In Web3, Free (to Own) is Good

Recently I’ve been excited about the opportunity for NFTs to unlock direct-to-consumer *everything* in ways that can bridge a tighter relationship between two parties. Where I’ve landed is that the value doesn’t rest solely on paid NFTs (“I pay to be a part of this”) but through free NFTs as well (“I am welcomed and asked to join this”). Time will tell but my hypothesis is the latter will be more effective in terms of fostering meaningful relationships. And can also help build a way bigger business. 

Distribution is the most important thing on the internet. Without it, you are not seen. Today we battle the weight of distribution versus ownership, the ability to monetize directly or through others. Everything feels binary. I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that while distribution is preferred over all else, the missing link is both knowing and having the ability to engage your customers at scale. Sure you can have an email or a relationship with customers on the platform… but how do you build a connection in a more cohesive way? How do you meet your customers where they’re at, but also bring them together?

I think NFTs can solve this. 

In a world of NFTs, all someone needs to do to connect meaningfully with their customer is get their wallet address (drop your ENS) and the connection is made. What I like about this is that the NFT itself serves as your key to any experience the seller, creator, whomever wants to provide. This can be discounted merchandise, or the ability to buy tickets, or the ability to join a community of like minded people. On the flip side, it gives the seller, creator, whomever a universal connection to their customer, any information they want to provide (or publicly provide) in an experience that doesn’t spam your email, or phone, or venue that’s meant for something else.

As you can see, the emphasis here for me is not about making more money, but building a better, tighter experience between a seller and a buyer. And because of that, I think it’s most powerful when the NFT itself is free. Any individual or brand can just ask their fan or customer to provide their wallet address and boom, the key to various experiences and relationships are dropped immediately in your pocket. Easy. 

This will take time to flesh out and will undoubtedly be set backs and issues as we identify the right model. But if we are looking to bridge the desire of distribution and ownership, and where and when and how to engage or monetize, this seems like an exciting function to shepherd the next wave of innovation.

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