🎧 Darren's Journey: Ad Whizz to NFT Ninja
Round Table Recap: May 4th, 2023
This Twitter Spaces recap highlights Darren's transition from the advertising industry to the crypto space. Co-founder of anataNFT and CMO of Illuminate Finance, Darren shares insights on his crypto journey, the differences between NFTs and DeFi, treasury management tips, setting NFT prices, the importance of fixed rates in crypto, and effective marketing strategies for project success
You can listen to the full audio here.
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Darren has a background in advertising, sales, and marketing.
He worked with companies that sold various items, such as chemicals and baths.
Darren worked his way up to senior positions and was marketing director.
Over time, he realized he wasn't interested in carrying on and got intrigued by blockchain.
Darren got into crypto full-time, where he did some consulting for Solana projects that were up and coming at the time.
After a while, Darren, with one of his friends, made anataNFT which he describes as an awesome community.
Furthermore, he is the CMO at Illuminate Finance in the DeFi space.
It is in the fixed rate space and aggregates most of the fixed rate protocols.
It takes those principal tokens that have desperate maturity and wraps them in the meta, making them more composable such as underwriting options, lending options, and yield from your original position.
🎧️ Exploring the Fixed Rate Space in Crypto 👇️
What got you hooked on crypto?
Darren always got into different communities.
He explains how he loved how crypto was outside of the TradFi system.
He says that the degen aspect was unique compared to the traditional banking system and what stood out for him.
In 2015/16, he paid attention to crypto but was watching during the ICO pumps and early-stage projects.
He invested in crypto around 2020, when he made significant gains.
🎧️ Learning the Crypto Space A Fire and Flames Journey 👇️
What is the divergence between your work?
Darren explains how his crypto media company and working on Illuminate Finance took a lot of work to balance out.
He explains how the NFT space differs significantly from DeFi and that he has to switch modes.
He explains how the audience’s demographic in either sector is hugely different.
Darren explains that marketing in the NFT space is more outlandish than DeFi.
He talks about how having a solid team around him aids him in balancing and keeping a consistent schedule.
🎧️ Exploring the Differences Between DeFi and NFT Projects 👇️
How did you learn to enter the space?
Darren explains how he dived straight into the deep end to an extent.
He says sleepless nights and witnessing numerous rugs and projects fail played a considerable part.
He says recruiting talent was easy as many people are pushing to prove themselves.
The original idea for Anata was that there were 2000 ve-tubers, 1000 males and 1000 females.
Vetubers are anime-looking characters and use a camera to track your facial movements.
The anime on character then does those things.
He says it's great for people that are anon and wish to still show and translate through body language
They identified a treasury controlled by a DAO.
Darren says that they did not surprisingly have a roadmap but had excellent suggestions from the community.
They created profile pictures that were hand drawn by artists for each one.
Furthermore, Darren explains how they wish to incorporate VRMs into the project, to have a 3D model that users can use to make videos.
This way, users have specific NFTs that they identify with, and people can associate too.
They have found that many use them in meetings and business calls, but they wish to push the advertising aspect.
Furthermore, Darren explains how it incorporates a voice changer to alternate your pitch.
Tips for treasury management for NFT projects.
Darren exclaims that if you raise on ETH, sell it immediately.
He explains that people are imminently bullish and that if you raise specific amounts, just sell it.
He says keeping expenses low is also crucial to operate effectively.
🎧️ Managing a Project Treasury Tips for Web3 Native Projects 👇️
Setting a price for NFTs
Darren says it depends on your goals.
He explains that Anata set up beforehand how much the team would get and the treasury etc.
He says that if you lay out to the community where expenses are going, they appreciate it more.
🎧️ Setting A Price For Your NFT A Discussion
On Illuminate Finance
Fixed rates in crypto are important for traditional finance.
Darren says it has to do with lending, borrowing, and rate trading is essential and a significant constituent of the TradFi.
Darren says many people in crypto find it boring because 2% returns are not looked at as ‘good enough.’
He explains how there are meme coins with bigger MCs than the fixed rate space.
Illuminate aggregates all fixed rates altogether, so you do not have to go to 50 sites to find the best one.
Illuminate offers 11% on USDC and various other token incentives after a maturity date.
Darren talks about how the boundaries from TradFi incorporate DeFi together.
He talks about how there are so many tech defects, such as exploits and confusing UIs, and the big regulation issue that prevents big funds from investing in DeFi.
On the marketing
With marketing, Darren understood commissioning NFTs and buying.
Getting people excited into jumping into your project, he says, was not that hard.
With the help of the community, Darren talks about how it was more compelling when they took the time to engage the community through live streams and more marketing externally rather than pandering to the NFT community.