Tabletop role-playing game enthusiasts unite! This episode is a treat for you. Jeff Kelley, Eathan Janney, and Josh Kriger are joined by the CEO of GRIPNR, Brent McCrossen. Brent brings to us their latest project, The Glimmering, a new 5e campaign designed to preserve the magic of classic TTRPGs while innovating the player experience. Born straight from the mind of a Dungeons & Dragons master, The Glimmering is a unique take on your beloved traditional games but with blockchain! Join this conversation and get to know its origin story and how they are putting NFTs into the game and allow you to do epic shit!
Listen to the podcast here
Brent McCrossen Of The Glimmering – Taking TTRPGs To The Next Level, Plus Stripe For NFTs Raises $26Mil, Bill Gates Lambasts NFTs, Bored Ape Value Crashes, And More…
Stay tuned for this episode and find out how our guest is taking tabletop games to the next level and using NFTs and Web3 technology to do it.
Why our guest has a passion for inspiring others to share his passion to create.
Also, find out if Bill Gates is still skeptical about NFTs or ready to dive into the next wave of tech. All this and more on this episode. Enjoy.
Our sponsored Spotlight episode features Brent McCrossen and The Glimmering, the new 5e campaign and empire of imagination that allows you to do epic shit. It is designed to preserve the magic of classic tabletop role-playing games while innovating the player experience. Brent is the CEO of GRIPNR, which was co-created with the support of Revelry Startup Studio, where he’s the Managing Director.
Before building this adventurous company, Brent was the Founder of Audiosocket and LIDCORE, two media tech firms that help musicians make a living by licensing their creative work in commercial media. Brent’s love for tabletop role-playing games, supporting creative communities, and building world-class media businesses inspire him to bring GRIPNR’s vision to life. Brent, welcome to the show. It’s great to have you here.
Thanks for having me on, gentlemen. I appreciate it.
For our readers at home, Brent and I, prior to this, are dorking out on our similar tastes in shirts. We learned that Brent is wearing a shirt that he personally stylized, which certainly indicates your creative spirit. That’s a nice segue into this episode.
I love Paisley’s end of life. It’s not the only pattern that I like. I’m a big fan of it.
Unfortunately, you are going to get inundated with custom shirt design requests at this point and probably got other things you want to focus on.
I have no time to design a page for the 22-season.
The builders of Web3 aren’t always focused on personal fashion. They are busy building but it’s nice to see that you’ve struck that balance. Let’s go deeper into The Glimmering, which is a gate to another plane. It’s a place that’s dark, has terror, and has some fascinating vistas. It sounds pretty cool. I’m excited to dive in here. How did this idea come into being?
My good buddy, Patrick Comer, has been a friend of mine for many years. He is the CEO of a company called Lucid and he has been playing Dungeons & Dragons since he was a little kid, and he never stopped playing. He not only is a player but also a Dungeon Master or a game master, as we call him, which is somebody who leads the gameplay. I’ve played it off and on throughout my entire life because I had an older brother who played it, and I wanted to follow in his footsteps.
In November of 2021 or maybe September, Patrick called me and like, “I’ve got an idea. I want to run it by your startup studio,” which I thought was interesting because he was running a very large successful multinational startup. It had offices around the globe. I figured he was either extremely bored running that company or was about to have an exit. I didn’t know why. We took the meeting, and he brought us this idea. His brother is really big into DeFi crypto. He’s got a fund out of New York called XBTO. Although they love each other, they are extremely competitive.
He’s like, “My brother is having way too much fun and making much money in this crypto stuff. I realized he wasn’t looking at NFTs. If I were going to get an alpha, I would have to start there.” We dove into it, and he found the Loot for Adventurers Project, which is a black background with white text listing items that you would come across in a tabletop role-playing game like D&D.
That took the community by the store at some point in 2021, and then they came up with additional paths and all sorts of fun stuff.
The community is building on top of it. When he noticed that, at least at the onset, there was no gameplay in the Loop Project, what dawned upon him was that tabletop role-playing games that are a perfect use case for blockchain. It’s because you are rolling dice. The dice outcomes are data. Those data points get put into a character sheet that creates your character. The dice rolls also inform the outcomes of the gameplay itself.
We agreed to look at it from a startup studio lens. We ran our validation process and quickly came to the conclusion that it was a strong business idea. It fits all of our personal interests. That concept of founder opportunity fit, where what you are good at, what you love, and what the world needs, that intersection is what we call founder opportunity fit. We decided we wanted to support it. Patrick said, “I want you to be the CEO of it.” I got tricked into it delightfully because I got to build one of my best friends. Shortly after we agreed to start this thing, he went and sold Lucid for $1.1 billion.
One of the founding purposes of the business is to add value to both the game masters, the game designers, the artist, and the players. Click To Tweet
I’ve figured out exactly why he was noodling on this idea. It was because he knew he was going to have an opportunity to do something next. He was using the ideation process on GRIPNR as a way to de-stress himself as he managed the conclusion of that transaction of his company. That’s how the idea came to be. From there, the team has just exploded.
I love the spirit you exude of bringing imagination to life. From us talking about your shirt and how you envisioned something that you wanted to bring this idea to life is really exciting. We love these people. In addition to the core, we hear that you plan to launch an NFT Genesis collection to be used in gameplay. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
The collection itself, as well as the gameplay, are two critical and inseparable pieces. What tabletop role-playing games are effective is storytelling. The stories are told, led, and lived by the player characters. In the world of The Glimmering, there are eight ancestries. What we call races are ancestries across twelve classes. What that means is that there’s an inordinate amount of artwork. It’s not a single image that has a lot of different color variants or maybe smiles and expressions. It’s literally 96 different types of possible characters like an Orc Wizard versus an Orc fighter or a human, whatever class you want to reference next.
We knew there was going to be a ton of artwork. We knew there were going to be a lot of tricks and puzzles. We had Kyle, who’s our Creative Director. He was in charge of finding us the right artists. He worked with an artist called Angryblue, who had done the Assassin’s Creed stuff with Rob Zombie, the video game, and all that trailer. We brought in Justin, and he was a great fit. His work is hanging in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He’s exceptional but within the first 48 hours of him working on the project, he said, “There’s no way that I can do this alone. It’s too much artwork to illustrate, and you have to color it.”
Very quickly, the art team became six people. Three of them are on a contract basis as we needed to scale up production, and then three were the core of our team. Angryblue is the Lead Illustrator, Dan, who goes by Omnigraphicon, being his second in command. The lead colorist is a guy named John Rauch, who has been credited on every Marvel and DC comic that’s come out in the last several years. GRIPNR’s first game world is called The Glimmering, and all of these characters interact within that tabletop role-playing game.
For the game itself, I’m a huge D&D fan. Patrick has been playing all of his life but none of us have built tabletop role-playing worlds ever, and we knew we needed somebody good. I have a friend who’s a tabletop game designer. I called him and was part of the validation process first, hoping that he would tell me that I was crazy and I should stop doing this and go spend time elsewhere, and he didn’t. He’s like, “This is a brilliant idea. It’s a perfectly natural fit. You got to do it. You need a great game designer and I’m not the best. I’m going to get you the best.”
He introduced me to a guy named Stephen Radney-MacFarland and who has been designing games for Dungeons & Dragons, Paizo, and others for many years. We met with him. He had a lot of open questions. He had seen some good and bad commentary around NFTs and the blockchain itself. He wanted to make sure he was working with the right people. We spent a number of weeks getting to know each other. Pretty quickly, he realized that back when he was doing organized gameplay for D&D, and there was this process where you would play an organized session at a convention, and you would have this sheet of paper that the Dungeon Master would sign.
You would get a stamp on it but then if it didn’t get put into a database somewhere, you try to bring that certificate to another game store and couldn’t play your character. He saw clearly that our use case for tabletops on the blockchain solved a lot of the challenges with organized play campaigns globally. The artwork and the story go together. Honestly, the folks who are both building the game world and designing the art are the most talented I’ve ever worked with in my career.
I love the moment where you pitch the idea, and you don’t expect a great response necessarily, and somebody says that they love it. It’s exciting but it’s like, “I got to do this now.” I got to take this step into the unknown, which is a fun moment in the creative process.
At the Startup Studio, we try to kill confirmation bias aggressively because we want to build the right thing first and not create a bunch of waste, especially economic waste. I’m looking for reasons to kill an idea more than I am to try to convince myself I’m right about something. When folks like Stephen and my buddy Loki introduced us, who were literally in this industry for decades are like, “This is exactly the right use case and the right approach.” You can’t walk away from those signals. Since we also loved it, it made it even easier to say, “Let’s go.”
A quick shout out before you jump in here, Josh. Shout out to a friend, Rob Fitzpatrick, who wrote a book called The Mom Test, and it’s about that very thing. The process of making sure that following ideas just because people say they are excited, you got to get the test in and make sure people are going to get into it.
We are all lean startup guys, Brent, and that’s how Jeff and I started our previous prepared meal company. It is now national, and it starts with customer discovery and seeing what’s possible here. When we started this show, it was an experiment. It was the traction that we got before we leaned in that encouraged us on our journey here. It’s cool that you are able to drink your own medicine in terms of how you work with startups. Let’s dive in a little bit deeper into some of the mechanics. We’ve got this concept role to mint. What is that, and how do people participate in it?
We stole that idea from another friend of ours named Kevin Lin. He was the Founder of Twitch. He’s a New Orleans guy and he is creating a new NFT game project called DustBreakers. They were way ahead of us many months before we started even looking at this. They were already building, and when DustBreakers came out, the idea was to play to mint. Rather than opening up the NFT mint to anybody, maybe they care about the project. Maybe they don’t. He wanted to build in early a community of folks who fundamentally believed in what he was trying to do, proved that they cared about it and would be around for the long-term and not just looking for a quick flip.
He created the play to mint, and with play to mint, they created a quick but still beautiful video game that was browser-based. You could go, and you could play in some of their animated worlds within DustBreakers and kill the bad guys and get points. Based on your ranking, you would get on the white list. Given we are a tabletop game, we wanted to steal from that playbook and roll to mint as a concept where you are interacting with the community. Also, demonstrating that it’s something you believe in, that you care about, you want to learn more about and participate in because these things, again, it’s all storytelling. It’s collaborative storytelling, and it’s important to us to lead with those first principles.
The Glimmering: The concept of Founder Opportunity Fit is where the intersection between what you’re good at, what you love, and what the world actually needs meet.
It’s not very complicated to do. It’s about interacting with us on Discord. We’ve created what’s called a one-shot campaign, which is like a short film of D&D. It’s a two-hour play session instead of the typical 4 to 5. You can come to play those games with us on Discord and share and talk about the project. Proving that you are interested and you want to be a part of the community, and then you’ve successfully rolled to mint.
We got to get you in our Discord too, and introduce our community to yours. We will make sure you get an invite there and get your special podcast guest status, and local celebrity status. The utility is a big part of the conversation in NFTs these days. We see it left and right. I know you are considering that pretty strongly. What are the benefits that you are bringing to the community along with the NFTs?
One of the founding purposes of the business is to add value to both the game masters, the game designers, the artists, and the players candidly, that have made tabletop role-playing games with what they’ve become over the last many years. We see a number of those constituents being underserved economically. Our first game world is The Glimmering but that’s not where we end. GRIPNRs greatest ambition as a company is to become an industry-standard protocol for all tabletop role-playing games that want to be on-chain.
We will use our treasury to finance the best and the brightest game designers to build their games on our protocol, and all of the collectors that are in the Genesis Collection get first access to every single project that is built on top of their protocol. That’s utility, number one. In the future, when we roll out The Glimmering Game Masters, the ones who run the games as well as others, collectors in general, we will be able to mint areas of the world. When gameplay happens within those areas of the world with The Glimmering and rewards are paid out, either loot bags, additional NFTs or tokens because we are going to be launching a token when we launch play on-chain, then the people who own those areas of the world will also be able to participate.
The upside of having helped finance some of those games that are getting built. Beyond that, it’s not just this initial collection. After we drop the NFT player characters for those who hang around and stake them, there are going to be additional rewards in airdropping NFTs that are related not only to their player character but other areas of the world. It’s access to every future project built in our protocol. It’s access to additional NFT airdrops that we are going to do for The Glimmering NFT player characters and access to minting sections of the world and the token that we launched when we released a play on-chain.
I’m looking at an article. I had heard something similar but I googled it. I think it’s pretty accurate, though. This is from 2021, “The latest data show that intangible assets comprise 90% of the value of S&P 500 companies.” The fact that you are doing something like mint and land in the gameplay space as a way to give back to the community it’s a big deal. You are sharing that digital asset that you have with the community in a powerful way. I like that model.
We think so as well. Again, in the game design, game masters spend hours preparing for a game and spent hours running a game, and we believe that they should be able to receive fair enumeration for that. A lot of game designers are extremely underpaid in our experiences, and they are unrepresented. DMB has got a bit of reputation historically for being mostly a White dude’s game.
That’s changed dramatically in the last couple of decades but we are not seeing that type of diversity reflected in the game designer element. One of our ambitions is to make sure we are reaching out to the talented and unrepresented communities and giving them a shot, and giving them the money to go build whatever games they want to build on top of our protocol. If they are doing great work, we want to support them.
We met a lot of the Polygon team a while back. We connected with them the first time face-to-face at NFT New York, and they have been doing a lot in this space. It’s exciting to hear that you announced a partnership with Polygon Studios. I would love to give people a little bit of a peek behind the curtain in terms of how that partnership came about, why you chose Polygon, and what the nuances are of having a partnership with one of these big EVM-compatible solutions.
I’m going to give full credit to my CTO, Luke Ledet, for a lot of that decision-making but it was a brilliant decision. It was certainly the right one. When we looked at different blockchain options for the company, we had to take into account that when you play GRIPNR games, game outcomes are recorded back to your character on the blockchain. Not only are all the player stats on-chain but there’s also a ton of data associated with the NFT that’s on the blockchain, not just the picture.
When you play the game, those outcomes rerecord new data back to your NFT. If we did that on Ethereum, especially now, the cost of that would be so prohibitive that pretty much no one could afford to play the game. We needed a more scalable blockchain solution that was going to enable gameplay without driving exorbitant gas fees. There were a couple of options that we could have gone with but there was another driving force that brought Polygon to the forefront for Luke.
The second element is we want to prove fair mint to our community. Not even me, as the Founder and CEO who’s going to have an opportunity to grab more rare NFTs than the general community at large. We wanted to implement Chainlink’s verifiable randomness function so we could prove and anybody could prove that when an NFT is a mint and all of the data that’s getting input into that NFT character is completely random and nobody has the ability to snipe for rare trades.
At the time, Solana implemented that but we knew we wanted it in December 2021 when we started building the tech. Those were two of the other things that informed our approach to Polygon. When we made the decision to do it, Luke took the lead, as I would expect a CTO of his caliber to let the Polygon folks know exactly what we are building. They are like, “Holy cow, you are taking tabletop games and putting them in the blockchain. Who’s behind this? How can we help support you? What can we do?”
Since then, they’ve started to back the project. Time has proven that it was a good decision because so many new Web3 games are being built on Polygon, not Polygon alone but they are getting a lot of momentum and a lot of attention. They are raising a lot of money. Alex from Reddit put in a couple hundred million to their game studio, and they have been supportive and worked at the earliest stages. As we get closer and closer to rollout, you will see more and more announcements between GRIPNR and Polygon Studios.
Just have an unending urge to create something that matters. Click To Tweet
It’s pretty clear that they also try hard to support the projects that come into their community, which a lot of different blockchain projects are doing these days but they are a little bit of the model behind that. They’re one of the first, the support of the community that’s utilizing Polygon. They are good partners to have. Are there any other partnerships, collaborations or projects that are in the pipeline for the future that you can talk about or imagine? What’s coming?
The Chainlink thing is certainly a partnership as well. They have been extremely supportive of the project. It has already been announced. In addition, there are collaborations that we are starting to build up now. We did one with DustBreakers, as you might imagine, since Kevin is a friend of the company. There’s another group that I just came across. They connected with us. I deeply admire what they are trying to do. They are called the Fair Play Collective. What they are attempting to do is essentially become this consortium of play-to-earn games, and the intention is for that organization and community to drive P2E business models that are resilient and work.
Not to discredit What Axie did. It was quite the opposite to give them a lot of credit. We are all seeing that some of the general economics of those games were not sustainable whatsoever. The Fair Play collective is trying to coordinate and collaborate with some of the best and the brightest P2E platform and games that are being built out there to not only lift each other up but also to hold each other accountable for building extremely reliable systems of gameplay.
Also, working not only with them but with the other projects that are in that collective has been beneficial. There’s another group called Adult Fantasy, which probably sounds like something that isn’t. It’s a lot of the guys that were working at adult swim back in the day. Their project is full of masterful artists. Again, they are very storytelling focused, and the leader of Adult Fantasy has coordinated its own group of high-quality, extremely skilled artists that will all put us together in a similar type of collective and continue to support each other and drive innovation in the space.
We are excited when we get a chance to talk with folks like yourselves that have been innovators and Web2 and are bringing that energy and business acumen to Web3 and trying to push the envelope here. I’m pumped to see what happens next, and we will be following your journey and maybe get a chance to hang out in New York, which by the time this episode comes out, it will already be in the past, another NFT Web3 hyper vortex moment. With that said, you had a chance to take stock of what’s going on in this world of Web3 beyond your project. I’m sure there has been some inspiration along the way. We would love to ask the question, what else has been inspiring your work? Are there any projects or folks in the industry that you are drawn to?
I would say that Polygon has been inspirational to us in how they’ve taken their approach. I love the leadership on the carbon-neutral and the ambitions of becoming carbon negative by 2023. I love to see that. I love to see how they have been supporting founders. That’s inspirational to me, for sure. I have a deep admiration for Kevin. I know I’ve mentioned him a couple of times on this call, and obviously, what he did with Twitch was world-changing at the time. To see a guy like that bring his talents into Web3 gaming is reflective of exactly how much change this new technology has to bring to the world for good.
Seeing leaders like him decide to spend their time, talent, and treasure building in these areas is inspirational to me. He doesn’t need to go build another project. He did quite well on his last one but he’s got that burning passion. He knows that with Web3 technologies enabled, we are going to advance society in great ways in the next decade-plus. Watching folks like that put their time, treasure, and talent to it calls me to the carpet every day. It makes me want to be better and better at what I do.
NFT space cadet, let’s zoom in on the globe from outer space to Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice Beach, LA. Let me show you a cosmic tech beacon that shines out among the bustle of fashion, art, and food there. It’s a thriving software dev data science and design studio known as AE Studio, where scores of the sharpest minds have come together to help founders and execs create software and machine learning solutions that are not only profitable and increase our agency as humans but that gives us that warm, fuzzy feeling, that elegant tech so wonderfully does. AE’s breadth of talent allows them to build anything. From InstillVideo.com, it’s a health, fitness, and wellness app that makes your Chakras tingle to award-winning brain-computer interface solutions that could quite literally bend our minds.
Also, keep an eye out for Token Runners, their NFT white-label marketplaces, as well as our highly anticipated NFT drop, Boomer NFT. For all, you Degens who strive comes a jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring partnership not seen since the heyday of Shaq and Kobe. It’s called Edge of AE Studio, and you can find out all about it at EdgeOfAE.com. This full service, soup to nuts, end to end, the whole enchilada NFT service can help you. Launch your NFT project. The Edge of NFT and AE Studio have come together like Voltron to get your project in gear so you can hightail it straight to the moon, stardom, and maybe even your own private yacht. Go to EdgeOfAE.com to find out more.
Josh, is anything else before we head over to Edge Quick Hitters? I have been looking forward to this, and also you are streaming in from New Orleans. Again, we talked about that before the show. That’s one of my favorite places in the states. You got a lot of cool people coming out of there. I’m sure you got some fun answers to these questions. Edge Quick Hitters are a fun and quick way to get to know you a little bit better. There are ten questions, and we are looking for short, few or single-word responses but you can feel free to expand if you get the urge. What is the first thing you remember ever purchasing in your life?
I don’t know if it was the first thing I ever purchased but it was certainly the first thing I remember. It was the Kiss album. Do you remember the band Kiss?
The Glimmering: Our use for tabletops on the blockchain solved a lot of the challenges with organized play campaigns globally.
I forgot the name of the album but it was the last one they ever did with makeup on where Ace Frehley was still the guitar player. My mother did not like Kiss. She did not want it in the house, and I had to sneak out to a record store and buy it and find a cassette tape.
That reminds me of something I wanted to interject if it’s appropriate. Dungeons & Dragons as a kid, you were talking about getting into it. I remember I had a friend who invited me over to play Dungeons & Dragons. My mouth told me I couldn’t because you thought it was some cult-building thing where I turned into a double worshipper. What’s the first thing you ever remember selling in your life?
I probably sold something before this but the first thing I remember because it was so amazing to me was the first licensing deal I did for my company, Audiosocket was actually for a video game company. The guy became my mentor, and it was a five-figure deal. I was like, “I just closed a five-figure deal with my company.” At that point, I don’t think we had even raised capital yet. One of the things that helped us raise capital was we proved we had customers that wanted to buy a product from a company that barely existed. That was memorable.
Thanks for sharing. The next question is, what is the most recent thing that you purchased?
I guess a home remodel. I’m not in my own house because my real house is getting deconstructed and torn apart for a remodel. That’s a big purchase.
What is the most recent thing that you sold?
This is relational. We had to get a bunch of stuff out of our house that we didn’t need anymore like washers, dryers, and appliances. I was like, “Give them away.” My wife is the degen of Craigslist. “I got somebody who wants to come to pick up the dryer.” She sent me out last night at 9:00 to go back to my other house to sell a dryer to some dude for $25. I would’ve just let him take it but she wanted that $25.
We are actually selling a condo now, and I had to check the boxes on the closing documents of what appliances are included. It’s the same deal. We are going to sell some things. The next question is, what is your most prized possession?
Behind my wife and kids, it’s my drum set. I have been playing drums since I was four years old. I’ve gone through a lot of kits but my drums are critical to my happiness.
We are going to kick it over to Josh to take the last five of these.
If you could buy anything in the world, digital, physical, service or experience, that is currently for sale, what would it be?
This very second, I would love to go spend a week on Necker Island. Richard Branson, if you are reading, I will be happy to take the free week stay anytime. It looks beautiful over there.
I have been learning more and more about people that are going to Necker Island. If you go to Necker Island, you always like to tell people before you go, while you are there, and after you go. The trick, though, is to find the right experience where you can go there, and he will come by and hang out with you. A lot of people go over there, expect to see Branson, and he’s just doing his thing. We will talk strategy there. I’ve got some insights for you that could help. If you could pass on one of your personality traits to the next generation, what would it be?
To have an unending urge to create something that matters.
Be more patient with the time it takes to watch your creations manifest. Click To Tweet
If you could eliminate one of your personality traits from the next generation, what would that be?
It’s also relational. Be more patient with the time it takes to watch your creations manifest.
What did you just do before joining us on this show?
I was in the Discord talking with my team about twenty different things at once.
That’s the Discord lifestyle, for sure.
That’s our WhatsApp now, and I have to say.
I haven’t looked at this day more than once and there are 30 or 40 unread messages and ten different chats. We are moving the Slack soon probably. What are you going to do next after the show?
I am going to bring my son to karate class. He’s a third-degree black.
Be careful trying to reprimand that child.
I will concern myself with this when he gets older. Thankfully, he is the most loving and softhearted person. However, we will see if he stays that way as a teenager.
Some of those softhearted karate guys also end up doing MMA fighting. This was fun. That brings us to the conclusion of our Edge Quick Hitters. Fortunately, we have some time to dive into some of the hot topics in the space. Eathan, I will turn it over to you to kick us off.
I hear a little bit of an echo here, “Stripe for NFTs’ NFTPort Raises $26 Million Series A.” The echo that I hear is when we first started the show, there were a little bit of rumbles of different companies raising certain amounts. These started small and got bigger and bigger but that’s interesting to see. It’s still happening even though the markets are twisting and turning. We’ve seen a lot of people still excited about building.
“NFT infrastructure startup NFTPort has raised $26 million in a Series A funding co-led by Taavet+Sten and Atomico, a European venture capital firm with $4 billion in assets under management. The funding will help scale the core product, which helps developers quickly launch NFT applications.” It’s exciting. A lot of stuff is going on. There are a few people who want to be that Shopify for NFTs.
There are a couple of things that jump out to me. One, the markets are shocking, jiving, and not looking very pretty but at the same time is you have this rather large announcement about infrastructure building, which is a bigger signal that we’ve experienced on the ground in Davos, Austin, at Decentral and Consensus but the builders just keep on building.
The Glimmering: We want to build the right thing first and not create a bunch of waste, especially economic waste. So I’m looking for reasons to kill an idea more than I am to try to convince myself I’m right about something.
Second, these guys have some legitimate backers and use cases. The creator of Protocol Labs, Polygon co-founder, and Polkadot cofounder, among others, are backing this. They’ve also done some work with Nifty Gateway. They’ve worked with Gemini. I wouldn’t count these guys out, and I’m interested in seeing what they do here. Kudos to them. Taking on something big like this does require capital. I don’t see this as an outrageous raise for an infrastructure play. What are your thoughts, Brent?
Yeah, I agree. I don’t know what their capital costs are but that’s a decent war chest to keep building. You made your comment earlier that, “To build, no matter what the builders keep building.” This is the best time to do it. Bear markets are where lasting innovation is created, and the next multibillion-dollar companies come from. I love building in a bear market because the upside is so much greater. It’s difficult but it sounds like those guys are well-positioned to execute and be successful. I love the team. That’s amazing.
There’s that exuberance that happens when the market’s rolling fast but there’s a certain passion and excitement that comes from the folks that are involved at the other end of the spectrum. The next one here is, “Bill Gates lambasts NFTs.” Let’s read a little bit into this. “Microsoft Cofounder Bill Gates recently opined that NFTs are a “greater fool theory” type of investment. Gates sarcastically remarked that people who spend a fortune on pictures of apes would be able to make the world a much better place.”
I think quite a few of us, even that who are passionate about NFTs, will agree with a bit of a sentiment from Bill Gates around the fact that some of these are digital arts, some of these things are fads, and whatever but we just talked about an infrastructure play. The digital economy is something that a lot of people are not only excited about but transacting in on a daily basis whether or not they are buying these NFT images and collections. It’s fun to play in this playground where Bill is feeling a little bit behind. It feels like him shorting Elon Musk’s car company. In the beginning, that’s a Boomer.
Let’s break down what is the greater fool theory. The greater fool theory is buying an overpriced assets, can still turn a profit because someone will be willing to buy even more for it later on. There are some overpriced NFTs and you shouldn’t buy them. That doesn’t mean the whole industry is a representation of that theory. I was having a conversation with our friend, Neil Strauss, who spoke at NFT LA, and we acknowledged that you got to remember to sell. You got to remember to take profit.
If there’s anything that crash reminds us, it is that things go up. They go down in life. We are dealing with intrinsic value, which is a little bit more flexible than something like socks. Generally, when you buy socks, you expect them to go down in value slowly to the point that you throw them away. You are not going to sell your socks to somebody else for more value but certainly, there are exceptions.
If you got some Supreme socks or some limited edition Jordan socks, someone may value them more later on. They are certainly nuanced to how this theory is applied but I would agree with Bill that there are plenty of projects that are overpriced. If you don’t get in early, don’t get too much FOMO. Revalidate your thoughts and wait a couple of days to decide whether or not it’s the right project for you.
Do your research just like Gary Vee has talked about before he’s made big investments in projects. It makes sense to buy earlier than to buy later before things go up too much. We’ve seen a lot of projects go up and down like Friends With Benefits. I’m very passionate about this topic, Eathan, because I feel like it’s so easy to generalize our industry when there’s so much nuance to this decision.
Here’s something that is fun to add to the conversation here. I googled Bill Gates Country Club. This comes from Fox Business, so I’m giving it 25% credibility. Here’s a quote from an article. This is from a few years ago. It says, “An insider said the 65-year-old Billionaire, Microsoft founder has been held up at The Vintage Club in Indian Wells, which builds itself as one of the United States most prestigious and ultra-exclusive private country club communities.”
There’s something also interesting here. If Bill isn’t recognizing but I’m sure he’s a member of at least a small handful of exclusive clubs and organizations. There’s a lot of that going on in the NFT space, and you get a token to prove that you are part of it that you can potentially resell. I don’t even know if they use that model with country clubs. Can you get out of the country club in one year when you are done and sell your pass to another individual that wants to enter the community? That’s an interesting one.
I want that fancy. They are not going to let you sell your membership because they want to censor who can be in there. The other thing with that is, and no disrespect to Web2, it’s an extremely important technology but Microsoft owns Minecraft. To take rates on these platforms, people have been buying digital skins for Minecraft and Fortnite, and every other platform in the world. All that revenue goes to the company itself. Very little goes to the creator, and certainly, you, as the buyer of those skins, can’t resell them and receive any value. It’s probably a threat to him, at least in some lines of his business, if not every line of his business.
Before we move out of the next article, perhaps this quote was taken out of context. Either way, he’s not coming out being super excited about NFTs but he is just making a comment about the art side of it here, what came from this article. Let’s hit this last one real quick, “Bored Ape Ethereum NFTs Drop Below $100,000 for First Time in Almost a Year.” “The Bored Ape has been a key symbol of rising valuations with celebrities snapping up disinterested ape illustrations alongside seven-figure sales, but now, the Ethereum profile picture collection is showing just how far NFT demand has fallen amid a wider crypto market crash. The floor price for a BAYCs, the cheapest available item on a secondary marketplace currently sits at $96,000 or 80 ETH, according to NFT Price Floor.”
I noticed that. I was looking, “Maybe it’s a good time to pick up a Bored Ape.” I will say that I have a little bit more of a closer look. There’s not a lot of Bored Ape on sale for 80 Eth. There’s one, and there’s a bunch of them that are not for sale, just open bidding. Do you have your eyes set on a Bored Ape brand or do you got one in your pocket?
I don’t. I admire what they’ve built but I don’t own one and I’m not in the market even at $98,000. I’m going to invest in earlier stuff and my own as well.
Bear markets are where innovation is lasting, created, and the next multi-billion dollar companies come from. Click To Tweet
We will pull up this quote a couple of years from now when they hit a million a shot or whatever.
I will bang my head against the wall.
Josh, any comments on this one? Should we walk it out?
No real comments at this time.
It sounds good. That has been a show for the most part but before we jump here, we want to make sure we find out where our readers can go to learn more about you, Brent, and the project you are working on. Give us the deets there so people can stay in the loop.
The easiest way to find out all the information and get immersed in the visual fantasy and the artwork that we are building in this game is to go visit TheGlimmering.com. From there, that’s got all the other rabbit holes and social link buttons for you. You can check out the various Twitter, the different Medium blog posts, the white paper, and most importantly, come hang out in Discord. It’s all linked to the website.
I believe we’ve got a giveaway in the work with you. Share the skeleton of that. It’s already out on our socials.
We are giving away twenty spots on The Glimmering’s presale list, which comes with a lot of benefits. In addition to those twenty spots, those people will receive an airdrop of The Glimmering poster, art NFT, which we’ve shared on social, and there are only 500 in circulation. It’s a super cool giveaway, Brent. We appreciate that.
I’m happy to do it and of the 500 poster NFT giveaways, 100 lucky people of those 500 will get a physical print that is numbered and signed by our Lead Artist, Angryblue. I appreciate you having us on the show. I deeply admire what you all are doing and what you all have built, and I’m happy to extend a warm welcome to your community.
Thanks so much. We’ve reached the outer limit at the Edge of NFTs for this episode. Everyone, thanks for exploring with us. We’ve got space for more adventures on the starship, though, so invite your friends and recruit some cool strangers that will make this journey also much better. How? Go to Spotify or iTunes now. Rate us and say something awesome, then go to EdgeOfNFT.com to dive further down the rabbit hole, EdgeOfNFT.com/discord to get involved with our community, and lastly, be sure to tune in next time for more great NFT content. Thanks again for sharing this time with us.
- The Glimmering
- Revelry Startup Studio
- Loot for Adventurers Project
- The Mom Test
- The latest data show that intangible assets comprise 90% of the value of S&P 500 companies – Article
- Polygon Studios
- Fair Play Collective
- Adult Fantasy
- AE Studio
- Stripe for NFTs’ NFTPort Raises $26 Million Series A – Article
- Protocol Labs
- Nifty Gateway
- Bill Gates lambasts NFTs – Article
- Article – Bill Gates hiding out at luxe billionaires’ golf club in California
- Bored Ape Ethereum NFTs Drop Below $100,000 for First Time in Almost a Year – Article
- Twitter – The Glimmering
- Medium – GRIPNR
- Discord – GRIPNR
- Spotify – Edge of NFT
- iTunes – Edge of NFT