Creation, previously known as VEME, is the Web3 creator network that focuses on transforming fans into co-creators and investors. In this episode, we are joined by Creation founder Raamayan and his Chief Strategy Officer, Cristopher Pitcher, who explain the rationale of the rebrand and the unique value their platform is bringing to creators and fans alike. Web3 is enabling platforms to push the definitions of co-creation to the outer edge, and the folks at Creation are making the most of that ability. Join in and learn how content creation is going to change forever with this new platform built on the edge of NFT. Plus, learn how Starbucks is going about its NFT-based loyalty program and a bunch of other hot topics from this episode.
Listen to the podcast here
Raamayan Ananda And Christopher Pitcher Of Creation - The Platform Powering Creativity 3.0, Plus: Starbucks’ NFT-Based Loyalty Program, And More...
NFT curious readers, stay tuned for this episode and find out how VEME is launching a bold new rebrand as Creation and bringing their intentional, thoughtful, and inspired approach to supporting Web3 through DAOs, why you might be inspired by one of our guests to create an altar that honors your most meaningful life experiences, and finally, how the coffee house that seems to be on every street corner everywhere is diving deep into NFTs in a powerful but also subtle way. All this and more on this episode.
Don't forget that we put a gathering together at NFTLA that brought out thousands of the world's most innovative doers in the NFT space. Head over to NFTLA.live to get tickets to our bigger, bolder, and better but also just as an intimate and impactful event happening in Los Angeles from March 20th to 23rd, 2023. See you there.
This episode features Raamayan and Christopher Pitcher of Creation, the NFT-powered Web3 platform to launch, fund, and run your creative projects. They are announcing the rebrand of their company, which has been known as VEME into Creation. Raamayan is the Founder of VEME, now known as Creation. He works at the intersection of creative expression, new economic systems, and spirituality.
Raamayan is a Cofounder of Unify, a conscious media platform which broke the Guinness Book of World Records for the world's largest online synchronized meditation with Deepak Chopra and has reached over two billion worldwide. His vision is a world where creators unify to become the bridge to post-capitalism.
Christopher Pitcher is Chief Strategy Officer at Creation. He is a catalyst for a regenerative and prosperous future. He has his Master's in Design as well as an MBA. As a serial social entrepreneur, he has focused on using design, technology, and creativity to build a thriving future for all life. Creation is a new Web3 creator network that transforms fans into co-creators and investors. In Creation, rather than subscribing to your favorite creators, you play and earn together. Welcome to the show. It's great to have you here.
It's so good to be here.
You are a great intro person. I want to hire you.
It's great to see you. It has been a minute. As is the LA tech scene, Christopher and I originally met years ago before the big boom. That was cool when we found out. I was introduced to you from Austin. Here's a shout-out to Austin. You were part of NFTLA and all that fun stuff that we had. I didn't know at that moment that Christopher was part of VEME. It's a small world.
I didn't know that you were connected until this moment. I love that I found that on the show.
We found a text exchange between us from 2018 or something.
We had a great conversation in an apartment at a friend's dinner party. I was like, "Is this the same Josh Kriger?" I text him. He is like, "We are at NFTLA together." I was like, "Snap."
Here's to dinner parties. I don't think I've ever heard anybody say something like, "That dinner party was a total bust." If you get people together for dinner, and if you've got that momentum behind it, probably some good things are going to happen if you are the type of crowd that does that.
As long as it's not one of those dinner parties where three people bring chips and salsa.
You have to bring some good grub.
You have some good chow at your events.
I'm Indian ethnically. We have a dharmic responsibility to feed people well. It's in our lineage.
There's one more sidetrack here. We better not get too many sidetracks. I have an Indian friend from college. We went to an Indian neighborhood for my birthday because I wanted to go to an Indian buffet. She humored me. We went to an Indian buffet. We sat down and ate all the Indian buffet food. She said, "What do you think?" I said, "This is delicious." She said, "This is not Indian food. You have to come to my house and have my mom cook for you."
It's what we will always say. That will be the collective response of all time. Unless you step into a gurdwara, we will tell you that.
Josh has had the privilege of spending some time with you locally in LA. I'm in Chicago. I'm now in Peru. I haven't got to know you this deeply. I would love to hear a little bit more about the origin story of VEME and what's going on. Can we start with you, Raamayan, on that?
VEME started as a short-form social video network. We started right before TikTok came out. I was deeply entranced with blockchain technology and saw the potential of what it could do. I was disillusioned with social media. I witnessed the ill effects of Facebook long before we had things like social dilemmas. I saw the negative effects it had on the population.
We were running Unify in full force at the time. We had about two million people on our page. We had over 10,000 creators. We built this large following. With one algorithm change, 90% reduced our traffic, trying to funnel us into paid ads. We realized, "We don't own our audiences at all. These are not our people. We have put over $1 million into building our Facebook page. We don't have any of their email addresses. We are gated to reach them."
We were building a network with 10,000 creators and making the Guinness Book of World Records. At one point, we had 300 million reach in a month. We had to sell affiliate ads to pay for our nonprofit. We are like, "This is ridiculous. This is a completely broken system." We had thousands of creators writing to us every month being like, "Please post our stuff."
We wanted to share the stuff and the content but there was no easy way to create reciprocity and a mutually supportive network. We got a-ha insight at a very early age into how extractive these networks were. We almost couldn't believe how much we invested into a network that we didn't own. We were like, "This is ridiculous that we would do this." We have to create a different way.
Malcolm CasSelle turned me onto NFTs back in 2017 or ‘18. We were there as soon as CryptoKitties came out when they were Axiom Zen. We were there in little Vancouver basements when the Axiom Zen team presented CryptoKitties in small basements and worked with the early team. We saw NFTs as the first immersion technology. Immediately, I was like, "This is the future," early on.
We started to develop a protocol for NFT copyrights. We developed a one-click copyright patent. We were deep in NFTs. I'm like, "Short-form video and short-form content, every piece of content is an NFT with a legal license embedded into it. Develop a system to fractionize the revenue from that content among different creators. Automate it on smart contracts. This is the future."
Malcolm got on board. He invested. We built the whole app but it turns out that Apple and iPhone didn't like our idea. They didn't understand NFTs. They didn't like it. They didn't like crypto. They wanted to have nothing to do. We got booted out even though we built up a beta. We built up 10,000 users. We were excited. We had investment capital. We built natively.
The thing is, we couldn't switch at that time to web apps because web apps didn't deal with short-form social videos. You had to go native. We hit a roadblock in being able to bring what was a pretty early visionary idea back in 2018 forward. Even now, we are still at the moment where they are okay with NFTs. You probably know about these challenges better than we do.
You are not our first guest that got kicked off Apple with a great idea.
Here's a shout-out to Malcolm. For the readers that don't know, Malcolm was the original Founder and CEO of WAX and OPSkins. He's a true pioneer. We all know that a lot of this NFT stuff began in the gaming industry. I met him at a conference before WAX was launched. I can tell this guy was onto something big. He died at 50. That's too early for such a genius.
It was tragic because we built much of our vision around deploying their architecture. We had such a deep mesh of what we were wanting to do in the world. When he left, it was like, "Who do I do this with now? Who has the vision, the ability, the resources, and the understanding of how this needs to be deployed and the deep pockets who gets it?"
It set us back when he passed away and the partnership that we were forming. We had to go back to the drawing board. VEME shut down for a while. We were like, "We have to rethink how we are approaching this. We have these amazing technologies and licensing infrastructure for NFTs. We have built an amazing brand. Where do we want to move moving forward?"
Here's a little bit of backstory. Back in 2009, I met this amazing man named Elijah Ignatia. He built a system called the Inflammatrix. His vision was always to create something called a nexus. He understood that our economic system was broken. The way that capitalism operates is that you are trying to create something for as low value as possible because capitalism is raw materials, plus labor, plus capital, plus entrepreneurship equals a product.
You try to sell that product for as much as you can and take the surplus out of the system as fast as you can. That's how wealth is forwarded. He was like, "Unless we figure out how that loop is solved and how to take the surplus and put it back in circulation to the system, we are never going to be able to move beyond the exploitative capitalistic model." He had the vision of a DAO way before we knew what a DAO was. I was right alongside him. I was working in cooperative frameworks.
We were looking at how to create multi-company employee structures. We were looking at how to create incubators where many different companies could share people resources among shared value frameworks to bring products into the world and recycle surplus back into the system. When DAOs came out, I was like, "We now have a smart contract mechanism to do exactly what you have been envisioning for the last ten years that I have written a full white paper about."
Creation was the place where all the work I have done in new social networks, the creator economy, and NFTs merged with this transitionary post-capitalistic bridge structure that we have as DAOs and created something called Creation. We have been working on augmenting DAOs and building a structure that is not flat from the get-go and that uses NFTs as the basis for DAOs rather than ERC-20 tokens. We can get into why that's important, maybe in a little bit of a silo, later.
I want to go into the NFT side and the relationship between DAOs and NFTs a little bit more. You have been in this space for a long time. You've thought a lot about NFTs. I would love to understand. In your opinion, what is the true North Star or the true guide to creating NFTs? What does true utility look like? There's a relationship with DAOs but there's a reason why that's important to you.
One thing that's interesting in this industry is that initially, when NFTs started coming out as JPEGs, I was pretty taken aback because we were working on a pretty sophisticated copywriting framework. We were working on these very vast utility mechanisms. The world started to know NFTs as a JPEG. It's cool in one way to popularize the front-facing of that but also harmful because it gave rise to a lot of scamming and exploitative mechanics where NFTs got a bad name unfairly because NFTs are an underlying tech.
You have a fungible token and a non-fungible token. That's it. A fungible token means that one Bitcoin is the same as another Bitcoin. A non-fungible token means you have a container that's unique in which the token can have unique dimensions and properties that are different from another. That's all an NFT is as a technology. How is that applied? You have something on the blockchain which is unique, which you cannot double spend, and which you can authentically verify.
That can be used across such a wide variety of use cases. You can use these as membership keys to communities. You can use this for storing advertising contracts, which have automatic distributions and payouts towards the holders. You can use this to fractionize assets in a meaningful way. You can use this to be able to legally store and register copyrights. You can use this to embed any legal contract and allow that NFT to become a legal register of that contract. You can use it for university degrees and identities.
There's no such thing as “an NFT”. There is a utility which uses the technology of NFT to enable its behavior. Once we make that shift of understanding as a collective, it will open us up to realize that this is a technology that has vast application. Click To Tweet
The amount of things that this technology can be used for is vast. That's why I like to say that there's no such thing as an NFT. There is a utility that uses the technology of an NFT to enable its behavior. As a society, once we make that shift of understanding as a collective, it will open us up to realize that this is a technology that has vast applications. That is the next bridge. A lot of the people who are in the NFT industry, and you can confirm this for me, are now on that next wave.
That's what we see every day now. We get anywhere from 100 to 200-plus suggestions for shows. It's incredible. Every day is a trip to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, where anything is possible. With the types of utility that people are creating in this space, it's mind-blowing, to be honest. What keeps me so excited about working long hours is knowing that this is a radically disruptive technology that's going to change pretty much everything. William Quigley, who's also with the WAX crew, said at one point, "Everything that we don't eat will be tied to NFTs within five years." At the moment, I was like, "That's a bold prediction," but fast-forward to now, I can see that happening.
It's a representation of an asset. Once you go a little bit further into DAOs, you will realize that NFTs are the assets of DAOs. The end. NFTs are the ways to represent assets. DAOs own NFTs when they are properly tied to legal contracts. This is important. We have this super rebellious edge of Web3 that wants nothing to do with any system, which is great to have that ethos because it pushes the rebellion forward. It pushes the drive to be able to create things that are outside the purview of our current system but at the same time, when you want to function and operate in a healthy society, you need to be able to have clear agreement frameworks.
Agreements are the basis of a healthy society. When you are able to form clear agreements, embed those agreements inside of NFTs, and have a methodology where you are able to have arbitration around that, those NFTs can now represent any asset class properly with a sense of confidence that when you buy that thing, you are going to either be able to redeem it or justify your use of it. If it's not being able to be used in the way that you want it to be used, you are going to have a methodology to be able to get reparations for that. That's the basis of society.
We had Nicole from Christie's on the show. She was sharing that the reason that Beeple's drop stopped was that it bid at $1 million. It was like, "Send me the contract." When you start to think about higher-value items, fine jewelry, fine art, and cars, then you need to have a little bit of KYC in there.
This is why our Voltage protocol is embedding legal agreement frameworks and signing systems into the NFTs themselves, creating validation methodologies. It's important to take us to the next level so that the NFTs can truly be representational of a very wide pool of assets. When you get into DeFi, DeFi makes sense now because you're not collateralizing tokens that somebody minted for more tokens with an APY with some other token. It's Ponzinomics.
When you have DeFi related to NFTs that are real assets, that have legal contracts that back them, and that you can recoup, DeFi starts to get interesting. This is where I see the evolution of NFTs. We are so young. People have barely even figured this out. We still have blue-chip NFT lending, which is better JPEGs, which is cool but where is this going to go in the next five years? It's a decentralized banking infrastructure. This is the real deal.
That's a relevant quote, Josh, “Everything not edible becoming an NFT,” but that also makes me want to try some edible NFTs if possible. I would like to eat an NFT if I can. Somebody probably has to work on that. We should have some at NFTLA.
We keep pushing the boundaries. NFT CBD gummies, there you go.
I want an NFT where I eat it. Once it gets fully digested, the NFT is burned. Why not?
That's next-level dynamic NFT. The other thing about the Quigley quote is that you won't know that everything is attached to an NFT in five years. It will be behind the scenes. Great technology disappears. We always lead with it at the beginning so that we can be gung-ho and be like, "Pay attention. This should get money. This should be adopted."
What ends up happening is that they're talking about the technology when it's always about what the technology enables us to do. What Raamayan was speaking about is the amount of utility that the unique digital container allows for. They sold a house in 2022 as an NFT. You are like, "That completely changes the dynamics of how fluid an asset is."
It makes me think about how we always have to label things as humans to be able to have a conversation about them but we are talking about Web3 these days. We also talked about Web2 back in the day but in essence, it's like you are saying. There were several aspects. My encounter with Web2 is, "All of a sudden, I can have some animations on a webpage that are integrated right into HTML. This is cool," but nobody calls that Web2 now. They go, "That website is cool. It has some animations."
As we converge on this nomenclature around Web3, which helps gives us a focus and a direction, you talk about Web2.5. Why do you think it's useful to have a term like that? Is there something integrated there that has to do with decentralization, centralization or lack thereof? I want to see if Christopher has something to say on this.
When we speak about Web2.5, it's about once again where technology is not at the forefront. It's about what it's enabling. Web3 is pretty hard. I grew up a geek. I sold computers and built them by hand. Sometimes I get into places and I'm like, "What do I do here?" There's some cool technology. That gives me a lot of the power back in this whole system that I like to be a part of, yet the front end of it and the user journey sucks.
What we see as Web2.5 is bringing that amazing customer journey that they have built into Web2 and bringing that into Web3. That's from the front-end standpoint. From the centralization standpoint, we look at things from, "How do we use biomimicry in the way that we build systems? How do we look at nature and the way that nature builds systems?"
You look at the human body and are like, "Not everything is decentralized." The same DNA is in every cell, yet I have a brain up here that's supposedly making all the decisions. This is enacting that. How do we allow the way that people want to be in an organization to emerge versus the feeling of how everything needs to be decentralized and that's the end-all deal?
DAO is a cool acronym. It's fun to say but it hasn't been all roses when it comes to DAOs in 2021. We have learned some things about DAOs that work and DAOs that don't work. There has been some dysfunction at one point in the past. There's a book called Holocracy that came out. That didn't quite work, either. Do you think there's a way to do DAOs that work? I'm curious about what that looks like and what we have learned from the DAOs that don't work.
When you try to go from 0 to 100, you must realize that you are dealing with humans and human behavioral dynamics. It's all good to have a technological ideal but human behavior doesn't shift that fast. When you are used to being in a certain type of social structure, and now you are inside of a completely different structure with almost no guidelines, you are in a state of emergence.
I commend these DAOs that have been attempting to do what they are doing because they are almost social experiments. That's how I see it. They are social experiments that have a new emergence structure. It's very leaderless and hierarchy-less. It has a collective decision-making process, which is messy. It's dark. However, when that process happens, it enables the emergence of deeper learning. We are in that process of reflection, witnessing what works and what doesn't work and seeing how we can create something that's more hybridized.
Richard Rudd, in his book, Gene Keys, which is an amazing book, talks about how we are moving from hierarchy to heterarchy and synarchy. Your hierarchy is your top-down pyramidal system. Heterarchy is a blend between hierarchy and more of a flat, collectivized system. Synarchy is more like everybody knows what each other is doing in the system. It's almost like a telepathic organized system. We tried to move from hierarchy to synarchy too fast. I don't think we were ready for it. That is one.
Two, the way that we have run DAOs is through ERC-20 tokens. There's a problem with this. You are making the same tool used for payment the tool you use for governance. Imagine if US dollars were how we governed the system. That probably wouldn't be very good because it would lead to the same type of control and power dynamics that we have like flash loan attacks and the ability to be able to immediately and easily aggregated. There are a lot of issues with trying to use ERC-20 tokens as both your payment and your governance token.
It also lends itself to people speculatively buying your tokens, not being engaged in your system, and hoping for the price increase, which is why you have such low engagement in DAOs among the holders. What we see is that for these future DAOs to work, you need a lot fewer people holding your token. You need to be able to have a small group of committed people who are holding and still have a lot of influence and sit in power.
You need to be able to understand the distinction between those people who are working full-time and those people who are your community participating in a project. This is why we have created an NFT DAO structure where NFTs become your voting and your governance keys to the DAO, which means that people who are in a project have to earn and get one of those NFTs or buy in a specific way.
There are many different methodologies in which people can get an NFT to participate, which means you are going to have a much lower amount of people in the DAO and a much higher threshold for participation, and because you have an NFT-based DAO, you can ban NFTs, meaning if somebody is a bad actor in the system, you can have a methodology for getting that bad actor out, which you can't do with ERC-20 tokens. There's no way to remove bad actors from the system, which is a terrible design in a system.
The fourth most important thing that we are building a system that allows for are two wallets, a creator wallet, and a community wallet. If I'm launching a creative project, I may not want everybody from day one to have complete agency and decision over my creation. That is a fallacy to say that it is the one way to do things. We have created a cool mechanism to allow on our fundraising platform the creators who create the launchpad to choose how much they want to give to creators or the creator wallet and the community wallet or the people who participate and buy-in.
We are creating a bit of a hybridized structure that works together. At any point, somebody can jump from the community to the creator’s wallet. At any point, you can be able to have people from the community that wants to have deeper participation but you don't take away the agency of the core creators to be able to have funds that they can use and distribute to create their creator project. We are playing with these dynamics. This is also a social experiment and a test that we are undergoing to try to solve some of these issues going forward.
I love that you brought this idea of creators into the conversation here. I'm curious how you see creators in Web2 versus Web3. What's new about this role of a creator in Web3?
Being a creator in Web2, you were at the behest of the platforms. This is what I was speaking about Unify earlier. You didn't have a lot of creative control. You didn't have control over your audience and assets. Even putting your stuff on iStock photo you don't have control over your licensing, structures, and agreements. It's hard to post on iStock and then Getty Images.
All that went along with trying to be able to create that Web2 is very restrictive. It was highly platform-restrictive. It didn't give creators a lot of agency and power. In Web3, the platform is more about facilitation and less about control. Creators in Web3 are demanding that. They are not going to participate with platforms that don't give them the agency and control they know they can have.
NFTs are a huge part of that because it demarcates the ownership of their assets, which they have come to realize is truly the power for the platforms. Web3 is about creators realizing their power and taking their power back. In DAOs, they now have a way to be able to create a coordination system outside of a label where creators can self-coordinate, self-aggregate, and represent collective power together as creators, which we are only beginning to see the realization of.
If all this happens, you still need patrons, sponsors, and the ability for advertisers to coexist within a community in a genuine or authentic way. We could not have created NFTLA without supporters. You are one of them. Our goal there was to co-create to give you a lot of value in return for you helping us to create NFTLA for the community. We appreciate that. In a DAO setting, how do you ethically integrate advertising?
You do it by proposal and acceptance. A lot of Web2 advertising was algorithmic. It was programmatic advertising. Programmatic advertising doesn’t give you any agency or say on what ends up on your platform. That's the problem. I don't think advertising is good or bad. When we say advertising is bad, it's a total misnomer. It's about how the system is driven by advertising and how little agency and control you have over it.
To give clarity to this, as you say that out loud, an interesting twist on what you said is the agency that you have over advertising. What I'm realizing about that is we have been given a certain type of agency over advertising but it's given completely to our dopaminergic system. The agency that we are allowed is almost our subconscious that gets to pick the ads based on what makes us excited in the moment or something like that. You are talking about a new type of agency where it's like, "I want to feel in control. I don't want the part of me that makes me feel out of control to be in control." There's a nuance there. It's an important point.
The last thing I will say on this is that we built a framework called a decentralized advertising framework, which was using a smart contract proposal and acceptance system where any influencer can receive bids from people who want to be able to sponsor their channel, logo, page, and ad and put advertisements on their stuff. Advertising is a huge boom for creators. Let's be honest.
Pretty much the entire creator economy is being fueled by advertising. To be able to say, "Advertising is bad," is naive. It's better to say, "We are giving more choice to influencers to choose what they want to advertise, who they want to partner with, how to structure those relationships, and how to have them more transparent on the blockchain." That's what we are moving toward.
I will add one piece there. At the end of the day, I use Instagram. I typed in fashion in my search bar because I wanted to see ads that would inspire me in terms of fashion to make something. What advertisement allows when it's done well is the connection of the things that we want. We went to NFTLA to find out about cool NFT projects. The fact that cool NFT projects were sponsoring it gave us insight into people that are doing things in the space.
It's about properly matching the clientele with the people that are offering the services. What we are speaking about is giving more agency to those two saying yes to that interaction, which means they are opting in. Anytime we opt into things, we are then taking ownership of our experience of it, which completely changes the dynamic of the relationship.
In its best sense, advertising is about finding out. I would never begrudge anybody if I've got contaminated water for them to help me find out how to purify it or something like that. That's the ideal future we are looking toward. We want to get to our next segment because we want to get to know you a little bit better with the Edge Quick Hitters but as we wrap this up, I want to hear a little bit more about SoulBound NFTs and governance NFTs. Could you give us something quick on what's going on there?
What we see as governance NFTs are what Raamayan spoke to. It's an NFT that gives you voting power within a DAO and the ability for SoulBound NFTs, which Vitalik has talked a bunch about. It's non-transferable. Once that wallet purchases it or is given that NFT, it can't transfer it. That person can be given those. We are playing with the dynamic between that and the dynamic between a DID or a Decentralized Identification so that you are connecting it with an actual person. If they want to move out of that community or project, they can still sell that governance NFT.
This is once the whole social experiment. There are a million ways to do these governance systems. We are looking at the core trim tabs and the small things that make the biggest difference to play with and understand as this system evolves that is in most support of people in terms of how they can contribute, earn for their contributions, and be in the community effectively. Our whole system is built on when the communities and projects thrive, we thrive. That's the end of it.
I love that concept too. It hasn't been something I followed much before doing some research about what you are up to. One of the things that get me excited is the idea of self-expression. People shouldn't be doing jobs that don't feel fulfilling. There's going to be a purpose for everyone. We want everybody to be finding that and be happy with the way that they contribute. Having something that's SoulBound, and I love that term as well, to who an individual is and how they express it is a beautiful concept.
It was a Google executive that I remember listening to that talked about how persistence and curiosity are some of the key pillars of everyone that they try to bring into Google. That's how they were able to innovate and be so disruptive. I feel that vibe in both of you and the team that you are building. Reflecting on your journey and how you got here, there is a lot of persistence and curiosity. From that creates Creation, which is a great name for what you are doing. Congrats on the rebrand. I would love to learn more about what's next and what our readers can look forward to from here.
It's the same with you. We have been around this space for a while. We are still here. I love the show. I was so impressed with what's put together there. It makes me want to continue this relationship and support you however we can because I felt a lot of integrity and a lot of genuine value being generated for everybody. You don't see that in a lot of places.
Thanks so much. We put a lot of heart into everything we do.
I could tell. That's why we are here. It makes it fun. What's next for Creation is that we closed our last round. We are opening a new one in October 2022. We are in beta development. Our goal is by Q1 to open up our beta. We have been taking beta applications. We have tons of amazing beta applicants who want to be the people who we launch through our beta launchpad.
What we are doing is building an NFT-based launchpad rather than an ERC-20 token-based launchpad. We are a launchpad where you presell NFTs, which automatically flips into a DAO. All the NFTs that you sell give you governance rights. We have a community management platform immediately. Rather than buying an NFT on OpenSea and hoping that somebody someday will create some structure where you have value and access to a treasury, our platform does it from A to Z.
The beta creators we are looking for are incredible creators with existing communities that want to make a real impact in the world because not only are we going to bring them and handhold them through our platform. We are also going to be investing in every one of the creators. We are going to be investing between $20,000 and $50,000 into all of our beta creators to bring them into the world. We are in that phase of courting amazing beta creators.
We already have a Burning Man camp. That's going to be working with us. We have a real estate project that's going to be selling NFTs. We have incredible communities like the Create community that are coming on board. We are sourcing who are these amazing beta communities with epic projects that we want to bring forth. It's a balance between existing Web3-heavy. We are also bringing some Web2 communities into Web3 because we want to play with both to see, "Can we create that bridge?"
That's beautiful. Creators want to create. I've moderated many panels with creators. The ones that went out of their way to learn about smart contracts, the mechanics, and everything have amazing stuff. They grinded it out. It's a hero's journey but ultimately, most of them don't want to do that. They want to spend all their time creating. If you can help them do that, then there are going to be more amazing creations in the world.
I will say one last thing to that because you are right. We have done a ton of market research to prove what you said. What is the Creation DAO? Creation Space is the platform. In the Creation DAO, we are starting to receive guilds. We want to create a videography guild, photography guild, developer guild, smart contract guild, admin guild, and social media marketing guild.
Each one of these guilds is going to have its autonomy. Every time our project comes through that says, "I want to build this amazing thing in the world," different guild members can vote on that project. If they vote, those projects can be funded through our token. You have an immediate roster of incredible vetted talent from these guilds that are going to be working with your project.
One of the biggest things for creators is finding a team. Who are your designers, graphic designers, videographers, and admins? Being a creator takes a village. That's something important about Creation to understand. We want to be able to align people resources, support you with funding, and then allow you to help grow your community. The creation and the revenues are distributed among those teams fairly according to smart agreement frameworks. That's part of what the DAO will be doing in 2023.
It's inspiring to talk to you. It's a great conversation. We are sorry we can't have Jeff here. I'm sure he would also love to be a part of this when he's out for this session. On that note, Jeff is usually our leader of the next segment, which is Edge Quick Hitters. We want to get there because we think it will be fun with you. Edge Quick Hitters is a fun and quick way to get to know you a little bit better. There are ten questions. We are looking for short or single or few-word responses but we can feel free to expand if we get the urge. Are you ready to roll?
This is the game flow portion.
Let's give you a heads-up. I will start with Raamayan on the first question. We will hit you each for each question. Josh and I will trade off questions. The first question is for Raamayan and then Christopher. What is the first thing you remember ever purchasing in your life?
You are not the only one. What type of candy did you enjoy?
I don't even know what that is. I will look it up. Christopher, what about you?
It's hard to say this but I'm pretty sure it was a Spice Girls CD.
That is a confession.
It reminds me that one of my early record purchases was Paula Abdul.
I remember that CD.
"Straight up, now tell me."
I have that one too. I'm guilty.
For the next question, we will go to Christopher first. What's the first thing you ever remember selling in your life?
That sounds appropriate. Tech guys are selling computers. Raamayan, how about you? What's the first thing you ever remember selling?
When I was nine years old, I had my first business. I was in Hong Kong. I would go to the different apartment buildings with big boxes and collect things people didn't want. I would sell it at the front of the grocery store. I made enough money to buy myself a ticket back to Vancouver.
That reminds me of Warren Buffett collecting golf balls from the ponds and selling them back to golfers.
Raamayan, what is the most recent thing you purchased?
It's a clock. My friend is an artist.
I don't have it here but I bought a dope Berber jacket in Marrakesh.
You are beaming in from Morocco, which is fun.
For future DAOs to work, you need a lot less people holding your token. You need to have a small group of really committed people who are holding and still have a lot of influence and say in power. Click To Tweet
One of the best things about traveling is those special mementos that you can take with you and enjoy. That's cool. Chris, what is the most recent thing you sold? I can give you a hint. I might know the answer. Was it a Genesis NFT?
It was a VEME Genesis NFT.
That's someone that doesn't sell a lot. Raamayan, have you done any bartering or sales since your NFT launch?
I have been selling a lot of tokens. That's one thing. I have also been selling a lot of my stuff here in DC because I'm heading out to LA for a bit.
Were there any painful sales? Were they all easy to lift off your chest?
It was selling my guitar. I've had this guitar for years but I have so many guitars. I had to sell it but I love this one.
The pivotal moment is the sales of guitars for moving purposes.
I traveled the world with that guitar multiple times in multiple shows. It was a thing.
I've had friends go through that. For the next question, we are going to Raamayan. Back to you. What is your most prized possession?
I have some beautiful altar items that I would consider prized possessions. They are things that have come to me through deep and profound experiences. I prize those more than any monetary object that I hold. I have a couple of amazing altar objects that I hold to my heart. There's also the harmonium that my grandfather gave me before he passed away.
When you say altar, are we talking about Buddhist chanting or something different?
I have a beautiful altar of items that have meaning to me. I keep it in my house where I am. It's reminding me of powerful moments and important reflections.
That's the definition of prized possessions. I love it. It's the first appearance of an altar. Chris, what about you?
My most prized possession, and I'm going to take it outside of the physical, are the close relationships of the community that is here building this vision of the future that we are talking about. The people that I get to be around and get to be building this with are what makes this worthwhile. When I think about it at the end of the day, that excites me. Do I like being on a computer ten hours a day? Not really, but do I love doing it with these guys and with you? Yeah.
What are we without the people we're working with and collaborating with? Back to you, Chris. Get ready. If you could buy anything in the world, digital, physical, service or experience, that is currently for sale, what would that be?
It would probably be a decent-sized town. It would be rebuilding the infrastructure of a town by implementing all the different technologies along with regenerative principles to showcase in physical form the things that we are talking about and allowing a place for people to come to visit that isn't like an eco-village or some destination that's all the way out there. It's like, "Here's a place where a lot of people live, create art, farm, have a connection with the land, and still use technology." It's not all the way one way or the other.
I was reflecting about that, being here in Peru and visiting some of these historic places with so much culture behind them but with a lot of people lacking and not with the same resources that we might have here. I couldn't help but think that if you had the money and you came in and started to build some infrastructure and help people out, there are a lot of simple things to implement. I love that answer. Raamayan, if you could buy anything in the world, digital, physical, service or experience currently for sale, what would it be?
On one level, I would love to buy Bill Gates' entire portfolio of land so I could take it away from his hands. He's the largest landowner in the US. I would love to create a gifting system where each piece of that land was gifted into a type of community that was all run and operated on the blockchain with DAOs. I have this amazing book right here. It's called Land. It talks about how our entire capitalistic system was based on the commoditization of land. That decommoditizing land and gifting it was part of the cycle to bridge us to a new type of structure. You can be as digital as you want but we are living on land where human beings need physical infrastructure. That may be my answer to that.
Bill Gates, somebody is gunning for your land. You better look out.
When you asked him, I thought he was going to save the world and then gift it back so that ownership is no longer a thing.
I didn't know that. I learned something. Bill Gates is the biggest landowner in the US. That's very interesting. The next question is for Raamayan first. If you could pass on one of your personality traits to the next generation, what one would it be?
What about you, Christopher?
Those are two cool traits there that we are talking about. Next question, if you could eliminate one of your personality traits from the next generation, what one would it be? Chris, let's start with you.
Aloofness. It's sometimes having such awareness and then being like, "It will work itself out," and not fully trusting my intuition, "You've got the ping. Motherfucker, do it."
Raamayan, what about you?
Greed is something I've worked through a lot in my life, which is a desire to accumulate. I realize how that puts me out of line and out of touch with my true values. I spent a lot of my life working through that from my lineages that have come from a lot of wealth to a place where I'm more of service, knowing that I'm going to be taken care of as I build for the good of the whole, rather than I need to have this idea that I need to extract and accumulate myself.
It starts by selling one valuable or prized guitar at a time. I hear you there. I'm good at suggesting decluttering to other people but it's a lot harder to do it yourself. That's an astute answer. I appreciate that. There are a couple of more questions here. We are going to start with Raamayan. What did you do before joining us on this show?
I had a call with Christopher, Austin, and Sebastian, finalizing details to sponsor another Web3 investment conference.
We will see you in Vegas. Here's a shout-out to our friends at Web3Expo. We are going to be there doing some media and trying to bring some new folks into this space. We are excited to see how that comes to life. Christopher, what about you?
We will keep it short because I was doing the same thing.
He was on the call.
We will see if we have a similar situation here. Christopher, what are you going to do next after the show?
This will be surprising if Raamayan pulls this one off. I'm going to go to a hammam and get a full-body scrub.
Are you getting scrub too?
This is on Creation time. This is what we pay our employees to do. Go get body rubs at a hammam. I'm going to be working on our updated white paper.
This has been exciting to get to know you better. It seems like this is the perfect time to cover at least 1 or 2 hot topics. There's a lot of interesting stuff going on in Web3. What do you think, Eathan?
Let's hit some. There are big players here to talk about. The first one is, "Starbucks to Offer NFT-Based Loyalty Program Using Polygon's Blockchain Technology. The company's Starbucks Odyssey will allow customers to purchase and earn digital collectible stamps in the form of an NFT that offers benefits and immersive experiences." I'm floored here. As with a lot of these evolutions where big brands jump in, they make sense but I'm very fascinated by the fact of how easily this stuff is happening. I've got my Starbucks Rewards app. Whether I like it or not, I've joined the tribe there. I'm tempted toward more coffees. This is fascinating. It makes sense.
They hired some of these folks that are launching this project in May 2022. May 2022 was about the same time the market started to go down. It tells you that they are thinking about this very long-term. Raamayan, you have a little bit of insight here, so a little birdie tells us.
Here's the part that I love most about this. The name of the CMO of Starbucks name is Brady Brewer. This is salient because this is so in line with our philosophy as well. He said this, "It happens to be built on blockchain and Web3 technologies but the customer, to be honest, may very well not even know that what they are doing is interacting with blockchain technology. It's the enabler."
Much of what we were speaking to before of top-level brands understand that the technological architecture behind Web3 provides a much more robust user experience, provides more security, and provides them to be able to deliver their brand promise way better but unless they are able to deliver a user experience that's so seamless that users don't have to do a bunch of convoluted crap to participate, they are not going to win. Big brands get this. It's time that these examples spill over to the rest of the industry. Starbucks is going to pioneer that for a lot of brands. Once people see the success they are going to have long-term, it's going to be an industry enabler.
This isn't window dressing. They are going to create these digital collectible stamps with different rarity levels. They are going to co-create that with artists. The ownership is going to be on the blockchain. They are going to give proceeds from these causes, not only to causes that matter to Starbucks but also to the members of the reward program. This is real co-creation. Here's a shout-out to these guys for being extremely thoughtful about this project.
I've met some people that have been working with them at Moonbird's casual soiree. These guys have gone deep. They have gotten people that know the industry and understand Web3. They're thinking about it interestingly. I wish them the best. I'm not normally a Starbucks drinker. I'm a coffee snob. I have to be honest but I may go by and pick up a latte to show some support here.
They are doing it the right way. Bear markets are times, as we have talked about ad nauseam in many different shows, is the time for the real builders, seers, and pioneers. You are always going to have your naysayers but there are so many people who have gotten wind and understand on a deeper level what real technology is. We are going to see them emerge, and we are.
It's great that we got a chance to fit this one. It's relevant. It's something super worth talking about. Big-ups to Polygon for making things like this happen as well. I'm sure their force was a big role in making this happen. We had a couple of other hot topics on the queue talking about Puma unveiling metaverse experiences and the emergence of Europe's leading NFT hubs pointing to a continent readying up for Web3 but that's a teaser. You can look that stuff up online and research more.
We are going to have to start wrapping up the episode. Let's get to a very important section, though. We have alluded to some of the folks you want to shout out. We have a section where we like to shout out members of the community and people we are connected with. Why don't you take a second to do your shout-outs here and give some love? Raamayan, who would you like to call out for this shout-out?
Two people I would love to shout out is Austin Davis. Austin has been in the scene since he started Blockchain Beach, which I'm sure some of you remember if you have been OG in this space being an event creation company. He has done so much for this industry. He has helped many people. He's a master weaver. We wouldn't be here without Austin. I want to give him a big shout-out. Thanks. He connected Joshua and me. That's an example of the master connected to Austinism.
The second person I would like to give a shout-out is someone I've only met once but I have a deep amount of respect for what he's doing in this space. It's Kevin Owocki. He's the Founder of Gitcoin. They're creating DAOs and grant programs to fund initiatives to support the commons. He has a podcast called Green Pill on Bankless. He did a four-part series with Daniel Schmachtenberger on how Web3 can be addressing the meta crisis. We need more of this voice, which is looking at how we pivot to systems change. If you are interested in that type of topic, then I recommend checking him out.
It's great intel for our readers for something they might not be aware of. Chris, you had at least one shout-out as well that we alluded to.
Besides my parents, it's one of my dear brothers who I sat in Men's Circle with for many years, Malcolm CasSelle, who passed away from a heart attack in 2021 and who was a true pioneer in the space, as Josh alluded to earlier in this episode. One of the men in my circle went and brought a prayer for him to Burning Man to the temple in 2022. His essence lives on.
One other one that I wanted to throw in there that came up as we were talking about it was Larry Keeley. He's not in the Web3 space but he was the guy that had me get my Master's in Design. He was the guy that I went to one brunch with that changed my life. He asked, "What do you notice in this room?" I'm looking at the people and stuff. All of a sudden, he breaks down all the design choices that were made for the way that space felt and how a small group of people can have huge impacts through the way that things are designed.
You shouted to a person as well as a concept. It's about time to do a little bit of our outro here. Before we do that, make sure it's very clear where readers can go to learn more about you and the projects you are working on. Raamayan, why don't you take it first, and then we will see if Chris has any other places people could go to follow?
We were VEME.com. We will be Creation.Space. That's going to be our new domain that you can go to. If you are interested and want to reach out, you can reach out to me at Raam@Creation.Space. If you want to be a beta creator and are interested, go to the website. There will be a beta creator form. We would love to be able to connect with you.
It's a great rebrand. Are there any other places to follow? Is that sufficient?
We've got a sweet giveaway here. I say that because they get to be part of a community that the show is also part of. You generously offered one Genesis NFT to our community. This is a valuable NFT. Is there anything else to share about this giveaway, Raam?
There are only 1,080 of these Genesis NFTs. There are ten different characters. We have had incredible actors. Uncle Iroh from Avatar: The Last Air Bender voiced over these characters. They are all part of collective mythology in a story about the birthing of the VEMEverse. Each one of these NFTs gives you access to our community and the DAO that's going to be there going forward.
I can't tell you the exact details of this but there's going to be a pretty significant airdrop that's going to be given to the holders of these NFTs. You usually have to apply to even get one of these NFTs. We are honored to give one of them away in the show. The one we're giving away is of the VEME goddess herself. It's the title of our brand. The other giveaway is that we are giving away some merch.
Thank you so much. We appreciate that. I'm sure our community will as well.
It has been an excellent time spent with you. We appreciate you joining us. We have reached the outer limit at the show. Thanks, everyone, for exploring with us. We do have space for more adventures on this starship. Readers, make sure you invite your friends and recruit some cool strangers that will make this journey all so much better.
How can you do that? Go to Spotify or iTunes, rate us, and say something awesome to spread the word. Go to EdgeOfNFT.com to dive further down the rabbit hole. Look us up on all major social platforms by typing EdgeOfNFT to start a fun conversation with us online. Lastly, be sure to tune in next time for more great NFT content. Thanks for sharing this time with us.
- Gene Keys
- VEME Genesis
- Starbucks to Offer NFT-Based Loyalty Program Using Polygon's Blockchain Technology - Article
- Blockchain Beach
- Green Pill
- Larry Keeley
- Instagram - VEME
- Twitter - VEME
- Spotify - Edge of NFT
- iTunes - Edge of NFT