Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Having been in the NFT space for a little while now, I’ve witnessed the meteoric rise of many NFT projects and collections.
The NFT, crypto and blockchain markets are still very much in their infancy, so strong market data and signals of a good NFT project and investment can be hard to obtain and analyse effectively, therefore information often circulates by word of mouth and social media posts.
Friends and family who were vehemently uninterested in the cryptic three letters “NFT” (Non-Fungible Token) last year are now suddenly pursuing information on NFTs with keen interest and excitement so they may join (and not miss out on) the creative and digital revolution.
Related: NFTs: The New Bedrock Of The Virtual Economy
Heavily increased public interest at the start of 2022 is largely due to increased press and celebrity take-up of NFTs and crypto in 2021, as outlined in articles like Vulture‘s Celebrities Love NFTs, Soon You Will Too.
Once an NFT newbie has familiarized themselves with the nonsensical jargon (see NFTs are a Victim of Non-Friendly Terminology), a digital wallet (MetaMask or Coinbase for Instance) and a few hip OG collections, such as the Bored Ape Yacht Club and the CryptoPunks, they feel empowered and ready to dive in.
Get started with NFTs
The first question I always get is, “But wait, now that I understand it all, what NFTs should I buy?”
As an industry consultant and public figure, they naturally ask me. I always caveat any advice and direction heavily with the phrase “This is NOT financial advice.” And I reaffirm that here as well. I’m not a financial advisor and do not have control over the future of the markets or the projects. As with any new venture and market, there is a risk it may not work out.
Always happy to share information on what I have found, however, the Golden Rule of NFTs and Crypto is DYOR: Do Your Own Research!
To support a recommendation, I generally arm my friends and family with some basic tools and tips to size up a decent NFT project. This would include things such as researching their team, track history, the setup, execution, social numbers and engagement, the artwork, originality and rarities. Once the newcomer has an understanding of how to size up an NFT project (and how to avoid bad or bogus projects), I recommend NFT Collections that I have personally collected or been involved with at some point — ones where I have already done some due diligence, and have a decent idea of the team, roadmap and structure.
Look for middle-tier NFT projects
When collecting, it’s best to look for middle-tier projects, not the low and not the high. The high visibility projects are usually impossible to get into, whitelists closed and extremely overpriced. It seems to be hard to win on those, in contrast, lower-end projects tend not to take off or gain traction although they’re much easier to get in. I find my sweet spot with middle-of-the-road projects, and there seem to be mid risk and much better chances of success.
Some digital art collectors rely on social media figures and discord numbers to evaluate a project, which can be severely manipulated. I have seen projects use bots (robots/automatic software) to either pretend there are more users or to add computer-generated users. So it’s important to really go the length with your research, don’t just rely on huge discord numbers.
Related: How NFTs Have Changed Digital Art Forever
Whilst on the topic, discord is riddled with scammers, BE CAREFUL. Do not accept direct messages, many have been scammed by sophisticated hustlers. It’s a good place to find a project’s community, updates and roadmap, but be extremely careful what you click on and don’t interact with anyone unless it’s in a 100% trusted community and do not message via direct message with anyone. Read The Crypto Wallet Hustle – What You Need to Know for Tips on How to Stay Safe.
In my humble experience in the NFT market, 80% of NFT purchases may not yield returns, but decent returns are generally achieved in 10-20% of the collected projects, and if they can be traded at the right price, these can generate ample returns to compensate for the 80% losers. This is due to many factors including, but not limited to, market demand, product quality and roadmap.
The beauty of the NFT market is that it is much like when the Internet first was established and emerging tech companies were clambering into a new industry bustling with immense passion, innovation and drive. The NFT market isn’t oversaturated, the majority of the world still doesn’t know it exists, and there’s a huge room for improvement and new resources, so it’s growing constantly and that makes it very exciting.
In the NFT space, I found a place for all my collected skills, talent, knowledge and network to combine and excel in an emerging market where it’s my second nature to innovate, evolve, collaborate and impact. Make sure you watch out for our latest’s docu-series NFTme by our award-winning US TV and film production company Tech Talk Media on the NFT phenomena and Digital Revolution, which is happening before our eyes.
NFT creators I’m watching
CryptoPills by Micha Klein: A 10,000-piece NFT Collection by established OG International Artist and Digital Creator Micha Klein who has his work featured in major museums and galleries worldwide, he is represented by Christie’s Inc, Sotheby’s and Phillips Auction Houses and has been commissioned by major Fortune 100 Brands over the years, and leading artists including Eminem, who asked Micha to create animations for his Anger Management Tours and from this was born the famous ‘Pillman’. Micha evolved the Pillman character for his genesis NFT drop into 10,000 flamboyant and detailed Pill Characters, each with their own NFT in the CryptoPills collection, which celebrates and reminisces pop culture and music from the late 90’s early 2000’s. The iconic collection Sold out in 11 minutes and is only available now on the secondary market, with individual sales for one NFT CryptoPill reaching around $75,000 each! They have several items on the roadmap including celebrity collaborations, an interactive game, TV & Film and new drops.
Drawn Together: 54 leading artists collaboration to raise money for Mental Health Awareness created by NY-based artist and creator Alex Alpert. The piece of art, titled “Drawn Together,” began as a doodle in the center of a digital canvas that artists added to, each purveying their interpretation of mental health through their artwork. It was minted as an NFT and each individual piece by the 50+ artists was minted, enabling the project to its purpose of raising awareness while giving achieve 100% of profits to a good cause. I personally participated as an artist as a friend of Alex and witnessed over $30,000 USD raised for NAMI in a 72-hour NFTs for Good Campaign. The artwork continues to trade on the secondary market, realizing more donations to mental health awareness.
Related: 5 Reasons Why NFTs Are The Metaverse’s Ideal Revenue Model
Fluf World (Flufs, Party Bears, Thingies & Burrows): Created by a New Zealand-based NFT and Blockchain team, beginning with their ‘Flufs’ Genesis Collection of 10,000 3D programmatically generated rabbit avatars, each with their own characteristics and features. Flufs were the 1st real 3D NFT collectible project, combining top tier animation, movement, sound and backgrounds, some of which are actively interchangeable. Awarding further NFT drops for each of the Fluf holders, Fluf World now includes Party Bears, Thingies and Metaverse Burrows, including their latest collaboration with Beyond Gaming and Snoop Dogg. Fluf World is a metaverse ecosystem of NFT character collectibles and a global, creative community. Holders include Snoop Dogg, Dillon Francis, Timberland, Mike Shinoda and rugby player Dan Carter.
NeonFlufs: A collection of 1650 NeonFlufs stored on the Ethereum blockchain. Each is hand-crafted by 10 leading NFT Artists. NeonFlufs are Original Remixes (Derivatives) of the Fluf World NFT Collection. 1/10 Limited Editions 1/25 Rare Editions. One hundred fifty unique designs, traits and personalities. Created by and in collaboration with Jonny Caplan, Tom Laroc, Ishita (SoulCurryArt), Yossi Kotler Art, Shadi Shaay, Jafeth (AllYourLittleFaces), Jimena Buena Vida, Dr. Lemny, ArtBtJaqui, Jake-Andrew Nason, NFT BAZL and others. Notable holders include Snoop Dogg, Pammy Hilton (Paris’s Sister) and Alex Smeele (Co-Founder of Fluf World).
Long Neckies: Created by CAA Represented 13-Year-Old Nyla Hayes. Nyla made history in 2021 as TIME Magazine’s Woman of the Year Artist in Residence and has been SEEN on CNN, Yahoo Finance, Business Insider and other outlets. Awards include NFT.NYC 2021 – Emerging Artist of the Year and Time Magazines – Artist in Residence. Long Neckie Ladies and Long Neckie Fellas are both digital art collections of 3333 unique NFTs each. With notable collectors such as Gary Vee, Logan Paul, Steve Aoki & Eva Longoria.
TheMetaArtClub: The Meta Art Club (TMAC) is a collection of 9,888 NFTs that are exclusive artworks by 35 hand curated international digital artists. Founded and curated by industry veterans Levina Li (Ex-Christies) and Dutch Art Collector and entrepreneur Frank Smits. The collection bridges the gap between fine art & NFT collectibles and adds curation, connectivity between artist and collector, education programs, plus additional utility. Among TMAC’s artists, an array of different creative styles is captured, from Afro-futurism to surrealism, abstract art to cubism and more. With major partnerships in place, including Vogue, Brytehall and many others in process. The collection also supports charitable causes and artist development.
Afrodroids: A collection of 12,117 3D Droid NFTs by African Artist Owo Anietie + his team. The collection was the first major African NFT Collectible Drop and pioneered NFTs for Good with a 20% Charitable Donation to the Dream Catchers Academy written directly into the smart contract. The Afrodroids roadmap includes the setup of an animation production studio, a movie, metaverse integration, plus additional NFT counterparts and airdrops.
Slimhoods: SlimHoods is a collection of 5,000 randomly generated NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. They all wear hoods, but each SlimHood is unique. SlimHoods is the first collection by Random Character Collective, who are the creators of Invisible Friends, an all-time leading collection.
Brytehall: Launching only last month, Brytehall is a premium NFT marketplace for digital collections, brought to you by the owners of Vogue, GQ and Robb Report Singapore. As experiences are bridging the gap between the physical and digital worlds, Brytehall connects discerning buyers (collectors & investors) and sellers (creators & artists) to the new digital creative economy by providing an end-to-end suite of services. Launching its first NFT drop with leading digital artists, Brytehall offers a high-end curated experience for art collectors and buyers.
Claylings: A 4,040 edition generative art project, which draws its aesthetic from the likes of Chicken Run, Wallace and Gromit and Neverhood, calling back to ’90s nostalgia. Selling out in just a few minutes of launch, the team is hard away at work on the larger animation production for TV & Film. Bridging NFTs to animated series. Building the web3 entertainment brand of tomorrow with clay.
According to my understanding and belief, the NFT market is very much in its infancy, and although the first reaction to paying money for a JPG or digital image may be shocking, digital possessions and assets are already part of our present and future, and it’s just that we may have been inclined to underappreciate or undervalue their worth. The market is still young and therefore, nobody knows exactly what will happen, that absolutely keeps things exciting and presents many opportunities, but it means you can’t yet (or shouldn’t rather) re-mortgage your house to buy NFTs.
Start small, and work your way up. I believe in the long game and in the advantage of being one of the first in the market. Time will tell which NFTs and what investments will be the most rewarding.