April 27, 2023

Building community-owned tech products on the Multiverse X Blockchain

Building community-owned tech products on the Multiverse X Blockchain
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Giants Village is a community-owned tech product with a real-world utility that started with a collection of 10,000 unique digital collectibles, known as NFTs, on the Multiverse X blockchain. The project currently has 1,400 holders and aims to raise an additional €500k in 2023 by selling tokens and NFTs to the community. Giants Village is focused on building a strong community first, with the recognition that community is what's really important, and that companies need to build a community around them. The project aims to build a product that is stable and long-term, and has done well even during the crisis. Andre, the founder of Giants Village, also runs an agency that builds websites for B2B tech companies.

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Past guests on Innovators Can Laugh include Yannik Veys, Ovi Negrean, Arnaud Belinga, Csaba Zajdó, Dagobert Renouf, Andrei Zinkevich, Viktorija Cijunskyte, Lukas Kaminskis, Pija Indriunaite, Monika Paule, PhD, Vytautas Zabulis, Leon van der Laan, Ieva Vaitkevičiūtė.


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Past Guests:
Past guests on Innovators Can Laugh include Yannik Veys, Ovi Negrean, Arnaud Belinga, Csaba Zajdó, Dagobert Renouf, Andrei Zinkevich, Viktorija Cijunskyte, Lukas Kaminskis, Pija Indriunaite, Monika Paule, PhD, Vytautas Zabulis, Leon van der Laan, Ieva Vaitkevičiūtė.
Additional episodes you might enjoy:
#55 Yannik Veys - From creating the Uber for service professionals to growing Hypefury
#53 Tzvete Doncheva - Overcoming barriers to get into a VC with Tzvete Doncheva
#50 V...


Giants Village was started with a collection of 10,000 NFTs, which are unique digital collectibles, living on the Multiverse X blockchain in Giants Village. There are current. 1400 holders and they are aiming to raise an additional 500 k in Euro in 2023 from selling tokens and NFTs to the community.

Andre, I'd like to get started with Porsche, because Porsche recently had an N F T launch failure, and I saw you something, I saw you comment on a LinkedIn post about it, and you said, It's fun to see established brands try to launch Web three without properly understanding how it works.

Now they're used to building an audience, but it's not the same as building a community. And that's the big shift happening right now is community first. Okay. Now, you are are building Giants Village and my understanding is that you're really focused on building the community first. So I'd like to to have you first talk about what is Giants Village?

Just kind of high. And then how are you guys going about it to better your community? Yeah, so like it's James Village is we, we, we just started it as a, you know, a project. It seemed interesting at the beginning, and then we realized bit by bit that the, the thing with the communities is, is it's what actually really important and we, we, we got that from, The marketing side with the, the B2B agency as well, because we realize like the big and stable companies have com communities around them.

Like in one form or another, you still have like your, you know, supporters or people that you keep in touch with or like your, your best clients and, and everything like that. So you like in, in either, like either way, you, you, you still build a community around it. For Giants. We, which started with that.

You know, we, we didn't know at the beginning exactly how the project would look like, but we kind of like built with them. We started with the idea of like a sort of metaverse something be, it was trend meta just launched like last year and we were like, yeah, this metaverse thing sounds interesting. But which we tried to like build a clean community, people that are interested in two nfps and, you know, wanted to invest in a, in a, in a good project.

So we also brought, like, back then during many projects, like maybe none Acceptance, that had like a company behind had like a, you know, IP owner company and the intellectual property and everything structured well. So we just try to do that, you know, like build a product in a way for a community. Stable, you know, and build for the long term.

And it kind of went well with the whole crisis thing last year when like the, with the bear market and everything. So we, we got it right, I guess. . Okay. So we're gonna dive a little bit more into Giants Village and but before we do that, because you also, you also run another business, which is an agency that specializes working with b2b tech companies.

So what services do you. . And how did you, first, how did you get your first clients and what do you consider that your agency does well better than most other agencies out there? Yeah, so like, we build websites if, if, like, that's the basic thing that we do. I, I guess and everybody was like, since the beginning, like, It feels like everybody's like building websites these days.

But what, what we do different, differently, I think it's, we try to keep things simple. You know, like I'm, I'm raised at the countryside. I'm a simple person. I, I don't get really complex structures because it, it's hard to like communicate them and it's hard to like, build together on something that it's too fy I, I don't know, too, too complex in a way.

So we, we try to do the same with the agency and like, we try to keep the discussion and the process with the client simple. Try to focus on objectives and what they actually need to to happen and just get it done, you know, without any complex, like long term, I don't build the website in a year or something like that.

It's, it just like takes two months. It's a simple process. We just follow the process and, you know, try to deliver as, as. A good product, let's say a good service. How did you get your first clients, Andre? I just, I, I made friends, I guess, you know, , I I just asked around and said like, did you need help with anything?

I, I can do that for you. I had an attitude of like, but can you also code? And I was, yeah. And I learned over the next few weeks to call them. I also did that. So yeah, and I, I kept close to the clients that I got and tried to help them. In an honest way, not just like deliver something and get some money, but I have this thing with like, you know, if I, I say I can help, I, I really want to help with something and make sure it brings you some value.

And after that they just recommended us to other people, to other clients. And it just like, bit by bit, I had to add some people to the team. And, you know, the, the team grew constantly. All right. Now let's talk about Giants Village. Again, this is a community for tech-driven creators, builders and enthusiasts.

My understanding, Andre, correct me if I'm wrong, it's an easy platform that allows a person to share their NFTs, the NFTs that they may have for sale on marketplaces and also their Twitter page so that people can contact. Is that the gist of it, or is there a lot more to it, Andre? Yeah, no, it evolves. You know, like we, we had my d r d for example, like a platform that that, that had this whole idea of like a profile.

We tested that. People were not that enthusiastic about it. We had other products like web three print for example, where you could print your N F T on a t-shirt or something physical because we felt like having like a digital asset. It's nice to just bring it to, to the physical world to put it like in your home, a it on a wall or something.

People were enthusiastic but they didn't actually pay for, had to get this or So we, we tested various ideas, I think, and now we got to a point where we have some sort of framework where you join and you get to interact with other people and, and see how the community is doing. And we're just building that where you'll have like some sort of like quest to engage with the community and, and, and build like relationships.

And we'll have some like dynamics which are more web free, like you would be able to, like your NFT to just change how it's dressed or, you know, add items to the NFT that you actually own in your wallet. So we'll have all sorts of like web three interactions, also interactions from games. In a way. The Quest idea is like a game dynamic that works pretty well in, in, you know, any kind of like community where you, you say like, share this with like free friends and you get things from, you know, a referral or something, or a new N F T or some token or something from somebody.

And you get to like, create interaction. And how are people responding to this right now? The ability to engage with other people and communicate well. Like we kind of need that, you know, we, we need, we need to belong, I guess. So that's one thing with the community, you know, being a part of like a, a group that has a similar, like that has an identity.

You kind of like connect with. and then interacting with the people there. It just feels like they make, they like making friends, I guess. So that's like kind of a basic needs of all of us. Yeah. Now, less than two years, I read on the website that there's 1400 plus holders. Now that, that to me is a pretty sizable number.

And, and that and that timeframe. How were you able to get people, and you called 'em holders, but maybe they could also be referred to as members of the c. How were you able to get that many people joined and sign up? We, we had a trustworthy attitude, I guess, from the beginning. You know, like we, we tried to be transparent.

We tried to like say exactly what we plan to do and, and be as open about our plans and our intentions from the beginning. We didn't build a for product or like a project that we just like, just let's make some money and then we're. The, the intention was to build the actual community and we're a part of the community.

And people just, I guess they, they, you know, they join, they originated with that and they said that. Yeah. It's, it's, it's a nice thing to join. And we're still small. We're just at the beginning, I guess. So we're, you know, right now we're figuring out exactly how to build, you know, a bit of mass adoption, let's say get a lot more people in.

and we're, we're working at the white paper and like a new strategy. We're release it probably in the next few days. Okay. And, and this is mostly on discord in terms of the community where everybody's at? Yeah. Yeah. We have like 3,500 people on Discord, for example. It's like, it's, it's more than the holders themselves.

Okay. And yeah, it's Discord and Twitterer, like for Web three in general. I guess these, these are the channels. Okay. You've been, is that where I guess a lot of the activities been coming from, directly from Twitter? Oh, yeah. Yeah. But it's also like, I think what I, that I realized in, in, with NFTs and like Web three is that a lot of the information transfer happens in like smaller groups, you know, so, and with sort of like influencers, let's say, or opinion makers.

So if you kind of like figure out who in a specific group is the person that kind of influences the opinion of the group and you get that person in, then you get the whole group in pretty fast after, you know, so there are like, and you, you can see them as like different clusters of groups of people you know, you know that communicate and there are on Tengram or WhatsApp and you find like all sorts of like smaller groups.

and when you just like try to bring them in, they'll just like bring the rest of the group in as well. So, Are you using any tools or applications to help with you know, the insights and in terms of, you know, research when you're trying to find out who these certain influencers are? No, not necessarily.

No. I, I, I couldn't find any like that, but it's word of mouth a lot like, and I, I found that in like building a startup as well, like a tech startup for a few years and like what you have to do and with the community is exactly that. Just manual work one by one have discuss. Be curious, you know, and just meet people and ask them whatever you, you are curious about, you know, and they will tell you whatever you need to know.

And at some point, if you have like 20, 30 discussions, you'll just, something will come up and you realize where, where, what should be the next step. Okay? And a lot of your holders and the people on Discord that are a part of you guys, , are they global? I mean, is there, is there a majority of the people just based here in Romania?

Can you kind of just tell us about the audience in the community? Yeah, because, yeah, because, because the blockchain all mostly has a community in around Europe, like in, you know, Romania, Spain, France, even Germany. Most of our holders are in these areas, you know, these countries. But you also have some, I don't know, some guy from Philippina or like from Australia or you know, us some.

It's like it doesn't actually matter where they are. And it's interesting because like in a day people write like, you know, good morning, good morning. And they're like, it it, good morning happens across the bay because like everybody wakes up at different times. And yeah, I know the whole day it's just good morning.

Yeah. I know from somebody who has, you know, I have caused with Australia, with the states and people in Europe, I, I'm very, I got very, very used to. So now you, you, you manage two different businesses, Andre. What is one strategy that you use to help you prioritize your time and, and, and stay on top of, of both businesses?

So, like, I, I try to work with other people and I think that's a thing that I learn. I'm not just doing it myself in a way, and I try to, you know, I, I'm not great at replying to emails, seeing deadlines, let's say, because I, I, I, I get, you know, pulled into d. Projects who are, like, I, I change priorities pretty fast, so I make sure the people that, the other people that I'm working with in this businesses, they're, they're focused on the day-to-day and they, they keep it going in a way.

And I'm, I'm sort of like a butterfly. Switching around. And this is like, in a way my, you know, attitudes. On the other hand, I, I try to create like spaces in my calendar and I just like focus on one thing, get it that done, and then, you know, give it, like pass it to somebody else afterwards. And for example, like for the agency we need to make like a more custom proposal for next week.

And I, I, I know I have to do that presentation. I put it like for Tuesday in my calendar. And I just like work on it for a few hours and I just pass it to Mik from the team. We, we'll make sure that gets presented well to the client and, you know we get to the meeting and everything. But I'm, I'm not great at like holding, but I, I guess nobody's to at holding too many things at once.

Yeah. So I just try to prioritize and focus on specific. Okay. Now you've had the agency for a while and I'm, I'm sure that you've had hired various people and then now with, with Giants, same thing there. What is one thing that, that you do to try to ensure that you are hiring a a good qualified person that's gonna be good for the team and the, and the business?

Good question. I, I, I will just start, like honestly, I, I know theoretically how I should. And how I should test on like values or like behavior profile and stuff like that. But I, the problem like with smaller businesses is that you usually don't get the time to do that. So I kind of have like a first discussion with the person and, and just get the feeling of like where his priorities are or, you know, what's, what's the plan for, you know, because if, like, if somebody comes in the team and just say like, I'm just doing development because I need to make some.

And I don't really like my job. I'm like, but you should find something that you actually like because you won't be good at it, and you create frustration in the team and, you know. Yeah. So I, I just try to verify if the person is in the right place in a way. and, and, and then after that, I guess it's just like a trial and error.