I was once described by a French friend as being 'such a Britisher'. He was laughing at me, a reaction I'm generally quite used to. I don't recall what it was being said exactly, but I do know I was completely underselling an experience of some sort. Something along the lines of, "yes I was the first person to set foot on the moon. It was fine. It didn't rain".
This came to mind recently after drinks with an American friend of mine. We were discussing NFTs, a favourite topic of ours because everyone else around us is indifferent to discussions about the price of jpegs. After a couple of negronis (possibly four) I let slip that I had some NFT ideas of my own.
My framing was along the lines of the following: "Yeah I've got these ideas that are quite exciting and fun, but it'll fail and it'll cost money and it will fail. Did I say it will fail?".
The American way of approaching such things is decidedly different in my experience, which is why big chunks of the world's population wants to live there I suppose. My friend's reaction was: "That's so cool you should definitely do it, F the money, you'll find a way. It'll be fun and you'll learn a lot. And you'll become a millionaire."
Now, he's very likely wrong on the last part. But he is right that it'll be fun and that I'll learn a lot, for better or worse. On whether or not I'll find a way, I've no idea...
I've always appreciated his attitude, and while in that moment I laughed it off, his words of encouragement stayed with me.
Could... I... do... it...?
Money where the heart is
Writing here became difficult after my recent NFT story, which was strange because I felt good about that article. The feedback was good - my feelings appeared to connect with others. But afterwards I felt clogged up and couldn't figure out why, until very recently.
The reason, I think, it because I was just writing about what we, I, should be doing rather than actually trying to do it.
I was behaving like 90% of Twitter 'experts', the types who'll sell you an ebook on how to gain 1 million followers while they've only got a few thousand themselves, and half are bots anyway...
In short, I felt like a hypocrite.
Things happened in between that NFT article and today, things I would usually want to keep to myself. Except today I decided I shouldn't.
So , I'm coming out, so to speak. I'm putting my money where my mouth is. Or rather, where my heart is.
I'm going to spend my free time trying to drag these NFT ideas out of my head and into reality. Just before you ask 'oh for god's sake is he going to bang on about bitcoin all the time?' (no), let me explain.
What's going on?
In recent weeks I've travelled down a rabbit hole, and it just keeps getting deeper and deeper. I've gone so far down the rabbit hole I've even started learning how to code a few lines of blockchain. If you're new to my ramblings here, you should know I'm not a coder. Never have been and, so I thought, never would be.
My brain has been fried with all this new learning, but slowly but surely I'm beginning to feel like maybe, just maybe, I can do something.
So here's a very brief overview of my three ideas. I'll dive into them in more detail at regular intervals but don't worry, I won't get all technical and codey - this is still very much coming from the same Simon as before. It's all still relevant to everything I spoke to in the past.
Idea one is, in short, stupid and fun.
It's the most simple one for me to use as a test to figure out all the different processes. This idea taps into what I loved as a kid and it's just going to be so weird and niche that it'll likely be totally ignored. Or it might do surprisingly well. But the first idea is about low financial investment and to just learn the ropes of what it is to make and sell NFTs.
The second idea is a big one and has slowly begun.
This one is about tapping into online global youth communities and finding ways to support them.
Nowadays, the world is such that a child in Serbia could have more in common with a child in Brazil, based on their shared interests, than any kid in their village. And you know what? They often find each other. And there's huge communities building, with thousands and millions of young people.
There's a lot of world changing potential there...
My third idea is about linking crypto to art and activism. This one excites me a lot but is in the very very early days of discussion, so you'll have to stay tuned on that one.
So far I've learned a bit about coding, I've had some art made, I've made some art myself, I've built horrible looking spreadsheets (long-time readers will know of my aversion to these gridded pages of doom), and I've set up Discord channels that are in disarray.
Maybe I've completely lost my mind. Maybe I've just gotten carried away because I've been ranting too much on here. Maybe.
But as long as I'm not betting the house (or the shed) on this, I feel like whatever comes of it can only become a benefit to me in long term. At worst, I lose time and a bit of money.
Most importantly, I'll be trying something. The online world seems to be clogged up with theorists, many of whom seem to do little in the way of practice. I guess I feel like it's time for me to practice what I preach.
As a wise person recently said (repeatedly): show, don't tell.