Back in 2020, the idea of having an NFT podcast was unheard of, but look at how far we’ve come in the last 18 months! Can you believe we’re at 200 episodes now? To mark this milestone, your hosts, Jeff Kelley, Eathan Janney and Josh Kriger, come together to reminisce the beginnings of their partnership and the inflection point that led to the creation of The Edge of NFT Podcast. They also savor the wins our community has had so far through the podcast and through the NFTLA events, which bring about a cross-pollination of ideas from around the world. It’s going to be an exciting future for both the podcast and the community around it. Tune in and celebrate this milestone with us!
Listen to the podcast here
200th Episode! Inside The Edge Of Company, Edge Lore, Building NFT LA, Past Reflections, What’s To Come, And More…
This episode features us, your co-hosts of the show, Jeff Kelley, Josh Kriger, and Eathan Janney. We're co-founders of this show as well as the Edge of Company and creators along with our partner Zach Sekar of the NFT LA event. We have realized that curiosity, connection, and co-creation are the heartbeat of everything we do. We want to celebrate the show because it is our 200th episode. From here on out, we will take a moment to chit-chat about the path to this point with all its wonderful twists and turns and where we see things are going from here. Jeff and Josh, welcome to this program with me.
You brought the champagne. Right, Eathan?
I have some hot chocolate here. I don't know if that's appropriate for celebrations but it's tasty.
It's a bicentennial. We should release a coin or something.
It would be if you don't have a coin in your pocket. If someone gives you a coin and they see you, and you don't have it on your body when they see you again, you owe them a drink. We could work something out like that.
That sounds like a good idea. Let's do it.
It's an NFT.
What is an NFT?
How many times do we get that one? It has been a journey. Two hundred episodes over the course of eighteen months or so. It's a combination of what we do here on the show, and then also a lot of the stuff we have done at events throughout the world where we bring the media arm of our company, which is much more than the show. We will talk about that in a little bit. We bring that with us to try to elevate all the cool stuff happening in the space with friends of ours, and people that we’ve just met that are doing cool things. We're always trying to elevate people and help to co-create the Web3 future. We say that a lot but that's it.
It has been interesting. It's so helpful to have three of us as hosts given how much is happening in this space. There have been multiple times in the last few months where we're recording an episode, we've got a Twitter Spaces, and one of us is in sixteen hours of time zone difference from the rest of us trying to capture the pulse of what's going on in the space. For me, it doesn't get any more exciting than the building phase that we're in.
Before this and when I can currently, I try to give people a little bit of advice on podcasting. My number one piece of advice that I'll always say on starting a podcast, and most people don't think of it, is to have someone else in the boat with you. It doesn't have to be a co-host. It could be somebody excited about editing it. They should probably want to be able to do it for free in the beginning. You could pay someone but having someone that's passionate about it as you proves that there's at least one audience member. I'm blessed to have two of you.
We built a team of other people that are passionate about these things. There's another podcast I've been listening to that I'll give a shout-out to that has three hosts. It's the Broken Record Podcast. It's a music podcast. It's got Bruce Headlam and Rick Rubin. There's one more co-host that they have on board. He hasn't been on episodes recently, but they trade off. You will hear one episode where one is hosting or maybe a couple of them. Malcolm Gladwell is the third host. He's the author. It's a cool group of guys. They did some podcast episodes with Paul Simon. Three is a very fun magic number for podcasting.
It occurs to me that we have talked about our evolution as a podcast, specifically the podcast in a bunch of different contexts when we're not here on the show. We talked about how we formed this thing on this show yet.
Perhaps. We have had a couple of reflective episodes but we have seen people in our orbit say, "You should tell us more about what's going on." We see it every day. We have a Slack channel that's constantly buzzing 24 hours a day. People listen to us for an hour or two a week. They're just not aware of that. It's great to share that. We mentioned the name the Edge of Company. That's the company that we formed that's behind this all. We have been working to develop our ethos and branding around that and make sure people are aware that's the force that's driving everything. It's a lot about Web3 and NFTs, but it's about our desire to be on the edge of everything moving forward.
You have to understand. We have been in and around this space. Eathan, you came across the world of crypto even before Josh and me who have been hot and heavy in this space since early 2017. You had some initial opportunities to work into it. Maybe share a little bit about your first exposure.
My memories fade a little bit as I age. I almost wish that I happened to have forgotten to create a Bitcoin wallet or something like that. I was p-tuning pianos out of college as a job and then finding Bitcoin. That was a thing. It was a way of decentralized currency. I was like, "Maybe I'll try to accept Bitcoin for my piano tunings." That was a thing that I was into for a minute way back when it started. I wish that my memory is so bad that I forgot that I have a hard drive somewhere with a Bitcoin wallet with a couple of Bitcoins, but I don't think I would have come across that. I was paying attention very early on but I didn't get into it as much as you did in the past few years.
In 2017, we heard about it. I got interested in Andrea Antonopoulos talking on Joe Rogan's podcast at the end of September 2016. I was like, "We have to look into this." Josh and I were hot and heavy as entrepreneurs together since 2012, and a little bit before then honestly because we collaborated on some stuff I was working on too. I heard that. We're always looking for new technologies and new interesting things that are world-changing.
This was one that we heard about around that time, but then it was the Filecoin ICO that was happening in mid-2017 that we were like, "There's something cool here that makes a ton of sense like decentralized storage." That's when we started getting into it and bringing our experience as business people and entrepreneurs. There's a level of sophistication to some companies and brands that never had a company before, much less a crypto company.
We started bringing some of those core skills in helping companies think about it as consultants, finance, marketing, accounting, operations, strategies, and things that you have to do to run an organization that a lot of these folks haven't done. We started helping companies out and getting to know people. It expanded from there. We have been around for a long time and have always been impressed with NFTs. We were excited when it came about. Josh, what are your reflections on those early days?
It's funny. People talk about Web3 as the Wild Wild West, but if they had been around back then, that was the Wild Wild West.
There are probably even more cowboy hats involved.
There were a lot more cowboys back then that were upset at what was going on with Wall Street, the political landscape, and big technologies. Ultimately, some of that extremism is what fueled such a strong innovative drive. On one hand, Jeff and I have always been fairly moderate. We appreciate radical ideas but we don't want to grip the wheel too tight. It was one of those situations where some of that energy was contagious. We wanted to see this technology we used for good and we wanted people to have an appreciation that you can't build Rome overnight.
A lot of that ambition fueled some degree of chaos and hype. We have seen these cycles ebb and flow but what excited us was this converging technology and the idea of bending the matrix. Before 2017, Jeff and I had started a company with some other guys called Territory Foods. We were also co-creating in a sense with meals. The labels on the meals were, "Celebrate the chef that made the food." We did it in a very decentralized network with over 35 kitchens.
This was before Uber Eats and this whole ghost kitchen concept were even popular back in 2012. We also worked with over 700 to 800 gyms and yoga studios where we delivered the food. That gave us a real sense of communities and sub-communities. When you think about Web3, you think about DAOs and changing the rules. That's what has been in our DNA for the last decade. It made sense to us intuitively. It has been so fun to see all these ideas come out of a new mindset.
What we're talking about are core values. What are the things that we believe in? You’re trying to find people who believe what you believe and work with those people. We talk a lot about Animoca Brands and why we like that company. A lot of it has to do with that DNA that we feel from everybody we talk to within that organization and how they go about their business. Every interaction we have had with them has been reflective of those core values. If you also fast-forward through the last few years and land at the end of 2020, this was an inflection point for us because we had a lot of interest in NFTs.
We were trying to find different ways to deploy them and all this stuff, but we realized there wasn't a lot of awareness about them. We weren't necessarily in a great position to be the ones to elevate awareness in the world about NFTs. We liked what CryptoKitties was. We knew some of the folks behind it and followed what they were working on. When we heard about NBA Top Shot, we were like, "That seems pretty cool." When it launched in August or September in the very first version, we were like, "They did a good job with this. This is neat." It took off at the beginning of 2021.
Everybody started to realize, “This is special. It's easy to use. It's awesome. There are all these cool future utilities that are forthcoming. That was a trigger where we were like, "We have to try to get involved in this somehow." It was around then, Eathan, that you were already in different cryptocurrency groups. You were getting interested heavily in the space at that time as well. You raised your hand. You and Josh were in one of those groups.
I still can't believe it started with me being like, "It's probably a good time for an NFT podcast. Is anybody interested?" It was in a chat on a Zoom call. It exploded.
I've been telling Josh, "Let's do a podcast." He was reticent to do it. I have done one previously. You had done one for an extended period of time, Eathan. There was a couple that you had done.
There are a bunch of different types of projects using media like that. We have the Run With It podcast on the archive hosted by Transistor.
It's a great show.
Check out the episode with Jeff and Josh as our guests on what to do with your crypto after you die.
That was a good one. It was as quick as that though because you raised your hand and said something to Josh. Josh was going away for the weekend. He was very resistant to the idea of even coming on a podcast or doing a podcast. I was pretty gung-ho about it. We were all pretty gung-ho about NFTs. We had a conversation like, "What do you think? Let's do it." We recorded it almost immediately thereafter. Josh had come back from vacation. We convinced him to come on and do a new segment or something.
What happened was you and I wrote up the intro and the thesis behind the show. We had all the basics there and the different segments like Hot Topics and the Quick Hitters. Quick Hitters was your idea. I was like, "We could try it." That has been such a hit. I believe what happened was Josh naturally took on curating the guests, booking the guests, and bringing them to the show.
Our first guest was Keith Montgomery. What was happening was Josh was joining the call like, "Keith, I told you about this. I'll be here to help facilitate." He probably expected to turn off his camera and microphone. We were like, "Come on, Josh. Ask a question. You have lots of interesting stuff to say." He started talking. That was it. You can't shut the guy up and now he's on a podcast.
You smoked me out. It has been incredible. It's not something I ever saw myself doing in my life. I'm an extroverted guy. I'm an ENTJ. What has been special for me is asking interesting people interesting questions that I am curious about because at the end of the day, I'm curious. This show has been a major anecdote for that insatiable curiosity that I've had my entire life. Jeff mentioned Filecoin. It was a fanboy moment for me. There have been quite a few on the show we should talk about.
Having Marta, the Chairman of Filecoin, on the show was how we got into the space. When I think about the last 200 episodes, I get warm and touched by how many incredible people we have gotten to know from doing the show and how we have been able to bring elevated awareness to all the things they're doing in the world. It's so easy when you're an entrepreneur to be in the bubble of what you're building. Having a podcast as the heartbeat of our company forces us outside of that bubble looking around at what's being built around us.
When you’re an entrepreneur, it’s so easy to be in the bubble of what you’re building. Having a podcast as the heartbeat of our company forces us to go outside that bubble and look around at what’s being built around us. Click To Tweet
I was intrigued by NFTs initially, especially because of the art and creativity aspect. I was like, "This is fascinating." I'm a creative person. I'm a musician. I create things. I was expectantly awaiting the creator economy explosion for many years. When I signed on to start this show, I didn't know exactly who we would be talking to. I was pleasantly surprised that we talked to a lot of entrepreneurs on the show. It's a very entrepreneurial space, or at least our angle on it is very entrepreneurial. It’s different than I've got a friend who's at The How of Business Podcast.
It's about how business works. This is the intersection of business and creativity. You've got so many interesting and passionate characters that are trying to create the future. That's what I didn't necessarily expect that we would see over and over again on our shows. The idea of creating the future has been so exciting for me. It's different than, "How do you start your local lawn care business," or something. I have nothing against that. We all have our local business type of projects that we may participate in, but it's creating the future. It's so exciting.
We have probably always believed in what NFTs are and can mean for the future, but if you reflect on what's our full understanding of the breadth of possibility for the future within Web3, it's NFTs as the foundation, having the capability of deploying digital assets the way that NFTs enable. If you compare where it was at Episode 1 to where we are now, it feels like we have been on quite a journey. Our beliefs shifted a bit during that time about what that potential truly is, our understanding of that, and our ability to articulate that to someone when they ask us, "What is this? Why does it even matter? Isn't it just a bunch of JPEGs?"
Even since Episode 100 and having launched the first NFT LA, our perspective has shifted. That event was marking the end of a very interesting year of experimentation and the beginning of utilities. That has been the topic of the day for the last few months. We know this technology has a lot of use cases. We have explored a lot of them, and now we're evolving that to the next level of what's going to create a greater connection between fans and the IP that they love most, whether it's new IP or existing IP that has a real heritage.
It has been exciting to learn from our guests where they're taking this next. It has been incredible to have the fortune of getting all these pitches in our inbox every single week. I feel like a kid in the candy store sometimes with how many different things we could cover. We could have two shows a day if we had the stamina part.
The themes emerge over these episodes. That's one of the benefits. We saw ourselves quickly being able to recognize patterns that maybe nobody else had access to except other people in a media position. A lot of folks are siloed in creating their business. They're trying to make it work. We have had the awesome advantage of having a gestalt perspective on everything that goes on. Who would have thought that we would have been to Davos and back by now? Not me.
It's integrating with the world economy and how there are different angles in which people are trying to solve many problems through Web3, blockchain, NFTs, decentralization, security, identity, and privacy issues. It has been fascinating to me how all these things are coming together. That's why there's so much momentum. People see multi-layered solutions within Web3 and NFTs for a lot of things that have been bothering people for quite a while.
The evolution from the podcast to the event space for this made a lot of sense for us to be able to tap into that momentum, not just in URL as we do here virtually but also in IRL. COVID played a role in that and our ability to do that. It made sense as a natural extension. All three of us have had experience in events in several different formats over the years. We have collectively hundreds of events under our belt.
It's events that are built around building relationships, inspiring people, educating, entertaining, and leaving people with good feelings and lasting memories as opposed to trade shows. There are plenty of people that throw out trade shows. That is not what we're doing. We're trying to co-create the Web3 future through what we do on the show and what we do at our events.
That's a different perspective. It sets the stage for how you direct your time in planning something that you hope is going to have a meaningful impact on people for their lives, not just for that moment. We try to inspire relationships, ideas, business partnerships, and all these awesome things that grow out of our events. What grew out of NFT LA that we know for certain for so many people is super inspiring. That's the next step to what you're talking about or the next layer.
To that point, having gotten back from our first global adventure to Singapore and Seoul, Korea and having spoken to folks at so many different events and conferences during that time, it was so exciting to learn that NFT LA and Edge have a global brand and that we have an opportunity to expose both the West to what's going on in the East, and the East what's going on at the West with NFT LA. One thing that everyone gets to look forward to is more of that cross-pollination globally.
COVID calmed down now. You can only glean so much information from Twitter and the communities that you're part of. There's nothing that beats having a globally diverse audience in one place talking and learning what each other is doing. There are some incredible projects happening in Asia that could inspire what we're doing in the United States and vice versa.
Let me float this to you. What's your impression of what you've seen throughout these travels and different interviews we're seeing and things like that in a bear market? What's your impression?
Trevor Owens who I admire a lot gave a quote on stage in Seoul. He feels like we're in a global economy bear market with a Web3 bull market trapped underneath. If you look at what's going on, people continue to build. Maybe people are a little bit quieter and not glaring their horns, "Look what I'm doing," but from what we see, there's no stopping Web3 in terms of all these converging technologies and what value they're going to bring to society, especially in areas that haven't gotten enough attention in 2021 like social impact.
On that point, we didn't get to go into it in our backgrounds. Sometimes it gets alluded to. We all have been to different conferences and events in so many domains. I've been to piano tuner conferences, neuroscience conferences, business conferences, and things like that. There's always the theme that the people that are there are the most excited about whatever it is, whether it's model trains. There are going to be nerds. They're going to be into it and excited.
At the same time, of all of the different things that I've done no matter the environment, whether it's a bull market or a bear market, the level of passion and enthusiasm that we get to run across at all these different places is very consistent. That's what keeps me coming back. I don't always have fun at events, conferences, and things like that. Sometimes I get overtired, "This is overwhelming," and all that stuff but this space is very natural. There's such good energy. It's easy to keep your energy up and stay engaged and involved.
It's also because you're feeding off the energy of other people. I believe that we run across a lot of people. Once they understand what's possible in Web3, the foundation is NFTs. It makes so many things possible in Web3 and what's going to be happening in the metaverse as it continues to evolve. Once they understand and get a glimpse of it, they realize the train has left the station. It's happening as Web1 and Web2 did. Everybody has websites and a social presence.
Everybody will have a presence in the Metaverse as a part of Web3 even the more mundane stuff, whether it's driver's licenses and mortgages in a decentralized format. It's happening. Once someone gets that, it's a red pill or blue pill Matrix type of situation, they're in. Now, even more so than the last bear market or crypto winter, I feel like people are hanging around. They're in it for the long haul. Come hell or high water, they're going to build and continue to build. That to me is inspiring.
To be very honest, not everybody is hanging around. The people that are hanging around are happy about it because the ones that aren't hanging around are the wheat from the chaff or the cream of the crop from the basket.
They have internalized this idea and truly get it because it's hard to let it go once you get it. Once it sunk in, you're like, "I see what's happening." It's hard to let it go. It's hard to stay out of it and move on.
Sometimes people ask me how I talk about Web3 and NFTs with new folks and educate them. I usually flip it back to asking them a couple of questions. That usually helps people understand what we're talking about here. The first question is, "What is it that you have or currently collecting in your life?" Everyone has something they collect usually, whether it's baseball cards, stamps or art. You name it.
What groups are you a member of that you feel a strong affinity for? It could be your church, a civic organization or anything. If someone happens to respond back, "I don't collect anything. I'm not part of any groups," I'm like, "You're probably not going to get this Web3 and NFT stuff because it's not for you," but if they respond with something where you can pull that thread, that takes them down a path of connecting dots that are difficult when people throw around a lot of jargon.
That's the blue pill or red pill moment for most people. We found that we have had so many combos where that's the case. We're going to continue those combos. We have another great conversation with another amazing guest here. We do need to wrap up this episode. Eathan, do you have some parting thoughts?
There's one thing before we wrap up. We had a ton of different things we wanted to talk about. We have a very limited time to do it. We have a great conversation. Let's do it real quick before we end because it will be fun. One thing I don't think we touched upon is our favorite moment so far. It could be from the events, the travels, or the show itself. Let's go. I'm not going to go first. Josh, you have something.
I had a chance to meet the one and only WhaleShark out in Singapore at TOKEN2049. He was so gracious in sharing his passion for digital art and how he got started. He gave me a private tour of over $150 million of NFTs that were on display at TOKEN2049. We sat down and talked about his very unique perspective on the industry and some of his more contrarian thoughts on where it's all going. We talked about passion earlier. His passion for this space is off the chart. I hope everyone gets a chance to tune in to that interview. I would be remiss if I didn't mention how fun it was to have GMoney and G. Love & Special Sauce on the same show, the Double G Show. It's super cool to introduce those cats to each other.
We have had so many people on the show. We talk to them and do some research on these people but we can't know everything. Once we're in the episode, I'm like, "That's this person who's a huge part of my cultural upbringing." I'm like, "She got sauce. Your baby ain't sweet like mine." That was a key song growing up, and I'm talking to the guy. It's cool stuff. Jeff, did you have something?
I did. It was a private moment that I had. You have probably talked about it with each of you individually but it was at NFT LA where I was sitting on a couch, kicking back with 600 other people, watching Steve Aoki crush this performance at the Wisdome in LA as part of the offering that we put together for NFT LA, and seeing people that have never met each other before hanging out, having a great time, building personal relationships, building business relationships, being inspired, and rocking out.
I was looking back. I was like, "This moment in time wouldn't have happened if we didn't put our blood, sweat and tears into crafting it and so many other magical moments like it that we tried to create to inspire people, educate people, entertain people, and build connections." That moment for me was the best one. That's the most memorable of our entire journey so far. It's an outgrowth of everything we have been doing on this show from having Steve Aoki on the show to all the other people that were there that made it possible. You can connect the dots to see how everything we have done led to that moment for me and I hope many more.
Here's a shout-out to our good friends Scott Page and Sheila for helping to produce incredible several nights at the Wisdome. I talked with a gentleman that got a very large investment while he was in the front row enjoying that performance from Steve Aoki. I was near you. We randomly started talking to a cool guy. It turned out he was the CryptoJeweler. He's one of the OG NFT jewelry innovators in the space. He dropped us a note on Twitter. We're going to have a little chat about what he wants to do in 2023. That's a little bit of alpha there. I got to meet this incredible guy that was also there partying and enjoying Steve Aoki.
Leaving that moment for me was not one where it was like, "Mission accomplished." It was like, "How do we do more of that?"
I'll share mine briefly here. There are a ton of moments like traveling to Davos, various episodes, live recordings, and stuff like that.
There's the cheese vending machine. Right, Eathan?
That's a story for another day. It's too long for this. The one that I wanted to share that I've been thinking about here is also from NFT LA. Josh and I got to meet Nicole Buffet early on in this process. She became one of our collaborators and partners. We dropped an NFT project together. She and I had bonded over the months that we worked together.
We found out we had some common history together. We both did this artist residency at Djerassi at one point and had an interesting connection beyond doing this thing. She's in LA, over the area. She says, "We will see you at NFT LA. I'm going to bring my sister one day. I want you to meet my sister and her son. Her son is autistic. He's this sweet little kid. You're going to love him." I was like, "I'm so excited."
The day came. Her sister and her nephew came over there. I got them all in. We went to the VIP area. I met that kid and sat there at that moment. The way he looked at me was incredible. I have to grant I was tired out of my mind with all the work that we were doing, but I broke down crying at that moment of connection with her, her sister, and her nephew being so excited.
She said he felt this fun energy in the environment that he probably never gets to feel. We have these interesting and quirky people everywhere. We got to go out, have dinner together, and spend some time. It was beautiful. It's the same thing. I realized that would never have happened if we didn't do all this, and also continue to make those types of moments increase such a valuable purpose that we have.
We do have an opportunity to do that at NFT LA coming up again in 2023. It's coming up quickly on March 20th to the 23rd, 2023. It's NFTLA.live if you want to snag some tickets. There are still a few left at the early bird prices but that will change soon. Speaking of tickets, we wanted to do a little giveaway for this episode of tickets to NFT LA. Keep an eye on our socials for the opportunity to score those. They will be hard to come by.
These are two VIP tickets. This is the 200th episode. There are two VIP tickets. These are highly sought-after. You've got a full concierge experience with food and drinks the entire time. You're going to be hanging out with all the insiders in the industry. It's going to be a great time.
It's very special. Get hot after it. These are going to be hard to come by, we promise. We have reached the outer limit at The Edge of NFT for today. Thanks for exploring with us. We've got space for more adventures on this starship, so invite your friends and recruit some cool strangers that will make this journey all so much better. How? Go to Spotify or iTunes, rate us, and say something awesome. Go to EdgeOfNFT.com to dive further down the rabbit hole. Look us up on all major social platforms by typing EdgeOfNFT and start a fun conversation with us online. Lastly, be sure to tune in next time for more great NFT content. Thanks again for sharing this time with us.
- Broken Record Podcast
- Territory Foods
- Animoca Brands
- NBA Top Shot
- Run With It
- Keith Montgomery - Previous episode
- Marta Belcher - Previous episode
- The How of Business Podcast
- Episode 100 - Previous episode
- Davos - Previous episode
- GMoney and G. Love & Special Sauce - Previous episode
- Steve Aoki - Previous episode
- Spotify - Edge of NFT
- iTunes - Edge of NFT