Partnership and PPPPunditry (Four P's #172)
Why Crypto is Winning, Relationship Goals, Marketing Predictions for 2022, and Tips for Surviving Another Dysfunctional Family Holiday Season!
While this may not be as exciting for you, I have some big news to share from the past week: BOTH of my kids sold their first NFTs within the past few days!
What makes this awesome is that I don't know the buyers. This was not like some personal favor. People legitimately bought them on the open market. For real currency. Now they no longer want to be YouTube stars and want to be NFT creators when they grow up.
Now I’m one of the millions of people who've already bought (and sold) others' NFTs, but no one has ever bought an NFT that I created. But my children, ages 10 and 7, are literally creating the future. And they're not alone. Last weekend, OpenSea, the leading NFT Marketplace, surpassed $10 Billion in all-time sales. Statistics show that 629,867 traders contributed to the $10 billion figure and the average sale price since the NFT market’s launch is $872 per NFT. This Q3 NFT Report shows that NFT markets “are in a phase of dynamic, unstoppable growth.”
Something Practical: Understand Why Crypto is Winning
Yes, over the past few months (and years), I've written and talked a lot about blockchains, NFTs, and cryptocurrency (including my Web3/W3b manifesto a few weeks ago). In the last decade, the total market for crypto value went from zero to over $3 trillion. Why? Cryptocurrencies offer things that conventional currencies like dollars, euro, and yen cannot. They’re more transparent and democratic. They also give you unprecedented freedom to spend, invest, and buy as you please. And unlike money, they’re not controlled by governments or central banks.
With all currencies in history, whether it's gold, silver, shells, spices, or arrow heads, value is applied. Widespread adoption is what gives it legitimacy. Money is an evolved form of exchange, though bartering has been around even longer, going back thousands of years. What made it work back in the day is that barter is self-governing — leaders of the system establish the value of their “currency” — whereas money must be backed by the issuing entity: the state. Fungible currency, meaning dollars and euros, have no intrinsic value. With "fiat money," states declare that one-dollar bills and two-euro coins are legal tender.
This means that every centralized monetary system can be inflated and devalued. Nothing anchors its value except trust in the state issuing it. This is what cryptocurrency solves. The promise is to do away with these authorities. Instead of economy-crashing governments and central bankers, it puts the currency’s users in control.
Since the emergence of Bitcoin a decade ago, alt coins, tokens, and more evolved and innovative cryptocurrencies solve for many of the problems associated with centralization and fiat currencies mentioned above. Blockchains give us visibility that large institutions do not. What made Bitcoin so much more trustworthy than traditional money is the distributed ledger. The ledger records legitimate transactions, which is key to the whole system. Verifying transactions is like comparing thousands and thousands of individual serial numbers every second. Basically, thousands of computers in the Bitcoin network have to run software that either affirms or rejects transactions. Not exactly energy efficient, but alternatives to this are already here, and more are coming. And speculating who will improve upon what's already here is part of the fun: risk and reward.
Bitcoin and Ethereum are the two most popular cryptocurrencies, but there are probably more than 50 that are already being traded on major exchanges. While their protocols are similar, they all have some key differences. Assuming you aren't mining, these exchanges are your way in. With Coinbase, Crypto.com, even Public and Robinhood, you can use a debit or credit card, or transfer fiat currency directly from your bank account. And while we've seen a pretty crazy bull market run over the last 12 months, especially with Bitcoin, the most important rule of investing, no matter the coin, currency or asset, is to be patient, do your research, be smart, and use common sense.
Something Personal: Relationship Goals
Speaking of family, this past Monday, November 15th, my wife and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. Lucky 13! 10 years of parenting, 3.5 years of dog parenting, 8 years of home ownership... 16 years together. Love. What a thing.
I cannot adequately articulate all of the reasons why the love I have for my wife is still as strong as it was 13 or 16 years ago. Maybe "strong" is not even a proper quantifier. Love evolves, relationships evolve, inputs and outputs are different, but I've found that love is not just one emotion, but the totality of ALL emotions and feelings. People have said similar things about God (with whom I've always had a skeptical relationship). So what if... Love is the real God? What if God is not an all-knowing omniscient being but the sum of all energy that binds us (like the Force, but real)?
We hear about loveless and lust-less marriages, fires that have died, trust that has eroded, unhappiness, stagnation, and more from relationships that you would have expected to last forever. In today’s world, so many are cynical when it comes to relationships. With so many marriages ending in divorce, and with so many celebrity breakups plastered across the news every day, it can be hard to imagine what a healthy, enduring relationship actually looks like. Whether you're single, dating, married, or somewhere in between, we all need relationship goals if we want to create and maintain lasting bonds. And even when you've found love, keeping those goals fresh is the key to keeping love fresh.
Above all, relationship goals have to be realistic. Social media, TV shows and movies, magazines and more inundate us with pictures of perfect-looking couples. These images represent modern relationship ideals. But here’s the problem: these images are only snapshots of relationships. They emphasize all the good things and exclude all the bad. They don’t represent reality. One of the reasons I believe our relationship works is because we met later in our 20's. Before then, I had no realistic expectation of what relationship goals should even include.
The same is true for many in early adulthood. They date pretty much anyone who shows interest, without ever stopping to think whether that person might be right for them. Married people can be just as aimless. All too often, they let the passion drain from their relationship as things like raising children and managing finances seem to become more important. No matter what your marital status is, creating and maintaining a strong relationship comes down to having the right relationship goals.
Being single is arguably the most important time of our lives. We learn who we are and what our purpose in life is. The single phase also gives us time to figure things out and develop as people before we commit to someone else. That prepares us to be good partners in the future. Not that it's always easy or fun. Long stretches of being single might make you feel lonely and unwanted. But there are ways to get past these feelings. When you’re single, you can invest in aspects of your life you’d like to develop: career, creativity, volunteering, travel, etc. These are the things that help you build a good foundation for future relationships.
Oddly enough, a quote from a notable pastor I once saw on Twitter has resonated with me: "Keep working on your singleness to keep your marriage alive." Marriage is never going to be 100% bliss every second of the say. But ultimately, every problem we encounter should teach us just how right we are to focus on each other from the very start. Some people think they've crossed the finish line when they get married and have kids. But relationship goals will change. But maintaining projects, hobbies, friendships, professional development are all important to keep relationships healthy. Doing these things will help you be the best version of yourself.
Something Professional: My Somewhat Early Digital Marketing Predictions for 2022
There will be no Four P's during the Thanksgiving Week (because someone's gotta cook!), so in order to get a head start on the 2022 predictions, I'm going to start with a few on the digital marketing side because, hey, that's what we do:
Post-pandemic strategies finally get their chance:
All of the predictions for 2021 were about post-pandemic plans. I never went there because I didn't think we'd be ready this year (I was right). But the deployment of vaccines to (most of) the masses will finally open things up again. We know that consumer behaviors changed during the pandemic, so creativity, experiences, and content must change.
Omnichannel engagement will continue to evolve:
Not to be confused with multichannel, omnichannel is both strategy and tactics. Consumers are no longer loyal to one channel, leading to interconnected experiences and content diffusing between and across platforms more quickly and with less consistency.
Brands will lead in marketing platform decentralization:
We know how important communities are. Raise your hand if you remember my Five C's of Community from 2009? But we've most beyond social media platforms in 2021, back to owned communities as well as platforms like Discord. Many brands are now building their own in-house social networks, with in-app forums and features, to take back control of their audiences.
W3b (a.k.a.: Web3) is how consumers connect:
While I refuse to use the term "metaverse" anymore, the big digital, media and tech platforms aren't going down without a fight. These platforms are starting to visualize it now - an interactive community of users able to engage in a wide variety of social activities online. Brands are starting to get on board, and will soon lead the way where they already are (Follow the money).
New Communities will develop and Re-Define Their Rights:
With new, staked entities empowering consumers to "vote" and vocalize, the power of the community is shifting the dynamics for where and how information and currency is exchanged. When voices come together in digital communities, they will change how companies act, create and serve their consumers.
Social is Dead. Long live Social:
More companies and brands will look past Google and Faceb... errr, Meta, in terms of budgets and planning. TikTok is taking over social media as far as platform innovation, influencer adoption and content consumption. Other platforms are scrambling to adapt.
Paid advertising reorganizes as the Cookie Crumbles:
The cookie is dying. There are so many ways that this could turn out in terms of the future of social advertising, and how brands comply while offering more personalized services. Throw in the ecommerce explosion from the past 2 years, social platforms will modify and enhance the way they prioritize social selling.
Tokenization of Influencers:
With decentralized platforms, DAOs, and tokens becoming much more pervasive, a maturing influencer marketing model will drive the growth of blockchain-based experiences. On one hand, there is increased regulation and scrutiny on influencers, but the platforms are disaggregating ownership and control. The most successful NFT projects are both led by creator influencers, and minting new collector influencers. What a time!
Something Political: Preparing for Dysfunctional Family Thanksgiving
Another year nearly in the books, and as we approach the holidays, so many of us are steeling ourselves for uncomfortable family gatherings. Unfortunately his year has seen the chasm between smart/sane and dumb/dangerous growing wider. I vacillate as to whether we're past the point of no return. Either way, it's going to make for awkward Thanksgivings family dinners for probably hundreds of thousands of Americans.
Your idiot cousin, racist uncle, or moron brother-in-law is likely to make an ignorant comment, and it's totally up to you whether or not you want to bite your tongue. Personally, I'd rather be prepared. So here are few fun or smart ways to finish your asshole relatives.
They say: "It's Biden's fault gas prices/inflation/etc. are so high."
You say: Economic recoveries take an average of 4 years. But let's look at why we're here in the first place: Blame the pandemic, which has continued longer than it should have because not enough people believe in science. The unemployment rate in America shot up to nearly 15% from about 3.5% in February 2020. It was the sharpest economic contraction on record under Trump. You don't just put the plug back in and everything goes back to normal."
They say: "COVID data is greatly exaggerated."
You say: "60,000 deaths in the U.S. directly attributed to COVID, but why aren't you asking how many could have actually been prevented? How many deaths are acceptable for you?"
They say: "Unmask the kids in school."
You say: "We will, but let's wait until they're fully vaccinated. Masking in school worked, and has greatly reduced the spread of COVID both in schools and beyond. We're only a few weeks away from anyone who wants the vaccine being fully able."
They say: "Illegal Immigrants are streaming in at the border."
You say: "Actually, migration data does not correlate to any specific U.S. immigration policy. Second, apprehensions are up nearly 2x under the Biden administration. The Border Patrol recorded nearly 1.7MM apprehensions at the Southern border over the past year — the highest number ever, eclipsing the record set more than two decades ago. The bottom line still remains that, first and foremost, we need to enforce the law, but we need to have a process that's humane and efficient."
They say: "They're teaching Critical Race Theory in our schools."
You say: "Why wouldn't you want to understand why racial disparity exists in America so we can eradicate racism and eliminate oppression? There's only one explanation I can think of..."
Good luck, you can do this, and have a healthy, safe, enjoyable, drama-free, all-you-can-eat-and-NFT, happy holiday season!!