In November, Blind Boxes CEO Anita Angelica Moore hosted a Telegram AMA with the $BLES community. Users won up to 300 $BLES for each question that was submitted and selected. As a nod to our long term project supporters, questions submitted by $BLES stakers received 6X rewards.
- Long Term Strategy
- Target Customers
- Strengths + Weaknesses
- BLES Tokenomics
Check out this transcript of the event.
@Travelcrypto1 asks: When you 1st launched you advised you had over 160 artists for onboarding why has this not happened as by my count only 70 so far across 3 networks… where are the rest and how can you speed up onboarding?”
Answer: When we launched we onboarded 100+ artists and brands, however many of the artists either never responded once we admitted them, or continued the dialog but never ended up listing collections. This could have been due to numerous factors.
My candid assessment is that since our user interface at launch was not crisp/mainstream-ready, we lost the confidence of some users. The lack of coherent design can be attributed to the void of the leadership of our design team. These issues were spotted and have been triaged, however. Version 2 of the platform is a significant improvement to the beta product.
Fortunately, we still maintain this database of artists and many will begin releasing new collections soon,
However, the market has evolved significantly since March 2021. As such our focus too has shifted. Concerning artists, there are now two categories, verified and unverified.
Unverified artists can list at will. In fact, anyone in this chat can list a collection. We will not regulate this side of the market unless we see signs of blatant plagiarism. In those cases, we will hide the collection from the user interface. Users can then petition to have their collection relisted. Unverified users are an important part of our marketplace as they provide volume and variety to the platform.
Verified creators are a separate special category with a high barrier to entry and a focus on quality and marketability.
Soon we will outline the criteria for gaining this designation. For these creators, the bare minimum will be that the users are doxxed or that they have a robust public profile under their alias. These creators must have a history and a projected future in creating NFTs. This process is far more onerous and the number of creators that will make the cut will be thinner here.
Ultimately for art NFTs on Blind Boxes, there is a balance between quality and quantity.
Metaverse, gaming, and collectible NFTs will have different dynamics in terms of onboarding. These are all about partnerships and collaborations. To bulk up our inventory in that regard we will soon start leveraging tools including:
- SEO optimized blog posts
- Press releases
- Targeted outreach by new business development hires
Topic: Product Development
@mehmetongny asks: Many blockchain projects exist only on paper and have no product, or have a product with no practical use case. Please tell us about the project’s current practical product in use. What are your plans for making the product better in the future?
Answer: Unlike some NFT projects that launched tokens in early 2021, we have had a working product a month after our token launched in March 2021.
Although the product was in beta, it was revenue-generating. Subsequently, we launched V2 of the marketplace. That version has also been bringing in steading sales each month.
As alluded to previously, we have been limited from a tech perspective due to the leadership capabilities of our previous tech lead.
On the back end, it was evident to me that the platform still was not fully ready for broad adoption. Instead of over-marketing a product that was not fully ready for “prime time use”, we have taken a more conservative approach, quietly refining the product over time. The product is now at considerably better place from a tech perspective than it was at launch.
Looking ahead, the previous tech team has been entirely replaced. We are very confident in the abilities of our new team. I have seen them in action and they are lightning-fast and deeply educated.
Given the state of the V2 marketplace, we have decided to rebuild the entire marketplace from the ground up, on a smart contract level. This change is already underway. Users will not experience service disruption though, since we will keep the current marketplace live until V3 is ready for the public.
Topic: Long Term Strategy
Flamesion asks: Most investors only focus on the short-term price of the token instead of the actual value of the project. So what are the benefits for long-term investors?
Answer: Blind Boxes is a long-term project. From the earliest AMA’s our underlying message has been the fact that we are nimble, forward-looking, and here to disrupt industries (not just follow trends).
To date, we have kept our overhead costs and monthly burn rate relatively low. The benefit of this approach is that we have kept our “powder dry” and now have ample reserves to do big things creatively, pump marketing, experiment with R&D, and make excellent hires. This approach was necessary because in many ways the tech and team were not ready to truly compete with the heavy hitters and incumbent marketplaces in the space.
Now we have a tech team that we are confident in. We also have a revised, more thoughtful strategy to directly address more clearly real unmet needs in the NFT and Defi space. We are learning and evolving as quickly as the market is. We are not the same company we were in March 2021. We are more mature and more ready. This is the time to turn the engines on.
What does this mean?
- Significantly more spend on digital marketing
- Deeper engagement with high-quality influencers, PR, and guerilla / experiential marketing
- Disclosed an undisclosed initiatives to develop new, proprietary products to address unmet needs in this rapidly evolving market
Topic: Target Customers
@yaroslava_borz asks: Who are Blind Boxes target customers? Can a novice make use of Blind Boxes or is there a guide on how to go about it?
Answer: I would love to say that Blind Boxes is for beginners, but as it currently stands we are better suited for crypto speculators and the crypto experienced.
For example, the launchpad will focus on bleeding edge (super early) projects with high potential. Crypto speculators understand the dynamics of investing early. This product will be targeted to them.
Our launchpad at full maturity will have differentiated features like an aggregated rating system (think: Rotten Tomatoes) and other tools to help NFT and crypto project investors make educated decisions.
However, the novice customer is very important to us. We have a guide to get started, which you can find HERE.
I encourage you to check it out. All of the steps needed to list your first collection are there. I find the guide easy to use, but we would appreciate feedback on this document.
What is missing? What makes no sense? What would you like to see more of?
Feel free to share your feedback on the guide in this main group or on Twitter. Just remember to use #feedback
Looking ahead, we will focus on producing engaging and fun video and motion graphic content through our marketing partners, Final Film. This Netherland’s based team is stellar and well experienced in making engaging, beginner-friendly content.
Topic: Strengths + Weaknesses
@MaruHikogo asks: Almost everyone wants to know what the strengths of the project are. but can you tell me the weaknesses and problems you are facing? How will you solve it?
Answer: Our largest hurdle has been finding and hiring the best people.
A project is ultimately defined by the strength of its team. During this year we have trialed numerous team members. Some were doxxed, some preferred to remain anonymous. Some did better than others, however, this industry demands a high standard of excellence and ingenuity. We have leveraged headhunters in the past, however, we have been disappointed in that regard as well.
To address this bottleneck we are soon launching the Blind Boxes NFT Job board. This board is already under development.
The motivation of this initiative is threefold:
- address our own hiring needs as we begin our rapid expansion
- generate revenue (by hosting jobs for other projects)
- position www.blindboxes.io as a highly trafficked landing page for a broad audience
We are also kicking off a paid rotational internship program. Through this program, we will target the brightest minds, primarily (but not limited to) those attending top-tier universities and grad schools. Since I am an alma mater of Yale and Columbia, those communities will be a natural jumping-off point. We will certainly look beyond those schools as well.
The goal is to tap into ambitious intelligent people who are ambitious and eager to break into crypto.
If you are interested in pursuing a role with Blind Boxes, submit your CV and short paragraph introducing yourself to firstname.lastname@example.org. Use subject “BLES Hiring”
@Kraken_Coke asks: Can you tell us more about the road map for late 2021/early 2022. What are you most excited about, anything that will make $bles stand out against the competition?
Answer: The next 3 months will entail:
- Rebuilding/reauditing the existing marketplace from a smart contract level (in progress)
- Bolting on new features including the Launchpad, Minting engine, and auction functionality
- Bulking up our educational resources (i.e. SEO optimized blog posts) to drive new users
- Developing proprietary tech (undisclosed)
I am most excited about the launchpad and minting engine.
Launchpad will address the needs of what we perceive to be our current core community, NFT speculators, and investors. By providing access to vetted super early-stage products, we will provide the community with actionable opportunities to capitalize, even in Bear markets.
I see the minting feature as a utility that can be leveraged by people even outside of our community.
For example, until now we have sent users to our competitors to mint NFTs and then asked them to return to us. That is not sustainable or wise strategically. We want the opposite dynamic.
Expect the Blind Boxes minting engine to be virtually gasless have features like bulk minting (hello 10K NFT projects), royalties .. and undisclosed features. More details on those later. If executed well, our minting engine will drive a significant volume of traffic to our ecosystem. Add, of course, $BLES will be leveraged throughout both the launchpad and NFT minting engine.
Topic: BLES Tokenomics
@SkyKnightM asks: Most of the projects are solid with good token utility and infrastructure but underperform because investors dump their prices after listing on the first exchange. What will you do to minimize the risk caused by investors dumping tokens?
Answer: From the onset, our tokenomics have included vesting and other features to help prevent dumping. Even the way that we structured our allocations (as in no single VC or angel investor had a huge allocation) was designed to prevent dumping.
However, this is an unavoidable element in the crypto space. One way we have mitigated dumping is by maintaining continuous dialog with our private and seed investors. By building confidence in our long-term outlook, we hope to have curbed this dumping pressure. We also enacted a change in our private sale token distribution that took us from a monthly stepwise token release to a linear continuous release mechanism.
Nevertheless, we must accept this dynamic. The best way to counteract dumping by early-stage investors: significantly expand the community of token holders while building a highly competitive market-leading product. This is an initiative that we focus on daily.
@P232425j asks: Do you and your team ever consider approaching old-style marketing for $BLES (billboards in metro stations, flyers, etc)?
Answer: Yes! We are very excited about this approach. This is one key way we will differentiate from other NFT projects. We have been in negotiations with a new hire/advisor whose specialty is in person and guerilla marketing. For example, his latest endeavor was a massive immersive NFT gallery experience in one of NYC’s most highly trafficked train stations — Penn Station.
He has been a friend to the project until now, however, we did not engage him yet due to the technical setbacks mentioned earlier. Once he is fully onboarded we look forward to introducing him to the community.
Also within the traditional marketing space, we have started to develop a well-researched digital strategy for Facebook and Instagram. Instead of just throwing up ads and “seeing what sticks”, we have very recently started working with a high-level executive from Tik Tok’s global marketing division.
This individual will be advising us on a part-time, project-based basis. We are excited about this individual and the insights that will be brought to the table. Given potential conflicts of interest, we have not determined if this individual will be doxxed or anonymous. I have a preference for this person being doxxed though, given their super impressive background.
About Blind Boxes
Blind Boxes is a gamified curation platform and launchpad for NFTs (non-fungible tokens). This highly scalable dApp enables brands and creators to diversify their revenue streams, increase the liquidity of their creative assets, and become leaders in decentralized global economies while engaging fans and buyers to discover and collect rare, limited edition NFTs.
Via the Blind Boxes Marketplace, buyers experience the thrill of time-released curated NFT collections. Collectors virtually unbox exclusive items, curated by tastemakers across art, music, sports, and entertainment. Curation is at the core of our value proposition. The platform offers a commission structure that incentivizes independent contributors to curate blind box collections that feature top-tier talent, emerging artists, and designers from around the world.