This is a Memory I submitted to the landmark Marina Sand Bay in Singapore on Metablox – check out this NFT Blox and other memories yourself!
To promote the newly minted Metablox, I decided to apply to speak at a few NFT/Blockchain conferences. One of the conferences was the Blockchain Fest 2022.
They were very happy that I was willing to be a speaker there without cost and covering my own travels (normally I get paid a 5-digit USD Speaker Fee and travel expenses covered). I asked if I could at least get a table to sign books as that tends to improve the experience of the attendees, and they agreed. They also promoted my name on their website and social media as a keynote speaker.
My talk was about “How to Imbue Meaning & Purpose into your Blockchain Project,” which was related to Core Drive 1: Epic Meaning & Calling design in the Octalysis Framework. The goal was to tell people they need timeless meaning within their projects because if not then everyone is there just because they believe they can get rich in 4 months, which is obviously not sustainable.
Also, people might not want to play the same NFT games or like the same animal PFPs 10 years later, but the meaning/purpose of what they represent can last forever.
Since my talk was on Day 2 (June 2), I was thinking about announcing that we just opened up Singapore for minting, while sharing that my book is for sale and I can sell/sign books – all at the end of my speech. However, on Day 1, we just put my pile of books on the table, and within a couple hours they were all sold out. My friend Joey Lin (ex-Zynga/Google/Uber) was very impressed about it and claimed he had never seen anything sell itself like that.
One notable purchaser of my book was Carol Zurita (Speaker on Women Empowerment and author of books including Get Powerful Now), but unfortunately she didn’t have cash and paying crypto from her Gemini account was too difficult due to me needing to be verified. So I just gave her a book and trusted her to pay me later. She did fulfill her promise afterwards so that’s a plus one in my book (no pun intended).
I also took the opportunity to meet my friend Rahul Daswani (Head of Partnerships at GovTech for the Singapore Government) and his friend Randeep Melhi (ex-COO and ex-Chief Commercial Officer of the prominent crypto project Cardano) at Toastbox in the Marina Bay Sand mall area. We discussed about how blockchain technology could help governments.
On the day of my speech, the audience was not huge but people were really interested in the topic, and they also scanned the QR code to get a free Tier-1 and Tier-2 Blox in Singapore. However, due to a bug that was introduced last moment for the QR code, people couldn’t normally mint Singapore if they were not logged in and it didn’t have proper feedback messages to explain that either.
It made Jun and I pretty sad thinking that no one wanted to mint but quickly recomposed to focus on our mission. Then we realized the people who wanted to mint couldn’t mint, so we “felt better” even though the issue was obviously a bit frustrating. We probably lost quite a few people minting on the spot, but since we are focused on where Metablox will be 3-5 years from now, these bumps won’t cripple us.
Then another very odd thing happened. As the paid attendees went into the lunch hall, I was blocked by the doorman, saying that I must have a lunch voucher to enter. I thought, this must be a mistake, as I have a speaker badge. Generally the speaker badge is the most powerful of badges, allowing me to go to the backstage, VIP sections (which is true in this conference too), so I must have the right to eat lunch with the attendees, right?
So I found the organizers and explained the situation. To my surprise, all they could do was apologize, but no food for me. It’s the first time after 100-200 speeches and 40+ countries that I go hungry as a speaker. While I was planning to stay at the conference and mingle more with my the attendees (and my new friend Daniel Chou), I was hungry, so I left the conference to find food at the Marina Bay Sand mall area.
I took the suggestion of our Metablox Discord Neighbors, and went to a fancy Japanese restaurant called Koma. I might have done a little bit of “revenge eating” but just ordering 4 appetizers cost $107.42 USD. It was good food though!
Afterward, I met up with my dear friends Nir Eyal (Bestselling Author of Hooked and Undistractable) as well as So-Young Kang (Founder/CEO of Knowbe, ex-Harvard Business School, and ex-Mckinsey) at Toastbox again.
It was unfortunate for the conference because previously I invited them to meet me at the conference and so we can walk around and mingle with attendees together (I gave them free VIP tickets days beforehand). It would have been a really cool experience if someone met two authors of books they read at the same time and probably would have made it a highlight for the event (which becomes good marketing material for their next year’s marketing).
Unfortunately, due to not having food for the speakers, I just left and didn’t go back. We had a great time catching up as I learned how Nir Eyal moved to Singapore with his family from NY two years prior due to COVID-19 (when Americans were fleeing Singapore to return back to the States due to ultimatum warnings of citizens returning or else they might be disallowed indefinitely). Nir loves it in Singapore so we’ll see how long he ultimately stays there.
So this was my memory at Marina Bay Sand and the Blockchain Fest 2022. It might not have been the smoothest trip, but that makes this a great and unique memory to add on Metablox. I sure would want this memory to be preserved for myself decades later, and for anyone in the future to see how I am as a human being, and how things were like when we were launching Metablox in different cities.
May all the important memories live on through the Blockchain!
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