unstoppable podcast, episode 76, METADREAMER
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Bridging Physical and Digital with METADREAMER from MetaFactory

Aug 13, 2021

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Host:  Hey, everybody.  Welcome back to The Unstoppable Podcast.  I'm your host Diana Chen, and I'm here today with our guest, METADREAMER.  He's one of the founders at MetaFactory, which is a digi-physical culture studio where you can buy basically, like a physical item of clothing and then get a digital equivalent as well that you can wear around crypto-box.  So super excited to speak with METADREAMER more about this.  We've talked about this.  We've talked about the metaverse a lot on the podcast.  It's something that I'm really excited about and just can't wait to chat with him more about, you know, how he sees all this playing out, and what role MetaFactory is going to have in all of it.  So welcome METADREAMER.  Thank you so much for being here.

METADREAMER:  Thanks, Diana.  Great to be here.  Thanks for having me and yeah.  Looking forward to chatting all things metaverse and crypto and - - and all that fun stuff.

Host:  Awesome.  So before we dive into MetaFactory, I want to know a little bit more about your background and how you got into crypto in the first place.  So take us back to when you first heard about crypto, what was it that drew you in and then how did you start learning more about it?

METADREAMER:  Yeah, so it, it's pretty funny.  Basically I was, you know, in like junior high and, you know, on these forums about - - scape people were talking about bitcoin back then and like mining bitcoin.  So that's where I like first heard about it.  And, you know, for me at that point, I didn't really like, think about the larger implications of it.  I was just like, oh, this is a cool way to make money.  So like I was like mining bitcoin and selling it for money back then.  Didn't really think to actually keep any, but that, that was kind of like my, my first exposure point to crypto.

Host:  Wow.  That's pretty nuts.  So how did you, like, how did you figure out how to do all of that when you were in junior high?

METADREAMER:  So it's pretty funny.  So my dad was telling me that I shouldn't get a job and I should focus on school and my study.  So I had to figure out, you know, an alternative way to make money.  And that happened to be building and selling computers.  So I happened to like have a lot of like extra computer parts laying around and I used those to, to start mining.  And in general, like I've, I like grew up, you know, with computers and with the internet and, you know, playing these games.  So it—all this like digital currency stuff kind of like intuitively made sense to me because, you know, in runescape and other mmorpgs, you have these like digital currencies within these games.  So for me, it was just like, this is just the same thing, but it has real world value, yeah.

Host:  Fascinating.  Yeah.  That is definitely something that is—has been fascinating to me is when you speak with people from a younger generation, it is a lot more intuitive to them.  Like digital currencies, NFTs, all of that are just so much more intuitive than it is to the older generation who typically tries to equate these web three concepts to something in the web two world that they already know.  And that can be a challenge.  And so I, yeah, I, that actually brings up a good point I'm curious to hear your thoughts.  Like, as we are building out web three, what's the better approach?  Is it to sort of build out a web three equivalent of what we already have in our physical world, or is it to build out something digitally native and, you know, have that sort of mentality?

METADREAMER:  Yeah, I kind of see it, like, if you look at the early days of the internet, it's the same thing where people were kind of just taking like existing concepts and throwing internet at it.  Like, you know, you had radio on the internet and books on the internet and just like things that already existed on the internet, but the internet didn't really take off until sort of like the social media era, which you have like Snapchat and Instagram and all these things.  And these are sort of new paradigms and like technologies that were only really possible with the internet, not before the internet.  And similarly with web three, I think, you know, from 2017 up until now, like we've—a lot of people have been focusing on like, you know, let's like throw blockchain at like existing problems that have like existing solutions.  But for me, the most exciting part about web three is really this new design space that opens up where we can now experiment with things that have never been possible before.  And I think that's where the most interesting stuff is because you know, even when it comes to like getting people to use stuff, if we just have like a blockchain equivalent of something that already exists, then, you know, it's, kind of hard to convince them to like use this, like harder to use more risky, more like uncertain version of something that they're already used to using versus if we create a brand new experience that's never possible before you kind of see it with NFTs, right?  Like digital art and like digital art having value was possible before, but now it is.  And that's why it really, I think took off.  So yeah, I think like it, it takes a while for us to like unlearn these legacy concepts and, you know, figure out what really is possible in web three.  But that's really what we wanted to do with MetaFactory.  It's interesting because we have like this bridge to the physical world in the real world, but the  way in which we're like doing things from like a coordination perspective, from like a, you know, community involvement, ownership, you know, transparency, all that stuff is kind of taking a whole new spin on what it means to be a brand and have a community around a brand.

Host:  Yeah, for sure.  So let's go ahead and talk a little bit more about MetaFactory.  So I, I I'm sure the intro I gave was very simplified and there's a lot more to it than just, you know, a physical hoodie and then a digital hoodie.  There's a lot more to it than that.  So tell people, you know, just exactly what MetaFactory is and all the different components of it.

METADREAMER:  Yeah.  So MetaFactory is a lot of things, but we kind of like to describe it as like a composable merch platform for decentralized communities.  We basically create—we partner with artists, brands, communities and kind of bring a bunch of different people together and, and create cool like cultural artifacts that celebrate crypto culture and help these communities sort of spread their community culture in, in a format that's pretty sort of familiar to a lot of people because if you think about web two creators and communities and you know, you go to a concert, you get merch, you know, so merch has this very like tangible, like understood value in these sort of things, but we're, we're taking a web three spin on it.  So it's more than just like we produce and sell merch.  With this merch, you get like your robot token with it.  So which is like our governance token.  So in a way you're not only a consumer of our products, but also like an owner of the platform and you can shape the way in which it develops and influence it.  You know, you get access to members-only channels, depending on how much robot you have.  There's all these other dynamics to it.  And we're also focusing really on this like digiphysical aspect where how can we take what it means to like—what fashion and what impact that has on culture, like take that paradigm and bring it into the digital world.  So much of our lives, especially after the pandemic have become super digitized, but that sort of feeling of, you know, wearing Yeezys to school and like the sort of those social dynamics and feeling like a part of this community culture like, and how that works with fashion, that really hasn't translated online yet.  But we can, we can use NFTs and create these like experiential economies around these things.  

I think like MetaFactory's product, isn't really the merch that we sell, but more so like the entire experience where you might just buy merch, but then, you know, with the merch, you get these tokens and you wonder, oh, what are these tokens?  It sends you down that rabbit hole.  Then you get this NFT and then you have this wearable, then you learn about crypto voxels and sandbox and Decentraland and you start exploring all these things.  So there's a lot of like rabbit holes or breadcrumbs that we leave for people.  And, that's really what gets the community excited is that we're creating these experiences that they can be a part of and they can help shape and define and you know be vested in the sort of in have like a vested stake in it as well.

You know we, with, with this token, it really helps to align the incentives of everyone who's taking part in this, in that, you know, we're all going to win together or we're all going to lose together.  So I think we're—a lot of what we do is like figuring out these new, like token mechanics, these coordination mechanisms you know, all the way from like the production side as well, where we're actually distributing our tokens to the people that produce the merch and design the merch and figuring out how can we like distribute royalties and have like a more fair economy around this where, you know, where in the traditional fashion industry, there's so many issues on, you know, brands like Zara sort of sucking up the entire market and the people who are involved in sort of every step of the process, not really getting a cut of that upside, even though they have such a important role to play.  

So there's a lot of things that we're doing on the physical production side and the fashion-industry side that's, that's pretty an innovative too.  So like kind of bridging it all together and using these tools to like figure out how can we create these new economies in which people are both like participants and owners and can influence it.  And it's much more fair and transparent and, you know it's, it's a better, more fun experience for everyone.

Host:  Yeah, for sure.  That's super cool.  And I'm wondering, like, how did you get the idea for this in the first place?  'Cause I, as far as I'm aware, I don't think there are any other projects or protocols doing this right now.  I know there's Digital X, but they're only doing the digital side of it.  And then, you know, obviously the physical side, and when you first got idea, was it like scary to you at all or overwhelming that you basically had to, like—it's like running two businesses, basically you have to run like a traditional clothing business where you have production and things like that.  And then you have to run a digital, you know, a web three business all in one.  So like how did this—how did this idea get born in your head?  And then you, you know, how did you start—even like begin to start working on this?

METADREAMER:  Yeah.  So the idea itself wasn't mine.  It was—it came out of metacartel basically, which is like a, a grants funding - -.  It's a lot of like prominent people in the ecosystem.  And this was around Devcon Five in Osaka.  So it was Drew and some others; they're basically thinking, you know, everyone like has all this like conference merch; you know, everyone's like giving out these shirts and you know, it would be cool if you can actually like do better than just like a logo on a shirt, you know.  Like, actually have something that's cooler that we want to wear that's, you know helps like spread crypto culture in a way.  And you know everyone's—it's hard too for everyone to figure it out on their own, right?  Like, especially these communities that are decentralized communities, they, like you said, there's this like aspect where you have to bridge to the physical world, you know.  They have to figure out how to produce this stuff, pay for it, you know, there's taxes and profit.

Like there's all these like complication.  So the idea came for Swag DAO, that's what it was originally called actually.  A - - to coordinate like producing swag for other projects and communities.  And then they, they posted on it—they posted about it on Twitter.  It was a branding competition for Swag - -.  And that's where I first saw it.  At this point I was like kind of, you know, looking around in the crypto, Twitter, like looking for places to get involved and contribute.  And prior to this, I had like a fashion tech startup I was running.  And so it kind of like—this sort of aligned all of my different interests in like crypto and fashion and you know, DAOs so I, I, I—that's where I came up with the MataFactory brand.  And I, I, I got involved from there.

And in terms like what we are now, like a lot of it is sort of just emergent.  Like, we never really had any of these ideas at the start, you know, it just started with like, let's make better, like conference swag.  But then, you know, we ran into people, had conversations, you know like Wes for example, he's someone in the traditional fashion industry, who came in and connected us with like all these designers in like Sweden who are thinking of like fashion 3.0 basically, and more sustainable ways of like cutting patterns and, you know, really like cutting edge stuff.  So for us, it was like, we just created that like cultural container that like, like space for people to like experiment.  It's like a fertile garden.  And then, you know, kind of things just started sprouting up and people started bringing ideas and, you know, that's like what we, what we have in now.  

And I, I really, really believe in that sort of method of, you know, developing a product or developing an idea is not necessarily trying to, you know, craft it and dictate it yourself, but just going with the flow, you know, just doing what's fun, like doing what feels right.  And you just end up running into the right people and having the right conversations and, you know, it's things kind of just emerged into like what MetaFactory is now.

Host:  That's awesome.  So you mentioned earlier too, you know, the emphasis on community and letting people who hold your robot tokens vote on, you know, maybe what projects you're working on next, or what artists you're working with next.  How is MetaFactory structured today?  Is it still structured like a DAO or is it structured like a traditional company that you know, just takes input from customers like on discord and surveys and things like that?  Yeah.  How is it structured?

METADREAMER:  Yeah, so the, that side of things is actually one of the most interesting things.  The first year, a majority of that first year was spent on like the legal engineering side of it on like, figuring out, okay, we want to do this as a DAO, but we have to deal with like producing physical things.  Like a lot of crypto stuff is just kind of like within crypto, it's like a crypto product that's deals with crypto things.  But for us, we're sort of at that intersection between crypto and like fashion and in the real world.  So, you know, we have to figure out who's going to pay taxes, how do we, you know, accept credit cards, all this sort of stuff.  

And what we came to and what, what we sort of came up with is this like two-entity model where we have like a MetaFactory LLC that acts as like the Oracle to the real world for the DAO.  And you know, that's the entity that takes the payments, pays the production partners, you know, pays taxes, like does all that legal side of things.  And then we have a separate like entity, which is the DAO on chain.  The DAO is essentially where all the governance decisions happen.  And, you know, the LSE is essentially supposed to be a really lightweight, like placeholder or like Oracle.  And, you know, the there's like a social contract that, you know, the  LSE is going to act in the best interest of the DAO.  And, the decisions that the DAO makes the LLC will then, you know, act in, in that capacity.  

So we create this like separation, but still have this like social link between them.  And you know, the, the token itself to at the highest like tier, which is like a thousand robot, you get access to like all of the companies like records and financials and profits and losses.  So, you know, we have like a full—like a model of full transparency, as much transparency with the community as possible because you know, a lot of people when they talk about decentralization it's not really about technical decentralization as much as it is about transparency and like the culture of decentralization.  

So, you know, if people can, can see everything that this LLC is doing if they're like, you know, members of the DAO, then it kind of like de-risks it without like the LLC needing to be fully decentralized.  And in fact, you see a lot of the times things that are like technologically decentralized, but politically centralized, you know, so it might, on chain, it might look like it's decentralized, but just based on like who holds the tokens and like all the political stuff, like it can have a culture of like opacity and you know, not having the true like ethos of decentralization.

Host:  Yeah, for sure.  That that's super cool.  And so to join the DAO, you just need to hold robot tokens and then is it the only way to hold robot tokens is to buy something from MetaFactory?

METADREAMER:  Yeah, so we, we airdrop tokens to anyone who buys merch, anyone who designs merch, anyone who like contributes in any way to MetaFactory.  So like we airdrop tokens to any community that works with us to—you know, if they want to drop merch, then they get, they get their rewards in robot tokens.  But people can also buy robot tokens from other contributors.  So the way the robot is ceded into the market is through like contributors.  And then contributors can then sell to other people and they can buy it on a deck.  You know, it's on balancer right now where we have our main liquidity pool.  But yeah, the—we didn't have any token sale.  We didn't like raise any capital.  It's all been like bootstrapped.  

And, you know if you think about it, like people like raise a bunch of money from VCs to then pay contributors and then give the tokens to the VCs.  Instead we just like give the tokens to the contributors directly and sort of like skip that step and it creates like a more credibly neutral and like community-owned and community-first model for this.

Host:  Yeah, for sure.  Going peer-to-peer, which is like the whole ethos of the decentralization, cutting out the middle man.  Cool.  So walk me through what happens.  So if I go on your website and I purchase an item of merch, so I buy that and then it gets shipped to me, you know, in two weeks or whatever.  And then what happens after that?  Like, how do I go about getting my digital merch as well?  And then how do I it up and things like that.

METADREAMER:  Yeah.  So basically when you check out on our shop, there's a little field where you can drop your ETH address in.  So then we have a record of like everything people have bought and our ETH address they have.  And then with our robot token, every like six to eight weeks, we retro-distribute it to a, everyone who bought stuff in the last six to eight weeks.  And you know, you get it proportional to how much you spent and then for the wearables, there's some wearables that we've created.  But our full like interoperable metaverse wearable standard, like we're still in the process of developing it, but it's basically going to be like retro airdropped on everyone who produced stuff.  

So for us, like it's the, the unique part about us that we're trying to do is we're trying to have one NFT wearable that's like act as you can—it represents this garment in like multiple different worlds where right in now you have like wearables in one world, but that doesn't necessarily work or poured over to other worlds.  So you kind of have these like silos, but you know, when, when you think about the, metaverse, it, it's not really about one specific world, it's about all these worlds connected and the bridge between them.  So we we're really trying to push on our standards for, and help develop standards.  And, you know, it, it takes a lot of alignment with, you know, these virtual world projects.  Like, you know, we have to talk to Decentraland and we have to talk to Cryptovoxels, you know get them on board with it, but it, it's coming along.  

Well, I think end of August is when we're going to be sending out like our first batch.  But yeah, you'll be able to have a single NFT that you can wear in Decentraland and in web averse, crypto voxels all these different worlds, even like an AR version so you can like have like a Snapchat lens where you can kind of wear it on your like physical body, like overlaid which is pretty cool.  

So the, and the other thing too, is like, we want these NFTs to be feature proof.  So if, if like, let's say fortnight add support for, you know, NFT, wearables, we want that, we want to be able to like, retroactively add support for these like new virtual worlds and these new standards.  Because like all this metaverse stuff, it's really, really new and fresh and bleeding edge.  So we're kind of paving the path, and it—the standards aren't really like well-defined yet.  So there's a lot of things that can change in the next few years, but we want to make sure the NFTs that we distribute have that longevity and that long term value proposition and people know that, you know, it can—these will be feature proofed.  So yeah, like figuring out all these details take some time but we're getting there.

Host:  Yeah.  So when you say these—the, you know, it's sort of creating a new standard, so are these wearable NFTs ERC 721 or is it a different standard?

METADREAMER:  Yeah, so there'll be 1155s actually, where it's like the one wearable is fungible with the other.  Some of them will be 721s like for our genesis items, which are numbered, but the common stuff is going to be 1155s.  The unique part about the standard is more so in the metadata rather than the token standard.  So with the metadata, usually you have only one file as like, this is the file for this NFT, but because there's all these like different virtual worlds, we need like multiple different file types.  And so instead of just one file link to this NFT, we're going to have multiple different files.  And we want to standardize that format so that anyone who also follows this format, it'll work with these different virtual worlds.  And, you know, we only have to like come to an agreement once, you know, between like Decentraland and Webverse and all these different projects.  You know, that this is how you like, look up, look up what your file is for, for your specific world.  

And then once we create that standard, then other people can adopt it and then hopefully it'll help other people also mint, you know, universal interoperable wearables.

Host:  Gotcha.  Very cool.  So would this be—I'm just trying to like imagine, you know, different applications of it in the future.  Would this be something where it could be, you know, a wearable that I could add onto any of my NFT avatars for instance, like if I have a cool cat, if I have a fame lady, if I have like all these different at things, a crypto punk, would it be possible to be in a, you know, to have a standard created so that I can buy any wearable off of MetaFactory?  And I'm like, today, I want my cool cat to wear this hoodie.  Tomorrow, I want my crypto punk to wear this.  Like, is that something that could happen one day?

METADREAMER:  Yeah.  So, you know, that's our sort of, you know, big vision, that's where we want to get to.  But it's really difficult, you know, when, especially with avatars where you can have like an avatar, that's like this tall and walking around, or it can have—or it can be like this huge thing.  Like there's so much variance between what these avatars look like and their form and stuff.  So there's even like this whole—you notice it at all a lot in the Japanese community, they're sort of like five years ahead of everyone else in terms of like virtual worlds.  

But in there, there's like market for like virtual tailors essentially, that can take a wearable and like modify it for it to fit on like your certain avatar.  So, you know, it is going to take time for this tooling to develop.  I don't think, like MetaFactory needs to be the one to develop it.  There's so many other like companies and projects trying to figure these things out.  So it's almost like it's a waiting game to see what ends up, you know, becoming popular and becoming like a workable standard and then adopting it.  

I think like AI is going to play a big part in this 'cause we can, you know, you can imagine you could train an AI model to take like a garment and avatar and figure out like how to manipulate it to fit that avatar, and you know, have it be a lot more seamless.  But right now, it's still kind of clunky.  Even like, you know, when it comes to like—even if you have like the wearable and the avatar that it fits in game, like it's not as easy, just like equipping it.  You still have to go into some avatar configurator and like attach all these points.  You know, specifically for fashion, it's difficult because you want the arms to be moving with the move into the character.  So there's like rigging involved in sort of like, you know, how are the arms going to move?  How's the torso going to move in relation to everything else?

But there's a lot of companies working on smoothing these processes out and making a lot easier and you know, we're going to try to like keep on the bleeding edge of it and work with any teams on figuring this stuff out.

Host:  Yeah, super cool.  So I want to talk about the artist side of what you guys do a little bit more.  So on your website, the way that the merch is organized is it's organized in collections and these collections are like Bankless sushi [phonetic].  And then within each collection, the different pieces of merch are—can be designed by different artists and designers.  And so I'm, I'm curious, how do you guys go about working out, you know, which collection you're going to drop next?  Which artists you're going to work with?  How do you—how do you find these artists?

METADREAMER:  Yeah, so it's so—up until now, it's been pretty like ad hoc.  It's like, you know, someone mentioned something on Twitter, like, oh, someone should make a shirt that says this, and then we're like, okay, let's go do that.  Or, you know, someone hits us up in DMS and you kind of just take it on as we have the capacity.  But now, it's getting to the point where we have like way more - - interest than we can actually handle.  So this is kind of where the next phase of our robot token comes in.  We're building something called a curation game.  

Curation game is basically a prediction market on future merch and it allows the community to essentially like vote or stake their tokens on what merch they want produced or what merch they want to see and then earn a reward based on how well that merch sells.  So it kind of creates this incentive for people to help filter all the incoming interest for what's going to be the most popular what's the most in demand.  And that way, once we actually put something in production, we know it's going to, you know, be guaranteed to sell out and have like this whole community of people who are—who have a vested interest in like generating sales for it.  So yeah, that curation game, I think, will help to sort of democratize and open up and make transparent that whole process us of like what projects we take on up until then it's still basically, you know, you fill out a form and you know, based on how much like capacity we have and how like big your project is, then we'll take it on or kind of put it on the back burner.  You know, sushi and Bankless, these are like huge communities in the crypto space.  So the these are ones that we wanted to, to really, you know, put a lot of time and effort into and develop this relationship.  

A lot of the drops we do are also like one of one, or like one off drops, you know.  It's just like an artist that comes or a community that comes and you just do one drop and don't really make a whole collection.  But we're starting to like move into this phase where we create like, you know, we have this whole partnership with Bankless DAO.  So it's like a DAO on DAO partnership where you know, they're going to be creating like a merch drop every month for the next year, and we've like, sort of committed to that.  Same with sushi, you know, we're going to be working together to create these ongoing drops for the sushi community  and you know, figure out ways to involve artists and have this like collaborative space in which people can, you know, bring their creativity and we can let, sort of, let the best ideas win.  Yeah.

Host:  Yeah, for sure.  And I noticed on your website too, that a lot of the merch from the past have been sold out already.  So I'm wondering how often do you drop a new piece and how quickly does it normally sell out?

METADREAMER:  Yeah, so recently we've been dropping maybe like one or two pieces a week, maybe like one and a half, two pieces a week.  So initially, they were selling out really quickly but more after this sort of like little bear market things kind of like slowed down a bit and it depends on the community too, right?  Like how excited those community members are about the merch—but most of the popular stuff like sales are pretty quick.  We've also been experimenting with like different sales models.  So instead of having like a limited quantity, it's a limited time.  Like, so the latest Bankless drop, for example, the ultrasound summer, like t-shirt and shorts they're available for sale until August 5th.  So however many we sell in that time period, that's what we'll produce and, and ship out.

So yeah, then it, it becomes less of a race, but it lets everyone sort of have a—have a chance at getting it.  But still keeps certain scarcity in that it's only going to be produced this one time.  It's not going to be produced again.  So yeah, it's interesting though, like the scarcity plays a huge aspect or it plays a huge role in the demand for these things.  And a lot of the early stuff—people, you know, bought it up really quick because they knew that the last time something so they wanted to make sure they got the next one.  

And, you know, these scarcity games are a thing the fashion industry.  Like the hype piece culture and the sneakers and all that, that aligns with like, you know, crypto does scarcity really well.  So those kind of have a lot of synergy and I think that's why this whole fashion thing was a good fit for us as well.

Host:  Yeah, for sure.  Now, all of these clothing pieces like the real world ones, meant to be unisex?

METADREAMER:  Yeah.  Almost all of them are, just few that aren't.  We are like working on like some women stuff as well.  Like, initially we wanted to just focus on the unisex stuff to get as much like broad, you know, purchases as possible.  We didn't want to like over produce and have like left over stock.  So that's another thing we're dealing is like the sustainability aspect of these things.  How can we, you know, ensure that we're not like over producing and then having like put things on sale or clearance, just throw stuff out, you know, produce only based on what we need and demand.

But, yeah, we're—now that we're growing a bit more, like we're working on specific like women's cuts and you know,  all these like alternative like unique way of constructing a garment.

Host:  Yeah.  I was asking because I saw those Bankless shorts and they look super sweet, but I'm pretty sure they're meant to be men's swim shorts.

METADREAMER:  Yeah.  Yeah.  Those ones are definitely swim trunks.

Host:  I'm just saying if you make like a female swim suit version of, I can rally all my crypto chics and get them to buy a piece.

METADREAMER:  That would be cool.  I will definitely hit up the artist.  I think we could even—'cause it's just a pattern, right?  So we could even see if we can make it— like a sneak it in to this drop this month—

Host:  [Interposing] That would—

METADREAMER:  —the swim shorts, but.

Host:  Oh yeah.  I'm there.  I would be keeping an eye on that.

METADREAMER:  Awesome.

Host:  Nice.  So another thing that I wanted to talk to you about is building community.  And that's something that you've done a really good job of.  And part of it, I'm sure is because you have such a cool, you know, project and this is something that has never been done before and nobody else is doing it.  And so people are super hyped, but what are have been some of the other tactics or strategies that you've been using to build such a strong community that is like so devoted to your products and so willing to like you know, be part of the decision-making process even in helping you guys grow?

METADREAMER:  Yeah.  I think early on, we made like a conscious decision to focus on like quality over quantity of community.  You know, there a lot of projects that basically are just trying to be as loud as possible, grow their community as fast as possible, you know bring as many people in.  For us, we were trying to basically filter for people who are really aligned with our mission and you know, really liked what we were doing first and foremost.  Instead of just there for some like monitoring - - number go up or something else.  You know, we had this like tight-knit curated community early on.  And, you know, it was—it was like open but also like exclusive.  You know, there's like that sense of exclusivity and the fact that this community is being curated help to keep it really high signal.  If there a lot of just randoms coming in and making noise, it kind of degrades the quality of the discourse happening in the community.

  So eve, we didn't have a token early on.  We didn't even plan to have a token.  So a lot of these people who are really strongly aligned with us before there was any token, we retro airdropped like a huge amount of tokens to all these people and, you know, that really cemented them as like strong like core community members who were really aligned with us and what we were doing because they had this like vested interest in the upside of the long term of the project.

And we created these token permission chats where to access like these members-only channels and to even access like the weekly members call, you had to be holding like a certain number of tokens.  So that also helps like filter these things.  And we've been doing like a weekly members call for I think like 14 months now, pretty much every week for the last like 14 weeks, and it's been like really awesome because, I think, we have one of the highest like engagement rates of any community.  We consistently have like 20, 25 people in the member call out of like the 100, 150 or so that are you know, have the token holder sacs - -.

So there's like a really high engagement rate and because of that those conversations and those calls are rally—you know, people want to be there, people want to hear this stuff, people want to see what's going on.  It's not even—it's not so much like chilling, like what's the next update or like here's what you need to know about our project.  It's more so just hanging out, having conversation, planning like what's happening in the future, yeah.

The primary thing we always say is like, you know.  You can't compete with someone having fun.  So with everything we do, we try to focus on making it as fun as possible and not really get too caught up in like, you know, oh, we have to make money and become profitable and make it a business and crush the competition.  It's more so just about doing what feels right, doing what's fun, doing what we want to do, and because of that, I think, the community really enjoys that.  The community is all there because they want to be and they get value out of engaging.

Host:  Yeah, that's awesome.  I love that.  And then looking forward, you know, yours—MetaFactory sort of branded at the—as this like digi physical culture studio.  So after, you know—in the future, how do you, what plans do you have to expand beyond, I guess just wearables, you know, in terms of clothing?  Like, will you also have headphones for instance, that like I could wear in the physical space and in the digital, or, you know, like different other different products like that?

METADREAMER:  Yeah.  So we were actually thinking about this really early on.  When I came up with the brand MetaFactory, I wanted it to be like generic enough that it's not just about fashion or merch, that's about any sort of production of any physical good.  You know, so it's like just a factory to produce anything versus Swag DAO, which was what the original name was.  And I think—yeah, so we're already starting to experiment with that.  I think, we're doing—like we're planning like a line of skincare, actually.  So like MetaFactory branded, like skincare products, working some like people who have like connections in like the Korean beauty industry and like, you know, get some nice products made and like, bring them—bring them here.  And it's funny 'cause it all started from this tweet that someone made about how like, you know, all these like dudes in crypto need to like be taking care of themselves better and how we should have like Ave cleanser and like compound eye cream and you know, these like DeFi branded like skincare products.

So that was like the inspiration and then we just like ran with it.  So that's one thing we're working on.  We plan to like do like a lot of, you know, tech lifestyle products.  So like just useful utilitarian, like things.  There's—I don't have it with me here, but we have this like multi-tool thing.  It's like a knife and like a screwdriver and like all this, all these like really cool things.  So stuff that we want to use or that we use in our—in our lives already and things want to see, you know there's like a - - cage, like little pouch for your phone.  So you can, you know, block out all signals for, you know, when you don't want to be tracked.  And like the kind of like these like crypto cipher punk, you know, cultural utility products that we want to like make and put out there.

Host:  That is super cool.  And can you tease any partnerships or any collections that are on the verge of dropping in the near future?

METADREAMER:  Hmm, let's see.  A lot of them are secretive, but I can maybe drop hints.  Like, one of them would be like big crypto game that we're working with.  So that one soon.  And then yeah, we have—we've been, we've been working like heads down on a lot of really cool stuff for sushi.  So we, we did like a few pieces for sushi, but we're really trying to like take things to the next level and do some really cool stuff.  So yeah.  Keep an eye out on some, some sushi stuff in the next coming months.

Host:  Love it.  More broadly, zooming out, you know, beyond just MetaFactory.  Where do you see—I'm curious to hear, like where do you see the metaverse being in 10 years?  And I know it's like so hard to predict even what's going to happen next month, let alone in 10 years, but in your sort of perfect world, like if everything progresses, you know, according to plan, where will we be in 10 years with how we interact on the metaverse?

METADREAMER:  Yeah.  I think like, you know, for me, like the metaverse is already here, you know, especially with crypto, like everything we're doing.  It's like very metaversey, especially with DAOs.  And like, for me, like I quit my day job, you know, or like at the start of this year to work full time in crypto.  And you know, I'm a member of all these different DAOs.  I'm earning tokens from them and like exchanging, like it does feel like almost a game.  So in that way, like, and if you kind of look at the trajectory, like leading up to this, like with social media and the internet and how that evolved the common thread I sort of see is like the real world and the digital world's like merging together.  And so for me in 10 years, I think the metaverse is going to be where like the digital and physical worlds are like indistinguishable from one another.  You know, where we have like the tech for, you know AR glasses or even like, you know, bringing neural interfaces is like good enough where we can, you know, for example, this podcast, instead of just being screened, we can like be two people sitting on a couch facing each other in like a much more, you know, familiar-like homey environment and have that conversation, even though we're, you know on different parts of the world.

I think, you know, once we have that and you can—the line between digital and physical starts to blur, I think that's when, like, that's for me where I see the metaverse going.  Whether we reach it in 10 years or 20 years or five years, I think that's up to like how fast we progress.  But I that's, that's the direction it's going.

Host:  I love it.  And another thing that I've heard, a lot of people speculate on is, you know, we saw earlier this year, the NFT boom with artwork as the primary NFT use case, what do you see as being the next big NFT use case that's really going to make it to the mainstream?

METADREAMER:  Yeah, so for me, I think like NFT art really took off, but people got really tunnel visioned on it.  Kind of like how people got tunnel vision on like ICOs in 2017.  And for me, like the NFT, like art scene is kind of like starting to feel like that.  Just because like that one use case was like so successful that people like stopped, you know, thinking like, what else can we do with these things?  And, you know, for, for example, in the whole DeFi space, like all the innovation happened in like the bear market when people are forced to like innovate and like push, push the you know, bleeding edge forward.  So I think for NFTs, I'm most excited about, you know, not necessarily just like, you know, here's art attachment NFT, or here's like a piece of fashion attached from NFT, but more so about like the culture, the access, the community and the utility.  Like, you know, getting this NFT-like unlocking experience you know.  

In MetaFactory, for example, we're creating a virtual store where you can actually like walk around and see stuff and buy stuff.  And, you know, we want to create it where if you have like the, the Genesis jacket or one of our like high-end pieces that has a chip on it, and you like scan the chip, like gives you access to like a secret underground club or something.  And, you know, so in that sense, I think NFTs with like utility and that unlock access and that, you know, are dynamic and have like, you know—it enables you to do things that you couldn't without the NFT.  So beyond just like collecting, I think that's, that's what I'm interested in.  I think that's where it's going.  

And even you look at these like profile picture, like avatar projects that drop, you know, board apes kind of like was like the first, like good example of it where it's, it's not about the art, it's about the access to the community and, you know, being a part of this like yacht club and, you know, getting to like draw on the wall of that like virtual bathroom.  I think these are all examples that show that, you know, that it is really about the community and the access and, you know, being a part of this like exclusive social club.

Host:  Yeah.  A 100%.  Even through that, I'm hearing a lot of different concepts.  Like there's the NFTs, there's also like the community aspect comes a, I think heavily from DAOs or at least DAOs, you know, helped really bring that to the forefront of people's attentions.  And then there's obviously DeFi involved in it as well.  And so I think like moving forward do you—I see it as sort of, you know, DeFi NFT.  DAOs like all of these different concepts are going to all blend together into the metaverse.  And so we won't be talking about DAOs separately from NFT separately, from DeFi, it'll all just be together and all, all be part of our day to day lives.  Is that how you see it as well?

METADREAMER:  Yeah, like even—so we did East Denver, 2020, like over a year ago now, a year and a half ago, that's when, like we did our first like main public presentation for MetaFactory.  And we, we, we had a slide on there that was basically, you know, we're sort of a blend of like DeFi NFTs, DAOs, gaming, and streetwear, you know.  And it's not—it's not about those individual components as much as it is like the, the emergent thing that you get by putting them together.  So for us, you, you know, we, we leveraged DeFi for robot token.  You know, we have a liquidity pool rewards for that, you know, all these like tokenomics on the DeFi level where people contributing to MetaFactory have this token, they can choose whether they want to cash it out and to fiat to pay their bills or how much they want to hold onto for like, you know, long term upside.

You know, so there's a DeFi aspect.  NFTs, of course, with these virtual wearables, the metaverse, all that side of thing.  And then DAOs, which is like MetaFactory is a DAO and we're using all these like different coordination tools, like source cred and coordinate and, you know snapshot for governance.  And, you know, matter of fact is like—it's basically like a decentralized, coordination, research, collective, disguised as a merch shop.  You know, a lot of what we do is like figuring all these things.  So the, you know, DAOs are cool on its own, NFTs are cool on its own, DeFi is cool on its own, but they're cooler than the sum of its parts when you put them all together

Host:  A hundred percent.  Yeah.  A 100%.  Awesome.  Well, thank you so much for being here today.  I end every podcast episode with a quick segment, I call, explain your tweet.  This is where I dig through your Twitter.  And I pull out some interesting or cryptic tweets, and I give you a chance to explain them on the podcast.  So the first one I've got here is from July 25th, 2021.  You said, "complexity emerges from simplicity, build primitives, not platforms."  Do you want to explain that?

METADREAMER:  Yeah, so yeah, basically you know, kind of seeing how, like a lot of projects from like 2017 till now, like what things worked and what things didn't work.  There's a lot of people that tried to build these like big monolithic platforms that tried to do everything.  And none of those really panned out.  But if you look at, you know, something like Yearn Finance, it's like no one could have come up with Yearn Finance on its own it.  Like we needed ERC 20s and then uniswap and then compound and all these like sort of primitives and building blocks.  And through like the simple, like ERC 20 token primitive, like once we discovered that, it allowed for us to like explore in a new direction and then things emerged out of that and things emerged out of that.  And then eventually we came to what is like Yearn Finance, you know?

So I think whenever, like we're designing these like new paradigms in Web Three, I think it's important not to like overcomplicate it and try to build like these really complex things, but instead focus on like doing one thing well, and then composing with everything else.  You know, focus on interoperability, composition, collaboration.  For MetaFactory, right?  We're hyper focused on this one vertical of like just doing merch really well.  You know, if every community was to try to figure out their own merch, they'd probably do a crappy job and, you know, waste a bunch of resources.  But, you know, we've spent that like, you know, hundreds of thousands of dollars and time and effort to like figure out the production and, you know the materials and like really upping the quality, like, and then we can open that up for everyone else to use and, and plug into.

And if everyone does that, we can create these like building blocks and it allows people to then, you know, be creative and plug them in, in interesting ways and do—allow that cool complex stuff to emerge from it.  And it's, it's almost like biomimicry in—from like how nature works,  right?  You can kind of derive all the complexity of nature from simple, like mathematical, you know, constants, like, you know, the golden ratio or the Fibonacci sequence and pie, like those fundamental, like things from which you can derive all of the complexity of life.  

So, you know, the, the more we try to like operate in the way, like the universe and nature operates, I think the more successful we'll be.

Host:  That's deep.  I'm glad I gave you a chance to explain that I would not have come up with any of that on my own.  So thank you.

METADREAMER:  That was a—that was a good one to pick for sure.

Host:  Yeah.  Well, and then I've got one more this is from July 23rd, 2021.  So I didn't have to dig very deep 'cause you've got a lot of good stuff on your Twitter and I think you just got back from - - CCs.  So I think there were a lot of a lot of thoughts tweeted from Paris in the last week or two.  But this one you said, "broke is prediction market and bespoke is curation game."  I think you alluded to this—the curation game earlier in this interview, but do you want to go ahead and explain that a little bit?

METADREAMER:  Yeah.  So I think, you know, people have been talking about prediction markets for a long time and I think it is a really powerful paradigm, but it's had like some sort of difficulty like taking off or really being used.  And I think it's sort of the framing of it.  Prediction market sort of implies that it's like you're gambling and like you're speculating on like the work of someone else or other things that are happening.  

But reframing a prediction market as a curation game changes that—changes that narrative to be more so as a curator, you are providing value by curating, you know.  So it's—you're not just speculating and you know, gambling on what's going to happen, but more so you're curating what's valuable and what should happen and that your opinion is what, you know, adds value into that ecosystem.

And it's a game because, you know, for MetaFactory, we're using the curation game to curate merch, you know, what merch we should drop.  So it's not just like one time, you know, predict what's going to happen, but more so it's like a game loop, you know, you're continuing like guessing what's going to happen, like reallocating your things to the next thing.  Like it's a—it's a dynamic, interactive, multidimensional-like type of experience.  So I think, you know, people are going to start using curation games for a lot of other things as well.  If you watch Vitax [phonetic] talk at ETHCC, he talks about, you know, the future of crypto beyond DeFi.  And you know, taking a look at social media and like discourse online and how, you know, quality of the conversation isn't necessarily correlated with like what gets the most attention.  And, you know, the things that get the most attention are usually low quality.  

So like how do we fix these things?  And even in crypto, like if people don't talk about enough, but you know, Web Three burnout is like a real thing.  You know, this is such an information overload of like things happening and things going on.  And it's because like all of us are individually like, you know, doing all our own research and having to look at everything.  But if we have like markets where we can curate this data and have incentives for people to do high quality curation, then we can sort of titrate like how much information we want to know.  Like, just give me like, you know, the top 5% of stuff this week on DAOs.  You know, instead of me having to like, look at everything on Twitter and just take all this information.  And so I think, you know, a curation game is a much better framing for the value that, you know, prediction markets provide.

Host:  Yeah.  Another very insightful and deep tweet, man.  Now, I'm like, how, how do we get you to explain every tweet you have, 'cause you have so many tweet like this.  And I feel like people just aren't getting the value that is actually in this tweet just by reading it.

METADREAMER:  Yeah.  For me, like I almost treat Twitter as like a place to like write down my like latent thoughts.  So like it makes sense to me or it's kind of like a really like distilled, like you know, 'cause I don't want to write a whole blog article about it, but like just having that there, I think like anchors it and then I can, you know, you can have conversations about it and it can, you know, bring it up and remember, you know, what context you tweeted that in and what's connected to.  

So yeah, I think I get asked that question a lot too from people like coming into crypto or coming to like, you know, they're not used to using Twitter or engaging on Twitter and they're like, you know, how do I tweet?  Like what do I—what should I say to like get, and you know, people kind of think of it as like, it should be some sort of crafted thing, but I tell people, you know, you should just like use it as like a way to like write down your thoughts.  And you know, have like think out loud where everyone can see what you're thinking.  And you don't really have to craft anything.  It's just like, you know write down your thoughts as they come.  And then the people who are—who align with your way of thinking are going to connect with you and you're going to be able to connect with others who also align in that way.  

So, you know, like Twitter was really the thing that like allowed me to, you know, connect with people in the space, like see what's going on.  You know, really go from just being like a outsider, you know, observing to, to being actively involved.  

Host:  Yeah, for sure.  I can say the same thing for myself.  So thank you Twitter.

METADREAMER:  But at the same time, you know, it's like a—there's a dark side to Twitter as well and—

Host:  [Interposing] Oh yeah.  

METADREAMER:  You know, I do think we need a better alternative, but we'll get there.

Host:  Yeah, yeah.  A 100%.  But thank you Twitter for bringing us together for this podcast interview.  We can at least, you know, thank Twitter for that.  Awesome.  Well, thank you so much, METADREAMER for being here today.  Before you go tell—can you just tell people where they can find you if they want to connect with you personally?  And then also, where they can go to learn more about MetaFactory and then for people who are new to MetaFactory, what are some like initial, cool, easy things that they can do right away when they go on your website?

METADREAMER:  Yeah, sure.  So you can find me on Twitter at meta underscore dreamer (@meta_dreamer).  That's me.  And then MetaFactory is at the MetaFactory (@TheMetaFactory).  From our Twitter, you should be able to like find your way around to everything else.  Like there's link to our website and, and other interesting things.  In terms of people who like are interested in MetaFactory and like what they can do jump in our discord, you know, interest boost yourself, like see all the stuff people are posting and doing and, and bring their cool ideas.  

I think, you know, a lot of people when it comes to like being a part of these like crypto communities and DAOs, like they ask like, oh, what should I do?  Or like, what can I do?  But I think it's more so about you telling us what to do, you know, like it's a lot of like unlearning than needs to happen where people don't expect to just like walk into like a Google office and sit down and start working, you know?  But that's really how it works in DAOs.  You can just like show up and start doing stuff and, you know, if people find it cool, then it'll, you know, progress and, you know, next thing you know, you're, you're part of the core team.  That happens a lot actually.  So yeah, I think just, you know, explore, see what, see what resonates with you and then, you know, come join the discord and talk about it.

Host:  Awesome.  Awesome.  Sounds great.  Well, thanks again so much for taking the time to come on the podcast today and telling us all about MetaFactory.  I can't wait to follow along and see what happens.  Also, I really want to see a female swimsuit version of that Bankless pattern 'cause I'm obsessed with it.  And I—yeah, let, let's stay in touch and maybe we can see how we can collab in the future as well.

METADREAMER:  For sure.  Yeah.  Thanks for having me.  This was really awesome and yeah, I'll, I'll reach out to, to the Bankless team right after this.

Host:  Awesome.  

METADREAMER:  Give them the short stop.

Host:  I can't wait.  Awesome.  Awesome.  Thanks so much.  Thanks listeners for tuning in as always.  And we'll be back again soon with another episode of The Unstoppable Podcast.

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