One of the beauties of NFTs is its amazing ability to connect people from all over the world with similar preferences. Carmelo Milian wants to bring that up a notch by creating a virtual city and providing a truly immersive experience. Eathan Janney, Jeff Kelley, and Josh Kriger sit down with the developer of Polka City, a fully autonomous contract-based NFT platform that will allow users to invest, trade, and sell assets. Carmelo showcases the game’s demo, discussing how to navigate and make the most out of its features. He even talks about the current status of their development, citing its many ups and downs. The four also dive into today’s hot topics, from the still-delayed Vee Friends by Gary Vee to the most outlandish NFT items available right now, including a twig and recorded farts.
Listen to the podcast here:
Polka City: A Groundbreaking, Immersive NFT Virtual City Experience With Carmelo Milian
We aim to bring you not only the top 1% of what’s going on with NFTs but also what will stand the test of time. We explore the nuts and bolts in the business side and also the human element of how NFTs are changing the way we interact with the things we love. This show is for the futurist and dreamers, disruptors and creators, fans and connectors, and the makers and doers that are pumped about this ecosystem and driving where it goes next.
This episode features guest Carmelo Milian. He’s the developer of Polka City, a new fully autonomous contract-based NFT platform that allows you to invest in virtual assets in the form of a virtual city. Carmelo has extensive technical management experience, including over a decade with Microsoft as a Senior IT Operations Consultant and as President and Founder of OneCloud, which enables companies to optimize Cloud management. Carmelo, welcome.
Thanks for having me.
It’s great to have you on the show. There’s so much fun stuff happening in the world of blockchain. Virtual cities are one of those topics that we can’t get enough of. A funny story is I learned about what you’re up to when I was looking for different virtual cities to participate in because I’m a fan of the concept. It smacked me over the head that you were doing something different. When I saw these virtual assets that you can buy in your city and then accrue revenue around, it was like, “Whoa.” A lot of these cities people don’t know what’s going to happen and how they’re going to make money or even if they will make money. For you, it’s right there, a clear value proposition. Was that intentional?
It was intentional. We wanted to build a virtual economy. We thought about all these companies like Roblox taking all my kid’s money and not giving them back. All these games sell you a lot of stuff and you’re spending but you don’t get a return or the return is something that you cannot sell, you cannot make money off. We decided, “How about we have something like an economy, a mix of Roblox and Grand Theft Auto without the violence, something where people can feel that the money that they put in, they’re going to get it back eventually?” That’s what we did.
I’m excited to own a barbershop. I’ve always wanted to own a barbershop. I remember the first barbershop that I went to. You can’t beat that neck hot towel shave. I’m going to offer some special services in our barbershop. I hope that’s okay with you.
Definitely. We are going to get creative. One of the NFT assets, for example, the hot dog stands. You’re not going to be able to sell hotdogs because you’re to going to spend your good earned POLC on a virtual hot dog. For example, the hot dogs, they’re going to be ticket scalpers where you can go to a hotdog stand and see what events are happening in Polka City and buy your tickets there. The owner of that hot dog stand will get a little cut of the action.
How does this all get conceived? Is this all in your imagination? Is there a team? How many people?
It’s right here and the entire community. One of the greatest things is that we have a community that, from the beginning, has been on board with the idea. You have no idea of the number of good ideas and strategies that I get. This is becoming a monster and it’s going to be successful because of the ideas of the community.
Can you talk about building a community from nothing into where it is now? What was the process of that? How did you make that happen? Have you done that before?
Building a community is easy. Building a good community is hard. If you want 10,000 or 20,000 people in your community, you can do airdrop or give away something for free. People will come over for bounties and all this and then they go for nothing. Ninety percent of everyone in our community is people who have invested, people who have bought NFTs and they want to see success. That’s how it is. Building it up, I’m not going to take that credit. That credit goes to Noah and the community and Fatih. They are in the industry and they’ve been doing cryptocurrency marketing for a long time. They did Polka City.
The private sale sold in five minutes and the presale sold in 30 seconds. The presale was a crazy thing. We launched the contract and everything is right. Zero time comes in, we’re open. I’m a little bit nervous because I want to make sure that nothing’s going wrong with the contract. We were live the first time and I opened it. I clicked and everything is pending. I said, “What’s going on?” The next thing is Noah pops a message, “We’re sold out.” Everything was pending because we were sold out in 30 seconds. I never saw one transaction. Everything was way down the blockchain. It was crazy. In 30 seconds, that’s when we knew we’re going to make this thing happen. Once you get that backing, there’s no reason why not to make this happen.
What was it about the launch, the story, the community you’re building do you think that caused that to happen? It’s such a rapid sale and such passion for the project.
Those are Noah’s and Fatih’s secrets. They already had the channels and they already knew the investors. They were warming up the presale for weeks before it happened. When this thing opened, everybody knew about the NFT virtual economy. They knew already that the NFTs we’re going to be giving are high APY. That’s one of our other things. Our max cap is 250 million and that’s going to be our total supply. Out of that, 225 million is all for the people who invest. We made that pool that will last up to three years for all these people buying NFTs to get their returns immediately so that they feel comfortable in the platform knowing that it’s for a specific period of time. When that is gone, it’s okay because by then, we should be already in the game with the actual economy.
I’ve noticed this interesting style you’ve had with communicating updates to the community where you don’t make promises you can’t keep but you give them enough of the vision that they’re excited. It seems like you’ve put a lot of thought into the communication side. Can you talk a little bit more about that?
I worked for Microsoft for a while. If you went to a customer and you tell them something, it needed to happen. I’ll tell you a quick story. I had an account manager who went to a known bank. Back then it was SMS. He said, “I need SMS to do this and that.” Things that could not be done that the pro didn’t deliver. The company went there and said, “We can do it.” It was my customer and it’s my responsibility to make it happen. I know the pain of having to deliver something that cannot be done. Therefore, I don’t want to put myself in that situation.
That experience is invaluable. Don’t have that history when they’re building projects.
We have a lot of things going on that we don’t announce because there’s a 20% or 50% probability. We might start talking about it if we are in the ‘80s getting ready for it to happen. The same thing with due dates, we don’t give due dates. We say soon or in this month or this quarter. Even if we have something ready for tomorrow, we’re going to tell you that we’re going to deliver it next week because you never know if something’s going to happen. We rather overachieve a little bit by delivering earlier, a couple of days or something, than to be late. If we are late, it’s because the situation was hard but it gets done.
Never promise something that you can’t deliver. It’s ridiculous when people come to our platform and they see an NFT with an APY of 300% a year and they go, “How can that be done?” I said, “It can be done but only for X amount of time.” They go, “That’s not sustainable.” “You’re right, it’s not sustainable. It’s going to be happening for X amount.” We have a counter on our homepage that tells people the actual weeks of the current spend rate that will last them. If you buy an NFT, you look at the account and you go, “I can make my money back.” “It’s too risky. It’s not worth it to do it right now.”
I’ve noticed some interesting dynamics in terms of what people have been purchasing and what they haven’t. For example, the art gallery brings great possibilities and higher unknowns. So far, you’ve sold one art gallery. Congratulations on that. People have invested in hotels. Someone bought a stadium. It looks like a lot of people are buying billboards and yachts. What surprised you about what people have purchased in abundance and maybe what people have been more hesitant to invest in so far?
People are investing in the NFT thinking short-term. Most of them are not thinking long-term. The art gallery is one of my favorites. It’s not because it was my idea. We’re offering all these holders a piece of the business.
A meaningful piece, 50% of the business. If they own one art gallery, they get 1/20 of 50%. That’s equity in your company, in a sense, with immediate profit sharing.
If only five galleries fail, that’s a bigger piece of the chunk because the 50% is going to those holders. It’s not that they’re going to get 1/20. That 50% is going to be distributed among those holders.
To focus on the art gallery, the big question there is there’s a lot of NFT marketplaces. We have them on our show. New ones are popping up every day. Why are people going to shop in your art gallery and how will that art gallery interact with OpenSea and other art galleries that are on web 3.0? What’s going to make your art gallery work?
Any of these in total. The art gallery is one category. We have the 2Ds and 3Ds and we’re going to have the art, which is paints and drawings. We’re already assigning one artist. She’s amazing. She painted The Pope and Beyoncé and a couple of people. She painted the Pope and she gave the paint and she delivered the paint. She’s awesome. She’s from Brazil. We’re going to talk more about her soon when we launch it. The idea is all these art gallery holders are going to have to consider all the art sales. The art sales can get crazy. It can be expensive, especially when this is real art where the artist is going to paint. After the artist sells it, the artist is going to stream the destruction of that paint. It’s going to be 1 of 1 painter of those paints. That’s going to be big in those terms.
I’m curious, what’s going to be different about your NFT gallery versus other sites? You’re going to have a marketplace soon. I imagine there’s some integration with OpenSea or some other platforms. I was curious about that.
Our art or our NFTs, you can sell them in OpenSea or any market. It doesn’t matter. However, their art, you’re not going to be able to put it in our marketplace yet. Our marketplace is for our NFTs. The reason why is because we’re going to be launching now the Bridge where you’re going to be able to claim your rewards either in POLC for Binance or POLC Ethereum. All the NFTs, you’re going to be able to purchase either with POLC Binance or POLC Ethereum. You’re going to have that flexibility to choose where you want to be. Also, we’re going to have a Bridge separate where you just move your POLC or your NFTs from one chain to the other. If you want to be in an NFT in Binance and then you realize, “I could be making Ethereum POLC. I could be making more money or the other way around.” You’re going to be able to move.
You’re talking about long-term thinking. I’m a person that wants to do well in Polka City and be a part of the community but also sees a return on my investment of time, effort, and resources. What else comes to mind when you think these are the plays that people should be thinking about but they’re not looking at?
We have some NFTs that are more suitable for people with a certain skillset or that aren’t part of the business or entertainment business for example like the stadiums. The stadiums are there to stream live sporting events. One of our co-managers is thinking about making a partnership with another project that does sports streaming to see if they can partner with us and purchase that. They don’t even have to pay it upfront. They can start paying a little by little with the profits or whatever so that they can stream those live events over there. That’s the live events.
The other one is the disco. You’re going to be able to stream events also but these are more live concerts and entertainment and that kind of stuff. We have one of the owners who is big in the Austin, Texas bar scene. She’s going to be streaming live entertainment from those bars into that place. That’s going to be fun and probably charge you one POLC to get in to do that. When you’re doing those events and then if you own a disco, that’s your business. You’re going to be streaming and making money with that. You should do your marketing, too. That’s something you need to think about.
We’ve got a big business deal cooking up. You’re saying that we can take our Polka Yacht out to the sea and invite our potential business partners onto the yacht and get some business done on the yacht and streaming some music and all that type of stuff. What’s possible in Polka City in the future in your mind?
The purpose of owning a job is you can make money moving people from the island to the mainland. We’re going to do events and treasure hunts and stuff on the island. There’s going to be a whole dynamic in that part on its own. That’s what we’re thinking about the yachts. The yachts are spacious. You can fit up to ten people and they can be there. We don’t have anything like that planned for entertainment and all that but those are the things and ideas that keep coming. In a future update, it could be done. Right now, it’s a transportation thing. You’re going to see people there and you can chat. You’re going to be on the water and you can talk because the whole thing is social. Wherever you are, if you have somebody in close proximity, you can talk. You can text to talk to the person that you want in a private chat, too. That’s the thing.
You can pick up some crypto trading tips from your neighbor.
You can strategize. Let’s go to this treasure hunt. You look on this side and you look on this one and we share everything.
I want to ask how long this has been in the works. To answer the same question, what background are you bringing to this where this surfaced itself as the idea you needed to pursue?
We’ve been talking about doing this since the beginning of 2021. We launched at the end of February.
You’re saying that you pulled this together in a month or something.
This is incredible. I thought you were going to say, “Two years ago we had this idea.”
No. The first release is at the end of the year. It took us a while. That’s going to take longer. That’s the first release. You’re going to be able to have the art galleries and the discos are going to be making money. We’re going to start doing other releases and monetize all the other assets and including them in the game.
To get some background on this, we looked you up a little bit. It’s not easy to find a lot of information about you specifically out there already. We’re going to have the scoop on some things about how this all came to being. Why do you feel like you were equipped to do that quickly? Is it the connections that you have? Is it some experience you had at Microsoft with their previous project? You’ve been in crypto for a long time. What’s the background?
I’m not equipped to do this. I know the people who are equipped to do it, the right marketing guys, the right developers. It’s about building the right team and making things happen. I understand code. I can read code but I’m not the greatest coder in the world. I’m more of a process person. I like to see things organized and make things happen. My expertise is to make this happen. Things are going to happen when they’re realistic and we can accomplish them.
Jeff, you’ve got a real estate background. Is Carmelo saying that he’s like the head builder? What’s the title that you would give that from a Polka City perspective?
It’s the real estate developer. You have the fund and you have this massive team of people that come together to make something happen. It’s that real estate developer background. In your case, all the technical know-how. You know what you don’t know, which is an important thing.
I know a lot of things to get in trouble and I get the right people so that I don’t.
In terms of NFTs, what are you interested in outside of Polka City? Have you been keeping your eye on anything? Have you been buying them up? Are you mostly facilitating? What are you involved with?
I’ve done everything else involving NFT and about Polka City. When I snoop around, it’s to learn and to see how they do things like OpenSea. How are they doing all this beating and taking everybody’s money and then releasing it? Those mechanics that they’re doing to consider them for our business, I don’t like it but I learned it and I try to figure it out when we want to do something. How are these people doing it? How are they doing it? One of the things that I do is that I always need to be learning something. If I’m not reading, taking an online class, or learning something, I feel like I’m wasting oxygen. I always need to learn something. In terms of NFTs, I’m not investing in any other NFT or not like that but I study them to learn how they’re doing things.
It’s interesting to have your outside Microsoft industry perspective combined with this new playground. I get the sense that you’re trying to figure out how to make things better on a rapid scale. What’s the gameplay experience going to be like in the future? You talked a little bit about discos and art galleries. Is this a desktop experience? Is this a mobile experience? What can people expect in the first iteration? You might show us a demo at some point later but give our readers a feel for what their experience will be like initially and then down the road.
In terms of the game, it’s going to be a desktop game for PC, Mac, and Linux. The reason for this is because all these NFTs and all these 3D graphics are high quality. I want this to look good. If we do browser enable, it’s not going to have the performance we need and we’re not ready to do mobile either because of that reason. In the future, when our game is final and we start thinking about a second version, the second version can take longer and go mobile, too. Initially, it will take us too long to also do mobile and go that way. It’s going to be a desktop.
What will they be able to do in the disco and the art galleries? What’s the user experience going to look like?
The disco is going to be a place where you can go in and network with other people. You’re going to have different levels. If 10,000 people come into the gallery, you can’t have 10,000 people in one room because it’s not going to work. What we’re going to do is we’re going to have a limit of people per room. When the room is full, we’re going to do another and another. The disco is going to have the same experience with the same streaming, same entertainment, same music but different groups. In the disco, you’re going to be able to enjoy whatever they’re streaming. Also, you’re going to be able to network and talk to other people.
It feels like the Miami vibe. You’re from Miami and we’ve got discos and art. If that isn’t Miami, I don’t know what is. You got to get the Art Basel guys to let you host some parties in Polka City.
It would be great to be doing a live disco in Miami.
Carmelo, have you envisioned a world where your world intersects with other virtual worlds, interoperable not just with the NFTs themselves but in the metaverse? Do you see partnerships forming? Is that on the roadmap in the future?
I don’t know how yet but I see it. It’s something that we cannot focus on. In terms of the NFTs, the token, and all that, there’s going to be more to change. It’s going to Ethereum, POLC, and Binance. You’re going to have all that flexibility. We keep adding as needed. If it’s worth it and we know there’s a market for it, we’ll keep doing that, the game. The complexity of that is something we cannot think about.
Focus on the goodness that you have in front of you.
NFT Virtual City: Success is all about building the right team and making things happen.
We got to make things happen and then we can do that. We want to make something good, stable, and enjoyable for the community.
It’s ambitious to go all three chains. I haven’t seen that yet. I know there’s also Polygon. Some people refer to it as MATIC, its old name. What made you decide to integrate three chains? How has that impacted your technology roadmap and the nuances of the gameplay?
In terms of the game, it doesn’t matter. When you’re in the gameplay and you’re going to buy something, it’s going to be click-through, which is going to take you off the game into the browser to your transaction. All the transactions are going to be outside the game and the reason why is because of the security. We don’t want to download the game and running everywhere and people trying to hack us into the game. It’s going to be a click-through where it is going to authenticate with MetaMask and it’s going to go that route like we’re doing.
In terms of the bridge that we’re doing, that is because the gas prices are crazy. People buy an asset because they want to enjoy their APY, the returns. They find that spending so much on gas is in second thoughts. Binance is cheap. Binance is a clone of Ethereum. It’s the same thing. In terms of technology and making things happen, it’s not hard. If you can do it in Ethereum, you can do it in Binance. For example, if you’re going to move something from Ethereum to POLC, your POLC is going to be locked in a safe and you go in and get your tokens in Binance.
You stressed out a bunch of CEOs and other blockchain games because now their community is going to say, “Carmelo said it’s not that hard. Why aren’t you doing it?”
It’s not that hard. You’re going to lock and release one side. Lock and release on the other one. That’s it, move it around. The only thing is gas. People are in one chain and they want to send to the other and to receive that, it’s going to cost gas. How much? How do you know? You have to estimate. You’re going to have APYs. You’re going to have to do all these things in the backend to make sure that you can do this smoothly. It’s not rocket science. We already did it. We’re testing it. It’s ready to release. We’re enjoying it. It’s going to happen.
At least in your world, you’ve got these electric cars and electric car chargers. In the virtual world, life is more planet-friendly. It’s great to see that you’re thinking about that stuff. Carmelo is going to give us a demo of Polka City 2.0 coming out soon.
We are waiting for the audit to complete. We’re auditing the 3D NFT contract, the actual POLC Token, and the marketplace. Once all those audits are out, we’re going to be launching the website with all these things. Let’s go to your My Assets page. This is how my assets page is going to look now. If you want to sell this asset that belongs to you and you click sell, it’s going turn it into cancel over here. It’s going to give you a pop-up window that tells you if you want to sell for Binance or Ethereum token. It’s going to send it to the marketplace, which is another tile over there where people can buy. You see how things are changing.
The staking is different. No more of the staking thing that’s going on. It’s going to be different. You can claim. If you click claim here, it’s going to open a pop-up where it’s going to tell you, “Claim Ethereum chain. Claim Binance chain.” You’re going to be able to choose where you want to claim to and go that way because of gas or whatever. You’re also going to be able to stake your earnings. You add a minimum stake amount. This is for demo purposes only, it’s 1,000. I’m going to stake for one month, three months, or six months. Depending on the stake you choose, it’s the NFT you’re going to get. You’re going to get the NFT immediately.
Let’s say you have your bonds and you click, “I want to stake for a Lambo.” Your tokens are going to be locked for three months and you get the Lambo instantly. You get your Lambo and then you stake. When the stake ends, in three months, your tokens are going to be released but they’re going to release at a 20% rate per month. The reason for this is because we want to slow down the sell-off and people sending large amounts of tokens. You’re going to get it back but you’re going to get it back at a different rate. That’s how the staking earnings are going to work from now on and then it’s going to allow you to adjust your claims in Multi Wallet. Claim it wherever you want to go.
That’s smart. A lot of projects are struggling with these short-term-minded community members that are buying and selling quickly and moving on to the next project.
From now on, if you either claim or you stake, you’re going to get a free NFT for your stake. We also have the bridge, which we’re going to launch. You’re going to be able to choose the amount you’re going to be sending the final destination wallet. In this case, we’re sending it to Binance. You’re going to put here your Binance wallet. We’re going to have videos explaining this. You need to have your MetaMask Ethereum because you’re sending. You’re going to have you’re receiving Binance wallet. You can click here to change the direction on where you are sending. This is how that’s going to be looking like.
These are the new assets. Here, you want to be able to submit the data. It’s not online but this is where you’re going to see the amount of balance left and all the additional information you need for your Binance. You want to customize your shopper. You guys are familiar with this thing. You can customize your drone and buy it. The process from here is the same as always. In the marketplace, you’re going to be able to see your assets and buy the ones at the price that the seller stated. In the marketplace for new assets, you’re going to decide if it’s 3D. You’re going to have your 2Ds. For a while, they’re gone. You’re going to have the same thing for the art NFTs. The art NFTs are going to include the buyer of the artist, a short video of the artist, and then the terms of the sale.
Are you phasing out 2D altogether and moving to 3D?
Yes. To the assets, we’re going to swap them for 3D also.
You’ll swap out the assets that folks own in 2D to 3D later.
The 2Ds are going to be the same but it’s going to be a 3D version that you’re going to have inside again. This is a new series coming out. We’re doing videos for everything now. How to do everything is on video. The same question keeps coming every time. We’ve been asked for videos explaining the sales to every point.
That makes everything easier when people can click through and see exactly how to do it.
Do you have any questions about this?
This looks amazing. I can’t wait for that launch. We can get in there and play around a little bit and scoop up some more goodies.
One question I’m sure audiences are curious about is how do they make good decisions around what to purchase if they are long-term oriented? There are new assets coming out on the platform all the time. There’s a lot of different features and functionalities of different assets. What’s the mentality that someone should have when they’re looking at Polka City and deciding what to buy?
The reason I understand when people have that question is that I don’t think we have done our complete job of people understanding the power of their NFTs when the game comes out. We already did the design phase of the game. We’re launching the development of the game with the company that we hired. We’re going to announce that soon. We’re going to do a game roadmap where people are going to be able to see what’s happening in terms of the development of the game, what features are going to come out by dates, and all of these.
We’re also going to have the NFT features. People know the features but we’re going to have more samples of their usage. We want people to be creative. We’re going to give them the NFTs. We’re going to give them the functionality. From there, they can use their imagination to build stuff. In the club, we’re going to do streaming. You’re going to be streaming live events. Maybe somebody wants to have their club stream counseling for Doge holders and that kind of stuff.
They can do their own thing. They’re going to have a streaming platform to do whatever. It can be YouTube channels going on over there. It can be your podcast in a club. It can be anything like that. We’re going to do the tools. The art gallery, for example, is going to be a place where you’re in and you socialize. You look around walls and you are going to see the arts in the walls and you click to buy them if you’re interested. Every art that is for sale is going to be inside the game in the art gallery for people to look at. The shopping malls are going to be even easier to monetize. We’re going to do an Amazon reseller account that you can connect to the platform and click through and mention those features. People can just go buy in Amazon and do their reselling account over there and that kind of stuff.
How many kids do you have?
I have four. That’s why I’m working a lot.
Do they have taxi cabs? Do they have barbershops? Do your kids have these?
No. The oldest one is like, “Can you give me some POLC?” I said, “I don’t own POLC.” He’s talking about, “Can NFT buy it?” The other one is my daughter, “Can you tell me what Doge is? What is that?” I’m like, “Forget about those. That’s nothing.” I tell people if you want to invest, invest in the top ten CoinMarketCap listings with caution. Everything is a risk in cryptocurrency.
Except Polka City.
They ask me, “Why did the price go down?” It’s like everything. You don’t know. They call me, “Which one should I invest in all those things?” “It’s up to you. I cannot tell you where to invest.” “Yes, buy a hotel right now,” but that would not be right. I don’t know your situation. Everything is a risk. I always tell people that when you invest in cryptocurrency, you invest money you’re willing to lose. That’s the best thing and it works. I bought BTC because I was willing to lose it and it turned out good. Ethereum was $900 and you’re willing to lose it. Look at it today. Another thing is if you bought Bitcoin at $600 and you have ten Bitcoin that you bought at $600 right now, you’re not rich. You don’t have anything until you sell it. It doesn’t matter.
Folks, go to PolkaCity.io to play around in there, get to know it a little bit, and then we’ll be looking forward to the next version coming out. Meantime, Carmelo, we’d love to learn a little bit more about you personally and subject you to our Edge Quick Hitters. Are you down?
Let’s do it.
It’s a fun, quick way to get to know you. We’re looking for one or few-word answers, but feel free to expand if you feel the urge. Here we go. Number one, what’s the first thing you ever purchased in your life?
Pack of M&Ms with my mom’s money.
Good spend. What’s the first thing you ever sold in your life?
I sold a car for $600.
That’s the same price I sold my first car for.
It cost me $900.
That’s cheaper than the one I bought in Polka City.
A year later, I sold it for $300 less. It had no floor in the backseat. It was the first car I bought from a sale. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe that the girlfriend I had at that time got on that car.
Number three, what’s the most recent thing you purchased?
Musician. We should be requesting a serenade.
You don’t want to be put through that. Remember I told you I always have to be learning something. For my birthday, I got a guitar from my wife and I’m learning. I can start doing some Red Hot Chili Peppers tunes and that kind of stuff, but you wouldn’t even give me a beer for it.
You’re going to have an amateur night and talent show at Polka City where there’s no cover charge.
I’m going to be paying people to watch me.
What’s the most recent thing you sold?
A golf driver. I sold it so that I can buy a new one.
Moving from golf to the gitfiddle. Number five, what’s your most prized possession?
My family has no prize, so that’s what the prize is.
Number six, if you could buy anything in the world that is currently for sale, what would it be?
I’ll buy one of those boats that you don’t need to hit land ever like the Bill Gates boat or a city boat.
That’s good. If Miami goes underwater, you’ll have an option.
If I can buy anything, I’ll buy that.
Maybe a glimpse into the next release of assets in Polka City. Switching gears a little bit. Number seven, if you could pass on one personality trait of yours to the next generation, what would it be?
Understand that there’s always a next try no matter what the situation is. The last try is when you die. In business, relationships, or anything that does not go the way you want it, there’s always another try.
We will Lean Startup, Agile development perspective. It’s going to be awesome. Number eight, if you could eliminate one trait of yours from the next generation, what would it be?
NFT Virtual City: Everything is a risk when investing in cryptocurrency. Here, you must be willing to lose some money.
Being too careless. I can be in the wrong place at the wrong moment with the wrong people and still trust them.
We got you on this show.
I will give you a quick example. I was with Microsoft and I travel a lot. I was in California on a business trip. I’m in a bar and I meet some people. We’re hanging out and then they said, “We’re going to go to another one,” and I get them in my car. On the way there, one of the guys went nuts. He got crazy and he started saying things like, “I can knock you out with one punch.” I’m like, “What the hell is going on?” I told the guy, “Chill out. Let’s go get some beers.” I stopped in a gas station and he got out to get the beers. When he got out, I took off.
This sounds a lot like the guy we met in Puerto Rico in the crypto community. He wanted us to fight.
That’s some street smarts there.
Being kind and relationship-oriented, I’d rather be on the side of it as you are than the other side. A little easier question. Number nine, what did you do before joining us on the show?
I was getting the next NFT ready and launching it. We did the motorcycle, the Polka motor.
I got my eye on that. That’s hot. Last one, number ten, what are you going to do after the show?
I’m going to have to get ready to buy some groceries because my wife wants a barbecue.
Barbacoa is always good for that. I’m up here in Sarasota, Florida. It’s beautiful up here. It sounds like it might be the same in Miami.
It’s nice here.
That’s Edge Quick Hitters. Thanks for indulging us.
That’s done. Next on the agenda is hot topics.
Let’s do it. You’ve got a few extra, Carmelo?
Sure. Go on. Bring it.
Tell me about the word cheugy, Carmelo. Are you aware of this term?
What the hell is that?
According to CNET, the word cheugy is being sold as an NFT. Don’t just be cheugy. Own cheugy.
How much money do you owe on that guy right now for saying that word?
I’m going to have to pay some licensing fees. The folks that said that they came up with it, in 2013, they said they came up with this term to describe the old fogy Millennials. This is Gen Z.
You have to ask your son if he falls in the category of being an older Millennial. Ask him later on when you see him, is he a cheugy or not?
I will ask him. I’m going to write that down. It’s a great idea.
I was not aware of this term and that maybe makes me cheugy, but it’s a Gen Z slang popular on social media, in general, and TikTok in particular. It’s used to describe the Millennial pejoratively of not having a clue by the Gen Z generation.
I’m not going to say that because we got many of them in our community. We have a bunch of cheugys. My wife is a cheugy. It’s a great idea that these guys are sending that word NFT because it makes me think how many people are trademarking terms. What’s a trademark? A trademark is a document that tells you that word or that term or whatever belongs to you and is legal. Why not do them in NFTs? You can have the art, and audio. You can have anything. Forget about paying somebody for a trademark a lot of money when you can probably make it happen for less in NFT.
If you have some tie to the word like this guy claims that he and his friends developed it, he got that opportunity to reap the words of your efforts or all these means. We keep talking about it every week.
If you want to call your business a cheugy, you have the rights. The person who owns that NFT has the right to do that. If there’s a dispute with another business, here’s the NFT and it has the date, when you purchased it, how much, and everything.
Cheugy hotdog stand, Josh. That’s the move. The question is, do you have to get the trademark and to the NFT? Will these two things merge? That’s a longer conversation. Let’s move on to the next piece of news here, which is quite relevant. Having talked to Carmelo about his process of promising and delivering about how he likes to under promise and over deliver as opposed to leading people on. The next piece of news is on the fifth of May of 2021, Gary Vee had said that he was going to launch VeeFriends and that had been delayed.
I wanted to be a VeeFriend. What happened there?
What’s crazy about it is that they spent so much time getting people prepared to spend their money and the whole posting around was like, “Here’s how you get your MetaMask wallet set up. Here’s how you get your Eth in there and all of that stuff.” To be honest, I don’t know if this affects anything, but the price of Eth has gone up considerably in five days and maybe gas fees are higher. It definitely affects the whole prospect of this.
I do like the fact that he said, “This is 100% on me and I apologize to anyone who’s disappointed.” I do appreciate that they owned it. It’s a challenge fundamentally for the ecosystem he’s building because there’s this lingering thought in everyone’s mind, “What else is going to be delayed down the road?” What do you think, Carmelo? This is a big deal changing the initial launch date several times.
I feel for him. I am not in his shoes to see exactly why the delays and I don’t know what the delays are, but that’s the danger of giving you that extra cushion for when things like this happen. When you do a due date, you’ve got to admit it because the next time they want to launch another feature or they want to do something else, people are going to be hesitant. They want to know that can happen.
One thing I will say is, they have been communicative throughout this entire process in telling people exactly what’s going on and when even with the delay. They thought they were going to be able to launch within 24 to 48 hours after the delay and they got further and further. The one thing I did appreciate about it overall is that they were at least communicating. I’ve been involved with followed projects where they missed the deadline and you don’t hear anything. You don’t even know what’s going on for a couple of days even, which is frustrating. The other part to me is, not only did he take accountability but clearly, it’s not 100% on Gary Vee. There are team members working on things. There are probably a couple of things that got missed. He’s taking that responsibility on his shoulders and he’s given his team permission to try, fail, improve, iterate, and focus on the task at hand, not the past, not a mistake, or whatever happened.
One good thing is it’s better to have a product that is late than a product that doesn’t work or that is unsecure. You launch a product and then you get hackers all over it and lose your shirt. If he delayed more than once, there must be a good reason for it and this wait for the product.
The blockchain community is aware of the nascent nature of this technology. It maybe has a little bit more tolerance for delays. There have been delays on a number of projects and we do have to remember all of this is new. Hopefully, folks who are part of the community and excited about the future are somewhat understanding when these things do happen.
It’ll be interesting to see how it all pans out when it comes out. I definitely echo things you guys said. It’s the whole Jocko Willink’s extreme ownership attitude of, “This is my thing.” He definitely could have claimed that it was somebody else’s fault or pinned it on somebody else. Should we hit the next piece of news?
What is it?
The next piece of news, Carmelo, is that there’s an article listing eight kooky new NFTs like NFTs jumping on the NFT craze, including a stick and the dog that wants the stick. There’s a Pringles NFT like a golden virtual flavor. You can NFT your farts.
I’ll get to a few more after that.
Which of those is most appealing to you, Carmelo?
I’d go for the Pringles NFT.
At least it’s affiliated with a major brand.
It’s got the golden facade and people can’t resist that. We talked about the golden apes in the Bored Ape Yacht Club. There’s something that had golden fur. There’s something about putting a nice coat of gold on something else that is exciting. I don’t know what it is though.
We got to have a golden Lambo.
Josh, you’re a dog lover. You’re always a sucker for doggy kisses. We know that. They’re playing on people’s emotions a little bit. There’s a photo of this dog that went and fetched a particular twig, and then they took a photo of it and they’re making the NFT of the twig that the dog fetched. If it’s a cute dog, maybe there’s value there. People are buying this and bidding on it.
Is it a famous dog though, Jeff? Is it a special dog? Was it a dog that’s in commercials? If it was Lassy’s twig, that would be different in my mind.
You bring up a good point. I don’t think this dog is famous for anything other than getting this twig.
Their owner should buy that NFT because I don’t want it.
Maybe family members and the community buy it.
It makes me think of pet rocks and beanie babies. This is something that comes up when we talk about the value of things, crazes, bubbles, and all of this stuff. The fact of the matter is pet rock still does remain a quintessential example of injecting value into something that nobody ever thought there was value in before. The fact that we still “ask something” as an example, says something about what’s going on there. I have to agree. I don’t know that I’m running out the door to get this specific one.
I have a pet rock. It was built by my nine-year-old. He painted it and put eyes and everything.
Jeff, if we had asked what his second most prized possession was, we would have got that answer.
The family pet rock.
NFT Virtual City: If you bought Bitcoin at $600, it doesn’t mean you are rich. You don’t have anything until you sell it.
This is almost totally off-topic, but on topic. There was a local park that I go to with my son during quarantine. It had a little river running through it and by the riverside, you could sit along. Some young family went to the trouble of painting a bunch of little rocks and one of them was painted pink and maybe some rainbow on it and it was called a unicorn poop or something. They wrote that it was a unicorn poop on there. The guy was an accountant and he was using them as little ads. You’d pick up this little rock. It was painted and it would say, “Call Joe. He’s an accountant.” It gave a website or something, just to say that things like that exist.
If you guys want to do something cool, do this to your house. Open the egg carton and grab one of them and put some eyes on it. Paint them some nice eyes and with a smile. It’s going to be the last they’re eating. My wife couldn’t eat it. She doesn’t want it.
I’m going to do that experiment after this show. That’s what I’m doing.
Should we wrap it up or do we want to pick out some more of these kooky NFTs?
We had a great conversation. It’s been amazing. All these hot topics highlight the expansiveness of the NFT universe or metaverse. It’s never-ending. We’ve reached the outer limit at the Edge of NFTs. 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 also much better. Go to iTunes, rate us, and say something cool, then go to EdgeOfNFT.com to dive further down the rabbit hole. Before we break though, Carmelo, where can readers go to learn more about you and the projects that you’re working on?
The best place is to go to PolkaCity.io and look at the bottom right of the page. We have all the social networks there and you can reach us on Telegram, Reddit, and Discord on every page right there. The best way to find me is in Telegram or if you have something more important, reach me via LinkedIn. Search for my name. There’s not too many Carmelo Milian and you’ll find me there, too.
Thanks for joining us, Carmelo.
Thank you for having me. This was fun.
- Polka City
- iTunes – Edge of NFT Podcast
- Telegram – Polka City
- Reddit – Polka City
- Discord – Polka City
- Carmelo Milian – LinkedIn
About Carmelo Milian
Carmelo Milian is the developer of PolkaCity, a new fully autonomous contract-based NFT platform that allows you to invest in virtual assets in the form of a virtual city.
Carmelo has extensive technical management experience, including over a decade with Microsoft as a Senior IT Operations Consultant and as President and Founder of OneCloud, which enables companies to optimize cloud management.