Here’s Why I’m Betting on NFTs | Where it Happens 

January 25, 2022

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Today’s episode is a great conversation I had with the guys (Sahil and Greg) over on the Where It Happens YouTube channel! We discuss how to get into the NFT and Web 3.0 world, where NFTs fail, how I go about my research process, takeaways from our biggest life lessons, ways to get more out of life and more!

Enjoy! Let me know what you thought.


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Check out Sahil and Greg here:

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YouTube: https://youtu.be/taaobzr-FCM

Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/where-it-happens/id1593424985

Transcript

this is the Gary vee

audio experience,

cheers. We are by the way, we are drinking tequila. Gary full disclosure

that fires me the funk up

como es tequila fire at the funk up.

So we're going to be you know, as unfiltered as we can possibly be. Um It's art

basel, Miami. Can't believe you're not down here. You gotta come

next year tomorrow. Oh no

man, We just missed you. All right, well we'll see you out tomorrow night, then we look forward to it. Well, cheers

so

Gary, you've been consistently right at predicting, you know, where things are, you know, are going and now, you know, we've been following the friends since the beginning. We love the project so much. Um what got you into N. F. T. Communities in this whole web three world?

I'm basically an incredible combination of my entire life, right? Like I'm in my office, obviously I put out a lot of content. So people have seen this like I've been collecting things my whole life, right? Sports cards, it's just who I am. Um wine collecting, and I've been, You know, at the forefront of consumer trends. And so there's videos of me in 2010 talking about virtual currency and farmville and you know, um just a brouhaha of events culminating with the explosion of sports cards again, which kept me even closer to collectibles, Covid allowing for a lot of interesting behaviors to pop up natural things that were happening like roadblocks and Fortnite and M. B. A two K. And mad and skins and I've just been watching the digital thing, being an early investor in ethereum and really just seeing NBA top shot and crypto punks happen and did my 30 40 hours of homework on the current state of N. F. T. S.

Not what I knew about crypto kitties in 2017 and basically did what I do all the time. Whether that was Snapchat or Tiktok or musically or podcasting or to your point, I'm very fortunate at this point to have a reputation of being solid and having a sense of what's happening and that's what happened to me. I I thought N. F. T. S we're gonna happen and they've happened and the way I've learned learned my whole career is by doing. And so I knew I had to have my own project. I've been working on a toy brand called workplace warriors for a long time. Um, and that in essence was the friends. So it wasn't hard for me to take these characters like patient panda and empathy elephant and turned them into an N. F. T.

Project instead of a collectible toys project. So I'm incredibly excited to be at the forefront of this stuff and N. F. T. S for me are an opportunity for human beings to create economies and economies are healthy when you bring value to the economy and I'm very good at bringing value to my constituents and that is my plan with this project.

Can you, I just want to double down on one thing you said right there. Sorry. So you said like the 30 to 40 hours of homework. You did. What is your process? So many people would benefit from hearing this. Like when you get excited about a new idea, you're a very curious person. Everything I've always listened to and read about you is just like your innate curiosity is very real. How do you go do that? 30 40 hours of homework? Like do you have a special way that you go into that rabbit hole to figure something out,

yep. First it's the mental commitment, right? It's like I'm doing this right Like so it starts with mental commitment because my time is valuable. Um Everyone's time is valuable. My time is valuable because of the opportunities I have, other people's time is valuable because people perceive their time is valuable so people don't like wasting time on something. That's a fad. I've always used humility and curiosity to say and intuition to say okay there's something here when it's something as new as N. F. T. S. I start with Youtube because I don't read well but I listen well and watch well. So it was literally like N.

F. T. 101 videos. You know and then then it was very heavy twitter search which led me to realizing people were very very aggressively active on discord. So then I joined a bunch of discords and then listening to podcasts read a ton of twitter hours and hours of twitter conversations had hypotheses, Googled those hypotheses, googled the counterpoint to those hypotheses important. Mm hmm. I'm very careful to not get caught in an echo chamber. I'm almost like a I'm a boxer. I'm a counterpuncher. Right? I I want to know the alternative, the right click and save the bad for the environment. The fads.

Like I want to know every counterpoint. I it's what keeps me from going in on things. That's why I'm not loud about everything. It's why I can be quiet or talk about the same thing for a year and a half. It means nothing has come along that is worthy of my reputational risk to get loud about. Um so that that's my process.

Let's let's talk about failure for a second. I know how bullish you are an N. F. T. S. I'm, you know, we're both super bullish. How does how does N. F. T. S fail that? You know, is there a world where this just doesn't pan out?

No, but That's the macro that says if you ask me this question in 1996 about the Internet, right, 99% of the projects on the open sea top rankings, top 200 right now are incredibly vulnerable against evaluation. Let me say that nice and slow, 99%. And by the way, for everybody's watching. But that's 90% or 93% or 99%. Like the far majority? I'm gonna do it right now in real time, I'm going right now to open sea, Yep, I'm going to rankings. I'm doing last, I'm gonna do all time. I'm gonna do the last 30 days all chains when I look at, you know, even the icons like board ape and crypto punks like doodles. Great project. Chain runners. Super interesting. Cool cats, Kryptos, I love gremlins.

Uh, cyber conchs killing an artifact, had their monster drop the littles has some momentum right now, right? Um um Swamp First is a cute little one that I'm pretty hot on um me bits and iconic one from the crypto punks comic doing everything right lately and structurally, in my opinion, the friends, my own creature world. I've been on the record of what I think about Danny called lazy lions. Really Emphatic community. Um, every one of the things I just mentioned vulnerable. So how do you, do you know why? Because they're too valuable right now. Right. But, but guess what, in what I just mentioned, There's an ebay and Amazon in 1999. The problem is there's a lot of

progress. The arrow of progress is pointing up and if you go and bet on the space the macro, it's headed in that direction. Block

does this block chains that do affirmation of ownership and contracts is here for the rest of everyone's life right here. So what is the right way then for somebody slowly when people say R. N. F. N. F. T. S. I say stuffed animals stuffed animals have been here to stay for the last 200 years. Not every stuffed animal company has turned out well beanie babies was a fad, strawberry strawberry shortcake. My little pony have been iconic, cabbage patch kids up iconic in some ways Disney stuff, other things you know the was als had a good year stuffed animals were here to stay. Not every stuffed animal toys and collectibles are here to stay.

Not every toy and collectible was worth money. Art is here to stay. Sports cards are here to stay. Not every sports card LFTs are here to stay for the rest of our lives. The far majority of projects in this gold rush cannot maintain their value because the supply of N. F. T. S. That are coming into the market is extraordinary.

So how do we create? I totally agree with you I think and I think it's like a great analogy that you're making to the dot com versed as an example pets dot com and the way I think about it is like okay if I'm a normal person then what I wanna do is I want to invest in the NASDAQ like I just want to invest in the index of the entire thing because

I know that it's headed that

way and it's gonna be amazing

and there's a bright future. But Miriam is ethereum. Yahoo and is going to win the first seven years of search and is Solano gonna come is it's Alana, is that ethereum? Is it something we don't know? The answer is you can diversify, I'm sitting on E. I'm sitting on other currencies buying a ton of different. The reason I went into N. F. T. S more than currency is my theory is if ethereum loses I can bridge over my crypto punks. Right? So to me the N.

F. T. Asset class feels in a lot of ways like an easier bet if you feel like you really know which FTS you want to invest in

but then you kind of need a way to do that because not everyone has your specific knowledge base or your ability to understand all the nuance and go and learn it. They're going to be people, my parents as an example, they might want to participate in this growth so that they can benefit from it in their retirement

but your parents will participate leisurely because they have a son who's going to be like hey you should buy this one or two your point, they'll buy Bitcoin or ethereum or or maybe in a year Salon or something else. That's gonna be it like like what people, you guys are youngsters, what I learned in 95 6789 10 4001 with wine library was at first everybody told me nobody would ever buy wine on the internet like at all. So that was where we're at now and if these are stupid right click all that right. It's so funny. I have a lot of friends in their 40s and 50s who became their parents people that don't understand LFTs that make that joke are the same people that didn't get a cell phone because they like their pager.

Yeah. It's easier to hate on N. F. T. On N. F. T. S I think than to embrace it for the vast

majority of the news alert. Everyone hated on the iphone over the Blackberry. Everybody hated on cellphones over pagers. Everybody hated on websites, over newspapers. Like again you guys are young enough that you haven't been through enough cycles. You know it you read it, I read about home computers, that's how I projected the internet. But like it's just super clear like people hate on all big shifts because they don't understand it.

So how do you figure out what you mentioned your process of learning about the one? Once you once you kind of start to have that inkling, do you just surround yourself or talk to the smartest people you know to figure out what are they excited about? What are they working on on the weekends so that you can then go learn about those things like how do you actually get that first spark of curiosity.

Either a random tweet comments on social, cold email because of where I am in my career or to your point, no question, Kevin Rose, one of the smarter consumer internet people. I know when we were talking about X men comics and Jordan's rookie cards when he said, hey, do you know what a crypto do you have a crypto punk? And I said, I'm not sure what that is, and he said, you remember crypto kitties? I was like, of course, like I had already known about Top Shot, I met Rohan a couple months before Top Shot launched. I knew N. F. T s were brewing. I was busy. It was the holidays last year. Last year was still very hardcore covid, so I was trying to navigate my company. Um, but as soon as he said that I'm like, you know what, I'm gonna dig in a little bit deeper. And so yes, and what's been really ironic, whether it's dave morin, whether, you know, it's kevin colorant, whether it's msg or harper reed or You know, Erin Battalion, you know, Scott Belsky, Mike, Lazarow, all these people that succeeded in Web two, right?

Um that I respected and thought were thoughtful, miraculously in january, february, all circling around like buzzers. I'm getting a text from friends that I haven't talked to in six months, six years Because we've all been a little bit out of the white hot moment of 2007-11 of Web 2? Sure enough, even even people that aren't in it right now, that are a little bit more discreet, which is why I'm not gonna mention them who really made some serious wins and Web to even they reached out in february March and say they're kind of demotivated or focused on other things, but even they were like, hey, what is this thing? Uh you could see the spidey senses of the people that really understand when shift changes and then a couple of icons, again, I won't mention them who really didn't get it and came back to me in the last 6 to 8 weeks and said, fuck. And I remember like being disappointed in them, like, oh, I lost, they lost their edge or they don't give a sh it, or or one of two things they got soft because they have too much money or the better version, they made so much money they're on to fixing the environment or the political system. They went out to risk it. Right? So, you know, it's, it's really fun to watch humans evolve. But yes, keeping People again, when you guys get to my age and you've got that extra generation, you're gonna have your whole little crew of the people you've decided over this decade or smart are good and you'll find it fascinating that in 20 years when the next thing pops off, you'll be surprised how many of them are. Like it's been a renaissance for some of my good friends of Web two and we're enjoying it because it feels like the old days, right? You can, you can, it feels like Web two os beginning when nobody understood social media and content. That's exactly what's happening with N.

F. T. S.

Did you, did you follow Aaron Levie in real time transitioning from like an anti Web three guy to like the most pro

Web three guy in the span of like 72 hours.

You know, Aaron was never really, we were never in each other's circle. Heavy obviously connected through a many different people but never really we never really got to chop So between that and just you know how much information is being thrown around and usually applied myself and seeing that I missed that. But it makes so much sense, right? Like all of us have to go through it. It's like, look, I invested in ethereum and Bitcoin in 1516. I kind of glanced at crypto kitties, I didn't buy one. You know, You're in what you're in and you get busy and you get your life evolves what you're able to capacity due in your late 20s, as different as your family grows up and like it, you know, like humility and curiosity will cure success to be good at this. I rely on those things. But even for me like there's a million things going on, you can't get to everything. What I love in what you just said is the humility, even with his success to be able to quote unquote, evolve in front of everybody and not fear changing his mind because I think changing your mind is a huge strength. I actually think there's a lot of people right now that are in a really tough spot because they've been very anti NF t. They've had the ah ha, that it's real and they don't have the humility to say they were wrong and they're going to double down on something they don't believe in and I hope they see this clip and it makes them feel comfortable to change their mind.

Yeah. So what you're saying is like, it's okay to change your mind,

competitive

competitive advantage. Like I'm never scared to say I'm wrong. I didn't see it. Uh huh. Like, like I love that. One thing that's funny about me is I do that all the time. One thing that people would be very confused by hearing because I don't think people should spend the time to really pay attention to me to understand every little nuance. I just never get loud when I'm not at 100%. If I'm at 97%, I won't make a single comment publicly about it until I crossed the chasm. That's why you see me get so loud. It's when I get to 100 musically Tiktok Snapchat uh you know, podcast N. F.

T. S once I get to 100 there's zero doubt in my mind and I go pop committed reputation on the line. But you should see, I mean, you know, you know, little VR content there is in the world for me Because I'm still in 97, I don't have my 100%. So I'm scared to say anything. I don't know. It's interesting. You understand, there's so much content of me on the internet. You guys know this plenty of people don't love my aggressive communication style and I'm empathetic to that if I gave people ammo of being wrong a lot, they would make unlimited videos of me being wrong. There's not that many, you know why? Because I don't try to say shit about things. I don't know

you're not scott Galloway with the, with the predictions on tech companies.

To me, that's, you know, I love scott too. And I'm not

to actually, yeah,

I'm scared to do that. I don't want, As a matter of fact, one of them, I got very lucky. There's a very funny video of me in a suit by the way, which is rare because I was doing this show, the daily, when the ipad came out and they asked me to do a prediction show and I fought like hell, I didn't even wear, this is, you're about to get a funny, very nerdy gary V scoop. I was supposed to wear a tuxedo for the New Year's episode, which I had because I'd go to weddings right. But I didn't wear it with the hope that they were gonna get upset because they were very professional and and like let me not do it. That's how much I didn't want to do a prediction show because I'm scared to predict ironically it turned into one of my best moments because I predicted that facebook was going to buy instagram and they but I don't like predicting, I don't predict I observe and then I'm emphatic about my observation when it crosses my 101 percentile belief chasm which is fairly rare. If you look at my content in the last decade, I'm only talking about seven or 10 things. I'm just not willing to be wrong if I can help it.

What do you what do you what do you observe around brands and N. F. T. S. So

I think it went through, I think it's gonna start interrupt. I think it's gonna be just like social 90% in front of him and garbage. 10%. If you remember early brands on social Zappos had a big move on it. That worked for them. There were some other brands that did a really nice job. Then you look at brands that were built from social gym shark, I just joined the board fashion nova another one. You know like Casper I mean we can go on and on with a lot of brands that were built in social. Um But 90% will be done poorly and 10% will be done awesome. You know I'm very proud, you're catching me at a funny time. We just launched our were working for four months on the Budweiser launched that we had and if you look at it was very strong yesterday because we really know what we're talking about to their credit, they really let us do the right thing and so you know Vienna N. F.

T. With Avery at the helm, she's amazing. We're going to do good work and a lot of other companies will pop up and do good work, build equity with brands and just like anything with brands, 90% will be atrocious because it would be a transactional short term cheesy tone deaf. Not understanding. But I do think you'll see some gems in there and brands have money and leverage access so they can do some really cool stuff with their smart contracts.

Right? So when we look at you know the open c you know, it's 2026 we're looking at Open sea last 30 day sales When when we went through that list, that was mostly Web three brands. Do we think, you know it's gonna be 50 50 you know, old school brands with web three brands, 75 25. Any any insight there.

Um I think it'll be 10% brands, 20% brands. I think you'll see publishers gaming companies like I. P. That we right now the friends board a cool cats. I. P. Getting established. But you're gonna see, hello kitty, you're gonna see the Flintstones, so you're gonna see some icons, harry potter, you're gonna see some new stuff. The friends of board ape is gonna feel like icons because we'll be old by then, new ship will pop up brands will be there really social media. You'll see jennifer Aniston joined late and get fired right, right, jay z joined late and you'll see charli d'Amelio on Logan paul build from there and everything in between.

It makes sense. The so the couple like the three pretty actionable things that I'm taking away from here and you talk about this stuff, one is like the importance of skin in the game. Like if you're gonna go learn something, you've got to put some skin in the game and that is the best way to learn because suddenly you're like really invested in it too.

It's like the willingness

to just admit, you don't fucking know something and not be afraid to admit that and continue to own that until you do know it. And for you, like you're saying 97% 96% for some people that might be like, you know, 20% 30% just continuing to say, I don't know, I don't have an opinion on this because I haven't earned the right to have that opinion yet. Um And then the third one for me is just like be willing to change your mind and go search for those counterpunches, the way you put it of the people that just disagree with you that you're like, oh ship, you know, I'm not actually thinking about that the right way I was flipped completely opposite of how I should have been. Like

those three things to me are

really popping out of what you're saying.

I think it's extremely good recap. You know, usually I'm pretty long winded, but I don't have much to add to that. I think that's the right recap. I think I think I have so much confidence, I have so much conviction and I have so much energy that what is incredibly difficult to see unless you're on the inside with me is I use humility as my biggest core driver. I'm not scared because I don't think I'm special. Like this is really important. I don't think I'm better than any man or woman. I really don't, I'm aware that I'm professionally successful. I'm aware that I have nice relationships, so are hundreds of millions of people. I genuinely believe what makes everything palpable for me and others that have something is humility. It's also what grounds you in the ability to innovate,

yep, absolutely. So I know we've got a couple minutes left, I do need to ask you the question of for any listeners out there. I mean I've taken so much personally from watching you and listening to your different um your different social accounts and things you've been saying publicly for years. Like what are the two or 3 pieces of advice? one piece of advice you give to An 18 year old, a 22 year

old and you

know, maybe they don't come from the best situation. They're not, they didn't grow up in a wealthy family. Yeah.

Is my new, I've been really thinking like, honestly look at number one, honestly, no matter Yeah, no matter what you come from, let me give you one that I think is a secret of life ready for this. This one blows me away. Not everyone has this many don't, but many do. If you grow up in a family that doesn't have a very big financial bag, middle call it lower middle class and down and you have happiness in your home, You are winning. If you are trained in the 1st 18 years of your life, that happiness and joy is not attached to money, you are unstoppable And you're looking at that person right now and I realized it when I started seeing patterns. If you're grateful for what you have instead of envious for what you don't have, you will always win. There will always be somebody with more money. There will always be somebody that's better looking, there's always somebody more athletic, better grades, nicer car. There always will be, There's also always going to be somebody that's less. There's 850 million people on this earth that do not have access to clean fresh water. There's nobody watching this video right now. That isn't in a remarkable situation compared to the eight billion.

I don't know what else to tell you. Like once you get there, once you really lean into gratitude, everything else clicks, I'm gonna give you another one since it's right here on my desk, number three is probably leading to the most happiness for me. I don't think our world right now is built on valuing accountability were in full blame mode and that's why so many people are upset

personal accountability,

it's huge. You talk more about that. Yeah. Yeah. When when you don't focus on what you've done wrong and you're in full blame game when you're in fingers instead of thumbs, you don't feel in control, which then immediately makes you upset. Like if you think it's the government's fault or your teacher's fault or your parents fault or your boyfriend's fault or your girlfriend's fault or your brother's fault or society's fault or luck's fault or if you think it's something else's fault you by nature or giving up control. Giving up control, feels very helpless and very desperate and I'm it does, I feel like accountability makes me happy. I think everything. Adventure media is my fault now, that's a very overarching thing, but here's where I go with it. If sally the VP screws up for rick the VP screws up. Well I hired the person that hired them the end,

right?

And I think that right now because of social media, the mainstream media are social arrest for a decade. It's just fucking you know, I've been thinking a lot about this lately that the world is very passionate to go blue and red, not just politically, just like how everyone's living their life and like so much of my happiness comes from purple. And I've been thinking a lot about that. I think accountability is incredibly important. I really do like what what have you done? Like it's almost like man, you could do anything. Like I love the fact that you can do anything. Like even if you don't like the country you live in no matter where you are Canada America Russia china, you know and everything in between. Like you could emigrate my parents did.

This is why I love web three by the way, is this exact idea. Like we've now had conversations with some of the most amazing minds and web

three and

one of the things that I just blows me away about everything about it is it doesn't matter if you're a kid on the street in India, my family is from India growing up with nothing or if you're a country club kid growing up in Greenwich Connecticut, you have access to the internet and you can contribute and you can be in these communities, you can get in a discord, you can talk to people, you can build with other people and the promise of that is so inspiring that it's hard not to get behind it and want to invest in it.

The end,

in the end, we just we just we just spoke to Geo, the co founder of actually infinity. And we're like, how did you co found actual infinity? He's like, I literally joined the discord and then I became a co

founder. He was mopping floors

in the district was like I was the community and I was like, I was running, yeah, I joined the discord.

This is a very special time. I hope people take advantage of it. I have to go to a family thing right now, so I gotta go. But it's a special time. Don't miss you're watching this video, you're ahead of 99% of the world. Do something about it,

cheers Well, we appreciate you Gary.

Thank you so much, man. We'll see you soon, cheers.

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