Category Archives: Random

Web3 Tools: Beyond the JPEGs ūüźá

I know I already covered NFTs in March and September, but alas Рthis is where I spent this last month so here we go again!

In preparation for my PixelBeasts project, I sat down to play around with the Metamask (wallet) and OpenSea (marketplace) API to see if I could build some utility Рthe industry term for the various benefits of owning an NFT (like Beastopia). What I found was that it was incredibly simple to use, and within two night (~6 hours), I had Tango NFT working Рa private chatroom for every NFT collection. More on the project here.

I then built Tango Draw, which is a private drawing app for every collection, and Tango Talk, which Рwhile buggy Рis a functioning messaging app between ETH wallets. I then open sourced this project on Github Рgot two contributors from the PixelBeasts community helping update it. Tango was then covered in the Not Boring newsletter (70k readers), and then a No-Code app called Bildr reached out to clone the project to showcase their new Metamask integration, see it here. As a result, PixelBeasts is now a community of VCs, founders, and developers interested in building for web3.

One amazing thing about Tango is that I store zero personal data, and the entire platform runs on one table with four columns, leveraging data publicly available on the chain. This opened my eyes to a future where we no longer give companies our data, but where we own and manage it – and provide access to apps and websites as needed for personalization. Imagine, if your browser knew your shirt size, every e-commerce website could show you availability only for your size, without the retailers ever seeing this data. An example startup in this space is¬†Spruce, they provide¬†a smart contract solution to manage access to off-chain data. One of my learned insights was that the blockchain (at least as of¬†today) doesn’t seem like the best place to store private data at scale.

Some other relevant startups I came across in this process include Storj, a simple API for decentralized storage. Mintgate is a dev tool for creating token-gated content. Token-gated community tools like Agora,, and CommonWealth include advanced features like governance. The Graph is an indexing protocol for querying networks like Ethereum and IFPS. Status is a web3 based messaging app, wallet, and browser. is a multi-chain bridge framework for building cross chain NFT dApps and more.

Let’s keep going!¬†XMTP¬†is a communication protocol and network for web3.¬†RSS3¬†is an open protocol for social content on web3.¬†Radicle¬†is essentially a decentralized Github.¬†Stardust¬†is an API for easy integration of NFTs into games.¬†Nametag¬†is a chrome extension for showcasing your NFTs on Twitter – though relevantly Twitter is exploring Twitter verification for profile pictures (see the UI they teased¬†here).

Some others that didn’t fit into the flow above include¬†NFTfi¬†for NFT collaterized loans and¬†¬†which rewards you for testing decentralized apps. I mentioned¬†Carnomaly¬†last month building a decentralized CarFax, and came across¬†Fabrica, which does real estate transactions with digitized titles represented by a token – built on top of Ethereum.

Data Tools for Web3¬†ūüďä

One of the reasons I could build Tango NFT without storing any personal data is because all of it is publicly accessible on the chain. It’s a ridiculous amount of data. Let’s look at some startups in the space.

Messari¬†is one of the big analytics firms/tools tracking crypto.¬†Nansen¬†is the top for Ethereum wallets and NFTs.¬†¬†is another popular one in the NFT community.¬†DeepDAO¬†and¬†DAOlist¬†cover activity across DAOs.¬†Token Terminal¬†focuses on token activity.¬†¬†is used to track trending NFT collections, and¬†¬†tracks floor prices across this ecosystem, or specifically in your wallet. I’ve come across¬†Zapper¬†and¬†NFTBank¬†for portfolio management, and TokenTax,¬†ZenLedger,¬†and¬†CoinTracker¬†for cryptotaxes.

WTF is happening with NFTs right now? ūüĖľ

I recently¬†covered NFTs¬†in March, but given the activity this past month, I thought it was worth revisiting. To start off, the volume of transactions grew ~10x this month. Transactions on the OpenSea marketplace crossed $3.3B in transaction volume in August, up from $325M in July (source). CryptoPunks, the most expensive collection with 10,000 unique pieces, has a floor (lowest listing price) of $390k, and the highest price ever paid for a 24×24 pixel CryptoPunk is $7.5M! There are an increasing number of collections putting up not quite as high, but nonetheless impressive numbers. Check out¬†¬†for a sense of pricing/volume/metrics for various collections, but just to share a few…

  • Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) – Floor: $81k (10k available)
  • MeeBits – Floor: $24k (20k available)
  • Cool Cats Gang –¬†Floor: $24k (9999 available)
  • Pudgy Penguins – $10k (8888 available)
  • World of Women – Floor: $9k (10k available)
  • Hashmasks – Floor: $4k (16,383 available)

What‚Äôs most fascinating to me about NFTs is how many industries the implications are relevant to. An NFT transaction is a¬†legal¬†contract that automatically and immediately transfers both the money (payments) and possession of purchased item (logistics), using a specified¬†technology¬†in the contract – all the data is tracked, reliable, and available (accounting). These collectible projects are often run by teams, collaborating remotely and leveraging¬†influencers¬†and social channels for¬†marketing. The movement is driven by art, community, and wealth generating opportunities, with an eye on equality and¬†justice¬†– free from corporate and government interference. These communities are starting to spin up DAOs to make investments into startups and NFTs. The transparency in data provides a fascinating opportunity for further¬†economic¬†and¬†psychological¬†studies (example:¬†Nansen). As we spend more time in the “metaverse”, this brings up¬†philosophical/ethical¬†discussions.

I’ll do my best to explain what’s happening in the “collectible” space right now. It‚Äôs a large and growing community, broken down into what I might call ‚Äúcamps‚ÄĚ of sorts, which are¬†the holders of a specific collection (eg. CryptoPunks, Bored Ape Yacht Club), each with a set limited amount. You can buy into these camps, or sell your spot anytime – price goes up if the camp is popular.¬†Being part of a camp, in many cases, has unique benefits, starting with simple ones such as access to private discord groups and events. The most popular tool for this is¬†Collab.Land¬†which does NFT ownership verification for Discord. There’s also¬†MintGate, allowing people to easily spin up token-gated content, and¬†Atlantis World¬†for¬†spinning up a token-gated digital world w video call capabilities. Beyond capital gain, the immediate mutual respect and camaraderie amongst strangers online seems like a strong driver¬†(people who buy a Punk or Ape and update their avatar usually see an immediate uptick in followers). The buy in cost fo each of these camps always start low¬†ranging from $0-$250 when they launch, and go up from there (if popular). The fascinating thing about these communities is that it includes random people who bought in early, as well as celebrities and corporations who bought in late. I was on a Twitter spaces listening to an art collector, an ex-con, a teenage girl, and a famous musicians sharing tips on their NFT collection strategy. Celebrities who own CrytoPunks include Jay-Z, Steve Aoki, 3Lau, and Visa. BAYC holders include Stephen Curry, Logal Paul, Chris Camillo, and LaMelo Ball.

It’s not just people buying jpegs, but the innovation surrounding it that you should pay attention to. For example, people who wanted exposure to the expensive collections, but couldn’t afford it, have purchased fractional shares of through and PartyBid. Artists who collaborate on an artwork can get royalties split automatically as defined in the contract. There are countless experiments tying NFTs to the real world, such as commemorating events (proof of attendance), offering access/discounts to physical products, or finding ways to legally tie the ownership of an NFT to the ownership of a physical object (allowing you to transfer ownership instantly, across long distances).

While I‚Äôm not here to say your health records, MLS records, and diplomas will all be NFTs, it seems logical to believe that some learnings, lessons, and code can be applied to various¬†industries. As one example,¬†Carnomaly¬†is building what’s essentially a decentralized CarFax, which makes sense to me.

The best way to learn is to do, because the soul of innovation isn’t in the facts and figures, but the emotions of those impacted by it. You have to experience this yourself. Which is why I’ve started to collect and mint NFTs.

If you‚Äôre interested in participating in this learning journey alongside me, or just curious to see what I’ll do, jump into the PixelBeasts discord channel¬†here¬†and follow¬†@pixelbeastsnft¬†on Twitter.

What’s Hot in Real Estate?

Traditionally, homes were owned by one entity and used by one family. With fractional ownership and shared usage, this isn’t true anymore. Here are some exciting or interesting startups in the space we’ve come across recently.

Starting with ways to buy a home for yourself, there’s¬†ZeroDown¬†to “try before you buy”, and¬†Divvy¬†which is a fancy new take on the rent to own.¬†Better¬†provides digital home financing services.¬†Haus¬†provides some unique product similar to mortgages.¬†Atmos¬†for custom building your dream home.

NexMe is for booking on demand real estate tours of homes near by. Knock is for self-touring apartments. Trusty is building a Rotten Tomatoes for real estate properties. Breadcrumb is Yelp for apartment rentals. Casa Blanca is building what looks like a Tinder for home hunting.

Looking to rent out?¬†Hostfully¬†is a property management tool for your listings across various sites.¬†Belong¬†if you want long-term residents.¬†Loftium¬†is a hands-off management service, where they’ll rent a portion to someone who manages the short-term rentals.¬†Autohost¬†is a guest screening tool.

Pacaso¬†is for co-ownership of a second home you want to enjoy.¬†Doorvest¬†helps you purchase an investment home.¬†Fintor¬†is for fractional real estate investing, starting as low as $5. Honestly, you can do anything. You can buy residential loans (Peer Street), invest in illiquid commercial properties (Equity Multiple), and so on… find¬†30 real estate investing platforms¬†on MoneyMade.

Other relevant startups…¬†Nickson¬†does furniture leasing.¬†Starcity¬†has communal co-living facilities throughout the US.¬†Anyplace¬†offers rentals that come with full video conference set up (including mic & green screen!).¬†Silvernest¬†has home sharing matching and support services.¬†Culdesac¬†is building a car-free neighborhood from scratch in the US.

Collaborate good times come on ‚ôę ūü§Ě

The rise of hybrid/remote offices has resulted in a surge of collaboration tools. To start, there’s been a lot of “virtual offices”. For voice first offices, you have¬†Lounge¬†and¬†Commons. See what people are working on and jump on quick calls with¬†Tandem¬†or¬†Remotion.¬†Some other virtual offices include¬†TeamFlow,¬†Spot, and¬†Cosmos.

Build internal dashboard tools quickly w Retool, Index,, Internal, or Glean. Use Comeet to run video first async meetings. Almanac is the fastest collaborative doc editor. Air is like a pretty Dropbox for creatives. Slite is similar to Notion but built specifically for remote teams. Ready is a collaborative calendar for teams. Process Street is a simple tool for managing recurring checklists and procedures.

Clew is a place to share, track, and comment on documents. Record and share the best parts of your video calls w Grain or Scribe. Instead of using Loom, build step-by-step instructions easily w Minerva or Scribe. If you need video, you could use Weet or Bubbles to comment and collaborate on your screen shares. RemoteHQ has a cloud based browser you can use together w coworkers. Use Whimsical for collaborative flowcharts online.

Use¬†Okay¬†to build custom productivity dashboards for engineering teams.¬†Deepnote¬†and¬†Miksi¬†are a collaborative notebook for data scientists.¬†Coscreen¬†is for collaborative screen sharing (control other ppl’s screen, copy/paste between two screens).¬†Teamwork¬†is for collaborating with clients.

Tonari is for life-size video calls to fully connect two rooms.

Teamwork makes the dream work (Human Resources) ūü§Ě

Back is a central employee knowledge and management platform. Gather is an HR automation and personalization platform. Workshop is for employee communication. Manage your hybrid workspace with Envoy. There’s a new HR/insurance/payroll-in-one platform called Decent. For recruiting, there’s SeekOut and that uses AI to find and select candidates. Use Suitable to find candidates in your current team’s network. Byteboard is for engineering interviews. For managing the paperwork of remote workers, there’s Remote, Deel, Panther, Portal, and Omnipresent. Use Liquid for vendor and contractor management. Use Roleshare to manage shared roles. Use Accessify to automate employee onboarding. Bitwage let’s employees receive a portion of their wage in digital currencies.

For company retreat planning, there’s Flok. For upskilling your employees, there’s Degreed, an enterprise learning platform. Catch is savings and benefits for the self-employed. Opolis is a member-owned digital employment cooperative. For helping employees relocate, use Avvinue or PerchPeek. Frank is a place for employees to privately discuss culture and pay. Get company swag from SwagUp or Printfection. To build company culture, plan team activities with Onsite, play virtual games at RemoteSocial/CrowdParty/TeamLand, do culture building workshops at Seshie, or play The Hike: a virtual game for remote teams.

Offer stipends easily as a perk with Compt or Fringe. Offer health and wellness perks with Rise. Offer financial consulting as a perk with LearnLux, or offer interest-free rainy day funds as a perk with HoneyBee. Icon is a unified workplace savings, personal retirement, and portfolio management solution.

Here comes the Metaverse ūüĆé

The Metaverse is a physically replicated digital world. In the future, we’re imagining a network of worlds where you can jump between with the same avatar, wearing NFTs, and playing games or even working.¬†Crucible, for example, is building a portable digital identity platform for this. Let’s look at some startups building in this ecosystem.

For a light-weight non-expansive social experience as an intro, you have tools like Roomkey, Mibo, and Recroom. Spatial and Spot for a work-focused take on this.

Jumping into worlds where you can buy real estate and create on it, there’s¬†Decentraland¬†(the biggest),¬†The SandBox, and¬†Cryptovoxels. Upland looks a bit like¬†Monopoly¬†and¬†MegaCryptoPolis¬†looks like Sim City.¬†Somnium Space¬†and¬†Dual Universe¬†are expansive universes.

For Metaverse gaming, you have Axie Infinity and Illuvium for raising monsters. Gods Unchained for online trading cards. Big Time Studios has an RPG where you collect NFTs. Zed Run is for horse racing and F1DeltaTime is for car racing. Decentral Games runs casinos within Decentraland.

Use Genies to create your avatar and start collecting fashion. Fabricant designs photorealistic digital fashion. RTKFT does fashion drops in the digital world. Digitalax is building a fashion ecosystem. Find more digital fashion at DressX or The Dematerialized.

If this is a space you’re interested in, jump over to the¬†Metaverse Tracker¬†we just released that covers over 200+ projects and tools in this space.

2021 Startup Trends Report

This article is based on a Tweet thread from a month ago that received 1M impressions.

We’ve tracked ~1500 startups (seen 10x more) and talked to 100s of investors in the last year. Here are some of the exciting trends and startups we’ve noticed or come across. It’s a mix of early & late stuff.

‚öôÔłŹNo Code¬†– This year was big!¬†Airtable¬†and¬†Zapier¬†are king, followed by¬†Webflow¬†&¬†Bubble. Tools that sit on top include¬†Memberstack¬†&¬†MemberSpace¬†(memberships),¬†Stacker¬†(app),¬†Obviously AI¬†&¬†Levity AI¬†(AI/ML). Jump to¬†Makerpad¬†to learn more about this space.

ūüóÉProductivity¬†–¬†Notion¬†looms large.¬†Coda¬†and¬†ClickUp¬†have a bit more data capabiltities.¬†Retool¬†to go straight to your back-end.¬†Raycast¬†&¬†Command E¬†are like Superhuman UI for your mac.¬†CommandDot¬†for calendar.¬†Motion¬†for browser.

ūüĎ©‚ÄćūüíĽRemote Work¬†– Expecting this to stick around to some degree.¬†Firstbase¬†for home office equipment. Hire remote w¬†Pangian, manage remote employees w¬†Remote,¬†Deel, or¬†Panther. Manage remote interns w¬†Symba. There’s been a rise in collaboration tools like¬†CoScreen,¬†Mmhmm, and¬†Loom.

ūüĎ©‚ÄćūüŹęEducation¬†– Homeschooling with¬†Prisma,¬†Primer, and¬†Galileo. Microschools w¬†Prenda,¬†Wonderschool, and¬†Schoolhouse. Find childcare at¬†Winnie. Virtual classes at¬†Outschool.¬†ClassDojo¬†&¬†Clever¬†help schools digitize.¬†Panorama¬†provides data insights across the education system.

ūüďöISAs/Training¬†– Seeing many¬†LambdaSchool¬†for Xs, many with income share agreements.¬†Skilbank¬†&¬†Acadium¬†for marketing.¬†Reforge¬†for growth.¬†Product School¬†for product management.¬†Uvaro¬†for sales.¬†Insight Fellows¬†for data science.¬†Microverse¬†for remote devs.¬†Edith¬†for mentorship.

ūüéąOnline Events¬†–¬†Hopin¬†was the breakout.¬†Luma¬†&¬†Spore¬†for managing online communities around events. Livestream with¬†Reach.Live,¬†OnJam, or¬†Welcome. Find tables at¬†Remo¬†or¬†Airmeet. Walk around w¬†Gather. Book entertainment at¬†Seshie.

ūüõćVideo Commerce¬†– Livestream shopping is hot in China and startups are following to bring is elsewhere. Some recent iterations of QVS include¬†Popshop Live,¬†ShopShops,¬†NTWRK,¬†TalkShopLive.¬†Livescale¬†helps brands run their own livestreams.¬†¬†is the same for wholesale.¬†HERO¬†is video chat for ecommerce sites.

ūüéßAudio¬†– Driven by¬†Clubhouse, this space has seen lots of action.¬†Chalk¬†is a more open version of CH.¬†Cappiccino¬†is a cute social app.¬†Eternal¬†is an audio driven metaverse. I assume¬†Descript¬†is doing really well (it’s a Podcast editing tool). And then there’s¬†Yac¬†for internal communications.

ūüĖľNFTs¬†–¬†Dapper Labs¬†crushed it w NBA Top Shop, excited to see more. Mint NFTs over at¬†Rarible,¬†Mintbase,¬†Cargo, or¬†Mintable. Sell/buy on¬†OpenSea. Exclusive collections at¬†SuperRare¬†or¬†Foundation. Game at¬†Decentraland. Breed race horsed at¬†Zed.

ūüíłInvesting¬†– Big 4 are¬†Robinhood,¬†Coinbase,¬†Republic, and¬†AngelList. Social stock investing is happening at¬†Public/Finary.¬†Commonstock¬†is similar with more focus on education. Gift stock w¬†Stockpile.¬†Grifin¬†app buys stock where you shop.¬†Alto IRA¬†is for investing your IRA into alternatives.¬†Off-Piste¬†leverages blockchain to gives access to pre-IPO opportunities.¬†MoneyMade¬†is your one stop shop for all things alternative.

ūüĆéClimate¬†– Huge momentum here, lots of capital. Carbon sequestration like¬†Opus 12¬†and¬†Carbon Engineering. Enterprise APIs like¬†Patch¬†and¬†Watershed. Eco-shopping w¬†EcoCart. Sustianable Window AC w¬†Windmill. Education and community at¬†Terra.

ūü§ĖGPT3 –¬†Pretty cool we’re seeing startups use this.¬†¬†does marketing copy.¬†OthersideAI¬†&¬†Lavendar¬†do email.¬†Debuild¬†writes code.¬†¬†auto A/B tests GPT-3 written web copy.¬†Sapling¬†personalizes messages for customer service.

ūü§ĪFertility/FemTech¬†–¬†Thinx¬†sells period underwear.¬†Modern Fertility¬†and¬†Grip¬†do at-home fertility testing.¬†KindBody¬†is where you freeze your eggs,¬†Overture¬†works on the science behind it.¬†DadiKit¬†and¬†Legacy¬†do sperm storage.¬†Kiira¬†is a women’s virtual clinic and¬†Bastion¬†is for men.¬†PairTree¬†is a new platform for adoptions.

ūüĎęDating¬†– New dating apps for a new world. Draw w dates on¬†Monet. Play games with them on¬†XO.¬†Lolly¬†is like Tik Tok for singles. Video dates over at¬†The League¬†or¬†Filter Off. Match by personality at¬†SoSyncd. Go to¬†Clarity¬†for advice.

ūüõ†Data Tools¬†– Seeing an increase in vertical data tools.¬†Public Comps¬†for SaaS benchmarking.¬†Ilo¬†for Twitter.¬†Sentinic¬†for measuring brand reputation.¬†Forecastr,¬†Summit, and¬†Causal¬†for financial planning.¬†Metorik¬†for eCommerce.

ūüõíEcommerce¬†–¬†Airhouse¬†for 3PL.¬†Shippo/Easyship¬†for shipping.¬†RetentionX/Tradeswell¬†for AI.¬†TaxJar¬†for tax compliance.¬†Fast¬†for one-click checkout. Post purchase offers w¬†CartHook.¬†Route¬†for package tracking.¬†Returnly¬†&¬†Returnmates¬†tackled for managing returns.¬†Porch Pod¬†for accepting deliveries.

ūüďčAPI Management¬†–¬†Airbyte¬†syncs APIs w/ data warehouse. GraphQL API w¬†Hasura.¬†Canonic¬†is a low-code back-end.¬†Kong¬†is for connecting everything.¬†Autocode¬†helps w API workflow.¬†Bearer¬†for monitoring API usage.¬†Doppler¬†for managing API keys and more.

ūü§ĚAPI Integration Tools¬†– Seen a lot of “Plaid¬†for X”s.¬†Finch¬†is for HR.¬†Noyo¬†for insurance.¬†Terra¬†for wellness apps and wearables.¬†Impala¬†for hotels.¬†Duffel¬†for flights.¬†Rutter¬†for eCommerce.¬†Yonomi¬†for smart home.¬†API Deck/Paragon¬†for SaaS APIs.

ūüߨBiosynth¬†– Been seeing more biosynth startups in less regulated industries.¬†Bolt Threads,¬†Mycoworks, and¬†Ecovative¬†use mushrooms to make leather and more.¬†Biomason¬†grows cement the same way coral grows.¬†Algiknit¬†uses algae to make yarn.¬†Jellatech¬†grows gellatin. Then there’s¬†Modern Meadow,¬†Zymergen, and¬†Geltor.

ūüßłDTC¬†– Some fun DTC brands I’ve come across recently include¬†Judy¬†(emergency kits),¬†Windmill¬†(window AC),¬†Raised Real¬†(kids food),¬†Bite¬†(chewable toothpaste),¬†Tushy¬†(bidets),¬†Bippy¬†(TP),¬†Away¬†(luggage), and¬†Solo Stove¬†(firepits).

ūüé®Design¬†– Some fun design tools I’ve come across include¬†Lottie¬†for adding 2d animation to your site,¬†Spline¬†for 3d design, and¬†Blush¬†for customizing illustrations.

There you go! It’s by no means a comprehensive list of all things exciting in startup land, but a glimpse into what we’re seeing.

Wild Wild Wealth Management ūüíį

Robinhood. WSB/GME. Crypto millionaires. $5M Republic campaigns. Personal wealth management is no longer just for the rich. First thing you notice is that talking about money is no longer gauche. Stock investing is social on, or Finary if you want to connect to your brokerage. Commonstock is similar, but more focused on following top investors over friends. Qoore is a mobile app to learn investing, with splashing colors and emojis.

Stockpile¬†let’s you gift stock easily.¬†Bumped¬†rewards you with stock when you shop.¬†Grifin¬†automatically buys stocks where you shop.¬†Overflow¬†makes it easy for charities to receive stock gifts (tax benefits!).

Of course it’s not just about public markets.¬†Alto IRA¬†let’s you invest retirement dollars into alternative assets. Go to¬†Sponsor Fund¬†to invest in PE deals or¬†HoneyComb Credit¬†to loan money to local SMBs.¬†Microacquire¬†is a startup acquisition marketplace.¬†Offpiste¬†is a DeFi based market for pre-IPO futures in startups.

Use¬†EarlyBird¬†to start investing in your kid’s future.¬†Harness Wealth¬†and¬†Compound¬†offer financial advice and wealth management for founders and employees.¬†TaxBit¬†is tax software for crypto.¬†MoneyMade¬†is a place to find and compare alternative investment platforms, like¬†Pacaso¬†for fractional real estate investing or¬†YieldStreet¬†for fractional art and more.

Integrate good times, come on ūü§Ě

I read somewhere that the average company uses 100+ SaaS apps. Regardless of the specific number, it’s a lot. Like water molecules traveling through¬†trees, rivers, and animals, pieces of data flow through these SaaS apps, powered by integrations. As users, we’ve gotten use to these integrations, but they take time to build.

This is where integration aggregators like¬†Plaid¬†come in. If you’re building a fintech startup, connect with the Plaid API and “boom!” your users can connect with 1000 banks. Think about the downstream impact of this on the fintech ecosystem.

Finch¬†is a universal API for payroll and HR.¬†Noyo¬†is for connecting with insurance APIs. Use the¬†Wearable API¬†to connect with 300+ fitness devices and apps.¬†Impala‘s API to book hotel rooms and¬†Duffel¬†to sell flights in your app.¬†Rutter¬†is an API to connect with e-commerce platforms.¬†Seam¬†has an API to connect with 1000s of smart home/building apps and devices (for hotels &¬†apartments).¬†API Deck¬†is a unified API for SaaS apps to launch integrations faster with each other.¬†Paragon¬†is a dev solution for integrating your product w third party SaaS apps.

Even with integrations, a user may want to run more complex automation flows. That’s when they’ll use¬†Zapier¬†(I ran 1557 tasks this last month),¬†Tray¬†(if you do lots of branching), or¬†Parabola¬†(if you run loops).

Beyond aggregators & automators, here’s a few more¬†APIs¬†that recently¬†peak my interest.¬†Check¬†and¬†Puzzl¬†help devs integrated payroll into their platforms.¬†Eligible¬†is for integrated insurance billing into a health startup.¬†Patch¬†is an API for managing climate impact.¬†Mesh¬†is for verifying professional licenses.¬†Appruve¬†is an identity API for Africa.

WTF are NFTs¬†ūüĖľ

If you’re like me, you were wondering why everyone’s talking about NFTs all of a sudden. TL;DR – it’s momentum and big sales. For me, it was this¬†Daft Punk NFT¬†that sold for ~$24,800 that clicked. This will forever be the first big Daft Punk NFT, and the owner has proof of this and can use it as a talking point if they display it in their home (or virtual home). There’s the¬†LeBron NBA Top Shot¬†that sold for over $200k, and¬†this plot of virtual land¬†which sold for $1.5M on the¬†Axie Infinity¬†game. The¬†Cryptopunk¬†collectible has now done over $35M in volume.

The infrastructure side took me a sec to understand. There are essentially collections, and tokens within them. They both have meta tags like name, description, media assets, etc. You can create collections and create, buy, or sell tokens. Doing any of these costs money, because all of it is recorded. Technically, there are two protocols. One allows collections to host duplicative tokens, where more than one (but a set amount) of the same item can exist and be owned by multiple people. The other protocol doesn’t allow this (every token is unique).

To participate, you first need a wallet, one of the biggest is¬†Metamask, and there are newer ones like¬†Rainbow. Worth noting for all of these here, there are many many alternatives. To create or mint a token, people are going to places like¬†Rarible,¬†Mintbase,¬†Cargo, and¬†Mintable¬†which are four of the better known marketplaces to easily mint NFTs. When it comes to minting, the more technical you get, the more optionality opens up – for example you could in theory create a meta tag that changes over time – essentially “aging” your collectible.¬†The biggest marketplace is¬†OpenSea, because it acts as an aggregator. You then have more curated marketplaces like¬†SuperRare¬†and¬†Foundation¬†where your art has to get individually approved. Items can be listed on multiple marketplaces, but all sales are tracked on the same¬†chain.You¬†then have games/worlds like Axie I mentioned above and¬†Decentraland¬†that tap into this chain so you can show off your NFTs (land, apparel, items, art).

Based on my short deep dive into the space, here are a few areas I think are worth exploring, in case you meet anyone working on something similar:

  • A Getty Images¬†(media rights marketplace) that sits on top of the NFT chain. Publications can purchase rights to use images normally. Anyone can purchase ownership on the chain. Royalties on usage sales¬†go to owner, royalties on ownership sales go to photographer.
  • Estate planning service, but specifically focused on ensuring your crypto assets get passed on.
  • Mobile app that let’s you mint NFTs. Could be generic, or vertically focused, like a crowdsourced NBA TopShot for amateur/college athletes.
  • Accelerator/incubator for NFT artists/projects.
  • API to easily enable games/sites to let users customize their profile/world w art they own on the chain.
  • Plaid for crypto. One API for integrating w all major wallets (not chains) and crypto tools/marketplaces.
  • Shopify (eComm) API allowing brands to automatically apply discounts to people who own tokens in a specific collection.
  • Tool for managing royalty split between two or more parties.