📝 hundreds of dollars for an essay?!

why Sari and I turned our essay into an NFT and how you can be a part of internet history

Hello, friends.

Yesterday, I shared an essay I co-authored with Sari Azout on the future of the Internet. People seemed to like it (here, here and here).

Here’s a link to the essay if you haven’t read it yet.

Our hope with the essay was to not only share a conceptual vision for a better Internet (where more people can participate in the upside), but to put our money where our mouth is, so to speak, and come up with an example of how this future might work in action.

To that end, this essay will be one of the first experiments in Attribution+, where we not only cite sources of inspiration, but route economic value to them.

How? That’s where NFTs come in.

We are minting this essay as an NFT and splitting the proceeds of the NFT sale with the group of people who inspired the ideas we share. This is only possible because of our collaboration with Mirror, a startup changing the way writers fund and sustain their work.

The auction was kicked off by Jarrod Dicker’s initial bid and closes in 12 hours.

What are the benefits of owning this NFT?

  • Be a proud owner of an experiment that honors the original ideals of the Internet - users and creators, unconstrained by intermediaries, sharing ideas and economic upside

  • A powerful signal to the world that you support the “win and help win” worldview, and are, unabashedly, an Internet optimist.

  • The prospect of turning a profit by reselling the NFT down the line (Patronage+)

  • Own the underlying illustrations we created for the essay.

  • We’ll send you prints of the four illustrations (one of a kind because this is the only time we’ll ever print or sell them) which, TBH, I’d hang in my living room - they’re also great dinner conversation starters for the intellectually inclined.

  • A 1hr Zoom call with Sari and I to dive deeper into the thesis (anyone who bids over 0.1ETH is invited to participate)

  • Early access to koodos and a lifetime Startupy membership (for anyone who bids over 0.5ETH)

Happy Creators

Smaller is Better

A spiritually-aligned Internet

Win and Help Win

Who gets the money?

The funds will be split as follows:

  • 50% goes to the authors (Sari and I).

  • 30% goes to the thought partners we cite throughout the post. Full list here.

  • 10% goes to the people helping us spread the word. If you want to be part of this pool, RT this, give us your take, and add your ETH address. We’ll select the top 10 responses and add them to this pool.   

  • 10% goes to Josh Nissenboim, who is behind the illustrations.

Sounds complicated. Why do we need crypto to do this?

  • Crypto makes it easy to distribute value across stakeholders in more granular ways. That’s legitimately useful; it automates something that can be onerous in the web2 context. Imagine trying to compensate all of the people we cite in the essay using Venmo or PayPal + a spreadsheet to track? Crypto and NFTs are built for this new world. Writers win by earning money for their work. Thought partners win by earning money for their ideas. Collectors win by owning a piece of Internet history. And you can also win by sharing the essay here. WIN AND HELP WIN.

  • An NFT is a simple unique token representing a digital file. And because you can have a limited set of tokens, it introduces scarcity to digital life. Scarcity in the physical world is what drives value - there’s only a limited set of any physical thing, but until now, there was an infinite amount of anything on the web.What this unlocks is powerful: creators can capture value without limiting propagation of their work. When you buy this essay you are not buying this essay, you are buying an entry in a ledger that associates your identity with this essay. A lot of people seem to think that it is completely insane to spend money for something that is freely copyable or accessible. But that misses the point: humans are status-seeking social creatures; we are driven by the need to assert our identity, and there is no better way to do that than through ownership.

  • Questions of provenance and authenticity are solved by using the blockchain which is transparent and verifiable. Each NFT has a unique ID and metadata, which you can think of as a digital passport. Moving forward, anytime this essay is distributed on another platform, anyone can "check its passport" and see its entire history, without the need for any third party to intermediate that ownership.

  • Perpetual royalties - this is perhaps our favorite advantage of all. The ability for creators to automatically gain a percentage of every sale of their work in the secondary market in perpetuity.

Crypto is hard. How do I bid on this NFT?

Anyone with an Ethereum wallet can participate in the auction here. If you don't have a crypto wallet yet, don’t be intimidated. Consider this your foray into this weird, wonderful world. Follow the steps below:

1.  Turn your regular $ into Ethereum (Cryptocurrency). For most of you the easiest way to do that will be via Coinbase. On iOS you can do this with Apple Pay by using Rainbow Wallet.

2.  Once you’ve setup a Coinbase account or Rainbow Wallet (iOS) purchase some Ethereum

3. On desktop Install a browser-based Ethereum wallet called MetaMask. (Click here for a tutorial on how to install Metamask) On iOS you should already be using Rainbow Wallet.

4. Next send your purchased Ethereum from Coinbase to the Metamask (Click here for a tutorial on how to send Ethereum to your Metamask wallet.) On Rainbow wallet you should already have the Ethereum you purchased with Apple Pay.

5.Once you have ETH in your metamask or Rainbow address, voila, you’re good to go. Click here to bid.

That’s all for now. Let’s see how this goes.

Koodos to you,

Jad