How Did Moonbirds Get So Popular?
The Moonbirds NFT has been historic. It minted at 2.5 ETH, and within 24 hours saw 65.2K ETH (~$200M) in trading volume and a floor price of 16.26 ETH at the time of writing. If you were one of the chosen ones to mint a Moonbird for ~$7,700, you could have sold it 24 hours later for a ~$42,300 profit. Two days after launch, Moonbirds has flipped some of the top NFT projects like Doodles and Clone X.
Yet those metrics above will do you a disservice in your attempt to discern what’s responsible for the mega-success of this NFT collection. It is not the potential for quick flip and profit that brought the project to its heights, but something else.
How did the Moonbirds saga begin?
Moonbirds is the pfp based project for the members of the Proof Collective, a community started and curated by Kevin Rose, the founder of Digg. The Proof Collective is known as an elite NFT club, one of the most reputable private Discord serves for information and in-depth research pieces about promising NFT projects. Each holder of a Proof Collective pass was entitled to mint two Moonbirds.
So how did Moonbirds became such a mega successful NFT launch?
Start with an A-grade team
People are looking for people who’ve built credible things in the past. And the team behind Moonbirds is one of the most reputable teams to enter the web 3 space, with a wealth of prior experience in all aspects of business and investments.
Kevin Rose works as a partner at True Ventures (firm that invests in early-stage tech startups). His investments mainly focus on blockchain (NFTs, crypto, DeFi), consumer internet and health/wellness. Ryan Carson has been the CEO and founder of three companies over the past 22 years. His most successful being TreeHouse, an online learning tool for students to learn code so they’re able to enter the tech industry in 6-12 months. Justin Mezell’s previous track record in web 3 involves through Grim Syndicate, a popular Solana based NFT. He’s had over a decade of experience as a designer and worked with some of the biggest brands in the world as a freelance artist.
Takeaway – people go to people with a previous track record. Having a diverse core team behind your NFT project matters.
Curate your community
There are plenty of NFT Discord groups you can use to kickstart a community around your NFT project. But most of them are focused on trading. The conversation in those groups revolves about flipping and moving on to the next thing.
Kevin Rose decided not to create an alpha group but a group about curators and projects one would hold on for the next 5-10 years. He set up the standards in stone, defining that this is the sort of community he wishes to have. Curating the best NFTs is just part of the job. The second part is curating the best buyers. Long-term games for long-term people. Focus on the artist’s story rather than finding alphas. If you focus on finding alphas, you’d attract alpha seekers and flippers. If you want a real, durable community, avoid that sort of content. Don’t brag about alphas you’ve discovered in the past. This has been Kevin Rose’s approach while launching the Moonbirds collection.
Takeaway – You shouldn’t just let the community pick you, you too have to pick your community.
Ensure wider NFT distribution
There are currently around 1,000 Moonbird holders distributed among 934 unique addresses. Further, 46% of Proof Collection holders kept both the birds they were allocated. 16% of the holders own 1 owl, 46% own 2 owls, and 12% own 3 owls.
This is ideal, and a direct consequence of aggressively vetting your community members (long term games for long-term people). You’d definitely want a wider distribution for your NFT. The more people holding several your NFTs at once, the higher the chance they’d be flipping some of it for profit, impacting the floor price of the project. A wider distribution combined with passionate and dedicated community of hodlers and believers will ensure your project’s floor price will stick and keeps raising up.
Takeaway – Aim for as wider distribution of ownership as possible.
Add unmatched utility to the project
Firstly, Moonbird holders will get access to the Proof private Discord channel. This means a chance to interact with Proof founders and the Collective’s other members. Another aspect is nesting, the ability “lock up and nest” your bird within your wallet for additional benefits. This is pretty much like the staking mechanics offered by several projects. The longer one holds his Moonbirds NFT, the more it will move to new tier levels to get even more benefits. All-in-all this these are all additional ways to encourage holders to stick to their Moonbird NFT.
But the biggest utility behind the Moonbirds NFTs may come from the chance to forge your own brand out of it.
Takeaway: Plan your NFT’s utility so that it confers the largest size of the benefits to long-term hodlers.
Empower your holders to each build a real-world brand around the NFT
What Moonbirds is trying to do is very similar to what Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) did for its respective NFT owners – passing on the IP rights. Kevin Rose has created individual chunks of brand equity around each one of the Moonbirds and passed the marketing assets over to buyers so that each can start building a company around that chunk of brand equity.
BAYC has been the pioneer behind this approach. For example, Los Angeles restaurateur Andy Nguyen spent $267,000 to purchase Bored Ape #6184. He is planning to open the very first restaurant based on the Bored Ape Yacht Club, called “Bored & Hungry”. The restaurant will feature packaging and employee uniforms emblazoned with Bored Ape Yacht Club imagery. Bored Apes has been a classic example of blending media and technology with consumer-facing brand building at scale. Kevin Rose intends to repeat the same recipe with Moonbirds.
Takeaway: It turns out you can build out an entire company out of a .jpeg
Moonbirds started as an exclusive award for the early believers of a community, in this case, The Proof Collective pass holders. It was launched by a strong and diverse team of A-players. The project embeds incredibly strong set of utilities such as the opportunity to hold the IP rights around your Moonbird, an approach pioneered by Bored Apes Yacht Club. The project’s floor price is sustained because it features wide distribution among a curated HODLer base and plenty of additional incentives to hold onto it.
Mario Nawfal: Author’s Biography
Mario Nawfal is the Founder of the Athena Group of Companies, a business conglomerate of 15+ companies that operates in more than 40 countries.
A seasoned entrepreneur outside of crypto with business in over 30 countries, Mario’s influence in crypto spans hundreds of investments as an angel investor and the founder of IBC Group. Mario’s company IBC Group has been a top tier incubator since 2017 having invested in and/or marketed some of the industry’s largest projects. Most recent examples include Sidus Heroes, MetaMall, Genopets and DeFi Yield. Mario is also partner at International Blockchain Legal and a world renowned public speaker in both crypto and entrepreneurship.
Mario’s most notable achievement is his position as a Co-Founder and the CEO of NFT Technologies, a portfolio company expected to list soon on a stock market in Canada under the ticker “NFT”. Backed by notable investors and crypto thought leaders, NFT Tech will play a major role in growing the NFT and Metaverse space.