Any coverage of web3 nowadays is likely to see a polarizing take on NFTs. On one hand, NFTs have been critiqued as “overpriced jpegs” or “get rich quick schemes.” On the other, evangelists have left their jobs to become full-time collectors, paying into the 6-figures to join NFT alpha groups and hunt for the next big mint.

Objectively, NFTs have been the most popular onramp of new consumers into crypto. A successful onramp should be highly accessible, and Magic Eden has built the most accessible platform – low cost, high speed, and clean user experience. In just nine months of existence, Magic Eden captured 92% share on Solana, seeing 40,000 NFT transactions daily across 22 million unique monthly sessions. At the end of May, Magic Eden’s largest month yet, daily trading volume surpassed Opensea.

But is this durable? While many can see the long-term potential in use cases like helping artists more directly monetize and earn royalties on secondary sales – it’s also true that some activity is speculative. But if one looks more closely within a subset of the communities that might otherwise be dismissed as “PFP projects”, and more broadly into emerging applications of the technology, it’s hard to not be excited.

Earlier this year, we invested in Magic Eden at the Series A, as it was quickly emerging as the fastest-growing and leading NFT marketplace on Solana. Working with co-founders Zhuoxun, Jack, Sidd, and Zhuojie quickly gave us even more conviction that this is a team we had to back. That’s why we’re thrilled to co-lead the Series B alongside our friends at Electric Capital.

The Magic Eden team is one of the highest-velocity teams we’ve met. If speed of experimentation is a predictor of success, Magic Eden is a standout. Our conviction was actually deepened during what was perhaps the most challenging time in the company’s existence. A notable project that launched on Magic Eden was discovered to be a “rug pull.” Over subsequent days, the Magic Eden team immersed and listened closely to its community, the founders spending hours in Twitter Spaces hearing ideas on how to strengthen the platform to protect security. Beyond offering refunds, the Magic Eden team “de-rugged” the project, launching Balloonsville 2.0 to revive the project under committed owners. The result was a safer launchpad experience with better verification controls in place, and strengthened trust from the community. Lemons to lemonade. Magic Eden continues to experiment with ways to make the platform progressively more community-owned, like MagicDAO.

Beyond the velocity point, Magic Eden is in a structurally durable position for where the NFT market is heading. Whereas most NFT volume today occurs via secondary marketplaces, Magic Eden operates across the spectrum from primary issuance to embedded transactions. On the former, Magic Eden works closely with creators on its Launchpad to help projects mint, market, and successfully execute launches. On the latter, Magic Eden takes an API-driven approach to help projects manage and host their own embedded marketplaces. Similar to the progression we’ve seen in ecommerce, where brands operate in an omnichannel world where they sell through their own direct-to-consumer site in addition to third-party retailers, Magic Eden’s infrastructure supports creators across their mix of channels.

The team is also “skating to where the puck is going.” We believe NFT technology will see many applications in coming years – from loyalty/membership programs and wallet-aware promotions for brands, to ticketing and royalties for artists, to virtual land ownership, and gaming. After setting its eyes on gaming, the Magic Eden team quickly launched 50+ games and captured 90%+ of Solana gaming NFT volume. Magic Eden envisions a future where NFTs are transferable and interoperable across games, ultimately yielding better liquidity for players and more accessible economic infrastructure for game developers.

If the past 9 months are any evidence of how much progress on a product and community can be made in a short timeframe, I can’t wait to see what the Magic Eden team accomplishes as it further accelerates its pace of building and experimentation, through all market conditions. This team has braved previous crypto winters at dYdX and elsewhere, and is thoughtfully building its team through this one – reach out about these roles if you’re looking to build the future of on-chain commerce, gaming, and community.

Jack and Zedd recently joined me on the Greymatter podcast to discuss the Magic Eden’s mission to be the destination for discovering, collecting, and trading NFTs. You can listen to the podcast at the link below, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also read a transcript of this episode below the link.



Mike Duboe:
Hey everyone. Welcome to Greymatter, the podcast from Greylock. I’m Mike Duboe, a partner here.

My guest today is (Zhuoxun Yin) Zedd and Jack, the founders of Magic Eden, a leading NFT marketplace that is north of 95% share in the Solana ecosystem and has really been one of web3’s fastest growth stories over the past year.

Greylock was really fortunate to invest in the Series A with these guys and work very closely with the company in the months since. And we’re now excited to announce the Series B shortly after.

This team is really, truly exceptional in velocity – and just generally in their overall thoughtfulness around its community.

Jumping into it guys: we did a conversation several months back and it’s crazy to think that’s only four or five months ago, which is really a testament to your velocity, but maybe just to set the stage for new listeners, can you briefly share the vision for Magic Eden and where you are today on this journey?

Jack Lu:
Yeah, absolutely. I can jump in on that – and thanks, Mike, for having us. It’s super awesome to partner with you and I’m super grateful to be here.

At Magic Eden, we want to be the biggest and most liquid NFT marketplace in the world. And we want to be the leading destination when folks think about collecting, trading, and discovering NFTs. And for us to get there, we started off on the Solana blockchain where there is the cost and the transaction, generally, its ability to enable really polished product experiences was really nice and really differentiated. But our vision is to go much broader than that. And we want to be the biggest place and the leading destination for our users.

Great. And maybe for listeners just hearing this for the first time, maybe you could share a bit about your background and kind of the journey that actually led you to founding this.

We’ve got four co-founders for Magic Eden: myself, Zedd, Sid and Rex. Two of us came from the crypto exchange background. So Zedd worked at Coinbase, DYDX, the leading centralized exchange and also one of the leading decentralized exchanges, and I worked at FTX. So we really came from that kind of crypto native exchange kind of background. And then our two other co-founders on the technical side, Sid and Rex, were really early Uber engineers.

So we had a really unique mix of consumer marketplace experience and crypto exchange experience. And when we think back and look at it, NFT marketplaces, the business model itself is actually very similar to a crypto exchange – there’s secondary trading, prime issuance, that kind of stuff. But the app itself and the software itself looks like a consumer marketplace exchange. And I think that combination of skills and that kind of origination of our skillset really helped us kind of figure out who we want to be and have really strong intuitions about what we wanted to build.

Zhuoxun Yin (Zedd):
Yeah, a lot of us had been thinking about starting something for quite some time. And the confluence of factors was number one, NFT growth very clearly was taking off in 2021. And we saw PFPs kind of just break through the sound barrier. We also had a large auction for one of our pieces of digital artwork as well.

Two: Jack had a front row seat to the growth of Solana through being at FTX. And we really started to feel the possibilities of NFTs being much more than just profile pictures. Not that that category is going away, but really the future here is many, many, many different types of assets and many different more use cases to come.

And then [three], our general feeling that NFTs would be a much, much larger market was driven I think a lot from the fact that if we can help enable a whole bunch of these use cases going forward, then NFT should really be at the forefront of a cultural, social, super fun experience. It should be more than just being a pure commerce kind of layer – that’s (I think) what people think about NFT marketplaces today.

And we felt like the best place to start was nine months ago. And here we are. So it’s been an amazing journey since.

Yeah. I mean, there’s a bunch of awesome points to dig into there, and I want to actually start with talking a bit about Solana.

So one of the things as you highlighted that’s really notable is just how much more accessible it is as a chain due to transaction fees and just where the price points of these NFT projects lie in Solana. How has this accessibility kind of impacted the product roadmap and vision?

Yeah. So I think there’s a few reasons that we decided to start this way. The main reason was, to Jack’s point, we come from product backgrounds. We wanted to build something that really could help onboard the next hundred million, 1 billion users. And you need something that’s easy to use. Something that feels pretty close to what people are used to. And I think that’s pretty clearly going to be something like Solana. And we were pretty excited to start building this ecosystem because when things are fast and cheap, it just enables a lot more functionality and a lot more experimentation that otherwise would not happen.

So that was the thesis that we had, and I think that’s played out to be very largely true. And the reason that’s happened is because, when things are cheaper people are more willing to experiment. And when that experimentation happens, cool things start to brew.

For us as a team, what does that mean? It means that what we are building is something more general and something that enables a bunch of these new creators to come and do something. And the classic example that we have seen so far is – and this is something that is a big focus of the Solana ecosystem too – is around gaming, which we can absolutely talk about in a little bit, but this has absolutely guided the way we think about our product.

We want users to have the fastest, snappiest, most seamless, buttery experience possible when they deal with NFTs. And we want that to really be at the forefront of what they see for the first time when they land on Magic Eden: you land on the page, you land on the website, on the mobile app, and you start to enter this world that is cool, immersive. In time, what we hope is that you see gaming, PFPs, you see music stuff, you see a whole bunch of different categories of NFTs and there are many, many different ways to interact with that.

It is buttery. It’s kind of like night and day, if you’ve actually worked with other NFT marketplaces as a consumer. My first time transacting on Magic Eden was almost like a breath of fresh air. And this was just a few months after (maybe even less than that) that it went live. So, clearly, some of it’s driven by just the underlying chain, but I think more important than that is your product DNA and how quickly and thoughtfully you’ve been able to ship the product.

Can you talk a little bit about some of the recent product features and maybe where the product’s going as you start to work more with different NFT use cases?

Yeah. I can share a little bit about that. So a couple of things that we’ve been super excited to release over the last couple of months.

Number one, actually we’ve done a ton of work on Launchpad. So Launchpad is our primary product that’s primarily a creator enablement product. We want to help our creators have a really smooth and anxiety free way of launching their NFT collection. So that product historically actually has been around actually since maybe month two or month three, but we’ve just done a ton of work under the hood to make that a lot more of a smooth experience.

And number two, we’ve actually started expanding across the user journey for a creator. Previously, this was a product that only helps creators do launch, but then there is pre-launch helping them target specific members in the community.

Then, post-launch, we’re actually going to move into some features that help creators manage their community or view some stats or analytics to understand how their community is shaping out. So that’s kind of the vision for that launchpad and very creative facing product.

Secondly, we’ve been pretty excited to start experimenting with some social features. So we’ve started running some really interesting experiments around chat. And I think the underlying thesis is that most NFTs are inherently very social experiences, but also very emotive experiences.

There’s so much hype at the moment of the mint or there’s so much hype when a collection is having this insane event and everyone’s trading and talking about it. And we really believe that, hey, the best product is the ones that elicit this emotional connection and emotional feedback from the user. And we want to bring that feeling, that feeling of hype and that feeling of excitement to Magic Eden itself. So that it’s not just clinical, it’s not just transactional.

And to Zedd’s earlier point, we have this underlying product philosophy of creating an immersive experience where a marketplace should not just be a place for simple kind of transactional relationships, but you should have something much more aspirational and much more emotive.

One thing I’ll add on just the creator and user side of things is that it’s all geared around making it easier. And now that we’ve done nearly 250 launches on Launchpad in sort of a seven month period. We have a lot of repetitions now of the things that create and induce anxiety amongst creators. And we want to strip that away. Both from a technical standpoint, but also from a general go to market standpoint.

And then on the end user side, I think it’s simplifying that journey, making it easier for them to actually come in and discover NFTs. Because I’d say historically NFTs is a very much like you’re either all in or you’re not in it all. It’s hard to just be casually excited about NFTs. Typically what we see is users have to be pretty deep into it to really get excited. And I think it doesn’t need to be that way.

There’s a lot of really fun, interesting moments. For example, we had a live chat around Launchpad. That was a really fun moment that any user should be able to come and actually just feel that excitement, feel that particular thing that’s going on.

And then on the gaming side, there’s a lot of really, really interesting things that are happening here. And we are super excited about some of the sheer number of developers that are entering the space to build web3 games. And we’re lucky enough to be at the forefront of that too. So similar to the thesis we have around creators, we kind of think about game devs as just another category of creator.

What we want to do there is effectively make it as easy as possible for them on their journey. So it’s interesting because in traditional game development, you don’t really have anything before the actual build cycle of the game. Whereas in crypto and web three, we’re seeing a lot of these teams actually launch an NFT collection, right, as the first step that happens.

So we want to be at the forefront of their journey by helping them with their initial go to market NFT launch, and then help them with a whole bunch of infrastructure and general dev support and go to market support as they build out their games. So we want to be there for the entire journey. And I think Magic Eden’s the perfect place for that because we have a lot of users, these users can be players and these players want to discover games. And we can be an amazing discovery portal for all this really, really cool content.

Yeah. I mean, I know the feedback on the creator side has been exceptional.

While we’re talking about Launchpad, I do want to bring up the topic of security. And I know personally, being close to your journey, I developed a lot more conviction around you guys actually seeing how you responded to some of the unfortunate kind of situations that are derived over time.

In the NFT ecosystem we certainly have some bad actors. I don’t think it’s a high percentage of them. But when these things happen there is an impact on the broader community and the way you respond to it in that moment is really critical. In my experience, or from my vantage point, it seems that Magic Eden actually built trust during those times.

Yeah, absolutely. So that moment where we got basically scammed by a bad actor in February – I think that’s going to live in Magic Eden history forever, to be really honest. And in some ways one of the most trying and challenging couple of weeks in our time, founding journey, but also I think I’m kind of grateful for it too because all that shit happened, excuse my French. But it did lead to a lot of deep process thinking and deep dives into the underlying way that we think about the product and service offering.

So I think trust and safety for Launchpad, that’s got to be a first class goal for the product and service offering itself. And it’s not just product things that we build in, but it’s also processes around identity verification, having a lineage of identity verification, not just at Magic Eden, but having secondary third tiers of partners who also verify those identities.

But also it’s kind of a cultural thing. We then implemented a whole bunch of internal processes where we have checks and balances between different teams and different team members to vet for whether a certain project will pass a quality bar and then whether that project will then pass a secondary safety bar.

And then I think in that way, also speaking to your point Mike, around how we responded to that situation. So basically we got scammed by this artist who came up and then there was a PR issue effectively, a pretty significant one. But then we decided to do this very crypto native thing, which is called de-rugging the collection. And effectively, in more everyday speak, it’s kind of like we took over the project, which the scam artists left laying by the wayside and left their holders in the lurch.

So we took over it. And then we funded that project with, I think 5,000 sol to 6,000 sol. And in crypto terms, that’s called de-rugging. But in that sense, I also feel that it really speaks to the culture of Magic Eden, which is to be a really crypto native company and speak to our users and engage to our users at our level.

Right now, most of our users are fairly crypto native and it’s important to take actions that connect with them and are relevant for them. And if we did maybe a straight refund or something like that in that situation, I don’t think it would’ve worked. But because we did this really crypto native action of de-rugging, taking over the project, it gave all of the holders at that time another chance to mitigate their losses. That was super well-received by the crypto community and by our own user base. And I think our users in that moment realize, hey, Magic Eden is a company that stands with them on their level. And I think that was pretty important for us.

I think, also, the lesson and actually one of the ways we thought about this at the time was that we should always put the users in the community first. And that was one sort of manifestation of that. And I think we continue to operate in that way. And we did some stuff, not only around the de-rugging, which financially just didn’t really make sense for Magic Eden at the time, but we did it anyway. But also we actually shut down our launchpad for two weeks. And the user there, the creator, we actually introduced them to competitive launchpads because we wanted to make sure that they could continue to have a successful launch on their own timeline.

And these are things that may not be the best for Magic Eden, but we’ll always pick what’s best for the user in circumstances like this. So I think out of this, it really crystallized some of the principles we have as a company and we’ll continue to live by those.

Yeah, we took two, three weeks off. We did a lot of soul searching, and processing, and product deep dives. And then we relaunched under the hood effectively a new spirit of how this product works. And then we did 80 launches since then, no scams, no rugs, probably the best safety record in the industry. And then we managed to launch the two most, I think, iconic Solana NFT collections in the last six months, Okay Bears and Trippin’ Apes. So yeah, kind of grateful for that experience actually to challenge us and elevate us to the next level.

One of the things that was really notable to me throughout that, listening to some of these heated Twitter spaces that Tiff and you guys were on too, was just how human you felt and just really how much you actually genuinely listened to the community during those times. There’s many different ways where you could have handled it that maybe would’ve been more short term beneficial to Magic Eden, as you called out. But I think at least I felt a genuine sense of empathy and actually listening, which I think has clearly made its way back into the product. But also how you guys manage the community, [for example] the infamous Magic Eden intern managing Twitter your account and all that.

There’s one interesting thread here that I thought we could get into around the topic of decentralization and being community owned. You’ve publicly stated that you want to be community-owned at some point (when the time is right to decentralize), but at the same time, the role of a marketplace, in many ways, is to be an aggregator and be a centralized destination actually. And so there is a bit of a tension inherent here.

How do you actually work through this tension of being kind of a centralized destination, while also kind of furthering the vision around decentralization and community ownership?

Yeah. And to be candid, I think in some ways we don’t have the absolutist view right now. So I think right now our view is more that we want to be community driven, and then we’ll find a way towards the more crypto native aspects of decentralization and so on. We want to do things that’s more community oriented, more community driven, community owned in some ways, rather than trying to be fully centralized in everything. So we have Magic DAO and so on and so forth.

But I think the spirit of it is over the long term, we want to find ways that create the spirit of when Magic Eden wins, the user wins or the community wins. And when the community wins Magic Eden wins as well. And there could be many, I would say, tools or instruments for us to get there. Decentralization could be one, there could be various other aspects, but that’s kind of ultimately what we want to do, to be always on the side of the community and always on the side of the user and align our incentives that way.

Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s right. I think all these things are very gradual in nature. But it is exciting to experiment with it. I think as a team we like to try new things and sometimes-

We’re open to new things-

– sometimes to our detriment. We released an NFT collection called the Magic Ticket, which gave our users in the community access to the Magic DAO. And then the Magic DAO, the vision for that over time is that we want that particular community to be more and more involved in some of the core decisions around Magic Eden. And it’s not going to happen overnight. And a lot of these DAO communities are hard to run and that’s just the reality. But we do actually want to experiment with it, which is why we started this early.

So today there’s some things that already happen, which is community votes that enable what goes on to some of the carousels on the homepage, as an example, and actively trying to encourage developers to come and build various products, whether it’s sniping tools, analytics tools, in-game marketplaces all through Magic Eden’s infrastructure.

And then the third thing I would say is that we also just want this community to have fun, right? Because NFTs, as Jack said, it’s really inherently social. And a lot of that social activity has happened and really picked up over the course of time through COVID and the pandemic. And now as people come into more and more real life events and activations again, we’re hosting more and more events through the DAO, which is really cool.

So we hosted a big event for NFT LA, we have another big one coming up for NFT NYC. And these are the types of things that we want our community, the Magic Eden community to really come and experience and meet other people, meet us. It’s a really, really important part of us as a team and a culture. So expanding that through the rest of the Magic Eden family, so to speak, is important for us.

I love the point of experimentation. I think in some ways, velocity of experimentation, velocity of learning is one of the best predictors of company success. And you guys are a great case example of that.

I’d be remiss to not kind of spend some time talking about just where we are on the cycle right now. We’re recording this today on June 10th, 2022, the broader NFT market and really all the chains are undergoing more of a down cycle, yet Magic Eden has actually continued a rapid ascent during that time. And so I think the stats, I was just looking at over the last 30 days, doing almost 5 million sol in volume across one and a half million of transactions, 250k active wallets over the last 30 days. That’s just secondary.What’s happening here? And how are you guys actually reacting through this down cycle?

Yeah. So I think prices going up and down, that’s just part and parcel of crypto, right? And that just comes with the territory. I think where we are for NFTs though is the underlying belief for us was always this thing’s going to be 1000X bigger than what it is today.

And the thing that really excited all of our founding team at the start was, and this feels like crypto going mainstream. Because previously when you talk to the average person on the street about crypto, about decentralized exchanges or tokens, you can see their eyes just glaze over. It’s like, dude, what are you even talking about?

But you start talking about NFTs, it’s about art, it’s about culture, it’s about community, it’s about gaming. These are very emotionally relatable topics. So I think in that sense, regardless of where the cycle is for the asset price, the underlying thing is man, we are so early into a market that has insane headroom to grow because the core property of this is so much more relatable for the average person. And what we need to do is effectively just focus on building great products, right? Making sure the user feels the value from this new primitive on the internet. And as long as we can build products that help people feel the value I’m sure there is insane amounts of growth left.

Yeah. I’d say on the first point, so in a micro level what’s happening with Magic Eden, May was our largest month ever, despite all the crazy stuff that was going on in the macro environment. And I think what was happening was that we actually had a couple of watershed launches that we did. And I think users from other ecosystems, particularly Ethereum, started to take notice of what was happening. And so that’s I think one key thing that’s been happening lately. Solana has more mind share now than what was the case maybe three, six months ago. That’s the first thing.

And then the second thing is that I think we’re really excited that no matter what happens in the market, what happens in the cycle, we feel really confident there’s a lot of people building. And as long as that’s true then the rest kind of takes care of itself. And I know this because when I joined DYDX, it was actually at the end of 2017, which for those who remember that was the end of the last cycle. And I ended up jumping in and we went into a crazy bear market for two years, two and a half years.

That’s actually around the time when I first met Jack and Jack was like, what are you doing in crypto? I was like no it’s going to be good, don’t worry. No, but the reality is, as long as the builders are there and back then Solana wasn’t even a thing which seems a little bit crazy to say, right?

So I really believe that these things happen faster than people think. And if you look at the fungible token market, that was nowhere near as big as it is today three, four years ago, five years ago. And that doesn’t feel like very long. So for us, it’s just stay focused, we’re here for a long time. And keep our head straight. I think we really think this opportunity is generational and we’re really excited to be building in this ecosystem.

Yeah you’ve mentioned a few times throughout this conversation existing PFP use cases really just only being tip of the iceberg kind of where this stuff could go. I very much agree with that obviously, but maybe I think it would be fun to kind of highlight some examples of projects that you think are starting to illustrate where the future of this could go.

Are there any that come top of mind right now that are projects that have either launched in Magic Eden or elsewhere that you feel like are showing a glimmer of where all this stuff could go on a longer time horizon?

Yeah, I actually was going to talk about gaming because in some ways I was thinking Magic Eden first kind of seems like we’re a generalized marketplace, but actually we’re not. Our DNA is more to take bets on categories that we think is going to be huge and try to go deep there. So there’s a lot of intentionality why we went into PFPs and digital collectibles and then games.

I just think now, at least, just in the gaming sphere, I’m getting more and more excited. We’re seeing basically more and more creators create really engaging games using NFTs in a really new, special way. Just the last couple of weeks, we’re talking a lot with the AURORY team who were about to release their new demo.

I think it’s really cool where they’ve basically created this PFP project where you really feel this sense of identity, this sense of affiliation, but then you get to see it being used live in the game which we just think is super exciting. The Okay Bears’ story is really cool too. That was really iconic for us. That would be one of the watershed creators that we feel privileged to have enabled and helped launch in May. The project itself is kind of around digital collectables. But the underlying story is so human and so inspirational, right? These are folks, Aussies as well, they’ve been working really hard in the space and they came from this true sense of authenticity.

Like a lot of NFT projects, I feel like the founders will try to overly financialize it.Overly hype it and say hey guys, you should never sell or something like that. But when we met these founders, the project founders in person, they were saying, hey, the most touching thing when we were about to launch Okay Bears is, they were choosing between Ethereum and Solana. But then they went and actually talked to their community and said, hey guys, could you take some photos of where you are and maybe show the Okay Bear sign, right? This hand signal that they use to show that they’re an affiliate fan of Okay Bears. And people sent all these photos of them in emerging economies or not in the most affluent environments.

And then the founders are like, man, we have to choose Solana because yes, we can make a ton more money, we’ve built this massive brand if we launch in Ethereum, but actually we should do something that’s really true to our users. We don’t want to lock out our own fans from being able to access this thing.

And then later on when they launched on Solana, they then received all these stories about their holders saying, “Hey man, I’m so sorry, I had to sell my Bear but this was life changing amounts of money for me, I managed to buy a house.” Or “I managed to pay off my mom’s loans or something.”

And it would only be like 50 sol. It was like two and a half thousand dollars or something like that. But those kinds of stories are so heartwarming. It’s like, man, this is having a real impact on the community. And also the founders had so much humility to choose the tough path, right? Not the overly financialized path to enable something. I thought that was really cool.

Yeah. No, really cool.

I think the one thing I’m starting to see, which I think is going to be starting to get really fun is these kinds of projects like Okay Bears and all these PFPs is that these are now just going to be effectively, these are primitives, right? And people are starting to create token gated content in some way, or token gated access in some way.

And we’re starting to see this where it’s like, you get access to some perks or you get access to a particular set of events or you get access to a particular sets of tooling. Which is kind of interesting, because it’s flipping the SAS model in some ways. You buy this NFT, you get access to some type of software. And I think that’s pretty amazing actually. And some people are building these pieces of software to use on top of Magic Eden or use in other places within the NFT ecosystem. That’s something I’m pretty excited about. And yeah, I think lots of creatives experimenting with this.

Yeah. I’ve always felt like the classification of certain projects just as PFP projects is kind of missing the point, given that it’s really about kind of what’s behind that and what that membership actually yields over time.

Yeah. I think you hit it on the nail. I think PFP itself is a misnomer, it’s too broad of an umbrella term. There’s a bunch of value that sits behind what is the thing that you buy.


Yeah. I feel like you have an exceptionally unique culture and it would be an absolute blast to work there. You’ve talked about the community, but how about internally to Magic Eden, what are some of the cultural tenets that you’re building the company on and I guess maybe shameless plug for roles that are high priority and where people could kind of reach out to you guys?

Yeah, absolutely. So we do have four cultural values. User obsession; unity and ownership; web3 over web 2.0; and then champion’s mindset. And in some ways we were very allergic to calling these things cultural values for the longest time, because we didn’t want them to sound like empty platitudes or slogans, as you often see them in some ways.

But we distilled these principles or values actually through learned experience. Through the wins, but also a lot of the L’s and a lot of the challenges we have to overcome. And I think the one that’s most relevant to hiring and how we think about internal team culture is web3 over the web 2.0.

So we absolutely want to have the world’s best. We want to build like an elite team of tech and business athletes who can help us elevate. But in some sense also we also want to be a super crypto native company that embraces crypto culture.

I think right now we’re creating this really awesome balance within the company, maybe not balance, this awesome symbiosis or combination. Where we have deep functional experts, people who build super scaled infra at fame. But then we also have folks who are really, really into crypto culture. So they worked at the most deep frontier crypto companies, but we’ve kind of cultivated this culture of deep mutual respect and mutual learning. Everyone is here to learn something from everyone. Ultimately what we want is to say, “Hey, at Magic Eden we need the lifeblood of our users within the company.” That’s why we want folks who really understand crypto culture. But hey, we also want to be the biggest NFT marketplace in the world. So you need some deep functional experts.

Yeah. I’ll sum it up as just definitely I think we’ve been very, very targeted in trying to hire the best talent from both web 2.0 and web3. That’s really important for us.

Two, is I think we want to hire people who want to have fun, who find this interesting and also like to win, because I think ultimately we’ll make no bones about it. I think we’re here for a long time and hopefully we can be the biggest in the space.And some of the key roles we’re hiring for, I think definitely hiring much more for our gaming team. That’s a core area for us. I think engineers of all kinds where while other folks might be slowing down or ramping down in this market, I think we’ll likely be accelerating our engineering hiring.

Yeah. Well, I mean, in so many ways marketplaces are some of the most fun businesses to work on, certainly from a growth standpoint, but really across the board, it’s I think the kind of hybrid of marketplaces and then all the stuff you’re kind of yielding in web3. I couldn’t think of too many more exciting businesses to work in if you’re interested in marketplaces or crypto writ large.

So, thank you, guys. It’s been a good conversation and kudos on all of the momentum. I learn a lot and am inspired every time I talk to you guys. And so appreciate you making the time.

Awesome. Thank you so much.

Thanks Mike.


Mike Duboe

Mike brings a growth-focused mindset to early-stage investments in commerce, marketplace, and vertical software businesses.

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