Rollercoasters Before Souvenir Shops

The Status Quo: Souvenir Shop Syndrome

Crypto creatives have gotten into the bad habit of building souvenir shops before rollercoasters. The money has largely been there for the taking, but it’s mostly bread and circuses at the end of the day - eternally chasing the next thing to hype without really having a reason to build what you’re building.

Oh, the narrative is Solana bad because Solana go down - I should become Ethereum-aligned as a way to perform future potential. Oh, the narrative is utility is the be-all and end-all, I should airdrop tokens, fungible and non, to anyone holding my token, diluting the direction of what has meaning within my ecosystem. Oh, the narrative is X so I should write thought pieces on X, and if the narrative is Y I can pivot to writing thought pieces on Y. Or, and how about maybe, you opt to have some semblance of a ball sack, AKA an honest product.

Honest Products

There is nothing inherently wrong about a souvenir shop or even something that borders on a lottery, but when creators disguise souvenir shops as visionary endeavors (an amusement park with state-of-the-art roller coasters) while primarily seeking to capitalize on current trends for a quick buck, you create a dishonest product.

Products that openly position themselves as "souvenir shops" or "lotteries," are necessary, inevitable, play a unique and valuable role in the ecosystem, and like it or not, honest.

Casinos have always had PMF.

These projects do not pretend to offer more than what they are (in their current form); exciting, hype-driven experiences that provide quick thrills, the potential for rapid gains, entertainment value, and even help accelerate the growth of and awareness of a new meme/idea. No user is being misled.

Similarly, if your goal is to crowdfund using crypto-native rails, be honest about that. Alliance’s Crypto Startup Ideas list highlights an example for scientific research in the quote below, explaining how matching risk-seeking crypto capital with speculative ideas is also a big unlock, this is also the case for creative ventures. Creatives should leap at the crypto industry for this very reason, but they stay at arm’s length because the amount of dishonest creative crypto products have vastly outnumbered the honest ones.

“One of the biggest problems plaguing scientific communities is the lack of funding. And the lack of funding stems from the risky and speculative nature of scientific discoveries. On the other hand, crypto capital is risk-seeking, open-minded to new speculative ideas, and abundant. The idea is to match the two groups.

What Constitutes a Souvenir Shop

A "souvenir shop" in the context of the crypto creative space refers to projects and initiatives that are built primarily to capitalize on immediate hype and trends, without a strong foundational vision or long-term value prop. These projects often prioritize short-term gains over sustainable growth and meaningful impact.

How to Spot a Souvenir Shop

  • Do they tweet low-effort content?

  • Do they extract engagement or add to a conversation?

  • Do they have a stated mission?

  • Can you quickly identify a stated mission as bullshit?

  • Do the actions of the team contradict the mission?

  • Is their roadmap just the 🔜 emoji?

  • Does their communications strategy drastically change when price go up / down?

  • Do team members talk about price more than product?

  • Does the founder take screenshots of market cap more than they ship features?

  • Do they shift buzzwords & tag lines to fit “the current thing?”

This is not to say a bet on a souvenir shop can’t hit, but Jesus Christ just build something honest and believe in something other than the existence of a greater fool.

What Constitutes a Rollercoaster

A "rollercoaster" in this context represents a project or initiative that is built with a strong foundational vision and designed to provide meaningful experiences to its audience. These projects focus on long-term engagement, innovation, and genuine value creation.

How to Spot a Rollercoaster

  • Do they have a clear and inspiring long-term vision?

  • Is their vision reflected in every aspect of their work?

  • Can you easily understand their core mission?

  • Do their actions align with that mission?

  • Are they actively engaging with their audience beyond superficial interactions?

  • Do they create content that sparks meaningful conversations?

  • Is their growth strategy focused on long-term sustainability?

  • Are they prioritizing quality over quick wins?

  • Are they consistently bringing innovative ideas to the table?

  • Do they anticipate trends and proactively adapt?

Rollercoasters & Souvenir Shops (In That Order)

Applying the Model to CC0 Studios

I see cc0 studios evolving into a creative studio that lives on the frontier of crypto content creation, experimenting with novel nft/memecoin/onchain music/media etc. minting tools and platforms. But, first, we have to earn it. As Luca Netz would say, “create value before you ask for it back.”

Because we believe the future of content creation and consumption will be onchain, tokenized, and increasingly more speculative, we are building our amusement park first, roller coasters in the form of TV shows, Instagram reels, TikTok videos, GIFs, comics, games, IRL film screenings, art galleries, and rooting this content in internet/crypto culture. We become a crypto-native content machine that has earned the right to thoughtfully experiment with financialized products.

Think of it as if Kevin Rose just took his own money and made cool shit before selling you pictures of birds instead of selling you pictures of birds and quitting. We will win, not because we are curious and want to experiment with onchain IP and forms of content creation, but because we spent time laying a foundation for these experiments.

Because we are taking the time to build on existing web2 and crypto infra, we can pick our moments and experiment in a way where there is no question that we created value before asking for it back.

Learn more about the amusement park we’re building below. 👇

Want to help fund this initiative? DM @0xlawl on Twitter / @lawl on Warpcast

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