EPIDSODE 196
February 26, 2021

Non-Fungible Podcast

Dapper Labs gets a $2B valuation so it's high time we break down NFTs and relate it back to themes from our Vision report. Listen now!

this episode sponsored by

Phillip: [00:01:09] Hello and welcome to Future Commerce, the podcast about the next generation of commerce. I'm Phillip.

Brian: [00:01:14] And I'm Brian. Resolutely.

Phillip: [00:01:18] We are non fungible. This is the first non fungible podcast. NFP baby, you can buy this actually. There are multiple NFT marketplaces. Now, I don't know if you've been following this at all.

Brian: [00:01:31] Oh, my gosh.

Phillip: [00:01:32] We haven't even scratched the surface about talking about NFTs at all on this show. And we're doing it now. There's an NFT marketplace called Rarible that I've been checking out recently. And it's crazy. {laughter} It's pretty amazing. There's just like you can post... Because anyone can make NFTs.

Brian: [00:02:03] Right.

Phillip: [00:02:03] You can just post non fungible tokens. NFTs. Does anyone call them Nifties? If not, that is a missed opportunity.

Brian: [00:02:12] Nifty. I want to buy one of your Nifties.

Phillip: [00:02:17] It's gotta be a Nifty. It's a Nifty.

Brian: [00:02:19] I think you're old, Phillip. Nifty is a word from the 50s.

Phillip: [00:02:24] Yeah the Nifty 50s. I love it.

Brian: [00:02:28] Yeah. No. NFTs are everywhere, and it's just going to get bigger and bigger and bigger. It's going to be. What is that like that. Is it Tribbles? Trouble with Tribbles.

Phillip: [00:02:40] Hey, hey. There's a reference I get. There's the Star Trek episode, Trouble with Tribbles. I love that.

Brian: [00:02:46] My kids know that concept from the... Oh no what is it called?

Phillip: [00:02:51] Teen Titans maybe.

Brian: [00:02:52] Maybe. No not Teen Titans.

Phillip: [00:02:53] Feels like a thing they would have made fun of.

Brian: [00:02:54] Something else. Yeah.

Phillip: [00:02:56] So we have covered NFTs briefly on our newsletter. Our Friday edition is called The Senses, and if you're not subscribe to The Senses, you can get it at FutureCommerce.fm/Subscribe. You would be caught up by now. But this is, I think, the first time that we're mentioning NFTs on the show. NFTs are basically a blockchain, chain of trust, authenticated way of selling a canonical proof of ownership that you have the rights to buy, sell, own, or trade a digital asset. And it's being applied in a bunch of different ways, in fact. There's been a number... We mentioned a couple of years ago, CryptoKitties. I don't know if you remember that, Brian.

Brian: [00:03:46] Mm hmm.

Phillip: [00:03:46] That came up on the show. And there's been a lot of art projects around NFTs, but the one that sort of caught the zeitgeist in January was NBA Top Shot. And NBA Top Shot is a digital trading card that sells moments from the NBA history. And they are created in the way that trading cards are created, where there is some level of scarcity for some moments. And there's the opposite of whatever scarce... There's plentitude for other moments. And then there's a marketplace for you to buy, sell and trade these moments, these digital collectibles. They have done the number keeps changing because they keep doing drops. The Top Shot total value to date was in the tens of millions. And in fact, there are a couple moments that have sold for, it's been over 85 million in sales since launching late last year and the biggest sale to date that I can see, or that as of just a couple of days ago, the biggest sale to date was I believe, a Zion Williamson, 1 of 50. And so something like it went for $100K. It was sold in resale for $100K. There is not a single one. So I bought a pack for nine dollars, and I got three moments in the pack. And there is not a single one that is up for sale right now on the resale marketplace that's going for less than $150. I could turn all three of those for approximately three to four hundred and fifty dollars right now if I wanted to.

Brian: [00:05:42] It's crazy.

Phillip: [00:05:43] But it's appreciating at such an insane rate that there's no reason to sell right now. And I think that that therein is something really interesting. It's creating a lot of buzz in other NFT projects, like Hashmasks is another one, which is another digital art project. And even, not Maynard... Who's the...

Brian: [00:06:06] The guy from Linkin Park?

Phillip: [00:06:08] The Linkin Park rapper.

Brian: [00:06:09] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:06:10] You know who I'm talking about.

Brian: [00:06:11] I do, but I forget his name.

Phillip: [00:06:14] Mike Shinoda.

Brian: [00:06:16] Yes.

Phillip: [00:06:17] Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park is apparently releasing music as an NFT, where you can own the song. You can buy and own the song.

Brian: [00:06:26] Which makes a ton of sense. Creating scarcity for art allows artists to retain more control, to provide real value. Perhaps we will have another Michael Jackson someday, Phillip. {laughter} Because we... That's Phillip's whole thing is we'll never have...

Phillip: [00:06:50] That's an old callback.

Brian: [00:06:52] Yeah, well, monoculture is dead. We'll never have another Michael Jackson because Spotify has ruined music. And in some ways you're right. We treat music as something that's practically ambient. It just happens. And so having opportunities to create scarcity around art that is digital is actually really important, I think.

Phillip: [00:07:18] Yeah.

Brian: [00:07:19] And that's not the only application for this. And we're in the hype cycle right now. And there probably will be some sort of bust at some point. Maybe not, though.

Phillip: [00:07:29] I don't know.

Brian: [00:07:31] This is such a useful technology that this initial fervor could get could spread. What if the NFL or the MLB releases their version?

Phillip: [00:07:44] Oh it will happen.

Brian: [00:07:44] It will, and it has to happen and it's going to be worth a lot of money very quickly. As soon as the NFL releases theirs, I'm going to go buy some.

Phillip: [00:07:54] Yeah. Dapper Labs, which is the same firm behind CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot, has already generated itself over one hundred million dollars in NFT sales, most of that's from NBA. But as of last week, it was raising two hundred and fifty million dollars at a two billion dollar valuation. The future will not just be sports digital memorabilia, but we're going to have all kinds of things. I mean, you and I were sort of off camera, off off the show, musing on what the future of NFTs could be. And if meta art. Right. If digital art and this can be bought, sold and traded, why not anything else that's meta or digital, including meta property and digital property? And that was, I thought, a really interesting application of how we can start to see the metaverse begin to operate more like...

Brian: [00:09:01] A real estate market.

Phillip: [00:09:02] Right. But effectively yeah.

Brian: [00:09:03] This is a really big deal, too, because we talk about fractional ownership. And  one of the challenges right now with like the way that we do transactions in games and so on is like you're buying like accounts. So someone will go build something in Minecraft and then you go buy their account, and you have access to it. And or there's other weird ways that we do transactions in digital spaces. And with this, I think what NFTs will allow for is for sort of shared ownership in a very like a much easier to track way, a much more transparent way, because right now it sometimes feels like a little bit of a back door economy.

Phillip: [00:09:48] Yeah. That was going to... The spice must flow, Brian. It's going to happen anyway.

Brian: [00:09:56] {laughter} I love that you worked in a Dune reference.

Phillip: [00:10:04] It'll find a way from the supplier to the consumer. It will. It's just not terribly convenient right now. And the fact that NFTs are blockchain enabled technology means that there is a chain of trust and a built-in means of transfer of ownership. And I think that that's really interesting and novel. So when you think about while Animal Crossing today. There are a bunch of... Because Animal Crossing kind of came out right during COVID times last year. There are a lot of people who found really interesting ways to, like, hire people, to go to certain islands to go get pears. And it's like they would pay money to get people to do taxes for them or to create certain more opportunities for them, like in their off time while they were sleeping. There was all kinds of ways that these, like third party marketplaces sort of cropped up that were just like web flow shops with Airtable behind it. They were just requesting people to do jobs for them. But think if Animal Crossing got some part of that value chain. What if they got something out of it? Because right now Animal Crossing, Nintendo is missing out on all of that upside, right?

Brian: [00:11:21] Yes.

Phillip: [00:11:21] There's a marketplace that's existing outside of their control. And what I'm trying to say is that Nintendo will become a housing authority at some point.

Brian: [00:11:28] Absolutely.

Phillip: [00:11:29] And will levy taxes and taxes, meta taxes for meta properties in the metaverse. And that's what can be powered by this kind of technology.

Brian: [00:11:35] But it won't look like taxes. It's going to look like something else.

Phillip: [00:11:39] I don't know, Brian.

Brian: [00:11:39] Like there's going to be some currency, and they'll be an inflation rate and like the inflation rate will be steady and people will put their money into the game, and by the time they pull it back out again it will be worth less.

Phillip: [00:11:49] And there's going to be a Federal Reserve. And again, the Federal Bank of Animal Crossing. Exactly.

Brian: [00:11:55] Yeah, they're going to get less money out than they put it. This is the future. Like it's going to be currencies that per large corporation.

Phillip: [00:12:06] Yeah. There's insane, I mean, it is an insane valuation. And what's really incredible is when you look at the bond market, and I only know what I've been told or what I've read or what I've heard on the radio. I'm in no way an expert to this sort of thing.

Brian: [00:12:31] On the radio.

Phillip: [00:12:31] Yeah. I listen to well, the radio for me is Alexa. I ask her to play my radio and my NPR local affiliate, but I'm old, so just give me a break. But whatever I hear is...

Brian: [00:12:48] Nifty.

Phillip: [00:12:48] There's an interesting... Thank you, Brian.  [00:12:50]There's an interesting anticipation of an economic rebound that could cause runaway inflation. And I think that there are folks who are, you know, putting money into bonds and and silver and gold, and so there's this interesting movement of capital that is anticipating more economic growth, which I find to be super interesting. There was a stat that 40 percent of all money in circulation right now after this next round of stimulus will have been created in the last 13 months. [00:13:29]

Brian: [00:13:30] That's the definition of inflation.

Phillip: [00:13:34] Right. Exactly. Yeah. So, I mean, where are you going to put your money, Brian? You've got to put it somewhere. And why not into...

Brian: [00:13:41] The housing market?

Phillip: [00:13:43] Digital land and Fortnite.

Brian: [00:13:45] Yeah. No Fortnite. Speaking of Fortnite...

Phillip: [00:13:51] Fortnite Fashion.

Brian: [00:13:51] Fortnite's a fashion house now. {laughter}

Phillip: [00:13:53] It's true. That's the world we live in.

Brian: [00:13:57] It is. It is. And this is why I wrote the recent article that I did.  [00:14:01]Experimentation is a smart place to invest as companies. Catching up is a lot harder than getting out in front and working backwards. And so not saying you shouldn't run the work back all the way to monetization, which sort of naturally lends itself to becoming part of the establishment. But being a constant experimenter and having parts of your business that are focused on experimenting will always produce at least a culture that is one that you're going to want to have at your business.  [00:14:37]

Phillip: [00:14:37] A culture of experimentation and risk taking. It's venture capital, but...

Brian: [00:14:45] Everyone. But everyone.

Phillip: [00:14:47] But everyone's a venture capitalist now. That's what it is.

Brian: [00:14:50] Everyone's the retailer. Everyone's a seller. Everyone's the venture capitalists.

Phillip: [00:14:54] Everyone's a retailer. Yeah.

Brian: [00:14:56] Everyone's a board member.

Phillip: [00:14:58] That's the modern economy. Packy McCormick and his Not Boring newsletter had a really great article that I think does a better job of characterizing the future of NFT. And sort of this idea of putting the power back in the hands of the creator, art in particular has had an incredible surge during COVID times, mostly because art is like a non correlated alternative asset class. So it doesn't really follow economic movement in the way that it appreciates in value. And we mentioned in our Vision report at least one way of having fractional ownership of blue chip art, which is a platform called Masterworks. And so there's this really interesting mindset, especially around millennials who are trying to figure out how to create some sort of generational wealth because boomers, you know, had housing, cheap housing, affordable housing that was a vehicle to help their children to have the beginnings of generational wealth going forward. What is that for millennials? Because I can't believe that it's Zion Williamson's digital moment on NBA Top Shot. But, hey, why not? This is why I'm the old guy. {laughter}

Brian: [00:16:17] This is such a like a Gen Z... That's how they create generational wealth. That's the new generation. I mean, it's almost like how boomers felt about sneakers and millennials, I feel like. "Sneakers?"

Phillip: [00:16:31] But they shouldn't feel that way. That makes sense. Sneakers are preposterous. As a person who collects sneakers, that's preposterous. It makes no sense. And nobody, mark my words, bring this back in a few years time. Nobody is going to look back and be like, "Oh, yeah, his family's got old money. You know, they come from a long line of people who collected CrytoKitties." {laughter}

Brian: [00:16:55] They got in early.

Phillip: [00:16:56] Gosh. "He made a killing in Hashmasks." "Oh, my gosh. He was early on Hashmasks?"

Brian: [00:17:02] You know what's interesting about that, though. So here's something I was thinking about. Bitcoin...

Phillip: [00:17:08] I own all of these things, by the way. Full disclosure.

Brian: [00:17:11] Someday Phillip...

Phillip: [00:17:12] Bitcoin is that thing, though. You're right.

Brian: [00:17:13] No, no, no, no. But here's something really interesting about Bitcoin. It's a currency for the sake of a currency.

Phillip: [00:17:21] That's all currency.

Brian: [00:17:22] No, but NFTs are a currency that are tied to something, we're tying them to something specific.

Phillip: [00:17:30] It's tangible.

Brian: [00:17:31] It's a little more tangible.

Phillip: [00:17:33] I would argue that Bitcoin is not a currency anymore.

Brian: [00:17:36] It's not.

Phillip: [00:17:36] It's also a non correlated value store. And it's digital gold.

Brian: [00:17:41] Sure. Sure.

Phillip: [00:17:42] Yes.

Brian: [00:17:42] Yes. But my point in saying this is like there's stuff that has nothing tied to it. It's just value for the sake of value.

Phillip: [00:17:51] Yeah. Yeah.

Brian: [00:17:52] And then there are other things like NBA Top Shot that are tying value to something. Something. Even if it's digital, something.

Phillip: [00:18:05] This is incredible. And I think what if you were to look at the entire landscape of all these things that are happening right now, what's actually happening is something we've been discussing for a long time, which is the path from creator to consumer is shorter than ever.

Brian: [00:18:22] Yes.

Phillip: [00:18:23] Right [00:18:23]? Your connection to an artist via NFT is disintermediating the traditional art world's way of bringing consumer and creator together, which required galleries and required agents. Required brokers. Right? And required... There was this whole means by which folks extrapolated value, by being intermediaries. What this is, is the modern disintermediation of yet another area that is ripe for disruption. [00:18:57] And the same thing is happening in FinTech right now with folks who, like you and me, pay attention to a lot of movements and want to sort of speculate in certain areas of the marketplace, and they're not OK with putting their money, or the bulk of their money, into an autopilot vanguard to manage it for them. They want to manage their own money. And so you see things like Alto IRA, which full disclosure I also read about on Not Boring. But you see all of these technologies that are cropping up that allow folks to self manage and have their own self directed IRA without having to have a custodian in the middle that helps, that just does nothing really other than sign paperwork and takes value away from the real manager, which is you who wants to have more power. It's again, dis intermediating an industry that is ripe for digital disruption. And that's like just if you take that to its very core, it's that direct to consumer is everywhere. That's what it is.

Brian: [00:20:08] Yeah. Cutting out the middleman.

Phillip: [00:20:12] And like, let's just talk about Disney, because that's what every corporation will do, especially in entertainment. We're seeing it right now. But that's I believe that that is going to be a theme of the 2020s will be more direct to consumer everywhere. And very smart people have been saying that for some time.

Brian: [00:20:36] And then what we can do is we can take those self managed IRAs, make them public, add NFTs to them, allow people to buy in certain portions of personal IRA investments and then tie themselves to sites like Elon Musk's investment strategies for his retirement.

Phillip: [00:20:59] Oh I see. Oh EFTs for NFTs.

Brian: [00:21:03] Yeah, exactly. You got it.

Phillip: [00:21:05] Yeah. ETFs, I mean.

Brian: [00:21:08] ETFs. Yeah.

Phillip: [00:21:08] Well, that was nifty. That was a nice little tangent there, Brian. I'm pretty stoked about it.

Brian: [00:21:13] Oh, my gosh, I'm glad we talked about this. We needed to get this out.

Phillip: [00:21:18] We did. And actually, there's been a lot of conversation on Clubhouse about NFT. And so that's kind of where I've heard a good amount of this. Yeah. Oh, my gosh. Yeah. So Clubhouse, according to Andrew Youderian, who just followed me on Twitter, by the way, he only follows two hundred and thirty people. So I think that means was special in some way.

Brian: [00:21:39] Extra special. Is there an NFT for those follows?

Phillip: [00:21:43] There should be. You know there are people right now on... There is a service. I don't know if it's Rarible. I think it might be on Rarible, where you can sell your tweet. I don't know how. That doesn't make any sense to me. I don't know how that's possible. But it's like you own this in some future where I can sell it to you. Andrew Youderian of eCommerceFuel Fame and someone I've looked up to for a very long time seems to think that Clubhouse... There's a moment happening with a lot of social apps. Like where did all these social apps come from all of a sudden? There's an explosion of...

Brian: [00:22:15] Dispo...

Phillip: [00:22:16] Yeah, there's an explosion of new social media apps. Clubhouse, you know, having come up in the last year or so. Dispo, as you just said, Brian. So let's unpack that a little bit, because there's a lot happening in eCommerce, specifically around commerce centered rooms and communities building on Clubhouse right now.

Brian: [00:22:33] Yeah, I mean, Clubhouse is a great example of like the next social... Audio communities is like a big thing. As you were saying off camera earlier, off mic earlier, like Twitter is probably rightfully concerned. One of the things that I'd love to see eventually is, we talk about NFTs, is the ability for like native NFT creation within social media platforms. Like to me, that seems like a natural movement for this because it's where people create content..

Phillip: [00:23:14] Social commerce.

Brian: [00:23:14] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:23:15] Right.

Brian: [00:23:15] It's where people create content. It's where people sell things. It's where people do their work now, and so the most natural place to be able to do this will be through social platforms. And I think that's one of the reasons why we're seeing technology get applied in new ways. And like I think that's why we're starting to see new social platforms, because we're starting to recognize the potential for different mediums like audio, podcasts had their moment. Obviously we were involved in that.

Phillip: [00:23:54] Yup.

Brian: [00:23:54] Audio communities are kind of where we're headed next. And also taking mediums and sort of putting them into more distinct, more specific categories. I think that's another interesting thing about this is like Dispo is saying... It's sort of taking content creation, saying there's also a place for delayed gratification and like living in the moment with images, and so it's like, OK, we're going to have news, the breaking news, the Twitter, and we're going to have that next day stuff, then we're going to have the three day after stuff and it's going to be like our reactions across the chain. And so I think I said this to you a while back. I was like, we should create a new service that just reports on the news three days after it happens because what we're getting right now is just this unfiltered all the time sort of take and nobody thinks about things three days after or seven days after or...

Phillip: [00:25:04] John Oliver and Last Week Tonight, I think that was their original thing was we'll go deeper and sort of wrap up the last week's topics, like not as they happen, but after they've settled a bit.

Brian: [00:25:15] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:25:16] There is some someone who just did this recently. Like we don't report on news that's three days old. We report on news, three months old.

Brian: [00:25:22] Right.

Phillip: [00:25:23] To give you greater context so that we can piece it together.

Brian: [00:25:27] We should find that. We should find that because it's really interesting. I think that's actually really important.

Phillip: [00:25:32] It exists. It's out there somewhere.

Brian: [00:25:33] Malcolm Gladwell talks about this a lot. I think he has done some deep dives on like how people just don't go back and look later, but how important it is to do that. And so it's like the news about the news. Oh, the news that happened one day ago? Well, we've got more news about that. Oh, the news that happened a week ago? We've got more news about that.

Phillip: [00:27:35] Just to close the loop on why I even brought up Andrew Youderian, he believes that audio communities, specifically Clubhouse, are a huge opportunity in social media. And he said there's a 20 percent chance that Clubhouse becomes a 50 billion dollar company a la Twitter. And your reference earlier was that Twitter seems to think so because they made an acquisition recently and launched Twitter spaces, which are audio communities. And they also are sort of following an invite only playbook by only rolling it out to a select few users at the moment.

Brian: [00:28:13] Is it only on Apple? That's my question. {laughter}

Phillip: [00:28:14] That's part of it. This just part of the reason why I no longer want to be a green text, Brian. I might go over to... I might be switching. I don't know.

Brian: [00:28:26] Oh, my gosh. Clubhouse is what caused you to switch.

Phillip: [00:28:29] No, Clubhouse didn't actually tip me. It was Dispo that tipped me. And let me tell you why. Dispo... I got an invite to Dispo and I've been using Dispo and Clubhouse on my iPad, which is not even a year old. It's a great iPad. Love it. Here's what's interesting about Dispo. It feels like old Instagram, where it feels less polished because you can't actually see the picture you just took. So t's building in a number of things. One is delayed gratification. So there's always a reason to come back so that you can see the pictures that you took. And so that's an interesting concept in and of itself that literally anybody can replicate. Right? Like that's there's no reason for you to not see the picture that you just took. And it looks like an old Polaroid or like viewfinder. And they have that sort of old Instamatic camera filter applied to them.

Brian: [00:29:33] Instant classics.

Phillip: [00:29:34] It is. It is. But you don't get the photos until 9am the next morning. They're developing.

Brian: [00:29:39] Right.

Phillip: [00:29:41] Here's what's novel about it. From a community building perspective, you can create shared albums with your friends on Dispo that people can post pictures into. So already DTC and CPG people that I follow on Dispo that I've found. They're my Twitter friends. And they're all creating like really interesting and cool albums to share with each other. One is like CPG WTF, which I think Magdalena Colla or Chris Cantino might have started. And it's just pictures of like products that just should not exist, like Dunkin Donuts flavored Cheerios, or something like that.

Brian: [00:30:22] Dunkin Donuts anything?

Phillip: [00:30:24] Cereal? Exactly right? So there are just really interesting shared albums that, again, you take this picture, you go to put it in a camera roll that's shared with a friend, but you can't see it for a day. And then a conversation, threaded conversation, happens in the context of that picture, which again is happening the day after you took it. it is an interesting concept that has a really unique viral loop that's sort of built-in that makes you want to keep coming back for the community aspect of it and for the discovery of like, oh, wow, I wonder... Oh, yeah, I did take that picture yesterday. There's something really novel and interesting about that and the fact that it's only on Apple is itself like makes me want to be able to take pictures wherever I am and not just when I have an iPad with me. I am in Florida. It would be socially acceptable for me to just take pictures with my iPad anywhere I go, because that's what people who, you know, tourists do when they come to Florida. But I'd prefer to just be able to engage with it a lot more. I'd be able to engage with it a lot more and more passively if I had it in my pocket at all times. And I think that that's... I think that's unique also. That's David... So David Dobrik is a an investor and sort of like the chief proponent of Dispo. I don't think he built it so much as I think he's helping to hype it, but everyone's attributing it to him. He's a master of the viral stunt. And this is yet another thing of brands as performance art.

Brian: [00:32:10] Well, it's like a stunt unto itself, but it's actually more than that. It's sort of the casing for the things that he does. Like, it makes sense.

Phillip: [00:32:23] That's true.

Brian: [00:32:23] He's actually a really good person to be the face of it because it sort of represents like the opportunity to have, like, real life moments that are, you know, that are engaging and interesting. I do wonder, how many pictures end up being like... You're old enough to remember this and so am I somehow. But going through your developed film, yeah, was the worst. {laughter}

Phillip: [00:32:55] Really? Oh, it's like a joy. It's like, oh gosh that picture looks terrible.

Brian: [00:32:58] Maybe it's because I was so young. Because I got a Kodak 110 when I was... I don't know how old. Pretty young. I was pretty young. And so I would take the worst pictures with it. Like they were the worst pictures. And so it was a lot of management of getting the pictures back, going through them, throwing out the ones you didn't want, which felt kind of bad as you were doing it. That was hard. I don't know.

Phillip: [00:33:24] Ok. Sure.

Brian: [00:33:24] It was a lot of work. I feel like what's going to happen is it's going to be a lot of curating. People are going to have to spend a lot of time working on this after the fact in order to make it what they want it to be.

Phillip: [00:33:35] That's the reason why you come back. You get the notification. Nine pictures are developed and ready for your review. Here's a unifying topic, which goes back to our persona of CARLY - Can't Afford Real Life Yet. And this the psychographic. One thing that we've said a few times, which I got a lot of heat for in BuzzFeed, of all places, I made this tweet about what powers this sort of like nostalgia for things that CARLY never encountered. You know, ostensibly, it's like Friends and The Office. It's things that are easily consumable now, but are from an era that they never really lived through. Right? Like they may have experienced it tangentially, but it was really probably their parents generation. Gen Z's parents' generation that really experienced the early 90s. And but [00:34:36] you look at this sort of Anemoia, which is this like nostalgia for a time you never lived in. That's really the heart of what Dispo is, is recreating that experience and for a new generation of all these things that apparently you found annoying. I find to be sort of charming. But just take anything that millennials experienced and took for granted and then made into a hellscape on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and you can pretty much guarantee that Gen Z will buy up and slurp up anything that is the literal polar opposite of it, because that's effectively... Like Dispo is the opposite of Instagram. It's delayed gratification. [00:35:24]

Brian: [00:35:25] Actually, it's interesting.

Phillip: [00:35:26] It's imperfection. Right?

Brian: [00:35:29] Right.

Phillip: [00:35:30] It's not me projecting to you my perfection. It's me sharing with you and us collaborating together to build something that is inherently imperfect. That is the definition of the CARLY psychographic. And so it's like, of course, this will be a thing. This makes perfect sense. Go ahead. Sorry.

Brian: [00:35:51] Well, no. And I think it also gets back to something we talked about at the beginning of 2020, which was boundaries. We're looking for things that provide us with functions that we can step into that are not unlimited because the world feels unlimited right now. And the people that are going to like sort of provide those guidelines are going to be the ones that make the money. Because everything's so unlimited that we have to find ways of like containing ourselves. This is why I only use one computer screen. I do not use two screens because I find myself spreading out too much. I limit myself to a single screen because I need it and I want it and I want to have the discipline to work within it. And so as we see these... That's what I talked about a minute ago when I talked about social apps creating specificity. We need sort of boundaries and places to live where we understand the reason they exist and how to work with them. And what they're for and what they're not for. And there's unwritten rules of the Internet for certain things. But I think as we see more of these social apps appear, there's going to be very specific reasons for using them the way that they're used.

Phillip: [00:37:23] There is another thing that's happening on Clubhouse that is really, I don't know, it feels like an incredible avenue to groom more content creators because they're constantly immersed in and being exposed to people who are generating communal content. It's one thing to listen to a podcast and then go create a podcast that is emulating like other podcasts you've listened to, which now seven or eight years later of me creating my first podcast, we've kind of found our own voice. But early on I was trying to be Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht and Dig Nation. And I was emulating the Screen Savers and Buzz Out Loud. And shows I used to listen to the old tech, you know, early aughts podcasts, you don't really need that. And that's not how content is going to be created in the future. That's not how content creators are being made. It's not that they're being inspired and then going and making a something that comes from the inspiration. The inspiration is we're all collaborating together in real time to create this content. And they're finding their voice collaboratively. And so you don't have this delayed feedback loop of did people resonate with this thing that I did? Oh, people paid attention to that. But not this. It's happening in real time with five hundred people in attendance and anyone can jump in in Clubhouse. And that means you get instant feedback as to whether what you said was useful or not. It also means that there are new rules and new social norms that are being developed in these platforms in the way that we share common space in the digital realm.

Brian: [00:39:22] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:39:23] And those boundaries, to your point Brian, those boundaries that are being created are also being created because of limitations of the platform. There was a thing I saw Kat Cole do in a Clubhouse recently, and she had said "If you have a question, raise your hand," because you can raise your hand on Clubhouse. "You have a question, raise your hand. And when you raise your hand, put your question into your bio and then I'll go look in your bio. I'll read your question and then I'll call you up to the stage when it's time if the question sort of makes sense." And I think that that whole rigamarole could be avoided if there was some other feature wherein you could just submit questions to the moderator. But this is actually kind of a beautiful workaround because it causes people to have to learn an etiquette for a new means of, like a new social dynamic. Where else in the world can you have five hundred people simultaneously potentially speak together? This is the new digital common.

Brian: [00:40:27] Yeah. This is the new Robert's Rules of Order. This is...

Phillip: [00:40:32] {laughter} Exactly.

Brian: [00:40:34] We're going to need that for the Internet. And actually, maybe every social app has its instruction booklet that comes with it.

Phillip: [00:40:43] Or should come with it.

Brian: [00:40:45] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:40:46] It's amazing. And think about that, not just the creators that are being inspired right now, but the way it used to be you would go to USC or UCLA or MIT or Harvard and like your dorm mate would be the person who's going to like you're going to go into business with and that doesn't have to... Like that's all like physical proximity and location based, and it was dependent on place. And we are post place.

Brian: [00:41:14] We're post place.

Phillip: [00:41:14] The future of creation, the future of value creation, and the future of brand building in every sense of the word, from tech platforms to physical products, is happening in these communities where people are going to connect with each other.

Brian: [00:41:30] This is a good thing, actually. And actually, one thing we're going to do well by the time this episode is published will have already heard about some things that Joseph Ansanelli has said about this, about how this is distributing talent. And this is a problem that, you know, some of the leading voices in tech have called out as an issue for many, many, many years. But it hasn't seemed to be able to be fixed for some reason. We just continue to do tech out of the Bay Area. But I feel like this year, 2021, might be the turning point in that where we start to see tech jobs work their way out to rural America. This is not a bad thing. This is a good thing.

Phillip: [00:42:21] Yeah.

Brian: [00:42:21] I talked about this in my response to the Let's Build article by Marc Andreessen. And I think I should have wrote a whole article on this as well.

Phillip: [00:42:38] You are like bitter about this because it didn't get published on Insiders. You wrote a very good piece that was sort of critical of the it's time to build mantra, right?

Brian: [00:42:47] Yeah, it was an addendum. And I love the idea of building. And I think it's important to build. My concern with Marc Andreessen's and Marc Lore's visions of the cities of the future is that they don't take into account that we already have so many assets that if we're talking in at least American centric for a minute, like we're usually American centric, I guess [00:43:19]... We have such vast amounts of people and land across the whole country. We have a lot of problems with this geographic vastness as well. That's created a lot of issues. But I think we have an opportunity to take what we've done with tech and sort of work our way up to that city of the future by starting small and looking for opportunities to innovate and with an asset that we already have, that we're not taking advantage, which is the minds and people that we have spread across this nation. [00:43:52]

Phillip: [00:43:52] And that will be... Shoot. We're out of time. Is that the final word?

Brian: [00:44:01] There are so many more things that I want to say?

Phillip: [00:44:03] I'm sure. I'm sure there are.

Brian: [00:44:06] But we do need to wrap. Unfortunately.

Phillip: [00:44:10] I love it. Well, thanks for listening to Future Commerce. If you want more of this, you can get it in your inbox twice a week. We have a newsletter that comes out every Tuesday and every Friday, as well as two different podcasts. One is called Stairway to CEO, hosted by none other than Lee Greene. She's amazing and gets into the back story of some founders of popular brands, especially those in direct to consumer, ones that you probably know and love. And you can go get that at FutureCommerce.fm/StairwaytoCEO. You can also subscribe wherever podcasts are found to the Future Commerce podcast, which is the one you're listening to right now. Subscribing helps. If you want to support the show, go give us a Like or a five star or it takes literally no time at all just to say, "Hey, I love your show," and go put that on iTunes. It really helps us get the show to other people. And drop us a line at hello@FutureCommerce.fm. Hey, that's it. Thanks for listening, and we'll see you next week.

Recent episodes

LATEST PODCASTS