in the Water and Music community, I made a joke in the discord about making my own token to raise $250,000, followed by a tweet of an image, as seen below:
It had gotten a far better response than I expected, and people were DMing me asking for the deck. I thought it was hilarious, but I also recognized this as a moment that people were seeing the value in me and making sure I had the resources to do what I wanted and needed, creatively. This is when I decided to turn the joke (that apparently didn’t land as well as I had hoped) into something real.
This leads me to my final point, which was also my first point, and deserves to be its own heading:
I was talking about making this idea to one of the web3 homies, Charlie Crown, and through conversation ended up working with the company Bonfire, who specializes in creating custom no-code DIY mint and token gated experiences for web3 creatives. Fresh off a $6.2 million raise themselves, it’s now my turn to get to raising.
I know what you’re thinking, “you can’t be serious,” but I am. I think I’m smart enough, capable enough and have proven myself enough to be worth taking a risk on. If you’ve been in web3 for any amount of time, you know that I educate, innovate, have great taste in both anime and clothing, and have freely tweeted better ideas than companies getting funding in this niche tech landscape. I’ve built out a whole website (s/o Bonfire) to make it easy for you to throw in on this idea, one .00025 ETH token at a time.
This sounds wild, but I have the audacity and belief in myself that with a little boost it’ll be worth it. If you have questions, I’ve got a FAQ over on the mint site, and even a way to schedule a meet to ask some questions if you have any.