NFTs + empowering artists with Open3 CEO Matty Mo

Get to know Matty Mo, the CEO and co-founder of Open3, the Science portfolio company that just launched 27 new free-to-mint NFT projects.

NFTs are a relatively new space with many brands, creatives, and individuals eager to dive in. The problem is, like with all new technology, where do they start? Or even…how do they start? Maybe some of you reading this now feel similarly. That is where Open3 comes in — as a trusted navigator of the nascent NFT and bigger Web3 universe. It’s a universe that we are excited about at Science and why we are thrilled to have Open3 in the portfolio.

To support the mission of onboarding the next 100 million people into Web3 in June, Open3 first created Web3 University — a completely free course that covers the basics of NFT acquiring (known as minting) and ownership in easy-to-follow, bite-sized lessons.

Now, they are launching 27 free-to-mint NFT projects with established contemporary artists to help onboard new users to Web3 without a cost barrier to entry while simultaneously helping more artists take advantage of the benefits of NFT technology.

CEO and co-founder Matty Mo, known for the public artworks that he creates to examine the interaction of the internet and humanity, via his moniker The Most Famous Artist, and also as a company builder and marketer, sat down with us to answer a few questions about his new venture, Open3, and his vision for the NFT space.

Welcome Matty, tell us about your journey to founding Open3.

When I first met Evan Spiegel as part of the Snap Yellow Accelerator in 2018, I gifted him a book called “Play Bigger.” It was recommended to me by Alain Chuard who sold his Facebook marketing technology company, Wildfire Interactive, to Google for a reported $420m in 2012. At Yellow, I was building a facsimile of a private jet so consumers could take pictures to share on social media.

As it turns out, my fake private jet was a very press-worthy artwork, but not something that could be scaled into a real business. In retrospect, despite giving Evan the book, I was not, myself, playing bigger. I was trading my artistic ideas for press and kudos but not scaling a real enterprise. I was not thinking big enough.

So, what does that anecdote have to do with Open3? Well, now I am actually playing bigger. NFTs promise a tectonic shift in the way consumers interact online. To me, this is as big a shift as when the iPhone appeared during my freshman year at Stanford, and as transformative to our web experience as Facebook’s introduction of the social graph.

In what I see as a blend of altruism and capitalism, Open3 is my shot to use my unique talents and life experience to play bigger. Much bigger. I have a shot to build the team and products that define Web3, just as Alain did in Web2, while solving the problems creatives and their supporters deal with regularly, which I know of intimately through my art practice as The Most Famous Artist, using skills acquired through building four previous companies: Sharethrough (acq 2021), advising Wildfire (acq 2012), and failing with AlphaBoost (RIP 2013) and SelfieCircus (RIP 2019).

What made you jump into NFTS?

I come to NFTs with an understanding of the technology and experience as a practicing artist. From a technology perspective, NFTs allow, for the first time in the history of the Internet, the ability to ascribe real ownership to digital goods. This is a huge concept and why I am so bullish on the space in general.

As an artist, I view NFTs as an incredible tool for two reasons:

One, NFTs allow me to scale my inventory without marginal cost. Prior to NFTs, if I wanted to have 1,000 items for sale I would need to have the cash flow to pay for the inventory and logistics to manage the delivery of those items to my customer. So the art is hard to acquire and more expensive for collectors. With NFTs, I can mint a generative collection of 10,000 artworks and sell those artworks directly to collectors without material costs.

Two, I make money while I sleep from the secondary royalties I receive when a collector decides to sell their NFT on the secondary market.

This is a big deal, and I realized I could bring this new technology unlock to artists and collectors through easy-to-navigate products we create at Open3.

You just unveiled 27 upcoming free-to-claim NFT projects with a variety of well-known and well-respected artists. What you are hoping to achieve with these free projects?

Believers in NFT technology must develop new IP and token distribution models that help safely onboard folks into Web3 in a non-predatory way while helping creators earn more income.

Over the course of the pandemic, I built a globally distributed community of 1,000 practicing visual artists. We all shared a vision, a set of values, and a mission: to help 10,000 artists make $100,000 a year and have a $1B impact on cultural production independent of institutional gatekeepers.

We are still working on that mission and NFTs play a central role in helping us achieve our goals. But, let’s face it. The economy is down bad. And it might go much lower in the coming quarters.

So the problem we need to solve is: how to build a set of incentives that align collectors and artists to continue to create value together through NFT-based experiences in advance of the next bull run.

Enter the first 27 free-to-mint generative collections we are launching.

Why free-to-mint? Because collectors can mint, can join in on Web3, with little risk and be aligned with the artist’s long-term success.

Why generative? Because we are able to massively scale artistic partner output to match the potentially uncapped demand for unique artworks by these established artists in the digital world.

We intend to launch 1,000 free-to-mint generative collections in the next 12 months because we believe that we have found a token distribution model that solves the incentive alignment problem mentioned above.

What’s your vision for the future of NFTs or the crypto space as a whole and Open3’s role in it?

Web3 will eat the world and Open3 will provide the products that enable collectors and IP partners to participate in this new Internet on the blockchain.

Follow along with Open3’s free-to-mint projects here.

Want to be prepared to claim one of Open3’s upcoming free NFTs? Sign up for Open3’s free-to-join Web3 University to learn the ins and outs of NFTs.

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