Admit One and 9dcc founder shares his web3 engagement playbook and lookahead
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Created for brand leaders by brand leaders, as serial web3 entrepreneurs building for 7+ years, from web2 brand beginnings. More to come.
gmoney is a web3 icon, enigma, founder, fashion house creative director, and cutting-edge technologist. Known by his alias and recognized by his rare cryptopunk PFP, this web3 defining-creator is founder of Admit One (a membership-based group of NFT collectors) and 9dcc (a web3-based fashion label that seamlessly integrates tech). Few people have pushed web3 consumer engagement as far as him, but stepping back to take stock of it as we do in this interview, you can start to see a clear (and genius) playbook at work.
Q: Your approach to web3 has been very authentic and web3-native, but you’ve also had tremendous ‘crossover’ success with major brands like Visa, Prada, Adidas + more. What’s the secret?
It’s because of my credibility and authenticity that I’ve been able to navigate it well. If I was talking to brands that didn’t want to listen to me, but just wanted to use me to sell something…. I haven’t ‘sold out’ and that gives me a lot of credibility and authenticity.
The brands that are really interested in the space, come to me. I’m not having conversations with people that think web3 is stupid, it’s with people who are interested. I’m not cold-calling. Most of my brand partnerships come from warm intros.
Q: What do you find are the characteristics of brands who get web3?
People within the organization that are really deep in the space, across the board. People who believe in the ethos, pushing for it internally. If brands don’t have that person internally, then they’re not interested.
Q: Now let’s talk about your brands: gmoney, Admit One and 9dcc. Two years ago you were giving POAPs to people you met at industry events and parties. What's been your inspiration and iteration process?
It started originally with a POAP scavenger hunt in 2021 at Bitcoin Miami. I paid somebody to stand at different locations, hand out POAPs. For me it was an experiment. My thought process was, when a celebrity is ready to do something like this, they can’t fail. It needs to go off perfectly. They’re not going to push the boundaries of the tech, so I needed to do it.
At the time, I had 12,000 followers, so I thought enough people would show up, maybe not. About 70-80 people collected POAPs, it was a cool use case, people connected, they formed a fund together after the event, friendships were formed. As I thought about that, I said cool, how do I do this going forward?
By allowing people to have proof that they met me, I created this onchain social graph.
Didn’t know exactly what it would become except for a token with a community.
As my follower count and influence got bigger, it would be much much harder to not get bot-attacked, overhyped, or whatever… so I knew it would be an allowlist of some sort.
First, I started walking around with QR codes but those can get farmed, so then I talked to the team at IYK. They could create these chips, each time they’re scanned, it releases a unique POAP. This is what became their POAP cards, and the very first one was for me because I asked for it.
Interesting to see that product/market fit as more and more people do the same exact concept: you met me, now it's onchain through a POAP, then build your own social graph later. This ultimately evolved into what 9dcc does today with our NFC-based POAP minting functionality sewn right into the clothes.
Q: Admit One was the first time you really productized your network, is that fair? Tell us about your thought process on the membership and loyalty elements.
If you had collected one of these POAPs, Admit One traded as high as $30k …
Admit One is the access point to all the things I’m working on, and if you had collected one of these POAPs you were on an allowlist to buy. They traded as high as $30k after launch.
I knew I was going to build out 9dcc after Admit One, so it was…
How can I create a community that is interested in the tech and wanting to push the space forward?
Q: You launched your own secondary marketplace for it way back then. Why?
It felt similar to how eBay was the highest grossing marketplace on the internet in 1998, and today accounts for a very small percentage of total ecommerce.
I knew the web3 world would become highly verticalized. I want to own that journey, what that interaction is with the consumer.
I believe the world will shift to very verticalized marketplaces, same in web3 as web2.
Q: What was your thought process behind launching 9dcc?
9dcc is a crypto-native luxury lifestyle brand. I wanted an aesthetic I would want to wear. I’m known as gmoney the crypto punk ape, but I don’t want to walk around with a big ape on my chest.
Next, as a consumer that spends money on goods, sneakers, tees, hats, watches, handbags… I want to know how many exist. One of 100, 1 of 100,000. What better use case then to chip the product, and then once you have the product in the world, gamify that experience in the real-world.
Now community building that’s happening online can happen IRL, too, that means more fun things. Like every 9dcc wearer can hand out their own POAPs, just like what I was doing but now at scale. Anyone can build out their own onchain social network within this broader 9dcc ecosystem.
Q: How do you plan to break new ground across online and offline?
We just announced Network Points for 9dcc. It’s a gamified points system and leaderboard for interacting in the ecosystem. We’re doing a scavenger hunt at NFT.NYC next week.
Another recent mini-games we did… on a recent Saturday, without telling people, you could scan any shirt within a 12-hour window and play Wordguess, basically Wordle. The person that scored the highest got a lot of points in the ecosystem, and everyone else also got randomized points for participating, flash on demand.
The goal is to decrease the window to less than 30 minutes. Start getting the community accustomed to the weekend, you don’t know when it’s gonna drop, and if you want to play, you better have the product near you to scan… preferably, wearing it.
Q: What's driving your reward program?
Traditional rewards programs only incentivize you to spend more money. But the kid who wears Supreme head to toe, isn’t always the kid who spends the most on Supreme. How do you find and incentivize those fervent brand people to become bigger ambassadors. That’s what I’m trying to mess around with.
The person who spends a lot has their spot in the ecosystem, and then there’s the person who wears the brand every single day. Find those big ambassadors, your biggest fans. They may be worth more overall than the person who just spends more.
The person who wears it everyday, how do I interest them on a more personal basis? I have ideas for experiences like a nice dinner with me. You could have access to special drops. It’s not just for the people who spend more money. Instead, the people who are the most engaged get the most access.
The goal of what I’m trying to do is gamify, not financialize.
One of the things crypto has messed up is financializing everything. Does that create the right incentive structure? In certain cases, yes, but I think some things you want to gamify and not financialize, and you really need to focus to pick the right one.
Our 0.02ETH 🍃
In building web3-native experiences fans flock to, gmoney has pioneered a playbook, igniting tribalism and ambassadorship on a scale other brands aspire to. Intentionally and effortlessly. No easy feat in web3.
There's fortitude in gmoney's approach to building web3-native experiences others actually participate in, however it's web3-enabled. From POAPs, to NFC chipped fashion, bluechip brand NFT collabs and the 9dcc marketplace.
Proving for the web3 playbook there's merit in prioritizing experiential design to reward gameplay and connection onchain, over just selling more product.
Covered by Mojito, the web3 consumer engagement platform. Empowering brand leaders with powerful tools to drive consumer engagement, sales, and loyalty for all levels of web3 maturity.
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