We started building Cardshop as a really fun way to open packs of cards from your phone. As we started to pivot towards this being something rooted in NFT's, it's been interesting to me who it clicks with and who it doesn't, and watching it click.
This post is a story about a good friend who first invested in Cardshop. Let's call this person UnderseaRobot.
UnderseaRobot is incredibly smart, but in the real world you might write UnderseaRobot off as a Luddite. UnderseaRobot is famously quoted as "hating the internet" and never used Facebook or really anything. UnderseaRobot is not a very online person like many people who are extolling the virtues of NFT's (myself included). UnderseaRobot's favorite movie is the Matrix, however. And about 15 minutes from where I am typing this, we spent four years together playing video games together instead of going to Linear Algebra. UnderseaRobot loved playing video games and always kicked my ass in them. UnderseaRobot was this person's Xbox Live handle and probably stuck some of you with a plasma grenade in Halo back in the day.
Like most of us, as UnderseaRobot got older, they put down the controller for a while and built a career and started a family. Despite skipping out on Linear Algebra with me, UnderseaRobot's gone on to be very successful in the real world in a career that is about as far from the internet as possible. When I first told UnderseaRobot about Cardshop, they got what we were doing and invested, but like most early investments, UnderseaRobot really invested in me.
When we started to pivot from physical cards to a new format I texted UnderseaRobot to let them know about it:
This text was a bit tongue in cheek, but I had a feeling UnderseaRobot of all people would get it. The text was merely the wedge to begin to tell the story. It's blown me away how much UnderseaRobot gets it, and how much it resonated. After sending a link and explaining a bit more this is what was texted back:
This morning I was revisiting the chat and some of the things Undersea said a week ago were wildly ahead of us and places we got to just yesterday evening. This is from a person who could care less about any tech blog or thinkpiece, and has largely been out of the internet for the last 10 years (or as much as possible). UnderseaRobot gets what is happening more than many VC's in this space at a level that is astounding.
UnderseaRobot also recently got an Oculus, and has been loving it. So after a lifetime of "hating the internet", UnderseaRobot might be ready to come online. Either way, I printed an UnderseaRobot avatar on Rarible to capture this moment, shout out a lifelong friend and supporter, and celebrate the idea that this new web will be built by gamers who hate many things about the current iteration of it.
It's also a reminder that when you're driving in your BMW on the way to NBA or Disney HQ, an army of UnderseaRobots are flying around the Metaverse in souped up CryptoPunk Karts, ghosting the red shells and stars off your overpriced pieces of cardboard and action figures. Just like they did years prior with newspapers. Wait til they come for your digital "moat".