Yuga Labs, the company behind BAYC, is valued at $ 4 billion.
Trying to explain a success like this is an almost impossible task. There are so many variables, just like in any other complex system, that trying to isolate them and say that the one that really made the difference is an almost useless task.
That doesn’t mean we can’t analyze what Yuga did differently to make their first collection explode.
Luck, without a doubt, was one of the big variables. There isn’t a big company that hasn’t been lucky enough and not taking it into account in this type of analysis is, again, undermining the power of complex systems so present in the world we live in.
However, there are also other variables that may have contributed to the Yuga’s success. They would be: Roadmap; Pricing; and Commercial Rights.
When Yuga launched BAYC, there were already collections of NFTs on the market, although nothing compared to what we have today. The company was one of the first to think of the collection not just as collectibles or digital art, but as building a brand much bigger than all that.
The collection was one of the first to have a roadmap for what would be built and delivered over time. Although I don’t think from the start the founders imagined the company would grow to the size it has: The utility of the collection, in its beginnings, was to gain access to a digital canvas for apes owners to draw on.
At the time of BAYC’s launch, it was common for collections to adopt a Price Ramp launch strategy, i.e., the first items to be minted cost 0.01 ETH. The next 1,000 cost 0.02 ETH. The next 1,000 cost 0.03 ETH, and so on.
Yuga launched the 10,000 BAYC at the same price: 0.08 ETH. This pleased many collectors at the time and made many of them buy 10, 100, and even 1,000 apes at once (yes, it actually happened).
And finally, one of Yuga’s great innovations was to give Apes holders commercial rights to exploit NFT images. This made many of them start creating digital identities, products, and entire companies from their ape. If you can build something with that asset, it will be worth more for you, right?
This type of analysis often goes unnoticed by the mainstream media. They prefer to focus only on how much celebrities lose by buying their Apes, rather than focusing on the potential of the technology behind it all.
Will we return to the insane euphoria market of 2021? I doubt it.
But NFTs are here to stay and every day the technology gets better and more powerful. Use cases are just getting started.