Humanity’s greatest asset is our ability to adapt and evolve for any situation, and our ability to care for others. Social good is part of our collective DNA and the NFT space is responding with projects with heart. Jeff Kelley, Eathan Janney, Josh Kriger sit down for an insightful interview with the founder of DoinGud, Manu Alzuru. Manu describes how DoinGud was born, its focus on the creator and giving community, and its future in the space. Curious about social impact NFTs? Tune in and learn more from Manu and company.
Listen to the podcast here:
Manu Alzuru Of DoinGud – The Creator & Social Impact NFT Ecosystem, Plus: Impact Theory’s MerryModz, NFL NFT Tickets, Decentralized Disney, And More…
Check out this rocking episode to learn how doing good is doing great. Thanks for creators, givers and those in need.
How the computer, internet and Ethereum community collectively provided incredible leverage that has liberated our guest as a human.
Also, why rare marbles might be more valuable to a younger version of our guest. All this and more in this episode. Enjoy.
This episode features Manu Alzuru of DoinGud. It is an NFT marketplace and social platform focused on the future of creators and giving economies by bringing creators’ brands, curators, collectors and social impact organizations together to support one another and become self-owned, self-governed and self-sustained.
Manu, Cofounder of DoinGud is an engineer, humanist solarpunk and optimist who believes in humanity and its capacity to evolve and adapt for creating a more equitable future. Manu has led teams at multinational organizations, helped with the launch of multiple traditional and blockchain organizations is advising venture capitalists and angels and founded FightPandemics.com, a social platform where those who need help can connect with those who can provide it. Manu, welcome to the show. It’s a pleasure to have you here.
Thank you guys for having me.
We know you’ve been under the weather. We didn’t know if we’d have you live and in person but we’re glad you’re recovered. You’re on track. Although we would have enjoyed a little bit of a trippy episode on some fun drugs. We’ll save that for next time.
We have a lot of projects on the platform and social impact social good comes up a lot as a topic. It seems like it’s embedded in the DNA of what you guys are doing. I’m excited to dive into that.
Let’s do it. Let’s start at the beginning. How did the idea for DoinGud come up? How did this amazing team come together?
This story of how the idea of DoinGud was born is basically the story of my life. It’s been very difficult but it’s been also a great experience. It’s difficult because I lived in Venezuela before and I experienced governments taking away stuff from us and my family. I experienced the expropriation of land. Since I was a young kid, I’ve been protesting for property rights and also for freedom of speech. When I became an engineer, I started working with one of the largest oil service companies in the world. I realized how we humans value natural resources, human capital and social capital, which we don’t value.
I started to see all the problems that we have in our humanity and how we are using natural resources to extract as much value as we can. Before that, I was also building websites. When I realized what was going on with the oil industry, I decided to quit. After that, I got into a lot of trouble because I was protesting back at home. I was organizing a protest against the government and the government doesn’t like that. I had to leave the country.Humans, in general, want to do good. We just need to find ways and give them the tools so they can express themselves and do good. Click To Tweet
When I came to Europe, I started working again on the internet and then realized that the new oil is data. We were using data against users and exploiting users again but in another way. I got disgusted again by the industry. That led me to getting into blockchain years later after working in multiple multinational organizations. I explored the power of community ownership and the blockchain itself. As you mentioned, I also created one organization that was called Fight Pandemics. The idea at that was to create a platform that helps people connect when they need any help.
When I was building that platform together with over 1,900 people from all over the world, we didn’t raise one single US dollar. It was only people contributing to something that that they wanted. The idea at that time was to create a social DAO but I realized that most people didn’t get the concept of community ownership and community-driven projects. I realized that we needed to combine human capital and social capital with financial capital.
When I saw what’s happening with NFTs, I thought that this was the perfect combination because you don’t lock so many types of new capitals or a new type of value that people don’t necessarily need to understand but they know that they exist. That was easier to understand than managing a social platform that was community-owned. To me, NFTs were perfect. Why? It’s because when I was still being Fight Pandemics, I also realize that most of the people that were behind nonprofits and NGOs are artists and creators.
To me, it was quite a click that we need to bring the creator economy and the giving economy together because there’s a huge overlap in those two economies. That’s how DoinGud was born. The initial group that I started working on DoinGud came from the Fight Pandemics project. It’s been just friends and friends of friends that have been joining, supporting a lot and here we are.
First of all, compliments on your activism, optimism and your willingness to keep going through difficulties and the awareness that you’re bringing to these things. Sometimes, we can turn a blind eye to things but it seems like you’re moving with eyes wide open, which is exciting and inspiring to me. I’m sure a lot of our readers as well.
To comment on your idea of these new forms of currency among artists and givers, we won’t focus on this on the episode but we were releasing our Spirit Coin project along with Nicole Buffett. One of the essential principles we’re celebrating with her is digital art as a new form of currency. We totally resonate with what you’re talking about. My next question is for readers who are unaware, what is the DoinGud ecosystem? How does it go about elevating art and creators?
We call DoinGud an ecosystem because we’re not only a marketplace. Initially, we’re starting as a marketplace. As a platform that enables creators to come in and tokenize their creations in the form of NFTs and stream some percentage of their sales to social causes that they care about. This is how we’re starting but the idea is that we distribute ownership to those people that are contributing to the protocol. We can collectively curate all the different social causes that are listed within the protocol. The protocol could be used by DeFi, by DAOs and by other different financial instruments.
We’re starting with NFTs because we see that there’s a huge overlap between the creator economy and the giving economy right away. We think that humans, in general, want to do good and we just need to find ways and give them the tools so they can express themselves and do good. The idea here is to go beyond NFTs and enable these protocols to become a way for us to show to the world that we humans can do good for ourselves and for the world.
We’re seeing over and over again these themes in crypto and NFTs of giving back and how well that’s working. We brought on someone from Endaoment, this organization that goes to nonprofits and says, “Don’t turn down those crypto donations because you don’t know what to do with them because you’re going to get a lot of them and it’s going to increase.” They facilitate the distribution of those cryptocurrency donations by making it easier for sometimes slow-moving not-for-profits to hop on board and benefit from all this. It’s a wonderful trend that’s going on and I appreciate you being yet another arm that facilitates that.
A thing that people haven’t realized is that we can make net-positive games instead of creating zero-sum games because when you give, you’re losing while you’re giving but what if you could earn by giving? You can create different mechanisms that empower the community that gives and create a more sustainable ecosystem.
For us, that is about rewarding people for giving us their time, attention and spending that very valuable awareness of theirs on what we’re doing and everything that we’re about. There’s something in there that’s special that is elevated within the NFT community, even above and beyond the general crypto community and blockchain community. It’s one of the things that we’re most excited about in this space and. It’s exciting to hear you talk about that because we’re much aligned.
The fundamental idea needs to be emphasized to our readers that you can have social impact projects with NFTs, where everyone can make money and the cause can be benefited at the same time. This is the power unleashed with NFTs, which leads me to some curiosity about your announcement of your launch. This is pretty exciting news. I know how much goes into these launches. What can people do on day one and then what are some of the features down the road and how do these features differ from what’s out there already nowadays in addition to this contribution component?
Let’s start with the first one. What can people do is they can come to the platform and create a profile. They are going to be able also to participate in the different drops that we’re going to be having. This is a soft launch that we’re doing initially. It’s not going to be open for people to start minting and creating NFTs themselves but later on, at the beginning of Q1, it’s going to be open for everyone.
We see ourselves as a platform that is open for all the different creators but the main differentiator is that we have a curation element that is going to be community-owned and community-driven. What that means is that we can collectively decide who are those creators that we want to have within the platform, not have all of these decisions made in the back of the horse but made together with the community.
Another thing that is important to say is that the NFTs are not going to be directly minted. They’re going to be minted only when they get bought. We’re not using resources of the blockchain that are not necessary. Another thing that is important is that we’re envisioning a multichannel ecosystem. In the same way that in the real world whenever you buy an asset, you’re thinking, “Where should I put this asset? Should I put it in the world? Should I put it in a vault? Should I put it in a museum?” In the digital world, we believe that it’s going to be exactly the same.
Collectors are going to think about where they want to hold their assets. Maybe if an asset is worth $10, maybe they want to hold it on Polygon but maybe if the asset is worth a couple of hundred thousands or millions, maybe they want to hold on to their Ethereum because it’s more secure and stable for them. We want to enable the creators to do what they know best, which is create and not think about anything related to the blockchain but the collectors who are the ones that care where they’re going to be holding their assets, they’re going to be selecting in which blockchain they want these NFT to be minted in.
This is something that we think is going to change the way that people interact with NFTs because we also don’t want to block the creators to one chain. We believe in the multi-chain world. We believe in pluralism and in different forms of expression. We want the creators to focus on what they know best, which is creating. At the same time, be able to collaborate with multiple creators to have up to 200 creators in one creation and split all the different revenues between all the different collaborators, not only in the primary market but also in the secondary market as well.
The donation part is a minimum of 5% in the primary sales and a minimum of 2.5% in the secondary market. That means that the creations are always funding public goods and public infrastructure. Another thing that is important to mention about the platform is the way that we envision NFTs or how they should behave. People are storing NFS only on IPFS but IPFS for those that don’t know is not a permanent storage solution. IPFS is a protocol. If you don’t pay those node operators, they can drop the data that is being hosted on IPFS.
We talked about that before in the show that not all NFTs are created equal and people often don’t know the code that they’re buying.
The idea here that we have is to make NFTs more resilient. You might be asking, “How can we make NFTs more resilient?” What if we had on IPFS but also we had on Filecoin, AirWave or Sia and all these different decentralized storage networks so if one doesn’t work, there’s another one that still has all the beta of the NFT so that the NFT is resilient and hopefully it could be permanent.
There’s a lot that you covered there. I want to go back to the governance, the DAO and the choosing the charity side. Could you elaborate a little bit more on how you’re balancing what the creators want to support versus what the collectors want to support and how those decisions get made? Are there any nonprofits that are off the table like extreme political causes and things like that? Is it truly up to the community on how that would work?
Initially, we are not a DAO/Jet. We are a team that is building the basis for these to become a DAO and to be managed as the DAO. I’ve been in the DAO space for a while, I’ve been participating in the ecosystem for years and I have realized that you cannot release a project and call it decentralized from day one because that’s not the reality. That’s not how things work. There are a lot of information asymmetry and things that people don’t talk about and we believe that the best way to create a solely decentralized organization is to do it progressively and to do it with consciousness.The best way to create a solely decentralized organization is to do it progressively and to do it with consciousness. Click To Tweet
What that means is creating the values that everyone is aligned because if all the stakeholders in an organization are not aligned with the values then it won’t go where you’re aiming the organization to go. We are taking a step back and building the foundations for this to become a decentralized autonomous organization. Initially, we, the team, are curating those organizations that are being listed within the platform. The way that we’re doing it is we’re doing KYB, which is Know Your Business and KYC, Know Your Customer.
We’re doing KYB for the organization and there you will find that the people behind those organizations are who they say they are. They can then become an approved organization for the time being. We don’t know what organization is doing a good job or a bad job and it’s not our job to decide that. It’s the job of the community to decide what is good and what is bad because what is good and what is bad is very relative.
Now something might be good and tomorrow, it might not be good anymore. We want this to be very flexible. Initially, we, the team are selecting those social causes based on what the creators that are going to be on board initially want to support. It’s the creators who are deciding what organizations are going to be receiving money from their creations. It’s not coming from their pocket. It’s coming from what they create. Whenever it gets sold, a percentage goes to those social causes.
The way that we envisioned this organization is that after we have our token out and so on is that we can collectively decide who are those organizations are listed within the protocol. Maybe one organization might be listed now. They might be receiving funds for a couple of months but then we realize that their organization is not doing what they say that they were going to be doing and we can just relist there as a collective. We can decide, “This is not up to the standards that we want.”
I totally get it now. I understand the pushes and pulls there. What you’re doing is quite similar to a project you probably weren’t expecting me to mention the same show, which is a SuperDoge. This is a cartoon animated series formed from a meme coin. We did a show with them. What the creators did is they chose three charities at the beginning and then the community got to decide if those charities continue or other charities got nominated and they got voted on by the community based on a governance process. Essentially, what you’re saying is you’re going to kickstart things, send things in the right direction and then let the community support the future progress from there.
We’re setting as a foundation and then hopefully can run by itself and be managed by the community. That’s what we’re aiming for.
Speaking of the community and the creators in the community, could you fill us in on what artists are in the platform and in the ecosystem here ahead of the launch?
When we’re going to be working together with H+ Creative. They have multiple creators within that collective like Render Fruit and Skeeva. Also, we are going to be working with the guys from Blunt Action, Jewelsmart, Allison Bamcat, Ben Heim and Chris McCann. We also have another platform that is called Agora. Agora has over three million users and is a community-managed platform for photographers. They have selected the best photographs for the 75 years of the United Nations. They have 75 pictures in the United Nations headquarters. They curated with the community.
They also have curated the best pictures of 2021 in black and white and so on. They’re going to be auctioning all of this directly on our platform and we’re going to be working together with that community very closely. That’s going to be one of the first cases where it’s going to be a combination of communities coming together and doing good for humanity. This is one case but there’s going to be more different projects that also are community-managed, owned and so on that are going to be working together with us. These are the initial artists. The idea is to kick this off and have this soft launch until the end of 2021 and then make it open. That’s the goal.
We talked about this flexible structure with a strong foundation, bringing art creatives on board and also organizations that get to benefit from everything. Can you highlight some of the social causes that you’ve welcomed ahead of the launch? I know there’s the Tanzania Development Trust that you’re working with. Can you tell us a little bit about that or other projects that are on board?
We have the Open Earth Foundation, Rainforest Foundation, Every Shelter and Crucis ex Rosas which is a Latin foundation. We have the Blockchain Education Network, KABOOM!, Malala Fund, Save the Children, United Way Worldwide, United Way Miami, Musicians on Call, Ocean Defenders Alliance and multiple more that have been requesting us to be listed as well within the platform.
Initially, we’re starting around 30 but we have received over 280-something requests to be listed on the platform. This is the very beginning. Another important thing to mention is that the platform is going to be also in multiple languages as well. We can cover the communities that haven’t been able to use NFTs if they don’t know English, for example. We want these platforms to be more than a platform. It’s going to be a movement.
First of all, there are quite a few that you mentioned and that’s interesting to hear. It’s also interesting to hear the diversity, everything from Save the children to United Way to music-related projects and projects that are supporting poverty, water, technology and things like this. I love the diversity that’s offered as well.
It’s consistent with the diversity of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. I think there are seventeen. I’m curious, more specifically, how you’re curating around those specific sustainable development goals.
When you join the platform, the first thing that you will see is that before you can do anything, you need to select the sustainable development goals that you care about whether it’s climate change, gender inequality or any of those problems that you want to help solve. All of these sustainable development goals are the gateway or the door for showing you all these different organizations because an organization can support multiple sustainable development goals. There are some organizations that are focusing on climate change but also focusing on having clean water or stuff like that. They are themselves. The ones that are saying what are the things that they like, what are the things that they’re trying to tackle and based on that, they are listed within the platform.
You should check out a company called The Canvas. This is a store that’s in New York as well as Germany. Now, they have an economy store and they’re built around the sustainable development goals as well. For every project or product on that store, they have what sustainable development goals are associated with. There might be some cool collaboration there.
That sounds great. That’s one of the things that we want to raise awareness of. A lot of people in the NFT space are talking about climate change but we as humans, have way more problems than only climate change. There are people still that don’t have food on their table, don’t have a roof and even water. We need to solve those issues. Climate change is one huge issue that we need to come together, coordinate and hopefully solve but we need to be conscious that there are way more than that. We need to support all of these different causes that are trying to solve these problems.
I’ve heard people talk about the Rising Billion. There are so many entering the population and some of us are in a developed world where things are a little bit easier to manage and we’re nourished, sheltered, resources and education. There are those that don’t. I love that you’re highlighting that as we support the least among us. They become contributing members of this problem-solving community. They can start to contribute to the economy and be part of the solution to everything.
One cool thing about NFTs is that we can use that as a positive thing because you can brag about doing good for humanity because you have this proof of doing something. What’s better than okay supporting a creator, buying something that you like and at the same time doing good for humanity? To me, it’s a no-brainer.
You’ve put so much work into this with your team and the community. It’s well thought out and as you noted, it’s just the beginning. We’re excited to see where you take this thing. We all gain inspiration from a number of projects in the space. We were curious, is there a set of projects that you look to for inspiration, a concept or a platform that you’re excited about?
Ethereum in general liberated me as a human, first. Second, within the community, some projects have been pushing the boundaries when it comes to funding public goods. One of them is Gitcoin, which is a project that has been funding open-source software development and it has created a massive ecosystem. The crazy thing is that people were donating to all of these different projects that were being created. After all the donations that they give, they receive tokens from the Gitcoin DAO. Now, we can collectively curate what are all the other different projects that are at least within Gitcoin grants.
In Gitcoin, every quarter, they have a round of donations. People come in during those rounds of donations and they give money in. They have a pool and the way that this was created was based on donations from other big players like protocols, blockchain companies or some blockchain philanthropists. They donated to this pool and this pool is used for matching the donations DAO are giving to those open-source projects. It’s like a double matching system. To me, Gitcoin is one of those projects that has been giving me a lot of inspiration and hope for humanity.Gitcoin is one of those projects that has been giving a lot of inspiration and hope for humanity. Click To Tweet
It gets me pumped up. Your enthusiasm is definitely contagious. It’s so much fun to hear about everything you’re working on. We wanted to piggyback off of all that enthusiasm, all that interest and everything you shared about doing good. I’ll ask you some questions from your personal perspective about things and I think we’re in for some fun answers. It’s a segment that we call Edge Quick Hitters. It’s ten questions. We look for short single-word or few-word answers but you can expand if you feel the urge. Are you ready to dive in on these bad boys?
Question number one, what is the first thing you remember ever purchasing in your life?
Marbles. I loved marbles when I was a kid. My parents used to give me some money to buy food in school but I will not eat and I will buy these rare marbles. I had a lot of those rare marbles.
Question number two, what is the first thing you remember ever selling in your life?
When I was a kid, I was buying a lot of stuff online and reselling it online. I was buying stuff from the US and I’m from Europe. I was hustling here in Venezuela. Whatever I saw that was a good price, I would buy it and resell it back at home.
What’s the craziest example of something that you bought and resold?
It’s BlackBerry. At the time, they weren’t the elite phone in Venezuela. I was buying BlackBerries.
Question number three, what is the most recent thing you purchased?
The most recent thing that I purchased is an NFT.
Anything you wish to disclose?
No problem. Question four, what is the most recent thing you sold?
The most recent thing that I sold is some crypto. It’s sad but I had to sell a little bit.
Question number five, what is your most prized possession?
It’s definitely my computer. It’s what liberated me. It connected me to the world. It gave me so much freedom from a country where I had no freedom. My computer, the internet. I don’t own the internet but the internet for sure is something.
It’s a collective possession especially when you look at Web 3.0.
It’s a public possession. To me, the internet.
Question number six, if you could buy anything in the world, digital, physical service and experience that’s currently for sale, what would that be?
It will be plane tickets for my family to get the hell out of Venezuela. If I could buy passports for them, I would buy a passport for them as well.
Let’s move to question seven, if you could pass on one of your personality traits to the next generation, what would that be?
Optimism.If we give more power to the community to decide where the stories goes and so on, it could be a heavy hitter. Click To Tweet
We see that shining through in this conversation. Question number eight, if you could eliminate one of your personality traits from the next generation, what would that be?
I’m going to say it’s trust because I trust too much and I’ve been fucked too much for trusting too much.
It’s a tough one. That’s for sure. I appreciate your candor on that. Let’s do something a little easier then. Question nine, what did you do before joining us on the show?
I was on another call.
Question ten, the last one, what are you going to do next after the show?
I’m going to call my mom and say that I love her.
That’s the cherry on top of everything.
She’s been calling me and I haven’t replied to her. I have ten missed calls because I was sick. She’s a doctor. She’s always worried. I’m like, “I need to give her a callback.”
That’s Edge Quick Hitters. Thanks so much for sharing with us. That’s a lot of fun. Ethan, what do you say? Do we have some hot topics to dive into?
Let’s get into those hot topics. First on the list here is Tom Bilyeu and Impact Theory Studios’ upcoming NFT drop Merry Modz. “It’s a holiday-themed generative NFT collection that will be announced on November 9, 2021. Creators Tom Bilyeu and Francisco Herrera, Tom is Cofounder of Impact Theory Studios as well as an accomplished screenwriter. His partner is Francisco. He’s a celebrated artist creator who has worked with Disney DreamWorks, Marvel, Dark Horse and other top studios and publishers.”
We had Tom on the program a handful of episodes back. We got to meet him in person when we were at NFT.NYC. One of the most striking things for me and we probably share this opinion is he dropped the NFT collection, raised some funds and getting right down to doing other stuff like building, creating and generating new things out of this whole NFT tidal wave.
We were originally going to have Francisco on the show but the stars didn’t align with everyone’s schedules. We’ll see Tom most likely in Miami. I’m excited. I minted some Merry Modz and it was a very smooth sailing process. He delayed the launch and with the typical radical honesty that Tom has, he found some contract issue and he wanted to fix it.
It went off without a hitch. The idea that he’s going deep into unique IP and creating amazing content, that’s a fantastic use case for NFTs and I’m excited to check out Merry Modz. Who doesn’t love a good Christmas story? There’s Santa, a character Catarina, a snowman and an elf. That does it for me.
It’s pretty exciting creating all that IP. We have talked about it a long time like creating real shows based on NFT characters. You talked about SuperDoge. We got the guys from Impact Theory doing this with Merry Modz. Gary Vee has talked about it with his characters, all the different VeeFriends and a number of different things in development.
We’ve talked about the Patient Pig that we saw Logan Paul walking around with over at NFT.NYC. It’s cool to see the words put into action. It doesn’t always happen with businesses and it definitely doesn’t always happen in the world of crypto but it’s happening here in the world of NFTs. It’s neat to see. I’m pumped.
Manu, any other thoughts on this particular hot topic?
We’re going to see more and more TV shows and stuff like that where the community is the owner of those characters. I’m personally pumped about collective creation. If we give more power to the community to decide where the stories go and so on, it could be a heavy hitter.
Highlighted here in this article that Merry Modz NFTs were available for presale for Founder’s Key holders. That’s another way that we’re seeing these patterns in ways that folks who have NFT collections and communities are continuing to deliver value in the long-term. One of the wonderful instruments that we’ve seen with NFT is wallet addresses that are holding NFTs. It provides such a frictionless way to add benefits at any time that you want it with an ID that you don’t have to have a password and username for. We say, “If you’ve got this, we’ll give you that.” It’s cool. The other thing on top of that is that he has a long and strong roadmap behind all this stuff. I wouldn’t be surprised if, in another few weeks or a month, there’s something else that adds utility to that initial collection that he released.
Onto the next hot topic, “The NFL is attaching NFTs to tickets and the Lions Thanksgiving game is on the list.” “Along with their usual dose of sports, beer and violence, NFL fans will also get a digital token included with the purchase of tickets to certain games this season. They are NFTs from the NFL.” Manu, a lot of this stuff’s going to get integrated with popular entertainment and sports are right alongside that.
One of the interesting things as these larger brands and organizations integrate NFTs, it is curious to watch from an outsider the insiders and the outsiders. Some people say, “I’ve got an NFT with this.” They’ll be disinterested and won’t understand and seeing how things transitioned into a wider understanding of things is what I’m curious about.
In the future, people are going to be bragging about, “I went to the first concert of this creator. I discovered this guy in this specific place,” and you can prove it. We’re going to see this everywhere.
It’s one of the fun things. My mom grew up in Los Angeles and I was fortunate enough to be around when some of the coolest like Jimi Hendrix shows came through the Hollywood Bowl and she would talk about it. She’d be like, “My ticket was eaten by a rat at my grandparents’ garage.” “It would’ve been amazing to see that thing and feel it.” This is creating that into perpetuity and improving it. It’s so much fun to be able to have that experience and know that you can depend on it forever. It’s cool to see.The next Disney is going to be communities and multiple communities coming together. Click To Tweet
I remember when I went for the first time to Disneyland. I had the ticket and you don’t want to lose it. It was worth nothing but for me it was worth a lot. It was worth memories and stuff. People that don’t understand NFTs yet haven’t realized that your identity is built with all these experiences that you live. Now, you can have a digital expression of those experiences that you lived and you can bring them with you wherever you are. More people are going to realize this once they realize that their own identity is dependent on so many stories and things that they have left.
For example, as a kid, I used to collect as a set all of these tickets from Disneyland or if I went to a super nice concert, I will keep that. If I watch a movie that my dad gave me as a VHS, I will save that in a small box and I wouldn’t want them to be thrown away. Even if I wouldn’t watch them again, it was my memories and my things. We are interacting way more now with little things. To me, it’s obvious that these are going to bring your memories back.
We get an interesting mix on the program, probably more than the typical population of minimalists. Even though we talk about owning things and proof of ownership, there are folks that don’t like collecting physical objects per se, although we have had a few hoarders. It is interesting because you do run into that issue. There is that sentimentality, that wonderful feeling that you have when you get to pull that thing out that’s so important to you and take a look at it. There’s this ingredient of making it all that much easier, to have these memories and to hold these memories without having to hold on to things in the physical world.
I personally have become more minimalist as well. I’m traveling all the time or moving from one country to another so I don’t want to be carrying too many things with me. Having these memories in a digital way is amazing.
I’ve got some bowling trophies in a cabinet here that I’ve kept from when I was ten years old. I’m going to NFT these bowling trophies as another level of holding onto these things. Do we have time for the next hot topic? Should we call it?
We talked a little bit about Disney naturally here, “NFT Makers are Trying to Build the Next Disney.” As NFTs explode in popularity, entrepreneurs are imagining entire media industry that’s built around them.” Yes, indeed. “At its most ambitious, the vision is sometimes dubbed a “decentralized Disney” a world of fictional crossovers like the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its many spinoffs but where different characters and creative properties are owned by a panoply of fans, not a single company. Talent agencies, comics authors and countless NFT enthusiasts are buying in.”
It’s a fascinating concept. I was reading back to our episode with Asad from Jadu Jetpacks. He’s one of those characters that’s facilitating this thing, “Let’s take all these NFT collected characters and give them Jetpacks and Hoverboards and allow them to play in a universe of augmented reality.” It certainly sounds fun.
The people that have the leg up as they do with NFT drops and whether they’re a pure IP or functional, are the people that do have a community built in already and that have IP that people are connected to already. If they were smart, Disney and everybody else will be moving super quickly to tap into that community on the collaboration front from a creative perspective and to collaborate with other similar IP holders with similar communities in a cross-functional way.
If they were to do that, they would cement their position in a way that would be impenetrable. They’re generally slow-moving, big organizations like that. They take their time with things like this and often lose ground to disruptive technologies. It’s opening the door to all of these projects listed here. We talked about Tom Bilyeu but there are so many others. We got some people already within the entertainment space, they have their own individual communities.
It was the Ashton Kutcher, the Stoner Cats one with Mila Kunis. These big studios need to act now. If they did it in a way that was collaborative with their “competition” and was built through the lens of co-creation with their community, it could take them into another stratosphere. I don’t see them doing that now but that’s what this brings to mind for me.
There is a lot of potential control that could be given up there too. We heard about a band that’s forming from Bored Apes. They’re using the Bored Ape avatars as their avatars for this band for Bored Apes. You’ve got these folks at the top of the rarity pile that holds these NFT profile pics and almost start to try to embody them and expand the character.
As you talked about that, I’m envisioning Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Goofy. Is there a world where one individual owns Mickey Mouse? They then become responsible for what is Mickey Mouse going to do here in the metaverse, augmented reality and all of these things. There is something enjoyable about it being controlled by an organization as opposed to one person that has a profile pic and owns that character.
What do you think of these big guys, the big players, the Disneys or the Marvels of the world? How capable are they of coming in and mixing it up like we’re talking about?
For them, it’s going to be very difficult to adapt to these new technologies as fast as the space is moving. Why I’m saying that it’s going to be difficult is because if they launch some NFTs themselves, probably people are going to see them as a money grabber and not as a building community. The next Disney is going to be multiple communities coming together. It’s not going to be one collection. It’s going to be a combination of collections doing collaborations between them, creating the narratives and shaping the stories collectively. I personally don’t think that Disney has the organizational structure for being able to adapt so fast. I might be wrong. This is my opinion.
Somebody interesting to watch or to take on this direction. We had a near-miss with him in NYC when we were there. It’s William Quigley of WAX. He was at Disney for several years building that brand. He’s been one of those that are forward-thinking. He is one of the first into websites, the internet and pushing that domain. It’s interesting to see what a company like WAX is doing, facilitating these collections in this IP and trying to do it in a more advanced way. He’s definitely someone who has an advanced look at how that’s going to be in the future.
There is so much excitement around what’s happening in this space. Manu, it’s been great to have you on for the whole conversation as it has been much fun. We appreciate it. Where can we direct folks to learn and follow more about you and the project DoinGud and everything you’re working on?
Check it out there, guys. Follow this amazing project and this amazing man. There are great things to come from it. We’ve reached the outer limit at the Edge of NFTs for now. Thanks for exploring with us. We’ve got space for more adventures on this starship so invite your friends and recruit some cool strangers that will make this journey also much better. Go to iTunes now, rate us and say something awesome then go to EdgeOfNFT.com to dive further down the rabbit hole.
Remember, we always invite you to co-create and build with us at Edge of NFT. We’re unlocking a whole new way to connect and collaborate with us through our own NFT drop Spirit Seed NFTs in collaboration with one of our favorite humans on the planet, Nicole Buffett, an amazing Artist and Philanthropist whose project Spirit Coins serves as the inspiration for this drop.
There is only 100 Spirits Seed that will ever be minted and you can grab one for 0.55 ETH at SpiritSeeds.xyz. We have shared this project with our community first as a thank you for all of your support to date. Each seed holder will receive 1 of 10 8-bit Generative Spirit Seed designs from our very own, Eathan Janney. Number two, it’s going to offset your carbon for a year. Number three, you’ll receive one transferable VIP ticket to NFT LA in February of 2022. Number four, you’ll get one living tree with all of the co-creation access, contests and admission purse that you’re going to love.
Number five, you’re going to have a 10% chance of being airdropped a Spirit Coin, one of Nicole Buffett’s special Spirit Coins with a recent floor of between 2 and 4 ETH. There are so many other drops, merch and other surprises to come in the near future. Head over to SpiritSeeds.xyz to land a Spirit Seed while they are still available. Lastly, be sure to tune in next time for more great NFT content. Thanks for sharing this time with us.
- Show – previous episode
- Tanzania Development Trust
- Open Earth Foundation
- Rainforest Foundation
- Every Shelter
- Blockchain Education Network
- Malala Fund
- Save the Children
- United Way Worldwide
- United Way Miami
- Musicians on Call
- Ocean Defenders Alliance
- The Canvas
- Tom Bilyeu and Impact Theory Studios upcoming NFT drop Merry Modz
- Tom Bilyeu – previous episode
- The NFL is attaching NFTs to tickets and the Lions Thanksgiving game is on the list
- NFT Makers are Trying to Build the Next Disney
- Asad Malik – previous episode
- @ManuAlzuru – Twitter
- iTunes – Edge of NFT
About Manuel Gonzalez Alzuru
I am not an average Mechanical Engineer.
Of course, I know how to calculate heat, design with a factor of safety, analyzing processes and develop a maintenance plan for mechanical systems. However, I’m also an entrepreneur, without fear of new challenges, who loves innovation, multicultural, highly motivated and with excellent communication and interpersonal skills (and also good organizing parties, I’ve been told).
In high school (USA) I started to explore the internet with some web design classes. In uni during my engineering courses, I designed a couple of websites, participated in the creation of a car for Formula SAE, part of AIESEC and the student government. Worked at Schlumberger where I managed operations of 7-8 digits USD, created maintenance manuals for all the parts used in the Rig-Up. After I went to France, where I studied French and also created some websites before starting to work at Jumia.
At Jumia (backed by Rocket Internet, Goldman Sachs, Orange, AXA, MTN) I worked in the SEM and Metasearch teams that were responsible for +35% of the bookings and had a growth of 350% for SEM & 230% for Tripadvisor, reducing the cost by 55.92%. After that period, the CMO allowed me to lead the Mobile team and manage a significant budget for launching apps and ensure a high retention of the acquired users.
After few months, I realized that I wanted to move to Europe’s Silicon Valley (Berlin) & I started working at Jobpal (500 Startups) where I had the opportunity to learn about AI, set all the marketing strategy for both B2B & B2C side. Few months after, I landed @Medlanes where I managed the marketing (B2B & B2C), BI team and product. CMO & CIO @Brickblock I managed the fundraising campaign (ICO + VC).
In a nutshell, my passion for innovation and entrepreneurship is coupled with a good sense of humor, love for my family and friends and great motivations for improving day over day while doing what I love.