Almost two years ago, I fell down the Web3 rabbit hole. Today marks one year working full-time in Web3 at Async Art and being involved in communities like theVERSEverse, Mochi, FWB, and Holdersland. Having seen the all-time highs of the bull market and the deep lulls of the current bear market, the NFT space has been quite the rollercoaster. Here are seven invaluable lessons I've learned along the way:
1/ The market impacts everything you do, but it's not all there is. Getting into Web3 I don’t think I realized the magnitude of this. The market impacts product direction, what you do day-to-day, and even your ability to grow your community, but it’s critical to not get too fatalistic about this. In bull markets, ride the wave and enjoy it while it lasts, knowing it will come to an end. In bear markets, focus on factors still within your control. If a story is compelling enough, it will still pull people in.
2/ The space thrives on casual connection. Virtually everyone in the space is open to a conversation about how you might collaborate, but not every conversation goes somewhere. Conversations move forward when you’re able to articulate a clear vision for partnership. Also, while a lot of connections happen online, nothing beats IRL meet ups. I'd highly recommend trying to attend at least one IRL event for the year if you're able to. You never know who you might meet!
3/ Web3 ethos is the ideal, not the reality. Before I got more involved in the space, I thought everyone was committed to the vision for collaboration and interoperability. I’ve learned it's not all unicorns and roses here. Entrenched disparities are at risk of repeating themselves, with walled gardens and fierce competition. Seeing this has only deepened my commitment to building towards a truly interoperable, accessible Web3.
4/ This space moves fast, and so should you. Before Web3, I worked in the life sciences industry, where we had to get written permission for things as small as using client logos. Web3 is the exact opposite of that. Partnership decisions and announcements happen in an instant. Rollouts happen quickly. Audiences lose attention after a matter of days. Working in Web3 requires high responsiveness, shipping things quickly, and a little improvising along the way.
5/ Focus on cutting through the noise. In Web3, everyday is a gm (good morning). Everyday, there's good and bad news, some new product launch, or some new collection you should care about. As a marketer, so much of your job is to figure out how to cut through the noise, and get people to care about what you’re talking about. Much of successful marketing in this space is creating intrigue, memes, and of course, good old sh*tposting. Fight the temptation to talk about your product and focus on cultural branding and storytelling as much as possible.
6/ There’s no playbook for anything. A lot of what we’re doing in Web3 is being done for the first time, so there are no best practices, no extensive guides on how to approach things. This can be both freeing and paralyzing, depending on how you frame it. Try to lean into the freeing part of it. Since there’s no playbook, you have lots of room to explore and try different things. At the same time, I’ve found it helpful at times to adapt elements of my Web2 experience to this space to bring much-needed structure.
7/ Take time to separate yourself from the hype. As I said, Web3 is a rollercoaster. Discord. Twitter. Even more than the average person, we get bombarded with insane amounts of information each day, and work blurs with natural interests. I’ve found it critical to create some separation between my work, my more general interest in Web3, and my life outside of Web3 by taking Twitter breaks on weekends or turning off Discord notifications on mobile (There’s no reason you should have those annoying notification sounds on your Desktop, though lol).
Bonus: Fave Memories from This Past Year
1/ Art Basel - I didn't know anyone going, but decided to take the plunge and head to Basel. It was the best decision I could’ve made. I had an unforgettable time at AkuWorld, Zoratopia, the DMINTI event, Rarible’s brunch, the Cryptorastas party, Holdersland dinner, and more. It was incredible validation meeting Web3 frens IRL for the first time and making new ones.
2/ Async Blueprints launch - Pretty soon after I joined Async was our historical Blueprints launch ft. “Grifters” by XCOPY, “DecentralEyes Mashup” by Coldie, and “Thousand Headers Coterie” by Alotta Money (R.I.P.). What a time it was. The morning of public sale, our website went down and the team identified possible bot attacks. We had to pivot, fend off the bots, and manually run mega allowlist raffles involving thousands of entries to ensure real people got these valuable NFTs. Shoutout to Premint for helping us with that.
3/ Non Fungible Conference in Lisbon - This was the first NFT conference I went to where I was officially repping Async. I was able to meet my coworkers, artists, and collectors from the Async community for the first time. I will never forget that night where we hung out with our artist community all night, taking shots of cherry liqueur in an egg tart shop.
4/ Mochi journey - Completing my first Mochi journey with Shadowsweat and Anansi and participating in the Star Cup (a themed community competition). We stayed up late writing lyrics for a song about finding frenship in Space. Shoutout to Shadowsweat for pulling it all together into a cohesive, rocking track. We came second! You can check out the track here.
5/ NFT NYC - Despite the bear market, NFT NYC was a blast. June was a crazy month with our Music Blueprints product launch, going on holiday for two weeks, then heading straight to NFT NYC. Highlights included being a speaker, being on a panel at Monaverse’s event, MC-ing our Async satellite event, rapping at Coldie and Ann Marie Alane's karaoke party, and theVERSEverse poetry event at Bowery Poetry Club.
6/ #AsyncFaceOff - To make sure our team really understood our creation platform, we split into three teams and challenged ourselves to make some fun, free generative collections for our community. We successfully immortalized our team as trading cards, had the privilege to hear some of our Engineers rap, and revealed what Web3 archetypes really think when they tweet each day. Async Cards prevailed in the end!
Whew, what a ride! If you enjoyed this thread, follow me on Twitter @watchensee for more. What have you learned while being in Web3? I’d love to hear from you, and my DMs are always open if you want to connect.
What does this next year hold? We’ll just have to watchensee :)