Immortal Project and the Challenges WEB3 Faces Today With Philip | Tokenminds Podcast Episode 27
Fritzy: Welcome to the TokenMinds podcast. I am your host Fritzy the senior content manager here at TokenMinds a creative engineering crypto and nft agency helping businesses all over the world with their blockchain and nft development crypto and NF marketing strategy and token sales strategy. In this podcast, we will dive into blockchain and talk about relevant topics for businesses and founders. Today we have our special guest from the Immortal project, Sir Philip kindly introduce yourself to our audience
Philip: Hi Fritzy, thank you very much for having me yeah as you said my name is Philip, and I am the chief marketing officer for Immortal projects basically what we are is a venture studio we’ve got a number of different projects that we’re working on typically within the sporting and cultural verticals and yeah we’ve got some very exciting things on the new horizon we’re very much in the build mode we’ll build stages over the last couple months and we should be launching some of the MVPs in the next I would say a month or two months.
Fritzy: All right but before we talk more about The Immortal project, Philip I would just like to first start off with I would want to know more about your story on how you got into crypto and web3 yourself.
Philip: Yeah, yeah my background is actually a lot more web too. So I was one of Google’s biggest resellers or partners in Asia where I was based for over 10 years and we basically sold and managed the entire Google marketing platform stack which is a full marketing tech or martech solution and we worked with a number of different leading financial institutions like Citibank, Standard Chartered bank, HCBC and then we branched off into other types of businesses but you know our primary focus was really about financial institutions and digital marketing. I’m from a hobbyist perspective I got into crypto in about 2017 where you know I started learning more about Bitcoin as typically you know the entry point is and then I started learning about Ethereum and smart contracts and I was part of the whole ICO movement for it’s obvious it was a lot of hype and a lot of movement around the ICOs and I think a lot of us kind of struggled on trying to figure out what blockchain really meant for enterprise or what was you know the actual utility or use case and yeah that’s why I think there was a lot of hype and a lot of projects who came into existence didn’t kind of make it through that Ico movement. I then decided to you know carry on my nine to five if you want to call it that and I worked with a Telco in Thailand for a couple of years and where I was the head of analytics consulting and we did some really interesting projects across Big Data where we productized the digital footprint that you know the Thai population would inherently have with their mobile devices but then there were two things or rather three things significant events that took place at the early stages of 2020 and that was obvious of course the you know the lockdowns and Corona that affected especially Southeast Asia where it really hit businesses hard and you know small medium enterprises really you know took a massive negative impact on them and then there was two digital or technological things that happened within blockchain, the first one was you know the surge of defi or decentralized finance and the second one was is NFTs or non-fungible tokens, and you know having that web2 background I you know I really understood what flaws or what you know some of the mistakes that we made in web2 and some of the issues that we’re trying to correct now especially with you know privacy acts that are trying to reshape the industry which is gdpr you know namely data protection and data consumer privacy and I think you know when I started looking and started identifying really what the use case was for nfts I started thinking okay this is now a new way that people can take ownership of their you know their own data and a new way that they can participate within what wealth and value is being created online and this for me was a very interesting turning point where I thought okay well you know for the crimes of what we’ve done with web2 where you basically got these very large central organizations like Facebook and Google who have made an enormous amount of money and hasn’t necessarily shared this wealth with you know the wider population and I think you know not to sound too idealistic or romantic in a degree but I do think that you know those times are going to be rapidly changing, I think people want to take more control of their own data and I think people want to you know obviously participate in that value creation which I don’t think is an unreasonable request, so for me you know nft started to really answer that point that people were asking for and that’s you know how do I take ownership and how do I prove ownership and how do I create you know new streams of revenue or even livelihoods and then of course you know with the massive surge of axi infinity which you will know very well because of obviously the Philippines you know it’s I think it’s where the biggest the playing market is you know people started making genuine money from playing a game where we started to define you know play to earn mechanisms or play to earn platforms and I think it came about at a very interesting time obviously with people who having might have lost their jobs you know at retail or other you know typical day-to-day jobs nine-to-five jobs where people could now play a game a video game essentially if they were early in and they could make you know genuinely decent money every month so this kind of flipped everything on its head and it became a very interesting avenue for me to research and kind of throw myself down this rabbit hole and then at the same time of course Defi decentralized Finance started taking shape and that for me is the sort of the economic backbone of what the internet could be you know in terms of decentralizing exchanges, decentralizing the control of financial institutions like banks or even you know other financial institutions, so those two sort of you know movements took a significant momentum and I decided then what I wanted to do for the rest of my life was would basically try to correct the wrongs of what I’ve done and I’m saying that facetiously but you know I know that the web2 was not built on the best practices so I decided in early 2020 to make it my livelihood and I threw myself into nfts and I’ve worked across a number of different interesting and exciting different types of businesses from a venture builder in Southeast Asia where we launched a Defi platform off the pancake swap we also launched the nft gaming studio we were launching a metaverse where basically the business model was an interoperable business ecosystem where all of the different businesses that we were launching would fit into each other and eventually you know preside within the metaverse which would be this fully immersive shopping experience an e-tail experience I then worked with then I relocated to Europe and I’ve worked across some gaming studios pte gaming studios, but then I joined a pretty exciting platform called space seven where I was the chief marketing officer for an nft art curated market, marketplace unfortunately the market you know obviously is not it’s we’re we are currently in a bit of a bear market and unfortunately that you know you know we continue to go forward but it wasn’t from an economical point of view it was it struggled so I then had to pivot myself and I’ve got my own business and I consult across a number of different other types of projects but primarily now my focus is within Immortal project and one of the projects that we’re now it’s quite exciting to see take shape in terms of being a proper web3 environment is chess champs and chess champs is one of the fastest web3 chess communities. I’m you know not many people know how popular chess actually is globally I think there’s about 800 million people who play chess, it’s also one of the fastest growing sports on Twitch which is obviously the popular you know streaming platform, and chess champs is for us one of the first projects that Immortal projects has been able to shape and we’re getting into an exciting space now where we’re really starting to articulate what that means for a web3 platform so we’re going to be launching a mint in in just over a week which is on the 20th of October which is going to be minted on the Solana chain and it’s going to be very limited we’re only going to be doing 500 pfp nfts and two to stand the chance of minting one of these free nfts, you have to participate within our Discord forum and earn 100 XP by completing you know daily tasks or daily puzzles and then you get given a pawn roll basically and then once you’ve got the pawn roll you just connect your Phantom wallets you can mint the pfp for free and that will then obviously give you certain you know really fun utility points like exclusive events that we’re going to be holding or you know we’ll give discounts on certain chests scholarship programs and then obviously we’ve got preferred deals or an IP deal with like play Magnus group or Magnus Carlson and Magnus Carlson is the number one chess player in the world, so with these sort of into you know IP Partners, pfp holders are going to stand the chance of actually interacting with these, you know these celebrities are these chess players and then get access to some of the you know the smartest people in the world which is going to be fun but yeah so that’s a little bit about my journey it’s been interesting it’s been exciting, and I I’m really excited about what the future holds I think there’s a very interesting debate kind of happening right now about the metaverse you know typically everyone has an opinion which they’re allowed to have of course but I think we’re at such early stages with what that metaverse is I think everyone’s got a different version of it and I don’t think it’s also necessarily brand new or a new concept I think you know you’ve got your like second lives or you’ve got various different platforms that have been basically what we would define as the metaverse for you know over 10 years or so so it’s going to be an interesting one to be part of and see what that kind of shapes are to be for me ultimately though a metaverse should be the sentient being of itself and I also think it’s a little possibly about interoperability where you know you’ve got a hold of the ecosystems functioning together and you know going back to the point of wealth creation I think it’s going to be an important part of what the new internet looks like where everyone can participate, everyone’s got you know equal or fair rights, I think also just to maybe just to and I know I talk a lot so apologies for that but just to maybe go back to sort of you know the ethos of decentralization I think it’s a bit of a tricky one for us because what time and time has proven that there’s no real authentically decentralized platform I think you know with the finance smart chain hack that happened last week that you know it was proven also that they’re not completely decentralized and then you look at token distributional allocation in a lot of these website projects where they’re claim to be decentralized you’ve got your pockets right your whales where obviously they can control the outcome and basically they have a lot of control over the ebb and flow of the price, and then you’ve got daos which is a you know decentralized autonomous organization, I think that’s all beautiful in theory I think it’s from a practical point of view we still have a lot to kind of prove and you know will the essence of a decentralized autonomous organization actually continue and make the effort you know the debate is out I do believe that there will always be a central team to do the heavy lifting, managing, coordinating, project managing, and I think that’s just inherent but there is a an interesting one or opportunity for people who want to you know take ownership or have control or say into the direction of a company, for me it’s an interesting play if you know a blue chip maybe web2 launched a dial token, a governance token, and then the average person out there might have you know the ability to have input into maybe an incubation type for maybe like a Google or Facebook launches an incubation type for where people can participate in with what they might be building but yeah let’s see what the future holds it’s going to be an interesting ride for the next couple years.
Fritzy: All right so I would just like to go back a little bit because you have mentioned that you are working on the chess camps one of the projects for Immortal, but I would want to know more about Immortal, and do you have any other projects lined up for this project?
Philip: Yeah we do we’re working on an incredibly large project with one of our partners Hedera and the h-bar foundation and I can’t say too much about it but it sits within the cycling fraternity, and cycling is also an enormous sport you know globally and what we’re going to be doing with this particular project is we’re launching a very interesting content or OTT platform, you know where certain owners have access points you know given through nft rights and then we’re also going to be launching fantasy leagues with our cycling partners, and then you know just to kind of democratize what content looks like cycling has been you know it’s one of those sports where accessibility or a unified point of contact in terms of the enormous amounts of potential content that is developed or produced through cycling is kind of fragmented at the moment so we’re looking to you know consolidate that into a central view or a platform that will be launched in in the next few months and the announcement will be coming out in in a couple months, we just you know one or two things need to be put in place but that’s going to be an exciting project for us because also we’re partnering with a massive you know hash graph or chain within Hedera, and I think Hedera is a very exciting ecosystem to be looking at it’s one of the most cost effective and ecologically friendly if you want to, you know carry down that road but it’s a very interesting platform it’s also one of the fastest growing platforms and we’re very excited about the partnership and some of our partners like reality plus which is a gaming studio out of the UK and we’re going to be doing some really fun things within cycling so basically, so basically I think just to kind of summarize what we’re trying to do with cycling is we want to democratize we want to you know provide an enormous amount of reach, deeper immersive content experiences when it comes to cycling fans and then having access to you know certain teams and some of these sporting styles, and I don’t know if you’re a cyclist yourself but cycling is an incredibly tough sport and some of these people are you know genuinely like superheroes, so having access to training tips and videos is also going to be part of it but it’s yeah I can’t say too much other than what we’re building in terms of the conceptual design of the platform and our partners Hedera, reality plus and H bar Foundation but it’s going to be a very exciting platform so if you’re exciting cycling enthusiast and you want to get closer to the game or the sport yeah watch the space because it’s going to be a pretty exciting ride excuse the pun.
Fritzy: All right thank you so much Phillip, so I believe that Immortal is working on projects that are more interest-based the way that you have mentioned like the chess camps and this cyc, this new cycling project and you are bringing this interest down to nft so now you have also mentioned a while ago that there are a couple of challenges that we are facing in web3 or can you share like specifically some of them and how do you think we can fix them?
Philip: Yeah I think it’s a great question and something that kind of like plagues my mind every day I think sometimes we get lost in our own jargon, you know we talk about nfts we talk about decentralization we talk about you know various other types of acronyms that the average person on the street doesn’t really know what we’re talking about and also the user experience is pretty poor when it comes to web3 so onboarding is a problem I think what we’re trying to achieve at Immortal and with some of our partners is we want to kind of put the technology and the jargon at the background we want to make it as accessible and easy to use so it’s a seamless frictionless environmental platform where we’re not actually going to go out to market and we’re going to be talking about it per se in an nft mindset or a web3 mindset we want to be talking about you know content accessibility we want to be talking about ownership and having a say and participating within community I think that’s going to be an important foreground or the type of vernacular and jargon we use and I think we’re also we’re not a hype machine so you know Immortal we we’re not going to go out to market with these enormous promises and you know we’re not going to get on the hype machine they’re kind of like over inflates the value of a project and just tries to look at it from a pure monetary perspective we want to create something that obviously is sustainable we want to create something that is engaging and something that our community members can really feel like they’re part of so yeah I think when it comes to the challenges of web3 I think sometimes we drink too much of our own Kool-Aid there’s a famous saying like that you know we’re kind of drinking from the fire hose almost and that’s a bit of a dangerous one because we can get lost in our own kind of you know in our own whatever you want to call it hot air but what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to break down those barriers and we almost want to keep the technology and the jargon at the background of course time and place right so if we do talk to a crypto audience we’ll use the right you know explanatory types of wording or adjectives and stuff but when we’re talking to like say a cycling audience we’re not going to be using any of these fancy terminologies we’re going to keep it simple we want to keep it in in line with what they are used to and you know thank goodness for the likes of like you know Netflix and you know Hulu and these other Ott providers they have broken down what that means to stream content through an internet device so you know we’re going to keep it in line with that and also gaming is or fantasy league components and gaming is going to be an important part to that you know and the nft ownership or custodianship is going to be part of it but again it’s not going to be the primary focus of what we’re how we’re communicating the platform you know it can be a token methodology but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that I think you know if you’re talking to a gaming audience they’re fully aware of micro transactions they’re fully aware of owners you know asset ownership you know there’s an enormous secondary market for in-game assets you know and that was that was way before nfts like kind of like became a buzz or a house terminology so we’re going to keep it very much in line with what people are used to and familiar with and comfortable the worst thing that any technology platform can do is use fancy jargon that alienates your potential customer base so we’re not going to be doing that we want to keep it as simple and we want to you know like I said make it as accessible and fun as possible and I think that’s also very important for everything we build we want to keep it fun or what’s the point really you know why are we building all these things and you know we put it in the hands of our customers our rather community members and they kind of go yeah this is great but then you know the need for me to spend x amount of time on this platform every day just to earn what I you know hope to earn if it takes the T you know it takes the fun out of it and makes the tasks tedious and we don’t want to be like that so and we believe like you know you have to make something sort of habitual you need to make something fun for people to come back on a daily basis so that’s kind of some of the challenges that we’re trying to address within web3 but the chat the problem is also like you know it moves so quickly right and the terminology changes and things constantly evolve and every day you’ve got to you know keep abreast with what’s happening there was a massive announcement by the gods over the weekend where they were you know reducing their royalty fees to zero and that that shakes things up once again everyone’s who’s building out these models needs to like go back to the drawing board and say okay well now this is the new norm right and how do we then make this project sustainable for ourselves and what other type of revenue streams can we depend on ultimately I think it’s a good move that they did and it’s going to shake up things and I mean I’ve been saying this for a while I think royalties and platform fees are going to come to zero at some point the competition out there is enormous right if you’re going to mint on one platform that charges you five percent platform fees as opposed to another platform that might charge you nothing for the next six months of course you’re going to choose the one that gives you nothing right because everyone’s kind of into this like bootstrap mode right now where we’re trying to reserve of budgets as much as much as possible you’re trying to make things efficient so we have to kind of think more along the lines of a blurred kind of revenue model so I want to just maybe go back to like the web2 mistakes have been made were probably very much from an advertising point of view but we got we got carried away with the advertising model there’s no doubt about that I mean when last did you go to a mobile website and the user experience is just terrible firstly you’ve got to click away these cookie you know disclaimers most sites go like you know disregard all okay great so then you go through to the next but then you get bombarded with all these pop-ups all these ads by the time you actually get to the piece of content that you want to read then it’s like another pop-up saying subscribe now where you’ve got three more articles to read it’s just a really bad experience so I’m not proposing that we go down that road again with web3 but I think there are very smart ways to kind of plug in various different revenue streams that might be feasible with web3, an example of that would be say if you are you’re running a membership and you for access to this club or membership on an annual basis you own this nft that’s basically your tickets now if you think that you’re going to make you know money never ending off this nft sale and obviously on the secondary now considering that there’s no royalties and there’s probably very low you know secondary market royalties you’re not going to be able to sustain that business model, so why don’t you charge a subscription fee at a reduced rate on an annual basis and then you’ve got annuities in place so I think you know what we’re trying to do well at least what I’m trying to do is I’m trying to find this hybrid model between web2 and web3 and I think we’ve made interesting you know headway in terms of web3 and how fast we’ve moved but I also think that there is room for a web2 kind of mindset to come into play and this is why more web2 people need to jump into the web3 space because they’ve got the experience you know got the 20 years or two decades worth of experience of building and scaling these businesses you know and it’s it wasn’t easy for 20 years, we also had to convince you know why would someone basically subscribe and not have an ad blocker in place and all these things so I think that we’re trying to you know not repeat the mistakes that we did in web2 but I do think that there’s a room for us to introduce new Revenue type of models within web3. So I don’t think we have to be too precious about the whole you know it’s an ad-free environment because, at the end of the day, projects need to make money, I mean that’s what business is really all about right they need to sustain themselves and you’re not going to be able to do that without a proper business planning and the right team to do it.
Fritzy: All right so we’re down to our last question do you have any suggestions or advice for people who are starting out in web3?
Philip: Yeah I love this I mean I get I get questions like this all the time and I’m actually yeah I’m always more than willing to sit down and show someone how to get started and for me it’s a rabbit hole that you just need to kind of commit to and you have to run down you know and lose yourself literally and I think it’s really about doing your due diligence as much research as possible, don’t follow certain celebrities or influencers that are hyping a project, always be not suspicious but be aware of the information or the advice that you’re getting from anyone if they are professing something and they’ve got an inherent invested is interest in what they’re promoting then there’s a question mark around that so do your due diligence do you as much research as possible, typically what you want to do though is you want to decide on an ecosystem to get involved in because every ecosystem is like this massive you know global community which is really fun and all projects within a community or chain typically work well with each other, there’s a lot of collaboration you know we don’t work within this highly competitive environment anymore so say you want to go Ethereum the challenge with Ethereum is its enormous the volume is like it’s there you’ve got the user base and everything but you know that’s something you have to take in consideration sometimes it can be too big if you want to start off small then you’ve got Polygon, and then you’ve got Solano, Avalanche just to name a few there’s a there’s many different ecosystems but then you want to also look at the health factor of that ecosystem so how many projects are being developed how many you know how big is the community what’s the sentiment value don’t look at the token necessarily or the token price as an indicator on the health factor because that can also be misleading you also might want to look at the total locked value or you know TLV which is typically a good sign because everything’s on proof of stake right so you kind of want to look at the amount of tokens that have been locked up in smart contracts that supports the network system it’s not the be all and end-all of the evaluation of an ecosystem or health of an ecosystem but it is a fairly good benchmark to look at then of course when we go when you talk about web3 it’s about an essence of a community of like-minded people. Go out and research various different types of web3 projects and find a project that really resonates with you maybe you love Soccer, maybe you love gaming, maybe you love painting, maybe you love I don’t know like you know canoeing as an example, there are these various communities that are working on these very particular niche interest sets now once you’ve identified these projects research the actual project that is launching one of team look at the team is the team doxed which is an important one doxed means typically is are the profiles behind the project are they public, also do they have the track record in terms of building businesses scaling businesses do they have this ability to do these types of projects because it’s not easy you’re going to have to understand what pnl management is you need to understand how to allocate resources and you know to obviously you know make sure that there is healthy margins in a business that’s what it is and then you want to look at also the roadmap now a roadmap is a good indication of where the project might be headed but it’s also a bad thing because it kind of makes this hyper transparent and contactable or accountable model within a project which is not a bad thing but it can also be a you know it could be a little bit of a dangerous thing when projects make too much of a promise now that’s for me a red flag or an alarm system going on if a project thinks that they’re going to launch a game or something that should have taken you know traditional agents agency or traditional businesses years to build and they’re promising it within a few months the chances are they don’t know what they’re talking about and the chances are they’re over hyping a project and you are buying into this hope that they you know they’re going to redefine technical ability technical limitations which we currently have and that’s just not going to be possible so look at the roadmap look at the team look at the tokenomics of a project for me tokenomics is an important thing because you have to look at one supply and demand you have to look at what the potential value or sustainable value of a project is, do they have deflationary mechanics like burn mechanisms or staking mechanisms, something to kind of like manage supply and demand but it’s not the only thing I mean if you’re going into an nft project they might not even have you know a coin or a token maybe they just have some nfts so you’ve got to just take a look at that, then once you’ve made a decision download a wallet you know depending on the chain that you choose maybe if it’s again say Solana you want to download the Phantom wallet, you want to load up on Solano or crypto and then you want to buy the entity which is typically the currency of choice right so you when you’re buying an nft you’re using a cryptocurrency and then once you’ve taken ownership of this nft, join all of their social media forums, typically unfortunately a lot of their conversation all the community engagements happening on Discord, I say it’s unfortunate because one the user experience of Discord is not fantastic, two there’s also security issues so you need to have like you know double-step or two-step authentication you can also you know you’d just be to make sure that your privacy and your security measures are taking place with Discord, don’t interact or don’t let your wallet interact with anyone that you’re not familiar with and hasn’t been fully vetted that’s also dangerous you know so you’re giving access to your funds through illicit third parties so just be careful on that but once you once you’ve chosen that forum and community get involved start the conversation you’re amongst people that you share an interest set with it’s a culture it’s a passion so participate in the conversation talk to the moderators, talk to the founding team, a lot of founding teams will have AMAs you know and ask me anything session on a weekly basis or a monthly basis whatever the frequency is you know participate join these AMA sessions ask pertinent questions on how they’re working towards milestones or how are they dealing with any setbacks and what do they think about bear markets, bull markets, all these sort of things, but the most important thing is just to get stuck in and get involved in the conversation and then in doing so you feel part of this broader course which again for me is what web3 is, it’s about a community of like-minded people that share a passion or interested, so that’s the best way to get stuck into web 3 and also just have fun I think that’s also what I’m trying to profess all the time is that like don’t make it a job there’s a rubbish saying that you know find something you love make it a job and you’ll never work a day in your life again that’s rubbish it’s that’s just that’s not true, you know but there’s a thin line between passion and love and there’s a thin line between hate and you know disgruntlement, so balance your time, nfts and crypto unfortunately never stops, they never sleep, so you know balance your time find a work-life balance but it is a fun environment to participate within and yeah it’s just a you’ve got to get started, and I would I would highly think that this is the right time we’re very early in this whole next iteration of the internet so if you’re watching this and you’re only starting to think don’t worry you haven’t missed it in fact in fact I think you’re this is an ideal time to get involved because you know there’s speculation in the market that we could be turning around soon it all depends on the number of different macro indicators but it could be a wonderful time to participate and you know share your interest sets with other like-minded people and of course take ownership of what that might be say like a go back to the canoeing example you don’t know what the future of the canoes sport might look like but it’s going to incorporate technology to some degree and that technology is most likely going to be delivered through non-fungibles, you know nft tokens, so it’s a good time to get involved and it’s a wonderful you know environment to build to all participate.
Fritzy: Alright thank you so much, Philip, that is one of the most comprehensive pieces of advice I’ve heard, know people who would want to start out with web3 some of them just say oh, do your due diligence but you have really shared it like step by step on how one would really get involved into the whole community that is essentially what we’re doing here at like you know in web3. So yeah thank you so much for that insightful talk Philip, I had fun talking to you about all of these things we have talked about, not just the immortal projects, but really what the challenges that we have at nft, I mean not really nft but the challenges that we have in web3 and the general ins and outs kind of for this new industry or this new iteration of the web. So thank you so much for you know sharing your knowledge and sharing your experiences as well
Philip: Absolute pleasure anytime and yeah I think what we can do for your audiences with the upcoming mints for Chase Champs, is we can reserve some whitelist seats for you guys if you want it and we can share the links obviously on the description or bio for you yeah and I look forward to it and thank you very much for having me on as a guest apology for talking a little bit too much but I do love this the space and I have been in it for you know a couple of years which kind of makes me a little bit of an OG, sometimes an old man in the room but anyway I enjoyed being here and thank you for having me on.
Fritzy: Thank you so much, Phillip, until the next one, bye.
Philip: Thank you.