Stop shoving crypto ‘down people’s throats’ — Pudgy Penguins CEO on NFTs
The CEO of Pudgy Penguins — a non-fungible token project that recently launched a line of “phygitals” on Amazon despite the bear market — has offered one piece of advice to budding projects: Stop talking about crypto.
In a conversation with Cointelegraph, 24-year-old founder Luca Netz said that many NFT projects overwhelm people with Web3 jargon and information, making it almost inaccessible to newcomers:
“If you look at the other NFTs in the room, can everyone really get it? […] I think they are trying to shove crypto and Web3 down people’s throats. That’s not what people want. People want amazing products.”
Since taking over Pudgy Penguins in April 2022, Netz stated that the project has chosen a Web3/blockchain as a “back end, not front end” approach.
This essentially boils down to bringing as much attention to IP as possible, in an easily digestible way, he said, adding:
“So our focus is really, how do we create a lovable character that everybody loves? And as the space evolves as the technology matures, you know, teach the user base that we’re in NFTs.”
“Everything we do and everything you’ll see us do is ‘how do we get more awareness and brand awareness around our characters?’ and that’s really at the top of the totem pole for us,” he added.
Hugable Pudgy Penguins
One of the most important initiatives that Netz has introduced is the physical or “phygital” Pudgy Penguins collectibles, which are designed from the IP of around 16 different NFTs from the collection.
Each toy comes with a scannable code that people can use to unlock blockchain-based digital penguin customizations to create their own unique NFT. All in a user-friendly way.
In a Twitter Spaces in late May, Netz claimed that toys collected $500,000 from about 20,000 units within two days of its May 18 debut on Amazon.
In particular, hodlers of the specific NFTs get a cut of their income.
“So for us, you know, my number one goal — to see the successes and failures in the space so far — is how do I add value to my NFT holder. I think if that’s not your first goal when you’re running an NFT- business, then you will unfortunately be in a tough situation.”
“So we believe that when we create a product and we create content, that we want to pay our community for it, and that’s kind of how we look at it,” he added.
From bear… to penguin
At the end of 2021, the Pudgy Penguins were essentially in tatters as the floor price plummeted, while promised milestones on the roadmap like blockchain games were nowhere in sight.
At that time, questions were asked raised about the past dealings of controversial founder Cole Villemain, who was eventually voted out of the project by the community by January 2022.
A few months later, the project was subject to a $2.5 million takeover by Netz, and since the announcement on April 3, 2022, the floor price of Pudgy Penguin’s NFTs has risen from around 1.3 Ether (ETH) to around 5.05 ETH on that time. of writing.
In addition, Pudgy Penguins also recently closed a $9 million seed funding round in early May, along with signing a Hollywood representation deal with WME to expand the IP into areas such as television, film and gaming.
Revival under Luca Netz
While it may have looked like another dead NFT project to some, Netz emphasized that he saw a diamond in the rough with a strong community that wanted to see the project flourish again:
“I think it had all the ingredients to be the face of NFTs. And I felt like nobody [else] at the time had the same value proposition.”
“I decided to buy it because I saw it had these ingredients and they just needed the right person to make it.” he added.
Explaining what he saw in Pudgy Penguins, Netz stated that he felt it had a culture that was “second to none”, along with a “universal IP” that was poised for growth.
“So what I mean, by universal, you know anybody and everybody can understand a Pudgy Penguin, it doesn’t matter what your ethnicity is, or your gender or your religion, that you all get and understand a Pudgy Penguin,” he said.
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