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NFTs and the Future of Motion with Justin Cone

Adam Korenman

What does the future look like for NFTs, Design, and Animation?

The design and animation industry is rapidly evolving. As the tools of the industry become available to more artists around the world, innovation and growth follow. One of the most exciting developments has been the proliferation of cryptoart, but it is still an area rife with confusion and speculation. What do NFTs really mean for the future of our industry?

Justin Cone was one of the people who helped put Motion Design on the map. Now he's at Buck, working on the cutting edge of the industry. Years ago, we sat down with Justin to…well, to swoon over everything that he has done to build up design and animation. Now that we’re a bit more mature, it’s time to reconnect for a serious discussion about the future. 

Design and Animation are limitless fields, with pathways to television and film and freelance artistry. With the democratization of the tools and technologies in our industry, what comes next? We asked a ton of questions, and we got a boatload of answers just for you. 

So grab yourself a heaping spoonful of sugar, because we’ve got some medicine for you.

NFTs and the Future of Motion with Justin Cone

Show Notes


Justin Cone
Ryan Honey
Joe Donaldson
Fraser Davidson
Kyle McDonald
​​Roy Lichtenstein
Billy Chitkin
Gary Vaynerchuk 


Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam
Cub Studio


The Mitchells vs. The Machines
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Stranger Things
David Letterman Interviews Bill Gates (1995)
Teamfight Tactics (TFT)


Adobe Aero
Unreal Engine


Motion Awards
Blend Conference
South by Southwes
Bored Ape Yacht Club
Invisible Friends Project
Adobe Sto


Justin Cone: 00:00:15 You know, now we have NFTs and it's the, like the most interesting stuff is yet to come, but I completely really that it, the most exciting aspect is just the infrastructure, the pipes that we're building. It's not so much the stuff running through the pipes at this. I mean, come on Bored Ape Yacht Club is, you know, very popular, but it's not like gonna change our lives in a fundamental way, but some of the technologies they're playing with and the way that they're pushing the boundaries of ownership and IP even I think could very well change a lot for all of us.

Joey Korenman: 00:00:47 Are you a long time listener of this podcast? If so you may remember episode eight way back in the day where we interviewed Justin cone, the creator of the legendary Motionographer, Justin was a fixture in this industry street for a long time. And so it was a little strange when he stepped down as editor in chief and Motionographer and left the industry for a while in the time that's elapsed between that episode. And this one, Justin has been keeping very busy working in fields, completely unrelated to design and animation. And yet the pull was just too strong for him to resist forever. And so now he is back and working for the one and only buck in this conversation, my good friend, EJ Hassenfratz, and I get to catch up with one of these smartest wisest people I've ever met and someone who had an enormous impact on my career and the careers of a lot of the people you probably look up to in this industry. We talk about what Justin has been up to. What's going on over at the big old buck mothership, what the future may hold for our beloved industry. And yes, we talk about NFTs, a topic that Justin has written about pretty extensively. So are you ready to come down the rabbit hole with me EJ and the one and only Justin Cohen? Well, first you're gonna hear from one of our amazing School of Motion, alumni.

Tessa Schutz: 00:02:10 Hello, my name is Tessa Schutz, and I am a School of Motion alumni. I've worked in video production for a lot of years. My secret passion has always been animation. So I decided one day to take the plunge and take some School of Motion courses. And I was blown away by how much I learned every course I've taken. I feel like I've doubled my skill level each and every time it's obviously that the content is just really well thought out. Everything I learn builds on the next thing I learned and having a TA there is just amazing just to give critiques on every single thing I turn in is so, so, so, so cool. So after taking a few course at School of Motion, I finally decided, okay, it's time to apply for a job. So I applied for two freelance jobs and I got both of those freelance jobs. All in all school of Motion is totally worth the investment. It's changed my career. I'm a full time freelance motion designer now, and I am living the train. Thank you. School motion,

Joey Korenman: 00:03:05 Justin Cone. Okay. This is a special one. I've got Justin cone. I've got EJ Hassenfratz and we are gonna talk about all kinds of stuff, including NFTs boys. I'm really excited. Thank you for doing this.

Justin Cone: 00:03:15 Thank you for having me.

EJ Hassenfratz: 00:03:16 Gonna be a fun time.

Joey Korenman: 00:03:17 Yes, it there's gonna be some shilling. There's gonna be, We're gonna be talking about sat and Satoshi theories anyway. So Justin, why don't we start, you know, I had to actually go back and try to figure out how long ago that you were on the podcast. Cuz you were one of the first guests we ever had. I think you were like, oh wow. Episode eight or something. Oh

Justin Cone: 00:03:38 My God. Okay.

Joey Korenman: 00:03:39 Yeah, it was a long time ago just to refresh your memory. It was right after, I think it was pretty close after Motionographer had launched a Patreon campaign. So like it was a long time ago.

Justin Cone: 00:03:48 Oh my, my God. Okay.

Joey Korenman: 00:03:50 It was a while ago. This was before I just to date it even more, no one had ever heard the term NFT. Last time we spoke.

Justin Cone: 00:03:58 Yes, that's right.

Joey Korenman: 00:03:59 Was maybe it was a better time.

Justin Cone: 00:04:01 So it was like three months ago. Yeah,

Joey Korenman: 00:04:03 Yeah. A simpler time. So just to catch everybody up, you know at the time you were still with Motionographer the Motion Awards had just launched. And what has your life been like? The last five to six years.

Justin Cone: 00:04:15 Yeah. So after leaving Motionographer the Motion Awards F5, all that stuff is a kind of a big group of projects. I left that in. I think it was 2017. I think I really needed a couple things. I needed a, basically a break from, I think the entire space. And I also wanted to explore whether or not I could be a developer like a full-time coder. So I'm laughing because I'm terrible at it. But I found a friend who was willing to like, let me learn on the job basically. And I worked in finance media for two years, which was kind of an amazing learning experience. Obviously I learned a lot about coding. I built like a whole e-commerce like subscription service from beginning to end. And, and this friend of mine is like super badass coder. So he, he, you know, has kinda helped me along, but I learned a lot about finance in that world, the world of, you know, wall street, tycoons and high frequency trading.

Justin Cone: 00:05:08 And I did that for two years and then realized, okay, I think that's the break I needed from, you know, the world that we know, which is creative services and design and animation and all that. So I had two opportunities and this is before COVID right. So one of them was to take a design director role for a new group within an architecture firm called Gosler. Gosler is the largest architecture firm in the world by a long shot. I think the second biggest one is like half the size of them both in terms of revenue and in terms of like licensed architects. So design director role on one hand and then BUCK I was, I don't remember who got in touch with whom, but they were like, Hey, do you wanna come join us and be like a communications director kind of thing. Maybe we'll make it up.

Justin Cone: 00:05:50 You know, whatever you wanna do, the only catch is you need to move to like New York or LA. And so I was like, oh man, Ugh. So I ended up taking the design director rule cuz I thought, well, I didn't really wanna move my family, you know, back to New York or anything. And, and also I thought if I really am into creative services, this will be a great test of it. You know, being design director, I was in charge of an entire region for this project. And I'm really glad I, it, cuz I basically got it outta my system and I came to the conclusion that like, while I love creative services work and I love the output, I don't really like clients that much. I like clients, I like people who are clients, but, but having to like run a project and some of these projects, you know, cuz architecture, they, they last over a year or two years or whatever, having to run that and really like just kind of roll with the punches that clients are constantly throwing at you, I've just not built for it.

Justin Cone: 00:06:44 So COVID hit and buck reached back out or I reached back out again. I don't remember. And they were like, Hey, now it's remote. And so that changed everything. It was like a weird gift from COVID I've heard a lot of, you know, weird gifts COVID and this was one of 'em for me. So I took this job that we tacked on the word strategy to the end. So my title is actually director of communication strategy, which it doesn't mean a lot. Basically it was like a, a, a vague enough term to like, let me kind of do whatever I wanted to do. Buck doesn't really believe in like traditional communications, you know, like PR and all that stuff. I mean, we do it, but it's not like something, they put a lot of stock in. It's more about culture internally kind of amplifying things that are going on and then figuring out externally, you know, what to share what not to share, how to share it. And buck has been growing so much and, and growing like kind of new offerings and stuff that it's a constant challenge and it's super exciting. So it's, I've at Bucknell for about a year and maybe four or five months. And it's just been incredible. It's I've never worked any place. Like it, I've worked a lot of places just look at my LinkedIn, but it's, it's a really amazing collection of people and I don't see myself leaving unless they like fire me. And even then I may not leave. We'll see. Right.

Joey Korenman: 00:07:57 Yeah. You sleep underneath the Ryan Honey's desk or something like that.

Justin Cone: 00:08:01 I'll pull a Milton.

Joey Korenman: 00:08:02 Yeah. Yeah. That's awesome. So I, I wanna get into like what you've been doing at buck, but you know, I, I was always curious about this because you, you know, when you were running Motionographer and prior to that you were at SIOP and, and there was some overlap there, you know, you were like living and breathing the world of the animation. It seemed like, you know, that was, that was probably just occupying most of your head space. And then you took this extended break from that and went like, you know, pretty far away from it, I'm curious, like, did you miss it? Like, what was that experience like going completely and, and not, not just, you know, that you were, you were in that world for so long, but also you were like a really well known person in that world, you know? And, and all of a sudden now you're in these new worlds where you're, you almost start from scratch. I'm just curious what that was like,

Justin Cone: 00:08:46 Oh, I definitely was starting from scratch. I definitely missed it. I, I, it's one of those things, right. Where you kind of, sometimes you have to like lose the thing in order to know how much you, you valued it. I think I'd kind of taken it for granted cuz I'd been working in and around motion design of some sort for like beginning of my career, like since 2000, 2001, even before that maybe. Yeah, so it was hard, but that was exactly what I needed, I think was that ego reset, like go back to like beginner, mind, you know, the kind of old like Zen, you know, I always have a beginner's mind and I think doing coding and working in finance was like a double whammy of beginner's mind. I had no choice. I had to have a beginner's mind. And so when I kind of came back to motion, I was much like I was very humble and very grateful to be able to work in the space in any way that I, I could, I think I have kept that humili.

Justin Cone: 00:09:35 I mean, working at buck, like everybody's so crazy talented, you know, every time I think I've got an idea for something it's like, yeah, the, they have, you know, the same idea, but it's 10 times better or they'll take your idea and make it 10 times better, which is even cooler. So it's been, yeah, it's been a real kind of, I don't know, a homecoming I suppose. And I, I recommend, you know, if anybody, if you ever have that feeling that you're kind of like burning out in a space, especially a creative space. I, I, if you can do it, you know, take that break and go do something weird and come back cause you will have fresh eyes, you know? Yeah.

Joey Korenman: 00:10:10 I love it. So you're now at buck and you know, I've watched buck go from, you know, this cool studio everyone started hearing about on mogra.net to what it is now, which it's kind of hard from the outside to even know what it is because yep. It's grown. So obviously huge, you know, and I have friends who work there, you know, Joe Donaldson you know, we talk all the time. And so I, I know some, some of the things that are going on there, but what is it like there now? Is it yeah. Is it like, you know, working at a motion design studio, is that kind of like the mental model that people should have or is it a totally different thing? Like what would people be surprised about, you know, about how it works now?

Justin Cone: 00:10:49 Well, the core, I think there's almost like anxiety about this question, right? Both internally and buck and even externally, like is buck still buck, you know, that's kind of the subtext,

Joey Korenman: 00:10:57 Do we still have it? Yeah.

Justin Cone: 00:10:58 Right. And the core, you know, is that, that, that like animation and, and design core still there and still like a big part of the business. And you know, there's four offices now. So it was LA originally and then New York and then Sydney. Right. And then beginning of last year we opened Amsterdam. And so each one of those offices basically has like the kernel of buck in it. But what's happened is as we've done more and more direct to client work, cause buck does a ton of direct to client work. We've had to kind of level up in ways that maybe many other studios don't have to. So we have to learn more about strategy, particularly the brand strategy. We learn a lot more about kind of longer engagement projects. We do a lot more like systems work like giant design systems. And so it's organically.

Justin Cone: 00:11:51 We've grown now. I think we have, I don't know what the actual newest number is between four and 500 full-time staffers. And then if you add the per answerers like the full-time freelancers, it's 600, 6 50, something like that across all four offices. And that's a lot of people there's nobody else that I think comes close, at least in terms of, you know, with our agree or whatever, doing what we're doing, our number one, like challenge, isn't losing talent to other shops. It's losing talent to our clients, losing talent to Google, Facebook, apple, you know, and they're great places to work. And I, when people go to those places, I'm, I'm always happy for them. A lot of times they do come back though. There's, you know, again, there's something special about working at buck. So we have a huge creative technology arm. Two, we have this, this new offering we're calling experience, but you know, we built some really in house like inhouse tools for doing AR and now VR that nobody knows about part of that is because so much of the work that we do is NDA.

Justin Cone: 00:12:54 I mean, I don't know, 60, 70% of the work that we do is under NDA for big technology companies and other kinds of companies that need to protect their IP. And so that's tough, you know, we, we literally can't talk about the stuff we wanna talk about since I started there, there's always this tension internally, and this is probably something that, whether you're a freelancer or whether you're running your own studio, you've probably had to butt up against this yourself at some point, there's this tension of like, well, should we just put everything that we do on the website and like, be really explicit, you know, like we do AR VR experience design all, you know, all the stuff or do you kind of leave it mysterious when my first instinct was, no, you put it all out there, right? Your, your website is like your number one business development tool.

Justin Cone: 00:13:35 People need to know what it is they're hiring you for and what your, you know, experiences, blah, blah, blah. And now I've kind of come around to the view that I think our partners hold, there's three partners, three, three owners of buck and other creative leadership, which is, that's not so much about what we do as it is, how we do it. So when you hire us, if you have like a super clear, perfect crystal clear idea of what it is, you want to come out, the other end of the process, we may not be the right place for you. Right. Cause we're kind of expensive. You come to us, you come to us to like, kind of rethink a little bit what you, what you may think you want. Right. So we look at like, what are you actually trying to achieve? You know, what are your business goals from this? And what are your longer term goals? And you know, how are you hoping to relate to your audience, blah, blah, blah, all those things. Right? and so that that's a different way of working. And so you can't really put that very clearly in a portfolio. So we are constant, like constantly rethinking how we present ourselves. In fact, we're working on a whole new way of sharing what we do. It's either gonna be revolutionary or completely confusing or both

Joey Korenman: 00:14:45 Nfts.

Justin Cone: 00:14:46 It's not NFTs.

Justin Cone: 00:14:49 We just actually released. I had to, I had to work with the partners and stuff on an internal statement about crypto. And we can get to that in a little bit, but we're not releasing NFTs that I know about anytime soon. Fair enough. So yeah, that was a really long answer. Sorry. But the fact that you don't know is kind of partially by design, like what everything the buck does and that's, there's good and bad to that.

Joey Korenman: 00:15:09 Yeah. Actually love that ethos, you know, and I think, you know, I think buck is probably able to take that posture because of the, you know, the reputation that it's built over the, the past few decades. Now you mentioned something like you had to, you had to level up in brand strategy and you're making me, and then, you know, the way you're describing the challenges that a company like buck has versus, you know, maybe a smaller studio that's, that's doing just more execution and has an, an ad agency in between them and the client is, you know, and, and this can be a little bit this is where I get canceled. Because this is almost a dirty word, but like it is buck acting like an ad agency a little bit

Justin Cone: 00:15:48 Sometimes. And like, it's weird. It's different in different markets, you know, like in Amster, for instance, I think we do more agency work there because that's just kind of the way Europe runs. And that office is like, it's not a satellite office. It's like a, there's like 32 people there. And it's like, it's fully fledged thing. So they have their own kind of way of working. Now they will tap the buck massive as we call it whenever they need to. And we can all work together. So you see there kind of more of a traditional production company model on some projects. And then the next day a client reaches out and like wants us to like write a script and come up with a whole go to market strategy with them or something. So it does vary. What's weird is like, we don't, we're not really competing with agencies in, in the sense that we're trying to like, do all that kind of hard, a client relationship, account management strategy in the terms of like, you know, business strategy and maybe media buying strategy.

Justin Cone: 00:16:41 We don't do a lot of that stuff. We it's, it's more brand strategy and, and it's applied to design output. So a good like firm example is PayPal. So we have done a huge engagement with PayPal. I think we may still be working on it over the course of, I dunno, 18 months or something where we basically took over their entire Instagram account. And I think initially they were like, Hey, can you help us come up with like, you know, some templates or whatever. And, and we're like, well, yeah. I mean, yeah, we can, but like, what are you trying to do here? And so we looked at kind of how successful, what they were doing, you know, previously was and where they wanted to improve. And so we had to do a ton of research to figure out like what's the right way for PayPal to position itself on this particular social platform.

Justin Cone: 00:17:27 And you know, I wasn't on this project, so I don't know exactly how the ins and outs, but we, you know, in the end we, we came up with a whole for framework strategic framework and then design system, animation assets. We took over their, their account for a while. I dunno if we're still doing that. And of course, you know, all the engagement numbers went through the roof and all that. And, and so, you know, that is something an agency would do, but the way that we do it is like, it's a little bit more design centric, I guess. And that's good for some clients not good for others, you know, so you never really know what they're looking for, but we don't use the, a word internally. We don't call ourselves an agency. We dunno what to call ourselves, but it's not that,

Joey Korenman: 00:18:06 Yeah, that's really interesting because every now that I think about it, every agency that I worked with when I was, you know, in my, my client work phase of my career, it seemed like all of them were sort of driven by copywriters like that, that there was sort of a hierarchy. Right. And like you had creative directors, many of, I think most of whom started as copywriters and everything was, yeah, everything was about copy. Like, you know, there, there were a few that, that came from the art director side, but it's, it, it did seem, at least in Boston that the design was always, you know, sort of supporting the copy, which isn't a bad way to do it from like a strategy standpoint and a brand voice standpoint. But it's interesting that, that you, you point a out, but kind of does it differently. It's more design driven. Yeah,

Justin Cone: 00:18:53 Yeah, yeah. And like, we have a strategy team. We actually just launched our officially our strategy department, I think about four months ago, something like that. And a lot of the people in that strategy team are like former designers or still practicing designers, you know? And so they kind of get that language in that way of visual languages and like way of, of coming at things. And so I think it makes a big difference. We're, we're still like doer maker, dreamer types at our core. And so that, you know, and there are some agencies, like, I think RGA has always been really good kind of blurring the lines, you know? And, and then some agencies like in Europe, wide and Kennedy, Amsterdam's just incredible, like with it's coming up with, you know, super creative out of the box stuff, but then there's like this huge 80% of agencies in the middle that I think some clients are like, okay, we want to kind of, is there a different way to do things? Can we, you know, can we kind of test this model? And so we're like, yeah, sure. Let's try. Usually it works out, you know, that's

Joey Korenman: 00:19:47 Awesome. So let's talk about the modern industry, the, that we're in here, and it's funny, like, you know, internally, internally at school emotion, we've had, you know, had this conversation going for probably the last six or seven months where we're trying to stop saying motion design as much because it, it, it, it makes it feel smaller than it really is. I think. Yeah. You know, like the, the skillset that most of our audience and our students have design plus animation, plus a few other bells and whistles that when you say motion design, it, it starts to pull me back in time to the days when, like everyone said Mo graph and you knew what that meant, and you knew who the players were, and now it's like the it's just so big and I'm on PayPal's Instagram and I'm looking at what what's on there.

Joey Korenman: 00:20:33 And now knowing that buck was, you know, involved at some level, it's like, there's a there's motion designers working on PayPal's Instagram account. That's not a thing that existed five years ago. That wasn't a thing. And so one of the speeches that I've seen you give this was at the very first Blend conference five or six years ago, and you were making a whole bunch of predictions. I think the topic was called like the future of motion design or something like that. Yeah. And you made all these bold predictions about what would happen. And I thought, well, you know, it might be interesting if you remember some of those. Yeah.

Justin Cone: 00:21:06 I've got them here!

Joey Korenman: 00:21:06 Yeah, because I I'll tell you what if I had made predictions five years ago. I would've gotten most of them wrong. Like, I don't

Justin Cone: 00:21:12 Think, well, this is fun. Cause it's just like one of the like tricks of giving a talk at a conference is like, yeah, just do predictions. Cause nobody's ever gonna correct you on it. Right. That's right. Here we go. I'm ready to get my butt handed to me. Let's do it. Number one was we've reached peak 2d. And this was at as time when like, you know, and, and blend itself was celebrating like, you know, kind of not just sell animation. Right. but like vector animation, shape layer animation, you know, and after effects. And I was like, okay, this is it. We're gonna come back now, CGS gonna be on the rise again. And I think that has largely come true. 

Joey Korenman: 00:21:45 I would agree.

Justin Cone: 00:21:46 Yeah. CG has really. And, and there's a lot of reasons for that. You know, I, I think the, the technology, the hardware and the software side both have changed in a way that has become more accessible. And I'm, I'm still excited to see kind of more and more people getting involved in CG, more people who don't have any background in it and then coming to it with their own take on things. A good example is like somebody like Frazier Davidson who's, you know, the founder of Cub studio, right. He was one of the like 2d park salons, motion design slash animation people. In my opinion, he still is. He's awesome. And the studio's great, but he's been getting into 3d and it's really fun to see how he, that, you know, how it translates into that space. I think I also said something about like hybrid work, where it's like 2d, 3d, you know, combining looks, and you've seen this in films for sure.

Justin Cone: 00:22:39 If you saw Mitchells versus the machines, for instance. Yeah. Which is a great film. If you haven't seen it, watch it. They're really playing with like these new hybrid styles of, you know, 2d where there's like kinda stylized flatness throughout, obviously into the spider versus a great example of that too. Probably coming from the other angle from more of a 2d look first. So that was one of my predictions. This is the first one I made. The second one. I don't know what I was thinking was less nostalgia, more futurism. I guess there was a lot of like, like eighties inspired stuff. And I was responding to that. I don't know

Joey Korenman: 00:23:16 Well, this, so that would've been pre stranger things, which at least to me seemed like it really did trigger this explosion of the eighties being cool again.

Justin Cone: 00:23:24 Yeah. I think I'm gonna say that that prediction was not only poorly worded, but also just wrong. I think nostalgia is always around. So it just changes now. It's now we're nostalgia for the nostalgia for the nineties. And I, I think that's, you know, fine.

Joey Korenman: 00:23:40 I know, look at that. Look at the super bowl halftime show, man.

Justin Cone: 00:23:43 Yeah. That's a good point, right? Yeah. And in the design world, you know, the rise of brutalism again, like, or whatever they were calling it new now, the kind of Neo brutalism, whatever it's already kind of faded out, but like you can see typographically a lot of the stuff that's going on is like a very reminiscent of the nineties grunge movement prediction, three less code art, more artful code. This was a response, a fact that so much of experience design was like, didn't have a very like strong design POV from the beginning. It was like driven by creative technologists who were, you know, just happy to get something working in many cases. And so I think, I think this one is more or less become true, but not in the way that I audit would in the sense that like the code now has taken a backseat in many cases to the experience.

Justin Cone: 00:24:31 So it's like the code is just there to like let you know what's possible and, you know, expand your tool chest. And now, you know, I think we can do more with, with experience. The problem is that COVID has essentially put a freeze on a lot of in person physical experiential design. And that's really what I was responding to mostly in this one. So I think we're gonna have to wait and see on this one, now that people are going back in person, like for instance, here in Austin, south by Southwest is back in person and there's gonna be activations, you know, celebrating all the big IEP, you know, that's going on right now. We'll have to wait and see on that one. I think see another prediction was near real time will be the norm. This is really just part of that whole CG on the rise thing.

Justin Cone: 00:25:12 And I think that if you lump like GPU accelerated workflows into the mix, then this that's what I was getting at is like basically like, you know, octane and well, all the stuff that you guys cover, you know, when you're talking about 3d now, it's all, all the new render engines that essentially create a near real time experience when you're working. That's a radically different way of working than probably the three of us have when we first jumped into a, an application, right. It was all gray boxes and you had to hit the render button 50 million times. So I do think that has become the norm. Like if you're learning CG now you're learning probably a, a kind of near real time workflow through it. I dunno. EJ. Do you agree with that or no?

EJ Hassenfratz: 00:25:51 Yeah. I mean, I would say that there's an explosion with people who are like really good at lighting now, just because it's so much easier to perfect that skill. I just did a tutorial about an app called Spline. That is a, it's not fully functional, but it's got a lot of stuff there. It's impressive. It's a 3d app that is, have you heard of it?

Justin Cone: 00:26:12 Yeah, I've, I've toyed with it early on, but I haven't played with it lately.

EJ Hassenfratz: 00:26:16 Cuz I would be interested in like, you know, this is basically a 3d app with a lot of basic functionality and it's completely in your web browser. So you don't have to worry about your GPU or any technical. And you can basically model import models into it. You can shade light, make programmable animations by just like, you know, what action do you want? Like I want it to follow my cursor. You just, you know, choose that option. So there's like little, no code. There's like no coding involved if you don't need to. And, and you can create this really cool, cool interactive 3d experience with zero coding. And it reminds me of what Adobe's trying to do with Adobe arrow as well, where you have, you know, this AR VR stuff, which I'd be interested because you work at, you know, one of the biggest studios in the world. Like, are we, I, I feel like we're still waiting on those, like client uses use cases to, you know, advertise and make money off of AR VR.

Justin Cone: 00:27:16 Yeah. Yeah. I've definitely got thoughts on that. Well, it's funny you it's a perfect survey cuz one of my next predictions was the rise of web animation. And I don't think I would've said web animation now, but this SP blind tool you're talking about is, is an example of this. And just the idea that like now when you're animating, you know, you increasingly need to be aware that like, well, am I exporting to SVG? Like, am I gonna be using LA in this? You know, like we just did a thing for Venmo and we created, I can't remember how many, a ton of them. And they were like, okay, you can do whatever you want. As long as it's under like one Meg. So the animation, you know, and it had to be all vector, right? So that's not for the web it's for a mobile app, but it has a lot of the same constraints that, you know, a web animation would have.

Justin Cone: 00:28:00 So I think that, that one's like this rise web animation is still very much and I am blown away by what can be done in the browser. And I love that there's a whole generation of animators who are coming up, who don't think anything of it, you know, they're just like, well, yeah, of course I'm working like Figma for instance, right. Figma is entirely in the browser. And it is a, an incredibly deep, robust tool. And I think, I don't think the younger folks really realize like how crazy it is that that's all happening in the browser, which is cool. They don't need to think about that. So I also said the prediction number six was the explainer, as you know, it is dying. And I think that is fully true in the sense that it used to be the bread and butter.

Justin Cone: 00:28:41 Right. For, I think many studios, it was like, you, you always had like an, a explainer or two in your pipeline cause it would pay the bills and they were fairly straightforward and you could kind of build workflows around 'em it's not that people aren't doing them anymore, but I think it's really hard. They become so commodified that it's really hard to build a business around them. And I think the expectations from clients also have gotten more varied. And I just, I think that, that whole thing kind of imploded, I don't know if you, either one of you agree with that though.

Joey Korenman: 00:29:09 Yeah. I, I think the thing that surprised me the most kind of like reflecting back on the last five years, you know, like a lot of the things that you said are spot on. And I think that, you know, what you're talking about now is that the, the thing that you can't predict, and I don't think anyone could have predicted is just like a, how, how much animation is necessary now out, you know, to, to just be there's this insatiable appetite, like why does PayPal need to hire buck? You know, like it just kind of, doesn't like five years ago, I'm not sure I would've had an answer. And so I, I think that it, a lot of it has to do with the growth of social media. And, and I don't think that anyone could have predicted, I mean, obviously social media was big even five years ago, but nothing like it is today.

Joey Korenman: 00:29:53 So I, I, I think that the, the formats that clients are asking for and, and the use cases for animation, there's just things that you, you couldn't have guessed, you know, and which NFT is, which we'll talk about in a moment. Yeah. I know everybody's waiting. I'm wondering like actually, Justin I'd love, I'd love you to talk a little bit about just the, the effect of having just a, a much larger collection of canvases for animation to show up on, you know, five years ago, like yeah, you had net flicks, but I don't think you had apple TV and Disney plus and paramount all these things. And then on top of that, like, you know, Instagram was still primarily like where you'd take pictures and put a filter on it and you know, designers were starting to show stuff, but now it's like every brand has to have a TikTok presence and yeah, you need to have custom ended stickers for your Instagram stories and, and they're, they're paying real studios to do this

Justin Cone: 00:30:47 Stuff. I mean a lot of money sometimes. Yeah, yeah.

Joey Korenman: 00:30:50 Yeah. So what has that, what has that done to a place like buck? You know,

Justin Cone: 00:30:53 It's interesting. I think there's at least through my experience, I've seen two channels like of this developing. So one is what you're describing right now, which is this like explosion of distribution mechanisms, I guess, like social media and streaming channels and stuff. Right. You know, for the streaming stuff, it really hasn't affected things too much. You still have fifteens and thirties and 62nd commercials every now and then that show up on these platforms and that feels more or less like TV and the budgets may not be what they used to be still pretty good. In some cases we still do a lot of traditional advertising work and still really fun to do too, because it's so like linear and narrative, you know, but in the world of like social media, I think one of the owners of ILO during the second blend conference used the term disposable content.

Justin Cone: 00:31:40 And I thought, damn, that's brilliant. It, it, it captures like how quickly content has to be produced. Yep. And how quickly it's forgotten on social media. And that's weird. I don't know how I feel about it. As kind of an old school person that everything you do is so ephemeral, you know, you blink and it's gone and people have already forgotten about it and moved on in some ways it's liberating, I suppose, because you can just kind of throw everything against the wall and see what sticks. So there's, that's, I think another reason that we've kind of had to organically build up our strategy muscles so that we're not always just reacting to what is it the client wants this week? You know, it's, we are telling them, here's what you should be doing over the next year to two years. And then we have a conversation about it and we're involved, you know, in a meaningful way.

Justin Cone: 00:32:28 And we're not just stuck, you know, trying to like pick up the scraps at the end. Then I, I think everybody, who's kind of, you know, trying to grow their business is gonna have to do some version of that at some point, if you haven't already, but the other channel or the kind of other broader development along these same lines. And I, when I was at gosler, I, I was dealing with this a lot. It's just the idea that the world is a canvas. Right? And so a lot of what I spent time doing in gosler was pitching or working with architects on basically nontraditional canvases, right? So a project that I led with a really great team here in Austin, but for Dallas was for at and T's headquarters in Dallas, like we, with architects, they had created this, this kind of spherical stage.

Justin Cone: 00:33:13 It was this weird giant stainless steel orb that you could walk inside. It was like 25 feet tall, you inside of it. And then it had a hidden array of LEDs inside and a hidden array of speakers. And so as you moved around this thing, it, it would respond to your presence. Algorithmically. We had all these like different animations that would trigger based on different states. Like how many people are in there with you, how fast are you moving? Are you moving with somebody else or by yourself? And then these animations would play out on the inside of this globe and you hear this music totally crazy ass project. And it was so fun and so difficult and couldn't have happened even just probably six or seven years ago because the technology, you know, wasn't quite where it needed to be. And so that's a totally different way of thinking.

Justin Cone: 00:33:58 And it's one that you, you know, you need to understand the limitations of hardware and software. You can't just jump into after effects. And really, oh, we did, you know, and we were doing motion explorations and trying to figure out ton what was right. But fundamentally we were working with our development partners who were working in touch designer and they were like, okay, well, here's our interpretation of that. And then you kind of go back and forth. It was very sculptural that way. And you're kinda going kind of whittling it down over time. And that's super exciting. It's hard to make money on those projects because they tend to have like long timelines. And if you're not set up for managing those timelines, thankfully an architecture firm like gosler is set up for it. But most studios aren't, most studios are set up for like a two to six week run production timeline. And, and if you need to be bringing freelancers on and off of a project over the course of a year or 18 months, man, you can, you can go out of business doing that. You know, you can easily run yourself into the ground.

Joey Korenman: 00:34:54 God, that's really interesting. Well, let's talk about the, the elephant in the room. The other thing that none of us predicted five years ago, which is bill, who is not, he's not fun and he has tokens. He's not, he's a non fun guy. I'm gonna beat that joke into the ground, hopefully the, of this episode. All right. So I've noticed, you know, I've been following you on Twitter for, for years and and every once in a while you'll get fired up about something and you definitely got fired up about FTS and I I've loved watching you kind of go down the rabbit hole, you put out this amazing article kind of, I think it was probably right around the time people sold his big, you know, 69 million Ft right before. Yeah. And that was very, very helpful for me at the time to kind of get some grasp, you know, get my arms around it a little bit. And I've seen you kind of like, you know mix it up with people on Twitter and kind of throw your ideas out. So clearly you're into this and I'm curious, maybe we just start, like, what's so interesting to you about NFTs.

Justin Cone: 00:35:52 I mean, part of it is like very personal in the sense that I kind of came of age as a creative when the internet was on the rise. So in the mid nineties and one, by the time I graduated college and it took the long way to figure out like, oh, actually we like design. And I like this animation thing. I didn't know anything about animation or design, but by the time I figured all that out, I graduated and boom, the.com bubble burst. This is like 1999, 2000. And for those who like, dunno what I'm talking about, basically there was all this hype and just crazy excess of money and energy going towards the internet. And what happened is a lot of that, the energy was based on just vaporware. It was just promises that couldn't be fulfilled and overselling things that, you know, couldn't be built the way that people promised them to.

Justin Cone: 00:36:49 So if I'm, if this starts to sound familiar, it should. Right. So I've been following crypto for a while and I was starting to get a sense of like some of the same energy that around in the mid nineties, around the internet. And it wasn't until NFTs that I started to see a personal intersection, right. I was like, oh, people who make stuff like my friends, I don't really make stuff anymore, but my friends do are actually making stuff and they're selling it. Wait, I don't what, you know. So it just caught my attention as like, first of all, how can you really sell a JPEG? You know, you can't. And, and so I was just baffled by like most people. And then as I went down the rabbit hole, I realized it was connected, still is connected to so many things that are kind of fundamental to Western society, at least things around, you know, ownership and art and vow, you and economics and sociological phenomenon, all these really just fascinating things.

Justin Cone: 00:37:45 So I, you know, I'm still skeptical of a lot of the activity in the space what's happened since when it first, you know, I first started getting into it. It, it really was, it was, you know, the beginning of whatever it was it was January or December of like 19 or 20, 20, 19, 20 20. I think something like that. I can't remember. It was really like still limited to quote unquote art, right. It was like, oh, I made a thing and I'm gonna sell it on foundation or wearable or whatever, but pretty quickly the world of PFPs took over. And PFPs for those who don't know, that's pro file picks, but it's really, that sounds way more innocent than what they kind of are. They're okay. The most famous one right now is board API club crypto Kittys was kind of the OG P FP. The idea is like, these are pieces of crypto art that you can use, you know, as an avatar on Twitter or something like that.

Justin Cone: 00:38:40 But the reason they became problematic and kind of poisoned the whole space in many ways is, you know, what people will do with these PFP projects is they'll say, okay, there's gonna be 10,000 of these, these things they're algorithm, you generated, there's different of rarity. You know, like this ape has, you know, laser eyes, but this one doesn't, so the one with laser eyes is more valuable. So then there's these, this whole kind of game around rarity and the speculative of nature of these things takes over. Right. And it's basically gambling in many ways. And it has nothing to do with art. It, it doesn't, you know, I, yes, there's visual stuff and some projects are really cool. Like the art is amazing. Like the one that is doing really well right now is the invisible friends project which is got amazing art and animation, Laron who I work with at buck.

Justin Cone: 00:39:30 She goes by LA, she was really the OG C G P F P person. She created a series called boys B O I Z. That is super famous and has done really well, but like, she didn't play the game of like, you know, rarity and all this, you know, weird speculative stuff. She's like, I'm just gonna make a hundred of these. It's gonna take me a while. And every time she does, they, they sell instantly and they do really well. And, and she's kind of gone kind of more an authentic route. I think in terms of the people in her community, she just, you know, relates to them as an artist. So you've got this like core of kind of original NFT activity and, and an original promise of NT, which is basically that digital artists can finally sell their stuff. And then you've got about 90% of the activity on top of that, just being speculative noise. Right. And that's what I think people are really tired of. They're just tired of like getting shielded all the time in every one of their social media feeds, it feels kind of gross. And unfortunately, that's really crowded out. I think people who are just kind of steadily chugging along and, and doing fine and are happy that they can at least try to sell the stuff that they never had a way to sell before.

EJ Hassenfratz: 00:40:39 Yeah. I agree. I, I feel like it, the PFP thing kind of dictated what artists do. Like, I don't think anyone three years ago was saying, you know what I want to do some days make 10,000 of one damn thing over and over, that's wearing, wearing sunglasses or cigarettes. Like that's my grand scheme. No, no, no. That concept has been dictated to the artist because they see that's the main way to make money these days. Like the one of one artist, like, you know, I, I made one on one stuff. I know a lot of people that are yeah. You know, actually finally coming around to like, okay, I think I get it now. I, I think I want to get started. And it's like, they got there too late because it's like, well, unless you wanna make 10,000 of that thing that you just made, like you're kind of screwed right now.

Justin Cone: 00:41:27 I hope you really like puppies, right? Yeah. Yeah. And that's, I think, you know, it's, it's, I talked to so many people about this stuff, but what happens is I get the, the bad feelings around all that. But then I think people kind of let that negativity unfairly drift into other areas. And I try to call, so this is what I, I can, I got mad out on Twitter. I actually deleted my tweets, which I don't usually do, but I had a couple beers. And I was like, basically was mad because people that I know and who should know better were trying to paint the entire NFT space or even the entire crypto space with like one brushstroke. And I was like, man, you don't understand how many people are in this space. How many good people who are trying to build new stuff? And it's not easy, or they're just artists trying to like experiment and learn.

Justin Cone: 00:42:23 Is this really a thing that I can do and calling them scammers or calling them, you know, multi-level marketing participants or whatever ever, not only is that inaccurate in most cases, at least for the people that I'm talking about, it's just, it's really denigrating it. There's nothing good that comes out of that. And all that comes, all that really it does is, is encourage a kind of mob mentality, a kind of black and white grab the pitch forks and kill this thing in the head before it, you know, goes any further mentality. And we're so early on in this, that, that seems highly irresponsible to me to like, kill it, question it. Sure. Test it, push it apart and pull it apart, you know, break down the bits that are useful. Sure. But don't these like these blanket calls to like end NFTs, like, come on. That's that's well, first of all, it's not gonna happen, but it's like, right. See the momentum for what it is and see, see you, if you can guide it somewhere else, you know?

EJ Hassenfratz: 00:43:19 Yeah. There, I mean, I, I remember when all this stuff started happening and, you know, we had a podcast, Joey and I had people on before he made millions and we were just like, what the hell is this stuff? Like, can you elaborate on what this stuff is? And you know, I remember people that, you know, I was like, I wanna try to get into this and min it, a few of my first pieces and people paid me a few hundred bucks at the time. And I'm like, wow. Yeah, that was crazy. Like, I made money off of art that I already did. Someone placed value on that. And like, as a, you know, as a crater, like super cool, like no one's ever bought my work before, because number one, there was no way to do so, unless you like physically had a society six or whatever store with your prints and all that kind of stuff.

EJ Hassenfratz: 00:44:09 And, and I like, I know there's of course there's all the environmental stuff. You, you list this down in your article. I think a lot of people latched onto that and just, you know, like I said, they had cancel lists of people that like this person minted, you should unfollow them. And yeah, I've just never seen so many artists turning against other artists that are like actually yeah. Being successful. And I guess my, like, there's, there's other alternatives as far as like the energy issue, but I, yeah, this gets into a deeper thing about, like, I just think there's just so many people that are invested in the ones that are the most energy intensive, that you're never gonna switch people away because people are, but I think there'd be, even if that was just solve tomorrow, I think no one's gonna, those same people would still hate it. But my main argument is why if every other artist in the world that makes art, whether it's out of clay or with a paintbrush, why is a, it that digital artists that happen to make art, but it's with a whack pen, why can't they make money off their art? Just like everyone else, because

Justin Cone: 00:45:21 That's the fundamental question I want answered to it. I, I, that is it. That's the core of it. Yeah. That's the core when you say that digital scarcity, which we should talk about is bullshit. It, it is let's, you know, we can go into it when you say that. What you're basically saying is, oh, just because an artist works in a digital medium, they're not allowed to try to test the value of their art. And that seems completely unfair and totally bats backwards. Yeah, I did wanna say on the environmental thing, Ethereum has a massive of massive head start and advantage when it comes to NFTs, that's still where the action is. Ethereum is still incredibly energy intensive. If you wanna see, I think the best breakdown, the most responsible breakdown, Google Kyle McDonald, he's done an incredible job of doing what's called a bottom up estimation and it's not good news.

Justin Cone: 00:46:10 You know, it's, it's highly energy intensive. They, you know, for two years or more E theory's been talking about moving to proof of stake, which will be a much, much more energy efficient model, 99.9, 5% by, you know, many estimates. Now it seems like, you know, I think by June we should get there. The merge is like inevitable. It's going to happen. But you're right. Even after that, I think there's gonna be all these other challenges to deal with in terms of, you know, adoption, you know, digital scarcity seems to be at the heart of this thing. People seem to have problem a problem with this idea that I can say that this JPEG, that anybody can copy is actually scarce. And I think what we can do to tease this out is to admit that that it's not scarce. It's digital scarcity is an oxymoron.

Justin Cone: 00:47:02 You can copy any digital thing, music, JPEG, animation, super easy, right? Screenshot it, whatever you wanna do, super easy. What what's actually scarce in this environment that we're talking about is the reference it's digital, it's referential scarcity, which doesn't have quite the same ring, but that's what it is. And, and this is a funny, a really important, but, but funny kind of thing that people get hung up on, I've heard people say, well, the main problem I have with NFTs is I don't want the whole world to be like owned and, and commoditized. Like, you know, financialized is the word they use. I want a free and open web. That criticism is a fundamental misunderstanding of what NFTs are and how they work. Nobody is, is saying that they're gonna lock down content, right? Like DRM style. Like we like the music industry tried to do in the Napster days.

Justin Cone: 00:47:53 They're not saying that. In fact, it's the opposite. What proponents of NFTs and digital artists want is for their art to be spread wide and far, right? They want people to copy it and share it and mummify it because then that drives up the value for those very few people who are willing to pay for the token, that points to that thing. Right? And you could call those people crazy call 'em tech, bros, whatever you wanna call 'em idiots, scammers. You don't have to participate in that part of it. You don't have to buy or sell the media. The media is still free for everybody to consume and share. There's just this layer now of economic incentive for artists to create more because some crazy tech bros want to trade it. And I that's in quotes by the way, because that is also a dying narrative. It's not just tech bros. It's mostly other artists who are buying artists work. It's artists, supporting artists, which is again, a beautiful thing. Why do you have problem with it? I don't get it, but okay. Yeah.

EJ Hassenfratz: 00:48:49 It's a funny thing too, because I see a, when we talk about like, this is a way that digital artists can actually make money, I've seen so many tradit, like quote unquote traditional artists that paint or whatever, actually scanning their work or taking a photo of it and minting it as an NFT. So it's kind of funny how it's like, oh, well that's acceptable for tradit artists to then do that. But like, no, but digital artists that make it on a computer, like that's

Justin Cone: 00:49:15 Weird and it's going the other way. Right. You saw recently I think that people did an in-person art show, right? Yeah. And you know, I read a couple reviews of it in artnet and they were surprisingly generously. What I read, you know, maybe, maybe it wasn't well received by others. I don't know. But, and Leron now one mentioned earlier, she's created the boys, she's doing these, these paintings, beautiful Joseph Val's inspired kinda like squares of color and stuff. And so it's going that way too. And I think that's great, like the fact that it's going back and forth, but you are pointing out this double standard that a lot of the problems people have with the kind of NFT art world have existed in the traditional art world for a couple thousand years, which is to say, you know, it's highly exclusive, very few artists actually make money from it.

Justin Cone: 00:50:01 Very even fewer collectors make money from it. Is that a reason to burn down the entire thing? I don't know. I, I mean maybe if you're an anarchist, I suppose, and then the other problem, I think that this really a, a lot of folks right now are just understandably, so are very skeptical of capitalism in general. Right? A lot of people aren't faring well and in our economy and, and, and, and globally, and they see, you know, NFTs and crypto as kind of like hyper capitalism, which it kind of is. So I get that criticism too, but it's a little bit of like, well, I guess you could kind of complain about that as much as you want, but you're kind of peeing in the wind. Like it's gonna come right back at you because the genie is way out of the bottle now. And this is already kind of, it's reshaping, you know, our business and, and creative environments, whether we like it or not. I mean, buck, now we're getting so many inquiries about, you know, people helping people with crypto projects and NFTs and all this stuff. People that I would've never thought I can't mention any of them, but people that would've never thought would've asked us about this are asking us about it.

Joey Korenman: 00:51:02 Let me ask you about this, Justin, because I, I I'm on the I'm on LE's website, boys, it's boys.xyz. I'm looking at the boys. There's many of them saying there's 76 so far

Justin Cone: 00:51:16 To be a hundred total at some

Joey Korenman: 00:51:17 Point that, yeah. And I click on one at random, there's a collector and the original price was 24.66 E, which I think works out to something like $77,000 for this one NFT at

Justin Cone: 00:51:31 The current rate

Joey Korenman: 00:51:32 At the, at the current. Yeah. And, and, and I don't know when it was sold, it might have been, you know, close to double that if it was you know, five or six months ago and, you know, and then you, you kind of do the math on that. Okay. Well, there's 76 of these and they, they didn't all sell that high, but I mean, all of them sold for thousands and thousand dollars. And so there's, there's, you know, probably at least a million bucks worth of NFT sales here, sitting on this website. And I think one of the things I'm gonna play the role, by the way, in this conversation of the NFT skeptic, I think that'll be sure, cause I know the least about it, but I, but I, one of the things that, that made me nervous just from the outside, watching this take off and watching what I really think was a bubble when people's 69 million think sold is that you've got this this ecosystem of creative companies and creative artists, and there's kind of this equilibrium to it that lets it work.

Joey Korenman: 00:52:26 And it's not perfect. It's very imperfect, but it of works. And then all of a sudden you throw this wrench into it where, you know, it's almost like the universe just spins a wheel and randomly picks you. And now you're a millionaire. And now everyone around you looks at your work and says, I can make stuff like that. I'm gonna be a millionaire too. And it kind of temporarily felt like it broke this house of cards that the creative industry is built upon where you've got artists that are capable of producing things, but aren't always capable of selling them and managing the client process. And all of a sudden, now you can kind of skip that and just mint art. And, and if you've got, you know, some self promotion ability, all of a sudden, you're not just you haven't just replaced your income, you've potentially made generational wealth in short order. And that, that was the thing that kind of felt dangerous to me. And we, you know,

Justin Cone: 00:53:19 Why did you feel dangerous?

Joey Korenman: 00:53:22 Because it, I, and I saw this firsthand with, in a couple of instances, and then I heard rumors of this happening more in a more widespread way where that kind of money and that kind of opportunity. Well, first of all, I saw the opportunity as, okay, there's a bubble and you, if you, if you're clever, you can ride the top of that bubble, jump off before it pops and make a bunch of money, go it for you, if you can do that. But also a lot of people are gonna have the wrong idea about this and they're going, they're not gonna see it as a bubble. They're gonna see it as this is now my destiny. I'm destined to be a millionaire I'm destined. And, and you know, I know that I, you have a first hold, but screw that, you know, I'm an NFT artist now I, oh, I know that you booked me to, to do some work, or I know that I have this contract with you that says this was work for hire, but, you know, like, but I'm gonna turn it into an NFT and sell it. And that kind of the incentives got so, oh yeah. I guess IMB, balanced. Right. And, and I saw some of that. And so that, that was the thing that worried me about it was just that what it's gonna do, you know, it's like watch there will be blood, right. It's like, it's kinda like in a way a story about NFTs.

Justin Cone: 00:54:33 Yeah. No, I think that's a fair, a concern. It sounds to me like what you're describing is of this gold brush mentality. Right. And that some people lack the, maybe the experience or the knowledge, or just the self-awareness to know, is that really, should I just throw down everything I own and go, you know, chasing the golden Mnar Hills, you know, and the answer in most cases is probably not, but right. You know, but this plays out, I mean, God, it plays out in, in every industry at some point or another and, you know, happened in the internet more times than I can remember, you know? And it's those success stories that fuel the kind of anybody can make it narrative, you know, in Lauren's case, you know, and I shouldn't talk so much about, she's gonna get angry with me, but she had zero Twitter followers when she started literally, and I had like 5,000 and she, oh my God, how did you get so many followers?

Justin Cone: 00:55:28 I was like, it only took me 10 years and I don't even really try to get followers. You know, now she has it on the 30 or 40,000 and she did, she grew her following what I would call a very tasteful way. You know, she actually posts her work and stuff, but mostly it's posting other people's work posting process and that kind of stuff. I, you know, I don't know. I don't know if we have the right to stop people from trying to chase gold. I also think that anytime you have disruptive technology, that's one of the first things that happens, right. Is you get this like they're speculators, right. They're people that are, whether they're making it themselves or somebody else is making it, they're willing to risk it all and do that. And, and I personally don't think that's smart and it can work, I suppose.

Justin Cone: 00:56:15 There's definitely some stories of it, but I don't know if it's fair to kind of hold the entire thing, you know, the entire enterprise hostage over those people. You know, I think that that's up, ultimately it's up to people to take their own risks and, and to be, you know, somewhat and to inform themselves about this stuff, you know, and, and that's why I I'm happy. There's critical voices out there. Like, I don't want people to not be critical of NFTs. I, I, myself am pretty critical of certain aspects of them because you need that criticism to be that, that like warning bell, you know, in the fog. It's just that I don't, I don't know. I don't know how much you can put that out there as a reason to basically shut the whole thing down, which I'm, you're not saying that necessarily. Right, right.

Joey Korenman: 00:57:02 But yeah, I, I'm definitely not saying that. And, and and to be clear, like, you know I, I knew people who have, you know, made a lot of money selling NFTs and, and I'm so happy for them. I think it's amazing. Yeah.

Justin Cone: 00:57:11 I'm very happy for my friends have done it too. Yeah, yeah,

Joey Korenman: 00:57:13 Yeah. So it's, it's, and it's kind of one of those things where it's like on an individual level, all I want is for, you know, I want people like EJ to like sell NFTs and, and make a ton of money and, and kill. Like, I think that's awesome, but at a macro level, I saw this. And, and it's funny that you, you know, you brought up the, the.com bubble, which I also vague, vaguely remember. Right. I think I was I was probably graduating high school when it happened, but I remember just sort of witnessing it and hearing about the aftermath of it. And it felt

EJ Hassenfratz: 00:57:42 So

Joey Korenman: 00:57:42 Similar. Like it really did because, you know, and just to put some more context, cuz I know a lot of our listeners won't remember the.com bubble. It was like this time where if you wanted to raise money for your company, all you had to do was put.com at the end of the name of your company. That's so true and all

Justin Cone: 00:57:59 Terrible ideas, what.com did great.

Joey Korenman: 00:58:01 There was like, you know, what was the famous one? Like pets.com, right? Yeah. And yeah. And you know, and, and they sort of pitched this thing that was impossible to do at the time, but it was pets.com and it was, you know, worth a billion dollars in the stock market. And then it went to zero. Yeah. And, and and, and so I felt, I, I saw that it seemed, I wasn't a hundred percent certain at the time, like, okay. A lot of these things that are, people are buying for hundreds of thousands of dollars, millions of dollars that can't sustain. Right. Right. And, and it, it has actually, you know, like even looking at, at, at this boy's series, I mean, you know, there's people spending serious money on them. Yeah. You know, like, like real money, but it's not 2 million bucks for one and Ft.

Joey Korenman: 00:58:42 Right. It has kinda leveled a little bit. And, and I know most of the, that I know, and EJ, you could speak to this a lot more cuz you, you have a lot more friends that do this, but the, the ones that I know, you know, they're selling NFTs and they're making, you know, maybe a few thousand bucks here and there, it's not, it's no longer life changing money for the vast majority of people. And it's morphed into a different thing, which feels a, a lot more sustainable. I'm curious, EJ what you think about that.

EJ Hassenfratz: 00:59:04 Yeah. It's more like the replacement of a gum road store where instead of selling textures and models, like this is what you're doing. And I, I always pose this question. It's like, I don't think people would be as popular as he is if he wasn't Mike Winkleman. Like it's, I, I see a lot of like, I don't wanna say like LA like schmoozing, but it's, it's a lot of that. Like if you don't wanna do that and you don't wanna like build your community and there's so much, you know, hype of the quote unquote community, when I think it's just, everyone is just friends because they all wanna hype their thing they bought, so they can all get rich and that's where, that's where it ends. But yeah, I, I, I, I think it's a great opportunity for people to, you know, like at Ryan Summers, like Ryan Summers probably has made maybe a few hundred dollars selling a few things, but, and I I'll go back to when I, when I sold my first NFT, it was just, you know, once you cross that threshold to the other side and someone actually is like, you know, appreciates your art so much.

EJ Hassenfratz: 01:00:09 Like, you know, I would, me, I would denigrate myself and say, quote, unquote art. Yeah. And then like bought it. Like, it just totally changed how I felt about not only myself, but like what I create and like that, that like really touched me and, and motivated me to keep creating. And I think you see a lot of that in, you know, a lot of the friends that I have, like if I would place a bid, they'd be like more excited and more proud to sell at an Ft than they ever would like working on a Microsoft at, or a, a, a Google ad. Like, it's just, it's just different, you know, like when you are treated as that capital a artist, and once that happens, like it's, it's hard to replicate and it's, it's easy to get addicted to, which I think is why you, you have people trying to hustle so hard to keep it up, keep the momentum.

EJ Hassenfratz: 01:01:02 I, I would say that, that the do the.com bubble is absolutely perfect because it's almost like if you are back then in the nineties, looking at a geo city page and saying like the Internet's freaking dumb, like the internet will never be anything, look at this terrible geo city site. It's absolute shit. Yeah. And that's kind of like what we're talking about now. Like we, like, I have no clue what this whole web three is gonna turn into, but I think it'll, I think it'll be exactly the same where if you think it's, you're saying it's dumb now. Yeah. You're gonna rewind this podcast 10 years from now and be like, look at how stupid you sound. Yeah.

Justin Cone: 01:01:43 There's I, I wanna definitely talk about this, cuz this is, I think really important and it's hopefully like more of a positive take on it, which after bubbles burst, you're still left with soap. Right. And with soap, you can do all sorts of cool things. So, you know, when that the bubble burst in the nineties, we were left with a lot of infrastructure and a lot of kind of highly attuned bullshit detectors that served us really well from, you know, basically the early two thousands onward until maybe the, maybe later in the housing crisis and all that stuff. But the, the idea here is that it's so easy to criticize things in this nascent state. There's an awesome interview of David Letterman interviewing bill gates. You've probably seen it and it's 1990 something. Right. And David Letterman is ever the skeptic. He's like, you know, what, what is the deal with his internet thing?

Justin Cone: 01:02:36 And bill gates does not do a great, great job selling it. He's like, it's a cool thing where maybe you could listen to a baseball game, you know, and David Letterman's like, have you ever heard of the radio? And at the time people were like, yeah, burn, you know, feel it bill gates. And the problem is that that bill, like most of us at that time, he understood the in normity of the internet and the potential that it carried, but he couldn't, he didn't have a crystal ball and he couldn't see, you know, beyond that. And, and so he gave a kind of lame example, which is what I call the replacement trap. And so this, this also answers those people who say, you know, blockchains are just in a efficient databases or whatever. So the, the replacement trap is that anytime there's new disruptive technology, you're gonna think about it in terms of existing technology, the kind of legacy technology.

Justin Cone: 01:03:30 And so you may say, you know, well, NFTs can do this, but a database could do it better. And, and the, the they're like, what, what problem is actually being solved here? Well, the idea is that, like, you're not, we don't, that's not really how technology always works. It doesn't go after problems. It goes after new ways of thinking about whole sets of problems. So if you think about like, say social media in general, social media wasn't exactly replacing anything before it, it was, it was, it had kind of its moment and, and arose the way it did because of a perfect storm of technology and kind of social preparation and internet access. All those things mattered and created a perfect storm for social media to take over. But Twitter wasn't a replacement for something before it wasn't an incremental improvement, it was a new thing.

Justin Cone: 01:04:18 And, and it was exciting because cause of that, it wasn't, in other words, solving a problem that we could have easily articulated, right? And now we can't imagine our lives without all this stuff. Good and bad. Right. And that's gonna be the same for blockchain and crypto technology. I don't think it's gonna solve all the world's problems. I don't think it's gonna end, you know, world wars or, or, or world hunger, but it's, it is going to create whole new ways of relating to each other of relating to our money and relating to, you know, our stuff that we can't really imagine right now. And I think instead of being David Letterman and saying, you know, ever heard of radio, maybe we should kind of wait and see what happens here because the amount of talent and money that's in this space is shocking. I mean, it it's is staggering.

Justin Cone: 01:05:10 The number of like high powered brains and money that are flowing into this space. We've, we've long since past escape velocity. And I don't know what all these people are gonna have for us in the next few years, but I have a feeling that it's going to be exciting and there'll be a lot of changing of the guard power concentrates in any stable system. Right. So yes, power will concentrate again, and maybe it won't be Facebook. It could be some new thing who knows, but during those changes of power, there's usually opportunity for people like you. And I like all of us to rethink what we're doing and to pivot to something that might be more rewarding or more valuable to us personally, the way that, you know, selling an FTS has been for some people that's just a tiny little tip of the iceberg. I think of what could happen though.

Joey Korenman: 01:05:58 So I want to, I'm gonna ask you to respond to something that this is like a very common criticism I've seen. I think I've even seen you talk about this on Twitter and, and this would be like my devil's advocate question. And I've, I've asked a lot of people, this question, I've actually gotten some answers that have satisfied me a little bit. I feel like I, I get this a lot more now, but I'm curious what you'll, you'll say. So there's this I guess there's kind of this story that, you know, artists are telling themselves about crypto art, which was something like, you know, up until NFTs, there, wasn't really a way for me to sell my digital art. And now there is, but that's not true, right? Because Adobe stock, right? Like there there's, there are traditional things. So this is me being David Letterman and saying, ever heard of the radio.

Joey Korenman: 01:06:47 And, and so, you know, I, I can think of ways, okay, well, you could set up a site and you could, you know, you could let artists make an account and put their artwork up there. And then you, as the site owner, you're manag, you know, payment of royalties and you can even do things that, you know, now you can do with smart contracts, like secondary sales trigger, a royalty back to the original artist. You could just make that part of the contract on the stock website. And you can do all of this using traditional means. You're gonna still have the same issues you have. You know, if someone wants to take the artwork pointed to by your NFT and use it without permission, they can still do that. The same way stock imagery gets stolen and, and used without permission. And then they, you get a cease and desist letter from the lawyer and all that. So all of these tools exist already to do this. And, you know, so, so what is really the, the killer feature of doing it on a block? Like, why is that so much better?

Justin Cone: 01:07:42 Well, that's apples and oranges. There's some nuance here that ends up being like wildly important. So a place like Adobe stock or, you know, shutter stock or whatever, or, or it could be for, for music as well. It's really not the same model. What you're paying for there is your licensing something you're licensing image to use in some way. And the prices are set. I pay 20 bucks or a hundred bucks or whatever it is. And I can now use that image. Legally, what we're talking about with, with NFT marketplaces is a true marketplace where the value of a thing goes up and down based on the dynamics of the marketplace, right? That is radically different because you're not setting necessarily a price or determining, or having control over it, the way that you would, when you kind of own the entire stack of, you know, the, the shop and the stuff, and you put it on your own website or whatever, the other thing that's important.

Justin Cone: 01:08:35 And, and that's important that, that, that note about the marketplace is super important because of the role that secondary sales play, right? It is not easy to build your own secondary sales marketplace without a blockchain. I'm not really sure without even look like people did it, right, like TFT. What is that game that I only know by its acronym? It's the, it's one of the old epic games, but, you know, you could buy and sell hats that people would use in the game like these like cosmetic items that people use in the game. And so I guess they had, you know, some kind of marketplace that they built for that. The idea though, behind the killer idea behind NFT is this idea of like perpetual royalties, at least with N certain marketplace. And so, you know, you could sell something for one E and then every time it's traded from then on out for however much it's traded, whether it's higher or lower, it doesn't matter.

Justin Cone: 01:09:27 You get some percentage of that sale that does rely on a blockchain in the sense that a block is the only trustworthy way that we've so far discovered that says, Hey, everything in this, the kind of provenance that we've, we've the, the, the chain of ownership that's represented on this blockchain, you can verify every step of that. And in fact, every step of has been verified by a network of computers that don't know anything about each other, the, anything about the artist don't care about the artist. And so you can say going back to the original artist, boom, here's this line. Well, if you are just you sitting on your own and you've got your own little database that keeps track of that, I can't audit your database. I can't verify who owns so something before you, or how much it's sold for. I can't verify any of that information.

Justin Cone: 01:10:21 And in fact, if you just packed up and went home, I would be host, I'd be up at Creek. And I wouldn't have even a way to verify my own ownership of something. So the blockchain allows this, this arrangement, right? Allows that even if everybody died, you would still have a record of all this activity and this, this kind of lineage of ownership, which is incredibly important. The art world struggles with this and has struggled with it forever. And they like it's same thing, right? It's a lot of like black boxes, a lot of people who don't want you to know that they bought something or buying something a lot, most of the stuff that's bought sits in a warehouse outside of the airports and in Newark and New York. And there's so much of it, that's kind of hidden away, whereas in the blockchain, it's all public.

Justin Cone: 01:11:14 Now, we don't know this, you know, sudo people, we don't know the identities of a lot of these people, but we can see their activity and we can kind of verify ownership that way. And that's, that is huge. And it's not something that has been possible. My, you know, it's some guy recently on Twitter said, you know could you also with con contracts for decades? Oh, for decades really? Well then why the hell hasn't it been done? Nobody's done it for a reason. You know, now we have an FTS and it's, it's very kind of prototypical. It's not like, you know, this is the end all be all, but it's pointing the way to a new way of, of doing business. You know, things that we never thought we could do business around before that really hasn't existed before. I, I think that idea that this has been possible for so long is just based on not knowing enough about how it all works.

Justin Cone: 01:12:04 And also underestimating the importance of royalties to artists. There's a famous interaction of the, the painter is kind of a collage artist look, the, and Stein. I think it's Lipton Stein. He shows up at this big party, right? This guy who bought his piece for, I don't remember a few thousand bucks sells it at an auction for several million dollars, right? Lipton Stein got exactly $0 from that transaction. He made a little bit on the first transaction, the thousand dollars or whatever. He made selling it to the first to the collector. And when that guy sold it, he had his big party lifting sign, shows up and kind of punches him in the arm, but like pretty strongly. And he is like, thanks a lot. And the collectors, like what, what's your problem? He's like, he didn't even send me flowers, meaning I made you millions of dollars.

Justin Cone: 01:13:04 And I got nothing to show for it. I'm the artist that did it. And I got nothing to show for it because on the, on the secondary market that artists don't make money off of that. And that, that crazy. The, I idea one of the things that's, that's emerged as a, as a kind of strategy for artists, especially newer artists, is to actually almost give away your art and the hopes that it'll do better on the secondary market. And LE's done this she's done like some really cheap, you know, if you're fast enough to get it, you can buy her work for like 0.3 E or whatever it was. I don't know if she's doing this anymore, but what would happen is it would snowball in the secondary market and she would benefit immensely from that activity. You know, that's amazing that that is way more revolutionary than people I think are willing to understand. And maybe it's just cuz they don't haven't they don't know about the art market. I'm not an art market expert myself, but you know, I just studied a bit in grad school and, and it's a messed up world. So there are some real improvements over legacy technologies and legacy marketplaces.

Joey Korenman: 01:14:01 I think that, huh, I'm trying to think of how to phrase this. It almost feels like the, the revolutionary parts of this are actually not very sexy when you just say them out loud. Totally

Justin Cone: 01:14:11 It's infrastructure. Yeah. That's the revolutionary part. Yeah. It's not sexy at all.

Joey Korenman: 01:14:16 Yeah. Like I, I asked on, on Twitter a while ago, like in, in some thread I, I asked for somebody to please explain to me like why it was basically the same question I just asked you, why is doing it this way better than just having a contract, you both sign. And then you have, you know, you stick to it. Right. And I think I was talking with Billy Chikin. Who's a really great 3d artist and, and also does NFTs among other things. And he one of the things that he, he said in this thread that really like landed with me was that this is also almost like a universal format. Now, you know, if it's on the Ethereum blockchain and super rare goes down, it doesn't matter because some other website can pop up and read what's on the blockchain. And, and so my kids, I don't, you know, you said you have an eight year old, so I don't know if if they play Roblox or not, but

Justin Cone: 01:15:04 Yeah, definitely. Yeah,

Joey Korenman: 01:15:06 Definitely. Right. So like that, that's exactly where my head went after that. Cuz my, my kids all love Roblox and it's like, you, you know, there's these digital items that they really want to buy and it, you know, it's a lot of, it's just kind of flare, it's almost like a PFP cosmetics, but, but then what? Yeah, but then what happens if Roblox goes down or it's not cool in five years, but they have 50 bucks worth of stuff that they bought. Well, theoretically if it's built around a blockchain, you can have a universal format for that stuff. And again, like saying it like that, it sounds so geeky and dorky and boring. It could actually be pretty game changing though.

Justin Cone: 01:15:40 That's totally the kind of central core value prop of the metaverse and that we want to get into that. But it's the idea that like the, the, the blockchains are kind of portable in that way. And with this happened, you know, with Tezos a different blockchains, not, not theory tezo is actually an energy efficient blockchain, but there was this very popular marketplace. Hi, no, which was doing at its peak several million a day in volume and its owner decided to just pack up and shut it down. But all the activity was on the Tezos blockchain. We knew where the art lived, lived on decentralized file storage and we could see who owns stuff. So within a few days they just spun up basically a clone of the site and went back to business as usual under with totally, totally different people running it, you know, they had a whole bunch of challenges related to, you know, management and, and kind of stuff like that.

Justin Cone: 01:16:28 But the, the fact they were able to do that is remarkable. What's more interesting is when people look at a ledger and they say, okay, you built a marketplace on this, but what, what can we build instead of a marketplace? Yeah. What, what, you know, is there some other way that we could use this information of this data? And the answer is, I don't know, I guess we'll see. We'll see. I think, you know, the, the, like the most interesting stuff is yet to come, but I completely agree that it, the most exciting aspect is just the infrastructure, the pipes that we're building. It's not so much the stuff running through the pipes at this. I mean, come on BOR yacht club is, you know, very popular, but it's not like gonna change our lives in a fundamental way, but some of the technologies they're playing with and the way that they're pushing the boundaries of ownership and IP even I think could very well change a lot for all of us.

Joey Korenman: 01:17:20 Are there any non crypto art use cases for NFTs that you've seen that you think are interesting?

Justin Cone: 01:17:26 The one I'm most excited about is like just real estate. I that's, again, super boring, but if you've ever tried to buy a home or sell a home, you know, how many middlemen, bureaucratic crap forms, paper, people that you have to deal with just to do simple stuff. And that is the kind of area that is super ripe for disruption by, by crypto in general and, and maybe specifically NFTs. And there has been some like really interesting stuff been done about physical real estate and NFTs. I think consensus a few years ago, it's a big Ethereum company. They did like the first like NFT real estate deal or something. And it was probably harder than doing it traditionally. But you can imagine one day where like, you know, buying and selling property will be not much different than like buying and selling stock or a board eight.

Justin Cone: 01:18:20 And that I think has the potential at least to open up new categories of wealth generation and wealth management to haven't existed before, you know, one thing that's like worth pointing out is like when in the nineties, when the internet thing was happening and so many scams were going on and so much money was blown and wasted. Well, it was before social media. We didn't really know about it much. It was mostly happening in the shadows. People went to jail and stuff, but probably not nearly as many people that should have gone. Now, everything that happens is out in the open on social media and, and we're, you know, finding out, you know, about more scams and things every day. And I think there's this level of accountability that's happening that actually plays well with this idea that, you know, a little bit of regulation wouldn't be bad.

Justin Cone: 01:19:06 I think, I think would help lend legitimacy. And at the same, timem make this a safer place for people to participate an easier place for people to participate. As right now, it's very much like secret handshakes and like, you know, secret societies and stuff. And that's not cool. I do believe that like, this will be a way or new ways for people to generate wealth or manage wealth. There's risk involved that obviously all, you know, all wealth management is, but it's, it's interesting to me. I don't think it's gonna solve any massive problems. I just think it's interesting.

Joey Korenman: 01:19:36 Yeah. I, you know, I, I, I love Gary Vaynerchuck and he's been all in, on, on the NFT thing since, you know, basically first, the first day I heard about it, he was already talking about it and he's been doing some really interesting things with it. One of the things he just pretty recently announced was which you it's weird. It's okay. So it's a restaurant that it's a member only restaurant club basically, which is, which is a thing that exists already, right?

Justin Cone: 01:20:00 Yeah, yeah. They do. Yeah.

Joey Korenman: 01:20:02 If you, and, and, and, but the thing is, you can't go to this restaurant unless you are a member and the way you get membership is by buying an NFT. Yeah. And you know, this is another one of those things where I, I read about it and I'm like, okay, well, that's, what's, what's so interesting about that. Well, what's interesting is that, you know, if you join a country club or something like that, typically there's all kinds of rules about, you know, like you have this membership and these are the rules and, and you, you know, you typically can't just go resell that and try to make a profit off the membership. And now you've opened up the opportunity to not only buy and sell these experiential things that you're in, you know, you're entitled to, by having this NFT, but now you can profit on those. You can speculate on those and it, it, it could even, you know, create these weird markets for experiences, you know, things like, you know? Yeah. And, and to me, that's the most interesting thing, and it's still like, I, when I think about it, I have to squint really hard and my brain hurts. I don't, yeah. I can't quite see it yet, but I'm curious if you you've seen stuff like that, that, that seems like the killer app, you know,

Justin Cone: 01:21:06 I, you know, some of, of that, that, that is definitely like one of the kind of like dominant kind of value driven like utility cases for, for NFTs, which is just basically access. Right. So NFTs has access. I'm kind of interested in that. I guess the problem I have with that is it seems to feed a little bit of that hyper capitalism thing of like, who can afford to buy access. Now what's cool is that this is developing Dows are also developing decentralized autonomous organizations. And so what you could do is you can very easily pool together, tons of money, and then buy access for your entire Dow. How's that gonna work? I don't know how Gary's gonna manage that. For his his members only restaurant when basically a thousand people who are represented by a Dow, you know, by one of his tokens, I dunno what that's gonna do, but there's some interesting kind of like it's as these systems for exclusivity rise, there's also systems that are combating that, or trying to counteract that exclusivity by opening up to more decentralized models.

Justin Cone: 01:22:04 And I, I, they both need to survive. I think they both need to compete with each other, cuz again, I, I, you get real growth when you have those competitive forces that tension, I love this definition. This is a tangent, but the definition of balance, isn't a pencil resting on a rock or something. The definition of balance is, is two Sumo wrestlers who are locked against each other, using their entire, all their strength all their way. And they're so well matched for each other, that they are balanced. They're balanced in this state of like, you know, complete force and, and exertion. And I think that's great. And I hope we have that in this crypto space still, you know, I that's important.

Joey Korenman: 01:22:45 That's, that's really interesting EJ what what's going on. Cause you know, we kind of straight from the, the, the crypto art side of all of this, like what are the things that, that you and, and the artists that you're friends with are, you know, what are you guys getting excited about? Is there any new developments, like in the world of crypto art or is it just sort of, there's this steady state now of, you know, you, there, there's certain artists that like have these great concepts and they make series and they release them. And I there's a whole bunch of lingo. I don't really understand airdrops and burning and things like this. But, but is that just sort of like now the state of things, or is there some new thing on the horizon that that's gonna revolutionize? Even just the art side?

EJ Hassenfratz: 01:23:24 It's, it's kind of interesting because I, I see some people that, you know, because of the sexiness of the PFP stuff, like a lot of people are just, you know, disillusioned by the whole thing anymore, just because they've lost traction and they want no part of creating a PFP. So they're just kind of burnt out. And then there's other examples of you know, there's these wame interfaces folks that actually knew them, you know, a few years ago. And they were working on this PFP collection and their whole thing was like, no roadmap just vibes with which roadmap is, is also a thing that like, I don't know Justin, but it's just like, like, can an artist just make art and can you yeah. By the art to support the artist, why is there need to be like, oh, well, now that I bought this art from you, like, what are you gonna do for me?

EJ Hassenfratz: 01:24:11 Like, there's this kind of, yeah. Attitude about that. I think it's that aspect's burning a lot of people out. I think the one thing that is exciting and Justin, I, I don't know what kind of insight you have is, you know, I talk about how, you know, this, the stage we're at now with this web three stuff in crypto art is, is very much geo cities. Like it's, it's so hard to create a website now or create like a, an Ft or a smart contract. And the smart contract is really the exciting part about things. Because then you could, you know, basically have like a square space to create your own website for very easily. And when I talk about like, create your own smart contract, you can do things like, okay, I'm gonna make a, a, a piece of art. And it's much like, you know, people created a, a piece that was a physical piece and it will update whenever he wants it to.

EJ Hassenfratz: 01:25:03 So the image on it will change. So it's almost like this, this piece of art that you could create as an NFT that evolves over time. And right now those kind of capabilities are not quite there, but we're, I think the space is getting there where you could be a lot more creative over just making a thing and minting it. Like you could make it. So you meant it. And it's a blind box. And at a later date, it reveals what the heck it is. And you're already kind of seeing that right now. So I think it's where you think about what a smart contract is. And even that's like in the weeds, I don't even fully understand it, but I mean, there's just so many things that you can program into an NFT that you can then control in the future. So you're working a full all over time. And I think that's, at least from a, a artist side of things is, is, is super interesting. And not even to mention like real world use cases where you already had bands selling NFTs that are actually tickets to events and like, what happens when, if you hold those tickets for a very long time, you get rewarded for backstage passes at something else in the future or whatever. So that part's super exciting. I don't know what you think, Justin.

Justin Cone: 01:26:16 I think that I, I love the, the band thing because it's really encouraging bands to rethink their relationship. Not only with their fans who are coming to their shows, but with all the middle men like Ticketmaster and like yep. You know, everybody hates those people, you know, right now we've got these kind of marketplaces where you can buy and resell tickets, but it's made complicated by kind of the intermediaries. And there's a, an imaginary place out in the future where, you know, maybe you don't need so own many of those. You're always gonna need so many intermediaries, but you're not gonna maybe need as many. And, and people will have, you know, more control over their kind of ownership of those, those tokens that give them access to, to different things. It's funny because, you know, I think people like think of this whole space as like kind of hyper capitalists, as I said before, but there are just as many anarchists in the crypto space.

Justin Cone: 01:27:02 There are, are hyper capitalists and those anarchists really are. They, they want people to interact more directly with each other. They want to have experiences that you can't have any other way, you know, with, with this, with blockchain technology. And I think there as exciting, if not more than the kind of hyper capitalists and you know, some of the work that's going on with Dows to raise money for Ukraine, for instance, it's super interesting how quickly they were able to do that. And with just no red tape and with great transparency and accountability, therefore, because of the transparency that when I give money red cross, I have no idea what the red cross is doing with it. I love red cross. I'm gonna keep giving money to them. Don't get me wrong, but it goes into a black box. I don't know, I don't have any say in it, right.

Justin Cone: 01:27:57 But with Dow, with Ukraine Dow, for instance, I can give money. And if I'm so inclined, I can follow that money. I can see it's going into this treasury. And then the Dow members voted to do this with that money. And, and, you know, th this is just one example, but by combining these kinds of different technologies, you're gonna get whole new ways of, you know, relating with money, but also with the causes that, that money supports, I'm really excited about that. I don't know what it means, but I think for artists, it's, it's incredibly exciting.

Joey Korenman: 01:28:27 Amazing. All right. Well, let's let's land the plan. I feel like, you know, we're, we're gonna just have to do this in five years again, Justin, because, you know, like, I, I, I'm way past the point of trying to predict where NFTs are going and all that, you know, and I think that, I think like for everyone listening, who is as confused as I am about of this still, I think that the, the thing that stuck out the most that Justin said was that, you know, the impressive thing, or like the important thing, it's not the big flashy things. You're seeing the, the art that's out there and the giant dollar signs associated with some of the sales and all of that. It's actually the infrastructure, it's the unsexy, it's the stuff that, like, if you read about it, it like bores you to tears, but that's actually, what's revolutionary about it. Yeah. And, you know, I've started learning a little bit more about, you know, decentralized finance and, and, and how some of that stuff works. And it's equally mind blowing in an equally boring way. Like, yeah. You know, like you don't need a savings account, you can go to, you know, like blocky and they'll pay you more than any bank will, like just to hold some crypto there. It's pretty crazy,

Justin Cone: 01:29:30 Like a hundred times more. Yeah, exactly.

Joey Korenman: 01:29:31 Right. Quite, quite a bit more. In fact. Yeah. So alright. But, but since I am not gonna make any predictions, I figured I'd ask you to. Yeah. So for everyone listening you know, and, and you're, you're at Bach, you're, you're like in the mothership, you're, you're still like at the center of motion design, you're back in the cocoon in that warm embrace. And, and so I'm curious, like, you know, just what, what trends do you think are gonna be important? What are things that, you know, people should be educating themselves about what should we look for in the next five years?

Justin Cone: 01:30:03 So I do think in EJ, I think you were asking about this, or we, you were talking about it earlier. I think AR has yet to have its real moment. There's been a couple breakthroughs that have been quiet, but super important. And we've been trying to pushing into them at buck. One of them is web AR, which is basical. It's the ability to, to use AR without downloading an app. First, most people who think of AR traditionally is like AI. You gotta go to the app store and download some 500 megabyte app. And by that point, you've already lost. Whoever was gonna do it, you know, even like highly motivate people in a museum environment are like, I'm not gonna download a 500 megabyte app over, you know, this crappy wifi. So web AR basically says, you don't have to download anything, point your phone at this QR code, and we'll take care of the rest.

Justin Cone: 01:30:48 It basically streams in the data as needed, but you get a lot of the same experience, you know, it's the, the graphics are gonna be lighter weight and all that, but we've been doing a lot in web AR and I'm really excited about what that means, not just for kind of what we're doing now with phones, but what gonna mean for self-contained headsets. So that whole area, you know, the quest leading the pack quest two, I think it's selling an enormous number of, of headsets that they are over the last year or so. And we bought one for everybody at buck, for instance, wait for us to kind of connect and play with each other at a distance during COVID. That's just heating up. I can't say anything about other people, but there are gonna be other people entering that space.

Justin Cone: 01:31:31 The, the kind of all in one VR headset space, and some of those experiences are gonna be more VR driven, and some are gonna be more AR and some will seamlessly switch between the two of them. So I don't think we've hit that S that moment. Yeah. That inflection point with AR VR, XR, whatever you don't call it, but it's really it's coming soon within the next year, I would say. And so that's gonna be massive for motion designers and animators of pretty much any Stripe, because even 2d, right. 2D is gonna be important in the sense of that information layer, that UI layer, that UX layer of any experience you're gonna have, and then people who do character work, or who do, you know, CG or visual effects work. All of that is gonna start to, it's gonna have a rebirth and, you know, it should go without saying that all that's predicated on real time graphics technologies.

Justin Cone: 01:32:22 So that prediction still remains. You know, that's a huge growth area. Just look at what unity and unreal have been doing. The acquisitions they've been making over the last six months and the moves that, you know, that whole, the whole gaming industry is making, you know, towards kind of expanding real time beyond just traditional gaming. As we know it, the whole metaverse thing I think is gonna like, not probably be as exciting as people want it to be for quite some time. I think the like core promises of the metaverse are exciting, but really, really, really hard to pull off the hardest one being interoperability. The idea that like, I, this sword in Minecraft, and I'm gonna use it in this other game, man, no way. That's, that's, there's no incentives right now for different game developers to create that level of interoperability that, you know, it's, you're talking about game design decisions.

Justin Cone: 01:33:15 It's like neediest SCRT level. So I don't think the metaverse is gonna quite pan on out the way maybe it's been sold. However, I think there is gonna be a lot of like interesting stuff happening in that space that, you know, may or may not be exciting to kind of motion designers. I think a lot of that's gonna be like asset creation and that's gonna be kind of grunt work that is gonna go to a lot of commoditized firms. But still there'll be a lot of growth happening. And I think gaming continues to be an exciting space for motion designers and animators, as it gets easier to make games. And as we expand our definition of games right now, it's like kind of a given that games can just be, you know, almost interactive stories. And that, that was like, that took a long time, maybe 10, 15 years for that to become like a valid viewpoint within gaming. But because of that, now I think motion to animators can start getting into that space as well, more than ever. So I'm, I'm, I think I'm, I'm bullish as they say in crypto on that intersection, you know, broadening,

EJ Hassenfratz: 01:34:16 I mean, you're already seeing certain of these PFP projects, they're their own like IP. And so they have their games and so whatever PFP you bought, you can now play as that character in this game, in the quote unquote metaverse, which all it is is a game that's online. Yeah. So it's kinda like all these things can intersect. And is it cool to say cyberspace instead of metaverse too? Is that like same thing? Cyberspace used to be

Justin Cone: 01:34:41 Cool things. So cyber day has old school appeal. I like it. Yeah.

EJ Hassenfratz: 01:34:45 It's the OG way.

Justin Cone: 01:34:46 Yeah, totally.

Joey Korenman: 01:34:49 I always love catching up with Justin because he's extremely thoughtful. He doesn't just throw ideas directly out of his mouth. Like I sometimes do, and I end up learning a ton and often changing the way I think about certain ideas. I can see why buck hired him, make sure to follow Justin on social media. He's active on Twitter at Justin cone and definitely check out the boys NFT project that we talked about, the artwork and the concept RJ. Awesome. And for those of you listening that are thinking about trying out the NFT thing, the way that Lero has done that project is really worth learning from link in the show notes, and as always show notes are [email protected]. Thank you so much for listening and I'll catch you later.

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