The Delphi Podcast Host and GP of Delphi Ventures Tom Shaughnessy sits down with Gregg, Instigator and Genesis Team of SquiggleDAO, a DAO foundry for on-chain generative art. The two discuss the role of Squiggles within the community, bootstrapping its treasury, incentivising DAO work, and much more!
- Delphi Podcast Summaries
- SquiggleDAO Website
- SquiggleDAO Blog
- SquiggleDAO Governance
- Our Interview with Erick, Creator of Squiggles
01:02 • Tom
Hey everyone. Welcome back to the podcast. I’m your host, Tom Shaughnessy. I help lead Delphi Ventures. Today, I’m thrilled to have on Gregg, from SquiggleDAO. If anybody’s following my tweets, they know I got pretty addicted to Squiggles over the past couple of months. So Gregg, how’s it going?
01:13 • Gregg
01:14 • Tom
Gregg, we’ve got to get started with an overview of what a Squiggle is for those who don’t know what’s your elevator pitch on Squiggles?
01:22 • Gregg
Well, well, it’s the first drop on the Art Blocks platform, which arguably is one of the most important places for crypto native generative art. And, we think it’s going to be one of the most important pieces of art longterm as this whole crypto native art culture evolves.
01:47 • Tom
I’m with you. I mean, I don’t think there’s a more important drop, right? Like it’s the first is it the first generative drop on the curated section of gen art? Right? So it’s not the first generative art ever, but it’s the first with that kind of nuance.
02:00 • Gregg
Exactly. Yeah. Dropped of course by the founder of Art Blocks as well. We were just looking at the date because the drop happened on November 27th at 8:30 AM. And, it’s actually coming up… first birthday.
02:14 • Tom
Jeez, it’s wild to, I’m very jealous of you guys who minted a year ago. So I’ll throw that out there.
02:21 • Gregg
I am actually not one of them. So not proud of that.
02:24 • Tom
When did you, when did you discover, I guess Squiggles in the whole area there?
02:30 • Gregg
It would’ve been February, March I think is when I, I started to hear enough about NFTs and I was like, all right, I need to understand this because I don’t. The more I looked into it, the less I understood what was going on. I knew that I, there was something there. I just hadn’t clicked for me. I think it was just perhaps luck or serendipity that my aha moment came while I was looking at Art Blocks. That’s kind of what sold me on the whole concept of this is on tangent of art being like, oh yeah, this is anchored in the culture. This is the beginning of something really big. It’ll evolve way beyond art, especially visual artists going to go way beyond that. But this is the starting point.
03:15 • Tom
Yeah, no I I’m with you. I mean, I don’t have a, as much of a similar story. I mean, I just saw that, the ability to mint art and have the contract created on that click just kind of blew me away. It was kind of a way, nerds can be artists, right?
03:30 • Gregg
Yeah. Yeah. It’s got a cool factor to it as well. I mean, it’s, indestructible art, that’s pretty bad ass.
03:37 • Tom
I’m with you, man. For those who followed our NFT series, we had on Eric, the founder of Squiggles and Art Blocks. I’ll definitely reference that a couple of times, but Greg, you were, of the Genesis team along with Jess loss was a close friend and a couple others of SquiggleDAO. Tell me at a high level, what exactly is a SquiggleDAO and started making you repeat it? I know I hit you with a zillion questions last night, over Telegraph.
04:03 • Gregg
For me, it’s a grand experiment around the convergence of NFTs in Dallas. It was the combination of the two. That was the aha moment for me. It wasn’t NFTs and isolation and it wasn’t doubt and isolation. In fact, the first crypto conversation I ever had with anybody back in 2014 was in a basement at this little sketchy, weird little, Bitcoin meetup. The very first conversation was about Dallas. I’m like, what the heck is the doubt? So it’s been in the back of my mind forever, but the bringing the two together seemed like the perfect recipe for grand social change. That’s really what Inspired me to pursue this path in the first place. I think SquiggleDAO is a, an experiment to prove that, bringing people together around a shared love of art can actually produce a net benefit for everybody. We, unlike a lot of the other collector DAOs, we decided to route our membership around the ownership of the Squiggles so that there was deliberately more, a higher level of commitment from those members so that we could cause that’s part of what we really wanted to maximize in this experiment is like, if people really feel connected to a community because they all share this art and they all have a piece and they all identify with it on some level, there’ll be more likely to work together, be creative, produce value in whatever direction they feel is appropriate.
05:39 • Gregg
What we did was come up with a very clear idea, which was, we’re going to try and create as much cultural longevity around this heart series as possible. The way that we’re going to do that is by organizing a DAO and that DAO is going to be created by you, the members. If you donate a Squiggle to the doubt, we’ll give you votes on what to do with that treasury. That’s basically what we did for about three months to kick it off.
06:06 • Tom
That’s really cool. I mean, it’s, I’ve seen discourse and communities with token gated access in the past, but generally it’s a pretty low bar, buy a couple of tokens, welcome to our discord in the way you’ve kind of built squiggled out. I mean, people have to make, the not only spend a good deal of money, I think a floor Squiggles, 30, 40 K at this point, maybe 42 K if I checked last night, but I mean to make a purse of that size for most people, they have to spend a considerable amount of time understanding what generative artists would FTEs are, what Art Blocks are. So, how do you think that reflects on the community you have because I’m assuming behind those walls on discord, everyone is pretty up to speed here.
06:49 • Gregg
One of the interesting things about Dallas is that the ecosystem in which they’re growing changes really fast, but in many ways, managing governance through consensus is actually kind of slow and inefficient. You have this optimization problem that you’re constantly dealing for. For example, when we launched Twiggle dat, we chose Squiggles for multiple reasons. We chose it because of the Providence, but we also chose it because the art was still affordable. It was only a couple of hundred bucks. We felt like, okay, there’s a pretty broad audience that can get into this if they want, it’s not going to be a huge commitment. That just got ahead of us really fast forward, six months, and now they’re inaccessible. Part of what we’re trying to do is optimize for participation, commitment, focus. I think probably what we’ll do is evolve the membership to have multiple layers, similar to what friends with benefits is doing.
07:43 • Gregg
They’ve noticed that, the 75 token value threshold is preventing some contributors from coming in. They’ve added a second tier and we’ll probably do the same thing,
07:56 • Tom
That makes a lot of sense. I mean, I’m sure there’s also probably groups within your discord too, right? Like, are there groups that are just focused around, different types of Squiggles, like, maybe slinkies, maybe ribs, maybe perfect spectrum, does that happen live or is that maybe too specific?
08:12 • Gregg
Fuzzy fam? I would say the fuzzy fam is like the most diehard group. People really identify with their squiggle, which I think is very cool. Like people will show up and then this happens all the time people. Somebody will show up in the DAO. The first thing you do is like, Hey, here’s the Squiggle I own. And, yeah, the fuzziest seem to be really excitable for sure. We don’t do anything proactively around that I would say. You can definitely see people more excitable in certain areas depending on the type of Squiggle that they have.
08:44 • Tom
Oh, that’s really cool. I mean, one of my burning questions for you, or like, I see a lot of doubts on our side that are focused with things like, gaming we’re where people, I guess, n utility around there NFTs, right. You’ve created something very different. Right. Which is awesome, which you’ve created a kid DAO a community around generative art. Right. I guess, how do you think about the evolving nature of Squiggles within that doubt? Right. Cause I can’t say, Hey Greg, come battle me with your Squiggle on, assay. Right. Like we’re limited there, but I’m sure there’s a roadmap to potentially do that. Or maybe that’s just not the focus. Right. This is art and it should be, I guess, kind of a loaded question there, but I was wondering your take on, I guess, where Squiggles are going from here and how they play in with your community.
09:31 • Gregg
Yeah. I think about that a lot. I think, it’s pretty clear what the primary utility of using Squiggles as part of the community is for the short term. It, it creates that cohesion, it creates alignment. It creates culture for the DAO to evolve. I think as the DAO evolves and as we evolve within an ecosystem that allows us to connect with the real world more and with other types of opportunities more, I think it will become less important to being a contributor. For now I strongly believe that it’s a critical piece. I mean, it’s so hard to capture attention and focus in this space because there’s such a small number of people that get it and contribute. You also have a small number of people that actually own the art. There’s only about 2000 wallets that have Squiggles in them, which is pretty small. You have all the challenges of activating them and going and doing fun and exciting things.
10:37 • Gregg
For now it’s a critical aspect of what we’re doing because it brings people together. Over time I think the DAO will hit a threshold where it starts to run itself in certain ways like culturally, I think it will start to run itself in many ways. At that point, I think it will be less important.
10:58 • Tom
Yeah. I guess that’s a great answer. I mean, I guess thinking through the, like what people are doing and how the community is activated, like, do you see people building, side projects linked to Squiggles or derivative art? Or is that more like your role or yeah. W where does the community building on the project side, I guess?
11:19 • Gregg
Yeah. I mean the core design of the DAO and its current form. Like, I should just say like everything that we are exploring right now, we’re trying to be very assertive and clear about particular directions, but this is a doubt. So, I mean, it can go in any direction. We might do something completely different six months from now who knows, but in terms of like where we’re trying to align, everyone is like, we want to, we are Uber long Squiggles. We want to get as many Squiggles as possible over time, and we want to have the best collection over time. And that enables the DAO. You take, you take that collection and you take the social capital from the DAO and the wisdom of the crowd and the other aspects of community and you produce culture. That’s really what I think the grand experiment is squiggled now is really creating culture around, the art series.
12:14 • Gregg
The reason behind that is twofold. One it’s like it immediately benefits the doubt because the more valuable Squiggles are the more valuable we are. There’s an inherent incentive to do so, but if we zoom out a bit, it’s like, if we can have an impact on culture and art in the longterm, that is an incredibly amazing thing to do. Imagine you’re 50 years down the road, you’re at a friend’s house and there’s a coffee table book, and it’s just, there’s a Squiggle on the cover. How amazing would that be? So I think that’s a lot of that is what this is about for me individually, what incentivized me to get involved. I think realistically, the doubt is going to evolve far beyond just focusing on Squiggles. I mean, we can start to do pretty much anything that the community wants to do once it’s self-sustaining.
13:03 • Gregg
I can’t wait to get to a point where it is running itself. It’s producing enough value that, other teams can spin up. Other creative things can be explored and, it becomes more than just a community of people that like art,
13:20 • Tom
That’s a hell of answer. I’m excited for that coffee book, by the way, I’ll be one of the first buyers. I guess within the DAO, you kind of have, I guess, two different roles or what I’m seeing, right? Like you have a role where you want to educate the masses on the culture of Squiggles, why it’s here, it’s value itself. Right. On the other side, there’s expanding beyond the core focus, right? Like, I don’t know, maybe a Squiggle movie, maybe a Squiggle game. I have no idea, I guess how much time do you spend on each and I’m assuming your role is kind of evolving as time goes on.
13:56 • Gregg
Yeah, it can be quite chaotic and challenging when, none of us have ever worked in this environment before we’ve never worked with this kind of culture. A lot of the things we’re doing is, figuring out as we go or talking with other DAOS and learning from colleagues and figuring out how to operate. For me, the most important priority is getting the Dao operating smoothly and sustainably. There’s certain things that we do internally just to stay organized so that we can, focus on creating value within the DAO, whether it’s launching projects or running events, that kind of thing, enabling talent to interface, connect and contribute is another challenge. A lot of my time is spent either in the trenches, in a leadership position, helping with that, or looking for people that are showing up that are exceptional and trying to engage them directly to say, Hey, would you like to do more?
15:02 • Gregg
What’s your level of participation and really trying to capture that. It’s an interesting combination of having to zoom in all the way and zoom out. When I have time to breathe, usually on the weekend, I’ll zoom way out and think about, okay, what’s the big picture here? Where are we going with this thing? And, I liked that having all those different perspectives, but I think over time right now, I’m way too active in the day-to-day. I think what we would really like to have is more of the community self operating. I feel like certainly not a dictator, but definitely like over-invested in the day-to-day just to make sure if there’s some cultural that’s being developed around how we operate and participate so that there’s less to do around how to participate and more just to like, where can I contribute? I think that’s a challenge that we’re all experiencing, especially as the DAOs are growing.
16:03 • Gregg
The number of people are starting to participate is starting to grow as well. That just makes it way more complicated. Yeah, so this is a bit of a rambling answer, but I think the immediate term is like, get the organization so that it can really attack certain projects efficiently so that people can show up and have as much fun as possible and contribute as much value as possible to whatever level of commitment they want. From there, we can start to zoom out more and start to look at more strategic goals and bigger picture things that take, maybe three to six months to realize.
16:41 • Tom
No, that’s really cool. I guess my question for you is, you guys have the squeak token, which will, I guess we can get into now or discuss throughout the podcast. I guess my question was like, you’ve had such a great community of Squiggle owners who are aligned to get it. Do you think there’s going to be a bifurcation in your community of those who like, own a squiggle, understand the story, and then those who might, own the squib token, which has a claim on your treasury. I’m just trying to get a sense of, cause like you’re in the business of selling culture. Right. I feel like there might be a difference between those two groups. I’m not sure how that’ll play out, but it’s also worth if you can just sharing what actually is in your treasury. Maybe we can start there too.
17:25 • Gregg
Yeah. I’ll just summarize like what we did to get to where we are now. So we ran three contributions. First of all, we did an airdrop to any wallet that had a Squiggle in it as it’d be like, Hey, we’re here, come check us out. We ran three contribution rounds, which was essentially a, Hey, if you give us a Squiggle or if you give the DAO squiggle, we’ll give you a certain number of voting tokens, depending on the rarity of that Squiggle. Over the course of those three rounds, we got 232 Squiggles and some auto glyphs and some framer gents and a couple other pieces. At the time that we finished the third round, it was about $480,000 worth of art, which was really excited about, okay, wow, this isn’t going to be super awesome. And that was in may I believe. Now that treasury is worth about $25 million and we haven’t added any new art to it.
18:20 • Gregg
Now we’re sitting on this giant, incredible treasury of art. When we originally envisioned this, it was, it started off initially as a collector DAO and then it rapidly evolved into a social doubt. We’re like, we want to focus on the culture aspect and the treasury gives us the leverage to go and do things. It also signals our commitment to the art that we’re doing everything around. So it’s a perfect fit. And, from there it’s like we can use that in many different ways, we could, financialize it and monetize it. We could display it in galleries. We can create derivative art from it. There’s a bunch of different things that we’re exploring right now in terms of like producing revenue for the DAO, but also output and culture from, for the series. If I think is really interesting because a lot of the projects that we’re looking at provide both, they provide sustainability for the doubt, but they also produce the culture that we want to create.
19:19 • Tom
I mean, that’s incredible. I mean, you’ve amassed, nearly 250 Squiggles. There’s only, I think 9,200 or so men there’s much left Eric. It’s still meant. I mean, it seems like, it seems incredible one hand, right? Like you have this treasury of extremely valuable NFTs. How did you convince people to part with them? Right. Because these are like very valuable assets that people are partying for frankly, a token, which is incredible as a claim over a doubt, but it doesn’t do too much right now. Right. It’s still a work in progress kind of thing, I guess. How do you, how’d you convince them to kind of part ways?
19:57 • Gregg
To be honest, I think we underestimated the potential here in many ways. Like, I am not proud of this, that I’ve paper handed, some epic Squiggles myself, like some really ethical, I actually, yeah. Like some of the members that we have are very large Squiggle holders. Like if we, based on the information that we have, we, the DAO has like two and a half percent of the supply. If we include the Squiggles that are on by the members of our DAO, it’s about 85%. There’s a lot of Squiggle influence in the DAO. Even at the beginning, we just didn’t really, I always believed that this was going to happen. I just thought it was going to take way longer. As usual with crypto things can just happen really fast. I think there was a few key inflection points that started to bring in, fresh capital from certain areas and it just into an illiquid market.
20:57 • Gregg
And just now here we are. At the time I think people understood the value of the DAO and the potential of that more than the value of the art itself. What they’re betting on, if we think about this purely from a financial perspective of what they’re betting on is that the DAO will produce value at a premium to the treasury and the premium, the art. If I’m belong the DAO, even though the token isn’t redeemable for the art, it should be more valuable than the art itself. I believe that will be true over time. I just think that the quiddity and the money that’s coming into the NMT space can react to a repricing a lot faster than the doubt of the tout. The DAO takes time to organize, focus and deliver. We’re just in that transition period where, we, the DAO, the value of the DAO is trading at a discount relative to the art, not financially speaking, but in terms of its potential.
22:01 • Gregg
It’s a great time to build because of that.
22:06 • Tom
No, you’re totally right. I mean, I don’t know of any other examples where people have donated an NFT and the treasury is this valuable. I mean, maybe that’s a blind spot for me, but are there any other examples of kind of what you’ve done out there today?
22:21 • Gregg
I think we’re the only DAO that launched this way. It was also, the timing was absolutely impeccable. I mean, if we tried to do that three months later, I probably wouldn’t have happened because things were starting to take off. I would like to, I think we’re really proud of that because it gives us some unique opportunities relative to a lot of the other dads, like we’ve raised $0. We have one Ethan, our treasury that I loaned to the DAO so that we could pay transaction fees, moving stuff out of the multisig. That’s, that’s all we have. That produces a unique, situation for us because the vast majority of the voting tokens are still owned by the DAO members, right. There’s only 25% of the supply floating around. Long-term, that gives us a ton of flexibility, in terms of raising capital, in terms of, leveraging the squib token to go and do things to expanding our membership, without over-inflating the supply, like there’s a lot of, we have a lot more options this way.
23:27 • Gregg
I think that really worked out in our favor because we want to be creative. This isn’t a, I have a lot of respect for anyone that’s working in DAOs right now. I think it’s an incredibly wonderful time to be alive. And there are some ambitious things happening. I kind of, there’s a source of pride that comes with the fact that were able to organize the community without having to raise money first and actually purchase the arts.
23:53 • Tom
No, I’m with you. I mean, I guess I would say, I guess it’s a little, I mean, I guess people weren’t donating at like current Squibb prices, right? Like they were donating, much earlier,
24:04 • Gregg
Yeah. I donated our one of our six full spectrums. And that I purchased for six teeth.
24:14 • Tom
Gosh, what are they like four or 500 or something,
24:17 • Gregg
They’re out there in a couple of hundred range. I I’m right along there with everyone else in terms of the short-term pain, but I’ve seen the amount of creativity that’s showing up on a daily basis and the amount of quality projects that are in flight. I’m super excited about what’s going to come out of this. Like people have no idea what, in general, what the potential are for these organizations. It’s really spectacular.
24:47 • Tom
No, I’m totally with you. I think it’s pretty interesting that you’re giving voting token in exchange for the squibs. Can we discuss that a bunch? Do you view it as we’re investors in fractional, I love what, and he’s doing, he’s a huge squeak fan if I’m not confusing people here, but, do you view like the token has kind of access to an index of squiggle? Because I mean, to me, it kind of sounds like that’s kind of what it is in one, or at least through one lens.
25:14 • Gregg
I mean, technically it is right. We, we often have to reiterate that there’s no redemption system in place, and that was never the intention that being said, if the community decided to change that it could through consensus. We’re always theoretically open to it, but I think that would be counterproductive to the current mission. While owning the squeak token does give you access to, participate in what happens with the treasury. It’s not immediate, you’re not immediately going to be able to redeem that for a piece. I think a lot of the collector or the NFT treasury backed DAOs are in the same situation, it’s like the value of the token kind of gives you exposure to the treasury. Like fingerprints is a good example, but they all also say like, this is not redeemable for anything. The way I think about it as like the value of the token is derived from the treasury plus some layer on top and this layers about the community.
26:21 • Gregg
If were just a social token, that bottom layer wouldn’t exist, it would just start at zero. Instead it starts at 25 million because that’s where the treasury is. Our ability and the reason why that makes sense to me is because our ability to go and do creative things is a function of both. It’s a function of the community, being able to organize and deliver, but also a function of that treasury signals our commitment and also produces revenue in multiple different ways. It allows us to go and leverage that value to go in and do the things that we want to do.
26:55 • Tom
No, that makes a lot of sense. It’s an interesting, it’s an interesting dynamic, I guess the other side is, do you think the DAO will ever go towards the other end, right? Like the hunt for, the rarest, Squiggles and existence. I have my own worst stories here. I could share if you’re interested. I know I’ve mentioned them, but we’d love your take. Like you think you guys will ever go hunting for like top five rarity Squiggles or not so much,
27:22 • Gregg
It’s already in progress.
27:24 • Tom
That’s good. It’s good to hear. I know I mentioned to you, I got super addicted wanting to find the rarest ones for our fund. I think I found the number one rarest, but I did love number two, that the perfect black one and the guy holds one, told me he wanted 30 each. I was like, man, there’s no way. That’s where 38th. Honestly, it goes for at least a thousand, but, glad we didn’t go through with it obviously and told them, but it’s crazy that people, some people just don’t even know what they have cause they haven’t checked it.
27:54 • Gregg
It’s still very new. Yeah. It’s I hate saying this because it can be really dangerous to new people getting into the space, but we are so early, so very early and it doesn’t mean we can’t go through a bear cycle or, a wash out or clean up or something like that. Cause there’s so many art projects launching right now, but yeah, there’s just, we’re barely even getting started, which is very cool. Yeah.
28:23 • Tom
I’m with you and Gregg. Switching gears like just talking about the management of the community, how is it running a DAO, right? Like, are there tools you wish you had, do you hate discord? Like what, give us the download on just the day to day. I know you said you’re wearing a zillion hats right now and, shout out to the community. If you could fill some roles here, that’d be helpful, but we’d love to hear your take on, I guess the evolution of DAOs in the space.
28:49 • Gregg
It kind of feels like so most of my career I’ve spent in early stage tech startups and product lead product manager roles. A lot of this in many ways is familiar, but the culture and the game theory is completely different. All you have is carrots. You don’t have any sticks. Like if I was in a traditional startup, I’d have an employee agreement and job descriptions and, reviews and all this kind of stuff. Here it’s like, I have a bunch of volunteers. Basically. We are all volunteers. I mean, I’m unpaid as well. I’m technically a volunteer. So it’s a lot of fun. A lot of experimentation, we try things. Often we switch around various things. We like, we’re constantly evolving our compensation model. We just started using coordinates two weeks ago and we’re gonna dive into that hard. We’re also starting and looking at putting in more permanent, not permanent, but like, predefined roles like leads similar to what friends with benefits is doing.
29:51 • Gregg
I think they have around 30 leads and we’re looking for like five to 10, so like different layers of commitment, depending on what people are willing or able to do. And just continuously experimenting with that. What’s interesting is over time, as you start to experiment with these things, you can see people clicking into them more and being like, oh, this is how I can get something done. Or this is how I raise an idea, or this is how I can express my opinion, or this is how I can, join something that, maybe I don’t feel like I have the experience to go and do this, but I really want to, and I can find some way to contribute. They’re kind of over time when you’re keeping things open and organized. People are naturally growing into the culture, which is exactly what I was hoping to see.
30:38 • Gregg
I think if, as we continue to try to achieve excellence in terms of creating the community itself, those are the things that we’re really going to need to focus on is how do we make sure that people feel like they’re being recognized for what they’re doing? And they’re getting opportunities that align with their level of commitment. They’re being recognized, rewarded. When there new people are showing up, which is still happening all the time, it’s very easy to figure out what’s going on, how to contribute and participate in a way that’s fun because at the end of the day, like, this is a job. If, if you’re not having fun, you’re probably not gonna stick around. How do you translate not interesting work sometimes into fun, right? There needs to be some inspiration or pull that makes that happen combined with very elaborate incentive mechanisms, which, we’re really just playing around with both to find out what works.
31:37 • Gregg
I think for me, it’s like the best way to think about this critically is, treating it like a game, like a computer game, almost like an MMO. You have levels, you have items, you have like social proof of your contribution. You have ways of like leveling up and doing more. And, we’re looking into different ways of providing more gamification into the DAO so that people inherently are recognized for their contributions and other people see that and are inspired by it as, at the same time. I think that’s going to be one of the biggest opportunities is bringing in some kind of gamification layer into these Dalles, pull apps is a perfect jumping off point for exactly that, right? It’s the first layer of the simplest, a model of how you would do that. You’re recognizing people showing up, here’s a little piece of art, and people love them.
32:34 • Gregg
There’s bots. We launched two pull-ups, this month and of them got farmed. So almost nobody got them. They just got scooped up by some algo bought somewhere. And, I love that stuff because it’s just raw innovation happening everywhere, but it does signal that there’s value in these things. Even though it’s a relatively meaningless piece of art for the people that earned it’s not meaningless. I think we’re going to leverage that a lot to create a better community.
33:08 • Tom
That’s that’s how the take, I mean, what do you think about like the work by Squiggle holders in the doubt, right? Like, is there a difference between, the guy who owns a four Squiggle for 40 K and the guy who owns a guy or girl who owns one for a million, like, does it matter like how much they’re invested? Like, does that clearly reflect in the doubt or is that something that’s like, not a factor or just too hard to track?
33:35 • Gregg
I would say that the people, that own one are more committed that are the people that own many.
33:43 • Tom
That’s, that’s kinda what I was thinking. Cause it’s more meaningful to them than it is passive.
33:48 • Gregg
Yeah. And that one squiggle, right. It’s, it’s part of their online identity. It’s part of their community identity. That’s there’s just, especially for people who like, we have quite a few members in the Dao who earned the, earn to their Squiggle through the, after dinner mints podcasts, they would, they won the raffle basically and got a free mint from Eric. There, many of them, a handful of them at least probably couldn’t afford to buy one in the first place. Getting this piece for them, it’s like, well, I could sell it or I can join this community. The fact that they’re deciding to join the community instead of a huge payday is again, just reinforcing the fact that I think that these communities are going to be able to create so much long-term value because people want to belong to something. This is a great way to initiate what is essentially a fan club around something bigger?
34:47 • Tom
No I’m with you. You mentioned like innovating on the ways to, keep people incentivized toward them for their work within the DAO. You know, we’re an investor in pullout. We love them. Like, do you think it’s like reputation, like rewarding people with, Hey XYZ, did the best job on this task? Or do you think it’s more of incentives? Like, here’s the squib token or do you think it’s a mix of both because I mean, incentives and gamification within DAOs, like you said, is pretty, it’s a pretty new frontier and I don’t think anyone’s actually really nailed it yet.
35:21 • Gregg
I think it’s absolutely a combination of both. I think it fulfills a different internal need and a combination of both really allows that to optimize for the individual. Like some people just really want to be recognized for their contributions and some people really want a financial reward. I would say based on our community, it’s probably about 50 in the individual. Like no one is specifically here to get rich quick. I think everyone here wants to contribute. And, but it’s also very important that their efforts are recognized. They want that recognition and they deserve it because working in a DAO is not easy. It can be fun, but it can be challenging as well. Right? If you’re working on something that you really believe in the DAO and you need a marketing person to launch our, your Twitter program or union an article written, or you need a designer to create a meme for your launch plan, you have to go and find those people yourself.
36:27 • Gregg
A lot of the time and not everyone feels, confident or enabled enough to go and just be like, Hey, I need this. Can somebody helped me? Like, can I get, a budget for this so that I can give out some bounties that can be really challenging for people until they start to see others doing it and then get involved in the social capital that comes along with doing that and bringing people in I’ve seen people completely change in terms of how they enjoy themselves in the doubt, because they were able to achieve that and get the recognition for it. I think, there’s probably immediate incentive to be like, oh yeah, I’ll do that. That’s, a $500 bounty or something like that. The social recognition and the reward from that is this more sustainable? Long-term like, oh yeah, I feel more emotionally invested in this project now.
37:17 • Gregg
I’m not going to continue to invest in it.
37:19 • Tom
No, it makes a lot of sense. It’s definitely important to have a mix of both and to kind of see where you go with it. I guess I’m wondering, like the other question I had for you, which is kind of, I guess, more financial and likeness, but like if you take the, one of the rarest, Squiggles and existence, let’s say you fractionalize it. Right. Anybody can buy a piece of, the rare Squiggle and existence. Right? How do you feel about that versus buying a floor Squiggle and having, access to the DAO and stuff like that. Right. It’s obviously two very different types of buyers. I’ve asked the question to a few guests, but it seems like those buying the fractional or more looking for speculative upside than those buying the floor to have actual relationship with the community and the art. I was wondering your take there, cause it is kind of two different choices.
38:07 • Tom
I don’t think there are any risk Squiggles fractionalized right now to my knowledge. But, I guess it’s a potential down the line.
38:14 • Gregg
I would agree with what you said. I think it’s more an option to get exposure, the financial exposure to the arts than it is a community. We actually looked into this because collab land is compatible with fractional ownerships. Theoretically we could, fractionalize one of our hypers and sell, a thousand pieces. Then, if you owned one of those thousand pieces, you would be eligible to join the doubt, but it doesn’t have the same emotional connection to the ownership. We just felt like it wasn’t really worthwhile for what were hoping to achieve, which was, attracting more people into the doubt and then into Squiggle ownership.
38:58 • Tom
No, I’m totally with you. It kind of makes a perverse incentive. You, you mentioned earlier, like there might be a, a way for squiggled out to expand. I think you said two new projects and new forms of art, is that on the horizon to expand beyond Squiggles? And then I guess if you do, are you concerned that you may lose kind of the community and the moat that you’ve built within the DAO? Or I guess how do you think about that?
39:23 • Gregg
Yeah, I think, I mean, it’s hard to say what will happen over a longer timeframe in that regard. I think what we want to focus on now is entirely squiggled. That being said, we have a contribution program that we have continuously open. If anyone wants to donate art in exchange for building tokens, that’s available. Theoretically, if somebody said, Hey, I’ll donate a crypto punk, we would seriously consider it because that is tier one art that would add value to the DAO. Typically the way we’re thinking about non contributions is if we accept this contribution, how does this enable us to go and get or Squiggles in the future? And so in theory, there’s a council of people or a squad rather that manages these decisions and anyone can join that squad the concept there would be like, okay, well we feel that right now, crypto punks are undervalued relative to Squiggles.
40:19 • Gregg
If we take on a crypto clock, now we can sell it at a premium later and bicycle Squiggles, because I think we really want to maintain that focus. There may be some exceptions to that, but I think that’s going to be the game plan around acquisition. In terms of creating arts, I think I don’t see us really focusing on derivative art or inspired art that it doesn’t involve Squiggles. Like we’re looking at generative derivative art. We’re looking at PFPs, we’re looking at, one-on-ones, commissioned one-on-ones, for poll apps and things like that. We’re looking at, we’re looking at films, we’re looking at games, we’re looking at a bunch of different things. Many of those will be more obviously associated with the Squiggle and some will be more subtly associated with it. Again, this is the intention with all of that is primarily to produce culture around the original series.
41:19 • Gregg
If it’s one of the inspirations that we’re exploring right now is the BMW films from the early two thousands sky Richie and Madonna and, Clive Owen, in these 15 minute films where, Clive is the driver and he’s on some mission and it’s kind of James Bond X S Ken, it’s enjoyable, short film, but really it’s about the car he’s driving. I think that’s a wonderful concept and analog to that involves a Squiggle or Squiggles in some way, I think would be fantastic for people to just enjoy and then associate with Squiggle culture and with the arts that we’re producing. So things like that.
42:01 • Tom
No, that’s cool. I got to check out those movies, love Clive Owen and that crew. So I’ll have to check those out.
42:07 • Gregg
42:07 • Tom
Those are, those are solid, I guess, to close out. I mean, what do you view as like your success metric, right. Like, I guess it’s really easy for any founder, any instigator, DAO, creator, anything here at basically any founder to kind of just wake up every day and crush it. Right. And it’s hard to zoom out. I know you said you do it on the weekends, but like, what would you view as like your success factor where like a year from today, you woke up, you logged on a SquiggleDAO and you were like, damn like we did it. Like, what would you say is the couple of metrics you’d look for? Or maybe they’re not even metrics.
42:40 • Gregg
Yeah. I think the percentage of the community that’s active is one that I think about a lot, like what PR what percentage of the DAO is actually contributing. Because that tells you a lot about the health of the doubt, right? The ability for the doubt to build complex projects, to engage its community, to the level of commitment that people have, if they’re actually spending their precious time and showing up in the discord or, voting on things or providing feedback on things, maybe that’s all they do. If they are doing those things, that’s a lot more than just not showing up at all. That’s the one that I think that is definitely first in my mind. Subsequently I’m not sure how we would quantify this exactly, but our ability to execute and create complex things. So, we’re early in a lot of very complex projects right now.
43:37 • Gregg
So I’m seeing that unfold. I think over time as we get better and better than that, there must be some way of quantifying that. I think that’s really going to be one of the most important things because it shows, it proves to me that humans can create value in this kind of ecosystem. That’s really what I wanted to figure out in the first place is our doubt can come down to actually be a thing. They look great on paper and we actually make one work. In my mind, it’s like, that is the next thing.
44:13 • Tom
That’s awesome. Now, Eric, or sorry, Greg. I was just reading through my texts with Eric from our last episode, were talking about swivel for anything I missed, but Greg, this has been incredible, man. There anything we missed about SquiggleDAOthat you want to chat on? I’m obviously a huge fan and appreciate you coming on.
44:32 • Gregg
No, I think that’s it. I I’ll just say that, November 27th, which is the Squiggle-versary is going to be a big deal and keep your eyes out. Cause we’re going to do something crazy.
44:44 • Tom
Hell. Yeah, man. I’m marking on the calendar, Greg. I really appreciate you coming on, man. It’s, I’m obviously a fan of Squiggles and just the generative art movement and know Squiggles being the first generative art that was curated on Art Blocks. Now building a community around pure art is not only the first of its kind twice with Squiggles now the style I think, but Ashley’s incredible to see, so really appreciate you coming on today.
45:08 • Gregg
It’s been a pleasure to talk to you, Tom. Hey.
45:11 • Tom
Everyone. Thanks for listening to the podcast. If you enjoyed it, please support the show by hitting subscribe on iTunes, writing a review or sharing this episode on Twitter and LinkedIn and stay tuned for our next episode out soon.
(00:00:00) – Introduction.
(00:00:17) – What is a Squiggle?
(00:01:29) – How Gregg got into Squiggles.
(00:02:52) – Introduction to SquiggleDAO.
(00:05:18) – The effects of SquiggleDAO’s entry requirements on the community.
(00:08:00) – The role of Squiggles within the DAO.
(00:10:35) – Current community projects.
(00:13:07) – Gregg’s role within the DAO.
(00:16:26) – The SquiggleDAO treasury.
(00:19:12) – Why members were willing to part with valuable art pieces.
(00:25:00) – The value of SquiggleDAO tokens.
(00:27:17) – Hunting for rare Squiggles.
(00:28:43) – How SquiggleDAO operates.
(00:33:40) – Are members’ worth in Squiggles a factor?
(00:35:22) – Reputation vs. incentives as motivators.
(00:38:12) – Using rare Squiggle fractions vs. floor Squiggles for DAO entry.
(00:39:47) – Expanding beyond Squiggles.
(00:43:08) – Success metrics for SquiggleDAO.
(00:45:30) – Closing thoughts