Around The World In 10,000 NFTS

0x062E
February 2nd, 2022

After over 15.5 years at YouTube, I’m jumping into Web3 and joining the incredible team at Bright Moments DAO full time to help lead Operations, Partnerships and support our original content and intellectual property businesses.

About Bright Moments

Bright Moments is a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) that delivers unforgettable IRL minting experiences and cultural moments through persistent and pop-up NFT galleries around the world that support our own PFP project (Crypto Citizens) and the emerging Creator class of generative and digital artists. However, as with most Web3 organizations, the full picture is deeper and more complex. Bright Moments is a technology company and content studio, building software applications that allow us to create seamless experiences for collectors and artists along with a content and intellectual property business creating extensions of the Crypto Citizens project in ways that benefit our community and DAO. (more on Bright Moments below!).

A Little Personal Background

I started my career in Web1 as an early DoubleClick employee (1996-2001) helping to build the infrastructure for selling and serving advertising on the Web. In June 2006 I moved into Web2, joining YouTube as the 47th employee. Over the past 15.5 years, I have had the great honor to help build the Creator Economy we know today, from paying the first Creators ever on YouTube in 2006 and helping to launch the first version of the Partner Program in 2007 to my most recent role, where I oversaw our Creator Partnerships business.

Those who have had the foresight or luck to join similar companies at similar times know that participating in these tectonic shifts can be the most stimulating and rewarding things you can do in your career and your life. Even more so, when that lightbulb goes off, the opportunity cost of not diving into the next wave feels way too high.

I wanted to capture my thoughts and rationale, in the hopes that it might help others contemplating the same leap - or at a minimum provide something for me to look back on in a few years to see if my intuition remains a reliable guide.

Why Web3 and NFTs?

There is a lot of debate and skepticism around NFTs and Web3 generally at the moment. I believe this skepticism will pass in the same way skepticism around the Web pre-2000 and skepticism around YouTube, online video and Web2 faded into the dustbin of underestimation and bad takes.

Others have said this better than I will, but Web3 is aligning incentives between online services and their communities of users in novel ways that will be difficult for non-Web3 companies to replicate. Similarly, NFTs are fundamentally reshaping our lives by introducing digital property rights, scarcity and provable on-chain provenance of digital assets. These changes are already driving incredible value to early adopters through token airdrops and other mechanics and have completely transformed the digital and generative art landscape by providing significant direct revenue streams for creators, artists and musicians. All that already, and we’re still, as we like to say, very very early.

There is also a generation of web and mobile native consumers who place tremendous value in their digital lives and presence. Today, they buy skins in their favorite video games or post curated photos or short videos on social platforms. Tomorrow they will social signal through NFTs and PFPs. This is clearly already occurring and the tailwinds here will be very strong.

The culture use case for NFTs is already bullish before we begin to think about concepts like utility and membership. We’ll see NFTs provide provenance for physical and luxury items. Is that Louis Vuitton bag real or a knock-off? Tomorrow it will come with a corresponding NFT proving authenticity. That private members club you joined? Your membership card is an NFT which can be sold or traded on a second market as it goes up in value. Going to see your favorite sports team play or to see your favorite artist perform? You’ll mint an NFT at the stadium to commemorate that experience or use an NFT to get backstage access. I’m not saying anything new here, because these use cases are already happening with projects like PoolSuite, Steve Aoki - Aokiverse, LinksDAO, Proof Collective, VeeFriends and Full Send Meta Card.

We will look back on the pre-Web3 / NFT internet and it will feel as quaint and primitive as the internet did before the introduction of the iPhone and the mobile web.

Why A Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO)?

I have spent the majority of my career working in tech - mostly for start-ups that grew into more traditional corporations replete with the hierarchy and process rigidity that comes with that territory. And hey, there is nothing wrong with these corporate evolutions. It is why companies like Google or Meta or whoever can scale and become as successful as they have. But the dynamics of large traditional corporations are not always as fun or as collaborative as you may want when you are spending the majority of your waking hours immersed in those structures and the culture that goes along with it.

Admittedly, we are early in the emergence of DAOs and how they will evolve is unclear. However, by nature, DAO’s promise more collaborative environments with flatter structures and much closer alignment between the core team, an army of contributors and an engaged community who provide governance, feedback and can participate in potential upside in a variety of ways. I find the opportunity to challenge organizational conventions and learn a new way of working incredibly stimulating. I’m looking forward to being in constant learning mode, being in an incredibly engaging environment and having fun while I’m at it.

I don’t really want to wade into the Web2 Vs. Web3 debate, but I am really curious to see if traditional Web2 operating structures are going to be compatible with the Web3 shift that is underway. When new organizations emerge that are less hierarchical and have guiding principles of shared governance and driving value back to their communities, it may become increasingly difficult for more traditional corporations to put the incentives in place to recruit top talent and motivate and engage a community of creators and loyal users.

Ok, So Why Bright Moments?

As I mentioned above, NFTs will not only act as social and community signaling in our digital lives, but will also become a bridge between our digital and physical experiences. As this comes to fruition, we will need to create experiences that are more tangible and memorable than sitting in front of your computer pressing a button that says “mint” and waiting for a transaction to process. This is exactly the puck that Bright Moments is skating towards.

IRL Minting

Bright Moments is creating incredible IRL experiences around NFTs that build community, create deep connections between the artist, collector and artwork and are truly unforgettable.

To accomplish these immersive and memorable experiences you need technology. How do you seamlessly display live mints across 10 Samsung Frame displays in a gallery? How do you auction off ticket options to mint a generative piece of art IRL and then create a seamless experience for the collector when they arrive at the gallery? In many ways, Bright Moments is a software development company masquerading as an art gallery. The technology Bright Moments is building will scale and have applications for the broader Web3 space.

Crypto Citizens

Bright Moments is also building an incredible community of collectors for our own 10K PFP project. But unlike many other PFP projects that drop an entire collection in an afternoon, Bright Moments is building a global community by visiting 10 cities over 2 years and providing local communities in cities like Venice, CA, New York City, Berlin and London (with more to come!) the opportunity to join the community and DAO by minting live in one of our galleries or picking one up on the second market. It is an incredible experience and we’re building the best community where each Crypto Citizen NFT holder is a member of the DAO with equal rights, equal say and equal footing.

Original Content & IP

One of the most exciting developments in the NFT space has been the emergence of cultural brands that are creating new IP and surrounding these new properties with content, brand partnerships, games and merchandise. Companies like Pixel Vault and NFT projects like Bored Ape Yacht Club are already trailblazing with innovative brand partnerships, merch drops and have AAA game development in the works. Bright Moments has our own in house content studio that captures every single moment of the DAOs journey and expands the universe of our Crypto Citizens by developing Cryptoons that are equal parts Crypto Schoolhouse Rock meets Futurama featuring the voice talent of Crypto Citizen holders and DAO members like Greg Cipes, Andy Milonakis, Jamie Foxx, Lukas Haas and more.

Team

Probably more important than anything when embarking on a new venture is the team. One of the most compelling things about DAOs is that you can contribute to them in a number of ways and what started with advising on creator and content strategies grew into an invitation to join the team full time. I’ve felt incredibly welcomed by a Bright Moments team that not only executes as well as any team I’ve been a part of but also feels familial, adaptable, collaborative, diverse and dynamic.

Thanks to Seth, Greg, Luke, Jesse, Phil, Kristi, Louie and the rest of the Bright Moments team for inviting me into the DAO and asking me to join full time. Really excited for the adventures ahead!

Thanks

I’d be remiss if I did not extend my gratitude to some of the folks that helped me on this journey.

Patrick Rivera from Mirror was incredibly generous with his time over several phone calls and informal chats as I started my Web3 journey. His encouragement and advice both inspired me and showed me the way. Thank you Patrick. Indebted! (h/t to Zack Honarvar for the intro!). Yoel Flohr  for being my co-conspirator, thought-partner and co-investor in all things Web3 and NFTs (WAGMI!). Ryan Wyatt, Head of Gaming at YouTube and soon to be CEO of Polygon Studios, for all the convos as we both went down the rabbit hole. And Derek Taylor from FWB for great advice over a long coffee meeting at Menotti’s!

Most importantly, I want to thank my wife Talisa for being so supportive and for going on the journey with me by becoming an NFT artist herself! (@talisareeve on Foundation).

Anyway, thanks for reading! It’s probably nothing.

Jamie

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