Web3 is the combination of trust, zero trust, and knowledge. This is a brief story written on twitter by meows.eth about how a group of friends, some who have never met IRL made a decision to seize an opportunity and banded together to buy an ultra-rare NFT.
Earlier tonight we acquired Azuki #9605 for 120Ξ ($296,324.40). We wanted to share some thoughts about why we’re optimistic about the @AzukiZen project and the team behind it. To properly do so, we need to look back at the last twelve months of the NFT landscape.
You can read the twitter thread here:
1/ Earlier tonight we acquired Azuki #9605 for 120Ξ ($296,324.40).
We wanted to share some thoughts about why we're optimistic about the @AzukiZen project and the team behind it.
To properly do so, we need to look back at the last twelve months of the NFT landscape.
— RedBeanDAO (@redbeandao) January 26, 2022
In the past twelve months, the demand for NFTs as profile pictures has exploded. The short version is that PFPs are a form of signaling the same way people buy specific cars or wear certain watches. @nateliason has a pretty great writeup here: https://www.nateliason.com/blog/nft-value
This outsized demand brought upon an explosion of PFP projects. Some of them have done very well, others have simply faded into obscurity. Most of them sell out, netting their creators a large sum of Ether.
Due to this demand, the desire to ship a project quickly means taking an existing smart contract and repurposing it for your own project. What this results in is an inconsistent minting experience for collectors that may cost a lot in transaction fees.
In the engineering world we call this cargo culting. It’s the ritual inclusion of code or program structures that serve no real purpose, but is there because we don’t truly understand what we’re working with and are just repeating what we saw worked. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult_programming
To this day, a lot of NFT projects are still using ERC-721 Enumerable — an implementation that has been proven to be a gas guzzler. Don’t take my word for it — read about here: https://shiny.mirror.xyz/OUampBbIz9ebEicfGnQf5At_ReMHlZy0tB4glb9xQ0E
I can’t think of a single software engineer who has never, ever participated in cargo cult. Having written code for a living for nearly a decade, I can say with confidence that I could have followed suit, especially if I were in a rush to deliver a one-and-done project.
But this approach is exactly what doesn’t move the needle forward for any industry or space we exert our efforts in. And this is exactly why @RedBeanDAO is so optimistic about what the @AzukiZen team is doing. @juliagalef authored an excellent book called The Scout Mindset. In it, she describes two separate mindsets: A soldier and a scout. Soldiers see what they want to see. They’re in every big Twitter reply chain. Their goal is to win whatever argument they’re in.
Scouts, on the other hand, have the goal of creating a map which accurately reflects the territory they’re in by surveying everything and discovering what’s true about it. This is what the @AzukiZen team did. Here’s our first example. We point to @locationtba, a developer on the Azuki team. In it, they write about how the team spent time sitting in NFT alpha groups to learn how the presale process was gamified and the longterm impact it had on a project.
Prior to launch, the team also spent time improving ERC-721 — the specification used for the majority of NFTs today on the Ethereum blockchain. They took the source code apart, found the inefficiencies, improved it, and shared it with the world: https://www.azuki.com/erc721a. ERC-721a has many improvements: Fewer gas consumed means more transactions confirmed per Ethereum block mined, speeding up the network. It also means a better experience for people minting NFTs. The minting experience was smooth. The team, given their experiences working in tech, understood the importance of having high availability on the day of the launch. The site never went down during minting, and everyone was able to see their Azukis on reveal day.
We believe Azuki’s art is beautiful and high quality. Their team values attention to detail. Take a closer look at @dingalingts latest acquisition of #9914.
Notice how spirits have the opposite strap added. They painted the back of the fence.
The way the team approached trait distribution and how each Azuki looks make each one look high quality and unique — all without the need to create extremely special 1/1s. This isn’t an easy thing to do, and this team pulled it off spectacularly.
All of these things, from a soldier mindset, feel like they should be the absolute baseline for every NFT project that launches moving forward. And it isn’t, because what we want and what exists are completely different things.
For these reasons, @AzukiZen team is a unique and highly talented group of people who have come together on an ambitious project, executed the launch in a way that wildly exceeded our expectations, and have clearly shown that they are just getting started. 19/ All of this feels like a love letter to the Azuki team in an attempt to pump our purchase, but I assure you it’s anything but that. We believe in this team for the reasons outlined above, and this purchase is us reaffirming said belief.
This post was written by @cat5749 with input from @slywalrus, @RealDonaldNFTs, @RaeesTahir, and @NFTCulture. The other members of @RedBeanDAO are @trebooomin, @ENICOLL, @cnig69, @darran0x, @sven_nft
Disclosure: Mal from NFTCulture is a small participant in RedBean DAO