Adam Ilenich on Web3 Community Building, Twitter and Rarible

Adam Ilenich on Web3 Community Building, Twitter and Rarible

In an exclusive interview with cryptonews.com, Adam Ilenich, Head of Community at Rarible, talks about community building in Web3, working at Twitter, and provides tips for growing your social media presence.

About Adam Ilenich

Adam Ilenich is the Head of Community at Rarible, where he oversees social media marketing, partnership activations, and Discord—all while finding ways to be involved in events and new business, too. He also co-hosts Rarible’s Monday “GM Weekly” Twitter Spaces. Prior to joining Rarible, he worked at Twitter running the @TwitterMktg handle and producing some of the highest-performing content on that channel. He has bachelor’s degrees in Journalism and Political Theory from Michigan State University.

Adam Ilenich gave a wide-ranging exclusive interview which you can see below, and we are happy for you to use it for publication provided there is a credit to www.cryptonews.com. 

Highlights Of The Interview

  • Community building and the importance of community in Web3.
  • Rarible 2 aggregated marketplace.
  • Rarible is the first blue-chip NFT company to integrate a ve-model.
  • $RARI buying and listing rewards – competing with NFT marketplaces.
  • Growing on socials; quality interactions and quality content over numbers. 

 

 

 

Full Transcript Of The Interview

Matt Zahab 
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to the Cryptonews pod. We’re buzzin as always, and today we have Adam Ilenich, the Head of Community at Rarible, where he oversees social media marketing, partnership activations, and discord all while finding ways to be involved in events and new business as well. He also co-hosts Rarible’s Monday, GM weekly Twitter spaces. Prior to joining Rarible he worked at the one and only Twitter, running the @TwitterMktg handle and producing some of the highest performing content on the channel. He has a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and political theory from Michigan State University. Without further ado, I’m very pleased to welcome Adam Ilenich to the Cryptonews podcast. Adam, welcome to the show.

Adam Ilenich 
Thank you so much, Matt. How are you doing this morning?

Matt Zahab 
I’m lovely to get old Monday morning for Adam and I carried it up. We’re both eyes are a little baggy, probably slightly over caffeinated and under slept, but we’re dancing and romancing and appreciate you coming on.

Adam Ilenich 
Absolutely. Absolutely. Thank you for having me. I’m excited for today’s conversation.

Matt Zahab 
Let’s start with good old Twitter, tons of Twitter in the news, present day. And the bread and butter that is our boy Elon, the Lord and Savior of perhaps our whole universe, He is very keen and very horny for this takeover. We don’t know how horny he is anymore. Supposedly, there’s way too many bots, you had the opportunity to really work some magic at Twitter, I’d love to ask you about some of these conspiracies and some of the stories about the Twitter team and how everyone supposedly works one hour days and doesn’t ship anything and loves the dream and gets overly paid. What was the culture like there? Do you ever? Do you ever have any run ins with Jack Dorsey? Like, give me give me a couple of good Twitter stories?

Adam Ilenich 
Yeah, well, you know, I’ll start by saying that there are a lot of conspiracy theories out there about tech and tech jobs. Tech jobs, you know, tend to sort of have this mystery around them where no one knows what anyone actually does. A lot of people speculate on compensation on benefits on why like Google, for example, or Facebook, for example, have these like amazing cafeterias that are serving restaurant quality foods, their employees every day, you know, there’s a lot of confusion and swirl around that. But I will say that for the most part, Twitter was an incredible experience with people who worked longer hours, that nine to five, I mean, the rumor that tech people don’t work, I think, you know, when it comes to marketing, especially, which was the order that I was in the organization that I was in, it was somewhat seasonal. So there were times such as you know, over the summer, where we just didn’t have like the volume of campaigns that we might normally have in the holiday season, for example, or the new year or in the fall for back to school. I mean, there’s like a lot of reasons why the marketing sort of industry as a whole, it goes quiet at certain times of the year. And that’s reflective of consumer behavior as well. A lot of times there’s summer breaks, a lot of times people are taking vacation. So you know, this concept that people aren’t really working. You know, I don’t I don’t stand by it, uh, my the team that I was on very hard workers. But in terms of some Twitter stories, I did run into Jack once in the elevator, and he is, you know, a little bit awkward if you’ve ever seen interviews with him. He’s just kind of like an awkward guy. I think that he sort of has one foot in reality and sort of the other foot like already in the future. He’s just like, his mind is already buzzing with ideas and with different things were hit really? Yeah, he’s already like five years in the future in his own brain, but his body’s stuck sort of in that elevator with me. So like I said, hi to him. He asked me what I did. I said that I worked on marketing. He said that he you know, he always laughs when he sees Twitter’s tweets. I wasn’t writing Twitter’s tweets at the time. So I just sort of like laughed with him and didn’t want to correct him. But cool guy, you know, has a lot of vision. You know, I’m not here to say that, like all of his all of his opinions are spot on, in my opinion. But hey, he’s a cool guy.

Matt Zahab
Built some pretty prominent and successful companies and quite the dude, definitely love it in the future. You’re right about that.

Adam Ilenich
Yeah.

Matt Zahab
What about this muskie takeover? You about it?

Adam Ilenich 
I’m not about it. I’m not about it. And I’ll tell you why. There’s one very particular reason. I personally don’t really care. Like, who owns Twitter. From like a personal perspective. What I do care about, though, pretty strongly is just the commitment to things like health and safety. And so Twitter has entire teams of people who have really built their careers on navigating What conversation looks like in the public era, where anyone can really say anything, and how do we handle that? So Do you know if someone Miss genders you online if someone threatens you online, if someone you know is revealing false information that could potentially sway you to vote in a particular direction, those are all things that are fairly serious. And from the sound of Elon Musk, he’s looking to take away all of the like sort of safe health and safety precautions that the team has built into the product to try to make it a little bit of a little bit less of a cesspool. I guess we could say, I’m not saying Twitter is a cesspool, I think humanity can be a cesspool at times. But you know, even Facebook, even like larger tech companies have not cracked the code on how do we enforce conversation in a way that’s not violent and aggressive. It happens all the time, it happens to many people. And it sounds like from what I’ve read, and the interviews that I’ve witnessed with Elon Musk, he’s looking to make it more of like a wild west, where anyone can say anything really leading into like the First Amendment, you know, which that is also not unfettered, you cannot, you know, scream fire in a crowded building. So this belief that you can say anything at any time is just incorrect. And so I find that when you’re trying to have a conversation, particularly with someone you disagree with, getting violent, using slurs, misgendering people, there’s a whole host of ways in which the conversation becomes unproductive. And if that environment is allowed to thrive, I think people will ultimately leave the platform, which then would result in less monetizable daily active users, which results in less advertising revenue, which then results in a company with, you know, decreasing profits. So I would say that I don’t think it’s great from a user perspective. I also don’t think it’s going to be great for a like, operational product and like, just leadership perspective, but I mean, listen, he’s down to take on that risk and to take on the bots I hear, so.

Matt Zahab
It’s building on your points there, it’s so difficult to find that healthy medium between a wild wild west where you can truly say anything in free speech is truly there and being censored. It’s, I hate the word impossible. But I would say it’s probably impossible. I don’t think there’s a world or just a place where that healthy medium can live. I just I can’t see it happening. And candidly, I don’t know which one’s better, right. I know, right now, we sort of have sensor ship city population us. I don’t know if it’s working too. Well, I again, we don’t really know what the other end of the spectrum looks like with the wild wild west. So I can’t really chime in in this regard. But the bots though, this is one thing that I just think is nonsensical. And I do not understand how Twitter doesn’t fix this because you go on any famous person’s tweet and there’s a million fake Elon Musk’s with blue checkmarks. Mind you, or Vegas, white checkmark, somewhat dark mode, you know, tomato tomahto. But how the hell does Twitter not fix this? Like, it is so apparent? And I know the reason is because Oh, well. If we’re deleting bots, and if we’re deleting bot posts, what if they’re real, but it’s like, dude, just friggin Wakey wakey. Open up your eyes, there’s so clearly fake bot posts. Adam, how is this still a thing? This is bonkers, my mind.

Adam Ilenich 
I know. You know, I wish I knew more about the ways in which Twitter is working on this particular issue. Just being in the marketing team, like a lot of what we were doing was brand marketing. We were not focused on the product or on the technical side. Really, I think what, you know, my limited understanding of how this works, you know, there is a number out there. I don’t I don’t have it offhand. But I’m sure at some sort of like earnings report or yearly report, you can see how many new accounts were created in that quarter? How many new Twitter accounts. So if someone has a verifiable phone number, and email address, and the account is sending tweets, who is to say that it is a bot? I don’t I don’t know if I personally have any, like, technical way to determine whether or not it’s a bot or human. What I think is interesting about web3 is there actually are companies who are coming out with ways of verifying identity and verifying humanity. But then on the other hand, you also have a lot of people who are saying, Oh, I don’t want to KYC I want to have anonymity, I want to have the opportunity to do whatever I want in the safety of my anonymity. So how can twitter say that you’re a bot or not if people don’t have to force themselves to prove that they’re human? So there’s almost like this impossible task of people saying they want anonymity but they don’t want to deal with bad actors who are also anonymous, who are creating bots. It’s really a tough challenge. 

Matt Zahab 
Crazy. Let’s buzz over to crypto Twitter for a second. I friggin love crypto Twitter. It’s not as fun as it used to be obviously, when we were all making money. It was a hell of a lot more fun, right? Yeah. All right. Pretty par for the course there. But do you ever find it interesting that Twitter is the wild wild west for crypto. Like, I sometimes think I’m like, what if it was? What if it was instead? What if it was FB I know you know, Telegram but again, it’s different but like sort of the public facing domain and arena of crypto is Twitter. It’s where you have to be you don’t have a choice. I don’t think there are any prominent accounts that don’t run on those. A couple of people have, you know, decent sized TikTok followings or decent sized Insta followings, but it’s really just crypto Twitter. Did you when you were still at Twitter? Did you see this phenomenon catching on? Like, did you ever you ever thought about where and what social media platform could potentially house the crypto Wild Wild West?

Adam Ilenich 
Yeah, I went while I was there, you know, one of the big reasons I decided to leave and actually move into a more web3 native role. You know, I’m working in NFTs, which is not exactly crypto, but definitely crypto adjacent. I saw the conversation happening. And Twitter actually did several campaigns, because Twitter itself looks at what is the conversation on our platform, you know, what are the key words that are most being used over, you know, one week, one month, one year, etc. And so Twitter came out with its own collection of NFTs that were dropped on Rarible, that sort of reference the history of Twitter. So there was one that sort of like the reply guy, there was another one that was sort of like the bird logo. There was, there were several, there were several other ones, but all of them are really cool. All of them, you know, had like a lot of great texture, a lot of great art. And so once that came out, I want to say it’s let’s see, it’s 2022 right now. So I want to say that came out in 2021. And then earlier this year, also Twitter integrated the hexagon gfps. If you have Twitter blue, you know you can connect your wallet, you can you can verify that you have an NFT you can then make it your profile picture to cut down on people just using any random jpg as their PFP. So I think for me, you know, seeing those two things from Twitter sort of back to back, I was like, Huh, okay, web3 is real, like, crypto is real. NFTs are real. I’m curious about getting into this. And then, you know, when it comes to Twitter as a as a place for people to talk about web3, it makes a lot of sense because, you know, Facebook and Insta have moved to become primarily visual platforms similar with TikTok. And just like crypto and NFTs, while yes, a lot of times like NFTs are, unless you’re just posting charts of like daily moving averages, or like other like random visuals, you’re not going to get a lot of traction, you need the words exactly. And so Twitter became a very obvious place for people to talk for. And you also get memes. You know, you also get technical analysis, you get a lot of people who are able to debate about, you know, I come from the NFT world. So it’s more about, you know, building community than it is really about, like the technicians talking about, you know, whatever their flag patterns are seeing that day. But all of this all this to say you needed the words and Twitter just happened to be there. Another interesting component, I think, too is Twitter still has the millennials who now have the purchasing power to be able to spend on things like crypto. I think TikTok a lot of times skews younger, maybe even like high school age college age, those people do not unfortunately, the vast majority of them have the expendable income Yeah, to just to spend on crypto when it’s so volatile. And so I think you know, Twitter was just right time, right place, right medium. I don’t think there’s anything about Twitter in particular that sets it apart. Other than those things, it was sort of a happy accident. But I think Twitter will take the action, it will take the action.

Matt Zahab 
Well said. One of the things I love about crypto Twitter is the jargon as well. Like the memes the shit posting the jargon, I feel like this is one of the areas of Twitter where if you’re a Normie, and you come in, and you’re rookie, and you, you know, follow, like when I have friends are like, Hey, how can I learn more, I just go literally go to everyone on following, or I’ll invite them to some lists I’ve created on Twitter. And I get a text the next day and I’ll be like, What the fuck are these people talking about? You know, they have they have no clue what is going on? Because of the jargon is absurd. Like, will this ever change? Or do you think is just going to keep getting worse? Personally, I can’t see it. I think it’s just getting worse and worse. And worse. There’s more new crazy terms that pop up every single day.

Adam Ilenich 
Yeah, you know, I kind of like, this is where sort of my community side starts to show in any sort of community. This could be like scientific communities. This could be like legal communities, there’s going to be jargon that are just particular to that world. You know, when you are watching a case right now, I’ve been obsessed with the case happening in Wisconsin with Darrell Brooks. And the you know, the judge is constantly using these legal terms that I’m like, oh shit, I don’t know what that means. So I need to go like look it up and learn what this means if I want to be you know, in this world, or it could be you know, my partner is a physician. He works with animals. He’s a vet, and he does surgery and sometimes he’s telling me about a procedure. I don’t know, I don’t know what he’s talking about. But when it comes to crypto because I am in that community, and I’m a part of it, I’m actively a part of it, I know what it means. And I like Get hyped. When someone I don’t know, there’s like, you know, even earlier today, I think I use the term like daily moving average or something like that in the crypto world. And that’s more from my side of watching, like technical analysis on you know, Bitcoins, price, ETHs price, etc. But it actually makes me feel a part of something. And for people who want to join, it almost is like a test of like, well, how willing are you to like, actually learn how we talk in this environment? And then how willing are you to stick around, it’s almost like a little bit of a test, and I’m here for it, I’m gonna be.

Matt Zahab 
It is a great stress test that really is no different than going on those first couple of dates, where it’s like, Alright, how many? How many green flags are there? How many red flags can I put up with? It’s no different. It’s like, Can you can you put your big boy or big girl boots on and go through the shit of crypto Twitter and learning and googling what all these words mean? Or cross referencing different tweets? It’s, it’s interesting, and it’s fun.

Adam Ilenich 
Yeah, I would say that people are also like, super open to having conversations, because this industry is unfolding faster than even the Internet came about, like the adoption of crypto and crypto adjacent industries, such as NFTs, it’s happening faster than the internet. So literally, I could say that I’m in the crypto community or the NFT community. And tomorrow, some new thing might have happened where I don’t even know what that is. It’s because it’s developing so quickly that all of us are actually like, this is where I think WAGMI comes in, like where it was, we’re all going to make it and now I think it’s just we are going to make it. But I think it’s sort of like a nod to this fact that it’s all happening so fast, all of us are willing to sort of help each other put the pieces together. But if the information is out there, I think there is also sort of a healthy level of like, DYOR, do your own research. Before coming into this space. Just don’t just show up one day and expect people are going to tell you what the good trades are, you know, tell you the what the merge was all about. telling you about what the Lightning Network means on Bitcoin. It’s sort of like, if it’s out there, you can go do the research. But if you want to have a productive discussion about what’s coming next, what you think the implications are those sorts of things, I found that people are very open to. 

Matt Zahab 
Well said there. You have a proven track record on an in building communities, which is so paramount to success. And I feel like it’s becoming more important than ever. People are realizing the importance of digital communities and our IRL communities are becoming smaller and smaller, and sort of less important as we spend so much friggin time online. With that being said, people in your position are getting paid a pretty penny to do a very difficult task and that is built communities. I’m gonna throw a study question your way here. But what are some of the sort of most low hanging fruit tips you can give myself or anyone else who wants to build a community? Not even in web3, just in general building online digital communities? Where do you start? What tips do you have? What should everyone do?

Adam Ilenich 
Yeah, I think the lowest hanging fruit right now is just replying to tweets. We’ve just spent a lot of time talking about Twitter. Twitter is where I would recommend that community be built alongside discord. Now they’re obviously for web3 companies. There’s like a lot of alternative options as well, which we can talk about later if you want. But I would say that like Twitter and Discord are the main ones. And the most low hanging fruit is just to reply to someone who either has a question who has a comment, and just let them know that you see them. I think there’s nothing worse than you. If you think about it, in IRL terms, walking into a networking event, where you don’t really know anyone, and you try to walk up to someone and ask them a question and then it completely ignore you. If that happened to me, I would just leave I would just walk out if the first person I spoke to was that cold that they didn’t want to even answer my question didn’t want to not that there needs to be fanfare but if they didn’t want to engage with me or even if I walked into the host that’s even a better analogy because you know, you are tired Twitter right? Where did that was? I’m the host Yeah, my team my team is the host someone walks up to us says hello we ignore them they’re out we have lost that person probably forever unless there’s some financial incentive to come back. And so the most low hanging fruit is just say hi.

Matt Zahab 
Oh rare, and I’m terrible at this too. I get replies and I just I’m like yeah, whatever it is what it is, but and it’s no excuse it takes 20 seconds to get your Twitter fingers buzzing and ready to freakin tweet. You know, there’s no excuse. 

Adam Ilenich 
Yeah, I think low hanging fruit is really like for the people who are starting out I would say like for someone like you or for someone like Rarible, like we have to be a little bit more strategic because we’re getting hundreds if not 1000s of replies a day or native tweets or, you know, pings IN OUR DISCORD about things. Things that you know are already answered in our FAQ is like, there’s a lot of reasons why we might reply to one thing versus another. And that’s where like scalability comes into it. Like for example, with our Discord, our Discord Community Manager, his name is Six, he’s doing an incredible job of integrating technology into our Discord that proactively answers questions that proactively finds, you know, conversations previously in our Discord that are sort of in the same vein as what the person is talking about. Now, that way a human a person doesn’t have to be doing it every single time. Because if someone you know if 10 People ask the same question, but it’s already covered in our FAQ, and we can just have the FAQ answer immediately pop up automatically. That to me is like, okay, we’re doing a good job, because it frees up time it frees up space to do more strategic, more direct one on one work where the community building actually needs to happen. So low hanging fruit is just like replying, be present, then like the next evolution of that that’s like maybe that’s like the Charmander. And then there’s like the Charmeleon, which would be like be strategic about what you engage with. And the way that you do that is with like, scalability tools. And again, as I’ve mentioned, there’s a couple out there, but one of the ones that we’re looking at right now is how to integrate technology into our Discord. that will that will surface information because our Discord a lot of times people are asking for help. They’re looking for help with their NFTS with minting, with auctions, etc. All of which is information. There’s no reason my community manager needs to sit in there all day and just answer questions. We’re allowing those people to get the answers they need. And he can work on more of like the one on one stuff, which is, I think, where the magic of community.

Matt Zahab 
Really good point there. They’re really, really good points, especially the one on one is so key. And the other I find the biggest issue with community building and web three, I guess, just in general is how quickly you can lose someone. Right? It’s like it’s so hard to get them in. And once they’re in all it takes is literal, literally one bad touch point, or not even a touch point where two other community members can be causing a little shitshow between themselves. You know, Adam rules in Matt’s Community and I read about this life does you know what I mean? It’s yeah, it’s pretty crazy. Any tools or you mentioned Twitter, you mentioned discord? Do you have any other piece of software that you use to really help? 

Adam Ilenich 
One thing that I’m looking into right now is I’m looking into like more web3 native tools and what I mean by that, you know, we spent a lot of time talking about how Twitter is really the home of the web3 conversation discord, I think it’s an obvious one although discord would I think serve its community well by investing more into security and trying to figure out ways to get in front of hackers now here’s the thing scammer this is the same in the same vein as what we talked about with Twitter with the bots discord can build the most incredible security system but there are people out there who see it as their job to break that security system or who have fun doing it you can’t get in front of everything so you know all of us can be like why isn’t discord more secure same reason why twist Twitter has all these problems with bots is there are people out there unfortunately, who make this their goal who make this their life and some of them end up making millions of dollars off of it because when you have a scam that is successful, you know, we had one in Rarible in our Discord or like earlier this year, there was a malicious link that was posted people thought it was a free mint people didn’t lose that much I want to say across you know, maybe a couple of 100 wallets, it was anywhere between seven and eight grand and we refunded everyone of course. So you know, there are always going to be security issues that happen. But what I was going to say was, I’m right now looking into tools like the lens protocol, this is spun off by the team behind Ave and it is a web3 on change social network, where like anything that you sort of like imagine that you’re like sending out a post you’re sending out a tweet, it’s some type of content you own that So ultimately, you know someone else could mint your content and then you would make the money off of it. There’s a lot of interesting ways why that is school for web3, it’s on chain and those are the types of things that we’re looking for because I think maybe in two years and three years in five years the adoption is going to be much more mainstream and so why not be there now of course we’re still taking care of our Twitter OUR DISCORD our Instagram but getting into these other platforms early where the adoption is quite not there yet but we’ll be in a little bit that’s what I’m focused on.

Matt Zahab 
Very. I’m mainland protocol right now beautiful website great branding cheeky simple that’s a great shout out I’m gonna do some more work into these before we get into Rarible we gotta give a huge shout out to our sponsor the show and that is PrimeXBT you guys know I love PrimeXBT been using for a hot minute now is they offer a robust trading system for both beginners and professional traders doesn’t matter if you’re a rookie or a vet you can easily design customize your layouts and widgets to best fit your trading style. PrimeXBT is also running an exclusive promo for listeners of the Cryptonews podcast. Use the promo code CRYPTONEWS50 that’s CRYPTONEWS50. To receive 50% of your deposit credited to your trading account, you’re getting the promo code is CRYPTONEWS50 all in one word to receive 50% of your deposit credited to your trading account. Now back to the show with Adam. Adam, you and the team just had a very successful launch on Rarible 2, the aggregated marketplace that also whipped up a token program as well, featuring $RARI, I love the name too. I just think of Ferrari. And I obviously I know it has nothing to do with Ferrari. It’s Rarible. Well, but when I see RARI, I think Ferrari think that token name is incredible as well. I’d love if you could explain what exactly Rarible 2 is and why you guys decided to go the route of an aggregated marketplace.

Adam Ilenich 
Yeah, absolutely. So we sort of have this dual route right now. And it’s sort of similar to what I was talking about with community. And I’ll explain what I mean by that in a little bit. So we have this aggregated marketplace, which we’re aggregating listings, from OpenSea, LooksRare, X2Y2, SudoSwap, etc. And this just aggregates all of the liquidity from across all of the different marketplaces to give consumers the best prices. And then when you add the token rewards onto that, it’s provides them with even more value, let’s say, even more utility. So it’s better than just the aggregators themselves that exist. We’re offering these lowest prices with perks on top of it, which would be the RARI or the RARI. I honestly, I’m not entirely sure what the official name is, the people that I’ve spoken to within variable had said “ra-rey”. So one of the two “ra-rey”, “ra-ri” up to you, but really awesome, because I don’t think that anything like this exists quite yet. A lot of times, you know, other marketplaces, I don’t need to name names, but other marketplaces will incentivize people to list and buy on their particular marketplace. But there’s no way to sort of earn on other aggregated listings. What we’ve done with Rarible 2 is for the listing rewards, of course, it needs to be on Rarible for the buying rewards, as long as it’s within one of the five RARI rewards collections. If the item can be listed anywhere. So it’s really incentivizing, buying and incentivizing buying at the lowest price. And we think that’s just giving value back to you know, our community we know that, you know, it’s a bear market, we know that crypto is down, we know that like pricing a lot of times is a lot more important than maybe it was like six to eight months ago, and all of us were rich, and we were just like minting whatever, you know, we wanted for fun, just because that’s not the reality anymore. So offering the best prices along with this token reward was really something that we thought the community would like. And we think it’s been pretty positive so far. 

Matt Zahab 
On your end, specifically, and we’ll get more and to a couple of the key features here. But on your end, marketing this launch that’s a pretty big step because this is massive news. How long did you guys have this weapon up on the backburner? You know, any lessons from this launch that you wish you would have known beforehand? Anything and you get stories from it?

Adam Ilenich 
Yeah, absolutely. So Rarible is like any other web3 company, you know, it’s a startup, you know, web3 didn’t really exist. I mean, you can go back to like, Bitcoin, you can go back to Ethereum. But really like these, these marketplaces are maybe two to three years old, maybe a little bit longer than that, depending on where you look. But you know, these are startups. And so whenever you’re coming up with a big campaign, there’s a lot of cross functional work that needs to happen. So you have marketing, who is you know, running the creative who’s running the coffee, you then have products who’s actually building the product, you then have our strategy team led by one of our co-founders, Alex, who is spending nights poring over the tokenomics and all of the different contingency plans for you know, well, what if this happens, or what if that happens, and how do we protect against wash trading? You have our legal team, I mean, to anyone’s listening who’s worked on a big campaign before, you know, cross functional work can be really difficult without processes and without owners in place. And so, you know, for this particular launch, we started let’s see, What month is it now October? I want to say we started in maybe July maybe end of July, early August, when You know, we did our readout of our Q3 roadmap to see what were, what was the product team going to build, and then how was marketing going to market it. And we, you know, figured out that, you know, this aggregator would be huge for our business. And then we also knew that Alex, you know, one of our co-founders, who leads our strategy team, that he also wanted to re find a way to, to reintroduce the token from the DAO, the RARI DAO the very foundation, because there were trading rewards up until January, maybe 15th of this year. You know, it’s a decentralized, DAO, essentially, that that decides on how token rewards are, are released. And so, you know, the DAO voted to stop those in January. And then, you know, we put together this comprehensive plan, there were proposals that were put in front of the DAO. And so, you know, we had this great stroke of luck, where we said, Let’s market the aggregator and the token together. And, you know, all the proposals passed, which was fantastic. It really shows that the community was supportive of, of the vision that we were bringing forward. But yeah, it was, you know, working at a startup with all of those different people and opinions. And without, you know, understanding who the final approver is on uncertain things, it can definitely be challenging. But ultimately, we delivered from the product perspective and the marketing perspective. And I’m super proud of the team and happy with that.

Matt Zahab 
Hey, happy for you guys. Quick, little off topic here on the magic eating sort of banana lands shitshow. I don’t like saying it, but it was an absolute gong show two weeks ago, what’s your take on that? Like, that was pretty crazy. That was top of the headline for crypto Twitter for a while with the no creator royalties anymore? Do you think every marketplace is going to follow suit without like, what was the deal there?

Adam Ilenich 
Yeah, you know, royalties are a really polarizing thing. And I don’t entirely know why. I can sort of see this race to the bottom when it comes to platform fees. Like a lot of marketplaces, I mean, OpenSea as like the famous two and a half percent. There’s this race to the bottom with like, no platform fees. And I think ultimately, that’s just trying to get user behavior to come to that particular marketplace, and trade. So essentially, they’re just that’s the reason for that. I think, you know, X2Y2 or SudoSwap, I don’t know, which was the first to introduce, like, optional royalties. But that was pretty, I guess, prolific just in terms of the movement forward of you either pay royalties, or you don’t pay royalties. Now it’s you can choose when you pay royalties. And I think Magic Eden has landed here as well, I could be wrong, because I it’s hard for me to follow, like, everything that all of our competitors do know, that is your right, right. Yeah, I think they’ve landed in a place where they’re now you know, it’s now optional, and it’s reliant on the community. I would say there’s probably a large percentage of people who just want the cheapest price. And so they’re gonna opt not to pay royalties. And I’m not here to tell them that that’s wrong. Because whatever people do with their money is their choice. What I will say is, I think paying royalties to artists is part of community, we’ve been talking about community this whole time, allowing people the opportunity to make money off of their art, every time it trades hands. I think that it’s allowing people who maybe have never had a chance to make income like this an opportunity. So I would say that when it comes to artists, to me, it’s very clear that royalties should be respected. Now, when it comes to collections, I have a slightly more nuanced view and I am not entirely sure where I personally fall to be honest with you, because if I’m looking at you know, let’s say you got let’s just take you as an example they are they probably have you know, for Dave’s probably have a 5%. 

Matt Zahab 
They don’t need our money, and they don’t need our money. If there’s a small creator, yes, I would love to give he or she my money, but I am not giving you collabs two and a half tix fuck them, and you’re worth a billion dollars. You don’t need my money. You know. 

Adam Ilenich 
That’s what I’m saying is it gets kind of complicated. You have successful projects like this, you have successful projects like Doodles, you know, I have a Doodle, I love my Doodle. I’m very excited for you know, everything coming out of that collection. But then you also have projects that are just launching that, you know, they have a certain amount of money to pull from when they meant out. So let’s say you know, they made 50 ETH. When they meant it out, they pay they retroactively back pay the team who’s been working on this for months, they have, you know, an operating runway of let’s say, just for example, let’s say they have a runway of like five months, six months, whatever. Once that six months is over, if those royalties aren’t coming in, they have an option to raise capital other ways they can sell merch, or they can go to VCs, and I don’t think VCs are going to be the way that this space evolves in the way that all of us want it to. And so if we all want to keep the money, and we all want to keep the liquidity sort of contained within the people who believe in this space, then you almost have to pay royalties, because if you don’t, it’s going to come from somewhere else. And once you introduce competing interests that are way more centralized, this entire space falls apart. So it’s one of those things, it’s sort of like Twitter is sort of like democracy. If everyone did what was good for everyone, we would be in great shape. Instead, you have people looking out for their individual interests, again, their backs, which I’m not going to fault them for. But I want everyone to know that if each individual makes that same choice, we’re going to end up in a position where these projects are going to run out of money, they have to take money from other centralized places, and those centralized decision makers are going to make decisions about our space, eventually at scale that all of us may not benefit from. So that could be one place where this leads, and I think that’s kind of scary. But again, when you’re buying, you know, that you know, or selling that Bored Ape, or that Doodle or whatever it is that royalty hurts.

Matt Zahab
It does, it truly does. 

Adam Ilenich
It’s a tough one, I would say for artists, for fine artists, for creators in that way that are not like 10k PFPs absolutely support. No question. When it comes to collections. It’s a little bit more nuanced. But yeah, the bigger ones, I really can’t say that. I think they need them. I’m curious, though, with the speed of development that I mentioned earlier today, I would love for there to be some sort of development where royalties are enforceable at the contract level. I don’t know if that’s possible. I don’t know if people can find a way around that people are creative in this space, it could be possible, we’ll see.

Matt Zahab 
One of the things that a lot of communities, and we’ll call them communities, and what companies are doing is they’re creating their own marketplaces, right, like with mfers, Robotos, Meta Angels, Degenerate Ape Academy. You know, there’s media as well, you have your comics and gaming with Pixel Vault and ImmutableX. I think this is great. It’s very hard to implement. It’s not easy building a beautiful marketplace on your website or within your app. But then there’s the age old question and coming from an E commerce background like myself, it’s like, when we wanted to put our product in front of the most amount of eyeballs possible. There’s one spot and that’s Amazon. Right? You’re your own webpage is never going to get more eyeballs than Amazon. However, you just you have to bite the bullet, right? And it’s like, at what point do people go alright, I’m not even going to list them on these centralized exchanges, or non-community marketplaces. What’s your two cents on that? Because it’s such a fine line to tread there.

Adam Ilenich 
Yeah, you know, community marketplaces, I get, and that’s what I was gonna say thank you for reminding me, this is what I was gonna say. Earlier, when we were talking about Rarible 2, there’s this sort of aggregated model that really leads into scale, and providing people with the best prices across really the entire internet across web three, the other product stream that we’re sort of building as these community marketplaces, which are very unique, they’re very tailored, they’re very, like custom experiences for people who are in these communities or want to be in these communities to experience the brand of this community without all of the noise of other collections without all the noise of other platforms of jumping here jumping there jumping around. So I think both product directions have merit, depending on what the buyers ultimately looking to do. Or even like, the calm like the shopper, doesn’t mean they’re going to buy necessarily. But I think you know, these community marketplaces are really awesome ways for people to experience the brand of the NFT that they’re going to get without all of the other noise. And also, there’s like technical things we can do on these marketplaces, for example, with the mfers, you know, you are respecting royalties, however also the way that the marketplace is set up, is that when you buy an mfer through the marketplace, part of that transaction actually goes back into the mfer community treasury. And so you’re joining us a community you’re supporting that community and ultimately, you know, it’s your decision on whether or not you stay in that community. But I think there’s really cool ways you know, to fund projects. You know, mfers is an interesting one because it CC zero it has always belonged to the community. But you know, the floor price definitely dipped after Satoshi left. It was around like 4 over the summer and I think it’s down to like 1 I think you know, the mfers are always going to just like be dope and be cool. And they’re always going to build and they’re always like, not going to care about floor price, which is one thing that makes them actually super cool. But that was just one example where you know, if you buy an mfer through the Rarible marketplace, part of that money goes back to funding the community so that it can keep on building value, which I think it’s great.

Matt Zahab 
Adam, what a treat man, really appreciate your time here. This has been awesome, truly awesome. We always have a segment on the show where we jump into the hot take factory and throw a couple hot ones out there. It doesn’t have to be crypto related can be sports, politics, food, geography, weather, you name it give me give me a couple of Adam hot takes that only you or a couple other people might believe in that most people don’t.

Adam Ilenich 
The first one is that the number of followers that you have on Twitter doesn’t matter. And I say that for individuals and collections. You know, when I’m talking to like early collections at Rarible, and they’re like, Oh, we’re trying to grow our following we’re trying to do this, we’re trying to do that focusing on the number is the wrong thing to focus on focusing on quality interactions. And this is sort of how we started the segment, focusing on quality interactions will give you the numbers. So like, cover the numbers with a piece of paper, if you need to just keep replying, keep engaging, keep building and the numbers will come. That is probably the one that people get are most surprised by working in social working community. There’s a lot of these vanity metrics out there. Anyone can buy followers, it doesn’t matter. I mean, that was a big tactic like 15 years ago, no one cares. So the number of followers like doesn’t impress me, it’s like the quality of the content. And the quality of the interactions is really what matters. And that’s what I try to instill in my team. Another hot take my favorite city, apart from New York is Tokyo. I was there two years ago, and I was trying to go there a couple months ago for my birthday. But it was still, Japan was still closed, I think it’s opened up. So that’s probably the next trip I’m gonna take is I’m gonna go over to Tokyo and just like hang out, eat good food. Enjoy the culture. Yeah, dope. And my last hot take is that I think Bitcoin is going to continue to lead for store of value. I don’t know if like anyone can build anything on top of Bitcoin that’s going to be usable, lightning included. I think ETH is going to be sort of like the transaction layer where people are building dApps and that, you know, once Vitalik and the Ethereum Foundation, build everything that they plan to build, I think it’s going to be like just the place where people go similar to like an Amazon or a Facebook. ETH, there’s just going to be the chain where people go, I will say that I’m like very confused about Cardano NFTs. I’m like looking into this more. I’m like, maybe I need to like tell Rarible that like we need to integrate Cardano because the community is demanding it but yeah, I think Bitcoin and ETH are sort of like where I see like the future of crypto going Solana while it popular just has too many outages and hasn’t sold me from like a security perspective. And so I’m not really going to transact there. And then Cardano is just a wild card and I need to learn more.

Matt Zahab 
You know, I can’t give you my two cents on the card. I haven’t done enough research on right now. I’m not a fan but again, I don’t know enough. Adam, appreciate you man. What a really fun time. Before you go. Can you please let our listeners know where they can find you and Rarible online and on socials. 

Adam Ilenich 
Absolutely. So me myself and I I’m @adamilenich and then Rarible is just @rarible. R A R I B L E. Matt, what is your Twitter just so that I can follow you. 

Matt Zahab 
I’m @MattZahab. Zahab is Z A H A B. Nice and easy. 

Adam Ilenich
Followed. I love it. Thanks so much for having me on. I appreciate it. 

Matt Zahab
So much fun. Can’t wait to have you on for round two. Folks. What an incredible episode with Adam Ilenich from the one and only Rarible also had some time at Twitter as well. Pretty darn cool, folks. I really hope you enjoyed this episode. If you did, please do subscribe. It would mean the world to my team and I speaking of the team love you guys and tell the listeners keep on growing those bags and keep on staying healthy, wealthy and happy bye for now and we’ll talk soon.

Originally Posted on: https://cryptonews.com/exclusives/adam-ilenich-web3-community-building-twitter-rarible-ep-173.htm
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