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The inspiration behind VeeFriends started between 2018 and 2019 when Vaynerchuk originally wanted to start a line of desktop toys for “positive reinforcement.” The idea came from the thousands of direct messages he receives monthly from people who say they hate their jobs.
“One day after I read five or six and went to the lab in my office, I walked past 10 desks,” said Vaynerchuk. “Every desk I walked past — my employee had little Simpson figures, little Marvel figures, little Marvel figures, little anime figures.”
So originally he was going to launch a toy line, but COVID-19 happened and the NFT boom started where Vaynerchuk merged his plan through the digital asset sector. “I had a large audience … but I focused on the real benefit,” said Vaynerchuk. “At first I thought I was building Disney, now I think I’m building Sesame Street…I want to create a universe, and I thought the technology of NFTs was an incredibly fun way to start doing that.”
The future of NFTs and IP
While some major NFT collections like Pudgy Penguins and Bored Ape Yacht Club are expanding their intellectual property beyond the digital world in areas like toys, clothing, and more, Vaynerchuk doesn’t think this move is the right choice for any project. “I don’t think everyone is capable of that, you have to know for yourself what you’re good at or not, but it’s something everyone should consider because it opens up a lot more opportunities.”
In terms of greater adoption by the general public, Vaynerchuk doesn’t think digital collectibles will be the biggest step forward for NFTs’ growth. “I think it’s about ticket sales, contracts, title insurance, things like that.”
The Internet was dubbed the “information superhighway” 30 years ago because it was seen as a place like a library where people could do research, Vaynerchuk said. “Today we know the internet for much more.”
In a similar wave, Vaynerchuk sees NFT collectibles as part of the ecosystem, but believes that 20 years from now, when people hear the term NFT, “they won’t default to thinking it’s a collectible, they’ll see it.” wider.”
We also dove into a handful of topics around the NFT ecosystem today and tomorrow, mainstream adoption, and Vaynerchuk’s advice for other projects.
For additional context, Vaynerchuk is a five-time New York Times best-selling author and previously created Wine Library, one of the first e-commerce platforms for alcohol in the early 2000s. In 2009, he co-founded VaynerMedia with his younger brother AJ and soon forward today, the company serves customers such as PepsiCo, GE, Johnson & Johnson, Chase and others.
He’s a “die hard” New York Jets fan (and plans to buy the team one day), as well as an investor in a handful of big companies like Twitter, Venmo and Facebook – which we also talk about in the episode .