- Jonathan Ma decided to launch an NFT collection to fund his dream of making movies.
- He built a following around his YouTube channel and created a Discord server for the NFT collection.
- Those who own one of his NFTs have privileged access to a private Discord.
Jonathan Ma, known as Joma Tech on YouTube, is a creator who focuses on making short comedy skits about computer programming, cryptography, and all things tech. It accumulated more than 1.6 million subscribers.
Ma was a software engineer at Facebook and Google before becoming a full-time YouTuber. He says his ultimate goal is to become a director, an expensive business. For example, a high-quality movie would cost him around $30,000, he said.
So he jumped on the bandwagon of non-fungible tokens to fund his dream. Like many others, he became interested in crypto and NFTs after realizing their popularity; NFTs generated a record $25 billion in revenue last year, according to DappRadar. He started covering the industry in his YouTube videos and eventually decided to start a collection that raised funds, involved his followers, and gave them something valuable in return.
On February 1, Ma released a collection titled “Doggos Vaxxed” this generated 2,191.2 solana, or approximately $234,400 based on the solana token’s trading price of approximately $107 at the time of the sale. After subtracting market and developer commissions, Ma received approximately $187,567 from solana.
Each coin was minted for 0.88 SOL. They sold out in 42 seconds, according to transaction records compiled by data provider Solscan and reviewed by Insider. The funds raised will be used to create movies, Ma said.
“I was so surprised,” Ma told Insider. “At first, when I started this project, I didn’t even think I was going to sell. I thought I was going to raise some money.”
The journey to launch an NFT collection
Before launching his project, Ma told Insider, he regularly updated his community on what he was doing and what he hoped to achieve by selling his NFTs.
The collection is made up of 2,500 dogs with vaccination records. Ma said the idea came from the stuffed dogs that are piled up on her sofa, often in the background of her videos.
As for the technical part, Ma hired a contractor to draw most of the traits that would be combined to create the different dogs using generative art.
He launched the Vaxxed Doggos on a marketplace called MagicEden.io, which is tied to the Solana blockchain. He said he chose Solana because he didn’t want his followers to pay high gas fees, which Ethereum is known for. Solana costs an average of around $0.00025 per transaction while Ethereum costs an average of $14, Barrons reported last month.
While Ma acknowledges that the Ethereum blockchain may seem more prestigious and have more users, he added that regardless of where you launch, it’s really about community support.
“In my honest opinion, if you don’t have a built-in audience, it’s going to be difficult on either channel anyway,” Ma said.
He continued, “The only stories you hear are kind of outliers, where they exploded a lot on Twitter and got famous and then they sold NFTs. But I think in general it’s not easy to fundraise through NFTs because you have to care about the community and I think that’s what matters no matter if you go to Ethereum or Solana.
NFTs were launched in two stages. The first was a presale that started on February 1 at 12:00 a.m. ET. It lasted three hours and gave early access to her 1,200 “reserved subscribers”, users who were already part of Ma’s community and who could have helped spread the word about her project by creating funny memes and sharing stories. ideas. This session sold 1,426 of his NFTs. Then the public sale began at 3:00 p.m. ET, when the rest of the 1,074 sold out in 42 seconds.
Anyone who owns a Vaxxed Doggo has access to a
channel that allows them to interact with Ma, access early clip footage, share comments on her scripts, and even have a chance to be an extra in one of her videos. They can also flip their NFTs for profits if their values increase.
Like everyone else, Ma has a second Discord channel open to the public; he refers to these participants as “unvaccinated doggos”.
Ma said the biggest learning curve for him was how to grow, interact with, and oversee the community he built around his project. His main goal was to maintain a positive culture, especially within his Discord channel.
“So the hard part is how do you create the culture you want within your own Discord channel?” Mom said.
He continued, “First of all, you can’t be there 24/7. You always have to sleep, right? So you really have to learn to trust certain people that ‘they have the same idea or vision as you so that you can work together to create a very welcoming community that attracts other people to come into the project.’
Prior to the launch, he regularly updated his followers on his progress. By the time the NFTs were released, most buyers understood the concept behind the project, he said.
Now that Ma is on the other end of a depleted collection, he said the second hardest part was retaining the long-term value of the project. And that means being tied to your community for the rest of your career. He hopes to achieve this goal by making the best videos possible and continuing to grow his YouTube channel.
At present, his collection is still trading on the secondary market. Ma receives a 4% commission each time one of his NFTs is resold. Overall, the royalties are set at 5%, but 0.5% goes to MagicEden.io and 0.5% to the developer.
When it comes to the NFT industry as a whole, it’s unclear if it’s in a single big bubble, even though avid crypto investors like Mike Novogratz say high valuations aren’t sustainable.
He thinks being able to fundraise through NFTs makes fundraising for all sorts of early-stage projects more accessible to everyone.