Rich Tella Filmography

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Capital Meet Human. Getting Honestly Lost in The DeFi Jungle.

I just returned from a week in northern Sweden where together with two splendid chaps Exiled Surfer and Alan Radi we spent time on what I thought would result in the formation of the Indikin founding team but actually sent me right back to the drawing board. Here’s why.

I put the cart before the horse.

Given I have spent the past 2.5 years in R&D trying to crack Indikin (Previously The bitjoinery) I figured if I could only find the solution to the best tokenomic model for incentivising participation from all stakeholders within a filmmaking ecosystem, the product would sell itself. However in doing so I neglected important prior steps for forming a crypto community which is essential to the birth of any solid web3 ecosystem longterm. 

I got so caught up in the vision and how to make it a reality on the tech and incentive design side I did not see the wood for the trees and got way ahead of myself thinking if only I could build it they would come. I found comfort in revelling in the vision and indeed many people smarter than myself seem to have also seen potential in my vision for Indikin. 

I think this gave me a false sense of security as I began to believe that what I had put together in the Indikin white paper was what needed to be to be built immediately. Don’t get me wrong Im not entirely delusional, one always has ones doubts and I could never truly know what people thought, only that I was happy that they saw something in the idea that they wanted to support. 

VC Growth vs Grassroots Growth

One of the biggest discussions in crypto over recent years has been traditional VC and even so called Crypto VC Funded growth vs Grassroots Community oriented growth. True DeFi crypto communities tend to believe there is no place for what they see as VC backed pump and dumps, and while I tend to agree, I think most retail investors don’t care and choose to see opportunity wherever it may be headlining that particular day of the week. 

I decided early on Indikin would take financial backing where ever it may arise, indeed I spent a lot of time pursuing Crypto VC funds for investment and while this didn’t work out when I look back, deep down I sort of knew all along I couldn’t really put my whole heart into that particular path. I could never fully convince myself that that was the right path, no matter how many doors were opened and then later on ultimately slammed in my face. 

During the past week this deep down personal doubt in VC backing was made abundantly clear to me and solidified as I spent time with Exiled and Alan; Alan firmly planted at the VC end and Exiled explicitly rooted in the crypto cypherpunk ethos.

 In bringing the three of us together I began to realise my place on the sliding scale between these two belief systems that firmly resided at opposite end of the capital raise spectrum. Having been working almost entirely alone the past two years I found comfort in not having to decide which end of the spectrum I wanted to commit to. I recalled how in my previous startup Qwids I wanted to avoid crowdfunding in favour of a single investor because I didn’t want to embrace the chaos that is managing hundreds maybe thousands of retail investors.

To me it sounded like a nightmare waiting to happen. Not because I didn’t believe in the product but because people are people, impatient, delusional, ill informed, and herd mentality can quickly infect a product narrative and so destroy years of hard work before you even get to market. 

Together with Alan and Exiled over numerous conversations I found it difficult to decide on one funding method over the other, however as the days past it became clear that a product such as Indikin If wanting to be long term viable, and assuming it can navigate all the turmoil that is bound to happen in the early phases; it would need to start with the very people it is looking to empower, and not the people that repeatedly show themselves to extract value at the first opportunity. 

Solid Tokenomics is Fucking Hard

In the indikin white paper I wanted to describe the design of how I believe the Indikin ecosystem could create value for all participants but there was always a missing component that I could never quite get a grip of. That is, the Film Funding Pool and how it could best be implemented to guarantee there would always be capital available to creators and filmmakers. 

This important component of the ecosystem and how I imagined it begin to come into focus via my current documentary production – Degen Generation. After spending a lot of time with developers, memecoin communities and DeFi speculators I came across several projects I began to see as in combination having the potential solution to the sustainability of the Film Funding Pool conundrum. 

That potential solution which I would soon like to test is essentially a dedicated Memecoin ETF that piggy backs on a phenomenon called Liquidity Bonded Amplification, managed by Automated Arbitrage Bots that help redistribute out and stabilise the various liquidity pairs token price found within the ETF.  

A path forward for testing this could be to create an ecosystem stablecoin pegged to a well established token that initially pairs to five memecoin projects ideally with bigger IP product ambitions, namely films, and together leverage these five initial memecoin communities to bring their memecoin marketing game to the benefit of each others projects. 

As usual platform fees can be delivered back to liquidity providers as well as towards a shared film funding pool managed by the protocol. This pool could then provide a type of basic income to participants that work towards various film productions made using the ecosystems talent and tools; and in doing so take part ownership over future revenues generated by those film productions and any ancillary products. 

There are various open source softwares that can already deliver such valuable features without a native ecosystem token however they don’t appear to allow for liquidity providers to speculate on a given memecoins potential to moon, and so make it difficult to embrace the already established behaviour inherent to DeFi communities – that is new coins to speculate on with the potential for bonus shared revenue features. 

People Before Technology 

Many projects in web3 and so the DeFi conversation are extremely tech orientated and put a lot of emphasis on the apparent revolutionary aspects afforded by blockchains. I’m guilty of the same, but as we have seen most recently memecoins are taking the cake and are super easy to understand; get in early, hold on, join the pump marketing spectical, spread your bets wide and exit once satisfied with gains. 

The majority of people speculating in this space know the risks and so treat it as a casino, to them it’s the thrill of rolling the dice. But many users I have spoken to on the production of Degen Generation appear to have grown somewhat bored in simply siphoning off profits from retail and are actively looking for ways to give back or contribute to something with a grander vision. 

Don’t get me wrong these speculators will always prioritise profits first but to be able to pitch them on an additional profit incentive via co ownership of film revenues with in a DeFi protocol I believe is not a big ask as it is they who decide their risk appetite for any additional paths of financial return. 

  • Speculate on memecoins = one clear line of returns or not
  • Speculate on memecoin ETF + Films = multiple lines of return or not, lower risk spread across multiple memecoin + potential for multiple ongoing film revenues  

Crypto Moves Fast 

I always prided myself of attemting to think 6 to 12 month ahead of the space and attempting to predict what people would want in the near future, and in that sense I have myself always speculated on where the future gains would be. Even though Im not a DeFi speculator myself I can appreciate the nature of the game, and believe I have a unique perspective given my particular style of filmmaking. 

With this in mind while memecoins right now are popping off and almost all will go to zero, be rugged or turn to crime – they very likely are not going to go away and as we’re beginning to see from the various legacy IP coins from established media and sports gaming and celebrity efforts I start to think of this memecoin speculative behaviour as somewhat foundational to the space going forward. Memecoins can come and go, new liquidity pairs can be created and become obsolete but the capital created by those activities could in the case of Indikin leave a lasting legacy in the form of films long after the liquidity pools dry up. 

Conclusion

If there’s one key take a way from this past week with Alan and Exiled it’s that while I believe I have a good understanding of the landscape in which Im attempting to bring value I have to learn to embrace the community as they are and all the realities that come with that engagement. 

I see now that Ive spent too much time thinking I can bring the value polished and ready to use and that I can be the hero that the community maybe doesn’t want but needs. I believed that product came first and that I shouldn’t or wouldn’t make any promises until there was something of substance. 

Outside of the spray and prey marketing Ive used to attempt to get in front of what I believe are the most willing participants, jostling between web2 centric filmmakers and creators and the web3 DeFi Degen speculators I lost my way and now see that the way forward is to embrace those people that have seen some value on my proposal for Indikin but need a solid leg up into an organisation that values them from day one. 

I don’t think I could have arrived at such a conclusion alone, and being able to spend time with Alan and Exiled that are leaders in their own game, and as a result feeling somewhat forced to choose a concrete path forward or give up. I’m now confident in this early phase that what matters most is building out the first creative cohort under the already established brand Bitjoin and leveraging those existing relationships with creatives that already appreciate the vision and understand how hard it will be to achieve it.   

From here we have the best opportunity to start to truly create together and longterm; iron out the mechanics of what may be called indikin once we can prove the model at a much smaller more human centric level.