“Who would you buy stock in if you could?”
💎 Why It Matters
Social tokens give brands and fans deeper alignment.
Shared interests become shared outcomes.
Communities have shallow alignment.
Social tokens are digital assets backed by the reputation of individuals, brands and communities.
Alignment is emotional and financial.
- $JOW | Jeremiah Owyang
- $BOO | Bomani X
- $DOC | Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz
- $RAC | RAC
- $FF | Forefront
- $WHALE | WhaleShark
- $FWB | Trevor McFedries
- $STANZ | Nathan Stanz
- $PTM | Portugal. The Man
- $MONTY | Scott Monty
- Rally | Helps creators, artists and community leaders launch creator coins
- Fyooz | Helps creators launch “Star Tokens”
- Roll | Helps creators mint social tokens
- Collab.Land | Tokenized community tools
- Bonfire | Tools for token drops and member rewards
- MintGate | Create token-gated content
- SourceCred | Measure and reward value creation
- Activist investors will do things to realize long and short positions on social tokens. Elon added Bitcoin to Tesla’s balance sheet and announced that they’ll accept Bitcoin (before backpedaling). Hedge funds start rumors to realize short positions. We have crypto and TradFi (traditional finance) examples. This will bleed into social tokens.
- Creator coins will turn into community coins. Members will take it upon themselves to add value to networks. Social tokens will cross this chasm or perish with creators.
- Social tokens will be a competitive advantage for communities. Tokens will lead to more aligned groups. Incentives are underestimated.
- Social token manager will become a common title. Cooper Turley runs a talent agency. Jess Sloss runs SeedClub, an incubator. New form factors lead to new roles. Like DAO politicians.
- Build use cases for your social token. Examples include:
- Exclusive access to goods and services ($TAPE)
- Token-gated access to communities ($FWB)
- Discounts on goods and services (Riddle)
- Access to advisory services ($BLAP)
- Token-powered jukeboxes ($BOO)
- Signed copies of books ($JAFFE)
- Podcast appearances ($JOW)
- Access to group calls ($JOW)
- Voting rights ($COBRA)
- DM responses ($DOC)
- Build ways for others to earn tokens. Examples include:
- Referral programs
- Retroactive airdrops
- Paying DAO employees in tokens
- Rewarding community engagement
- Build tools and infrastructure like Bonfire, Collab.Land and MintGate. Other ideas:
- Data as a Service firm that finds fast-growing creators and communities
- Social Token CRM to track users and experiences across tools
- Token-gated access to in-person events
- Build a service for social tokens. Can Cooper represent everyone? Can Jess incubate every social token? No. We’ll need more domain experts as the space grows.
🔑 Key Lessons
- Social tokens are a cultural on-ramp to crypto. Alongside NFTs. Financial and cultural doors lead to the same place. No-code is a gateway drug to code. Creator coins are a gateway drug to crypto.
- Art economics vs product economics. Beeple sold a $69m NFT. Could he have sold $69m worth of books, games or clothes? Yet he sold $69m of status. Art economics can turn 1000 true fans (and a few whales) into tens of millions of dollars. Instead of tens of thousands. With leaderboards, social tokens may inherit properties of both worlds.
“What happens when creators pass away?”
Social tokens can outlive creators if they cross the chasm from creator to community coins.
“Emotional and financial alignment comes from stocks too.”
How early can you invest? Can you have a material impact on public companies? Do you feel connected to other shareholders?
“Social tokens ‘over financialize’ social exchanges. Some things should not be turned into market exchanges.”
Whether you’re right or wrong, this is our new normal. You can try to ignore it, learn to cope or leverage it. Creative destruction leads to good, bad and productivity gains.
“What about the mental health of creators when coin values drop?”
Communities can help shoulder the burden if they cross the chasm. Public CEOs deal with this now. Granted, we have thousands of public companies compared to (potentially) millions of tokens. The law of large numbers is bound to lead to horror stories.
“This is a fad.”
We have many billion-dollar (and soon) trillion-dollar cryptocurrencies. Launched by solo founders and small teams. Each has its own culture, community and roadmap. Sound familiar?
“This is just like ICOs.”
Most social tokens have use cases. Roll and Rally also use vesting to discourage pump and dump schemes.
📁 Related Reports
- Personal Brands • Social tokens are backed by personal brands. Social capital is staked for financial capital.
- Audience-First Products • Social tokens are audience-first products.
- NFTs • The first major cultural on-ramp to crypto.
- Drop Culture • See how status and scarcity affect perceived value.
- DAOs • A look at collective decision-making.
- DeFi • A financial on-ramp to crypto.
- Paid Communities • Price is more than money. Filters keep community signal high.
- Million-Dollar, One-Person Businesses • On highly leveraged people.
- Gamification • Game mechanics help you understand how to manage token supply.
- Alternative Assets • See what else lives outside of mainstream asset classes like stocks, bonds and real estate.
- Profit-Sharing • On aligning incentives. And what to avoid.
- No-Code • Leverage moves to marketing when code is commoditized.
- Internet Challenges • Reward members for bringing value to the network.
- Crowdsourcing • Encourage community-created utility.
- Open Startups • Exhaust data attracts employees and customers. And investors.
- Charter Cities • We may be more aligned with those across the world than those across the street.
- Who should I talk to about social tokens? • The tweet behind this report.
- Social Tokens: Year in Review • A look at the past and future of social tokens.
- How He Made The World’s Most Successful Social Token • A tokenized NFT collection turned into a community.
Thanks to Stewart Townsend (Channel as a Service), Matt Alston (Bonfire), Ethan Jones (Tools for MGMT), Jess Sloss (SeedClub), Jeremiah Owyang ($JOW), Jo-Ann Hamilton (RareBirds), Aadil Razvi (Demand Curve), Linda Xie (Scalar Capital), AJ Washington (Phlote), Vishal Srivastava (Trainedge), Gabe Quintela (KeepCool.co) and Edward Mcenrue (True Fit). We had a great time jamming on this report.
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