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Nate Kostar

7 months ago

# DeaMau5’s PIXELYNX and Beatport Launch Festival NFTs

Pixelynx, a music metaverse gaming platform, has teamed up with Beatport, an online music retailer focusing in electronic music, to establish a Synth Heads non-fungible token (NFT) Collection.

Richie Hawtin, aka Deadmau5, and Joel Zimmerman, nicknamed Pixelynx, have invented a new music metaverse game platform called Pixelynx. In January 2022, they released their first Beatport NFT drop, which saw 3,030 generative NFTs sell out in seconds.

The limited edition Synth Heads NFTs will be released in collaboration with Junction 2, the largest UK techno festival, and having one will grant fans special access tickets and experiences at the London-based festival.

Membership in the Synth Head community, day passes to the Junction 2 Festival 2022, Junction 2 and Beatport apparel, special vinyl releases, and continued access to future ticket drops are just a few of the experiences available.

Five lucky NFT holders will also receive a Golden Ticket, which includes access to a backstage artist bar and tickets to Junction 2's next large-scale London event this summer, in addition to full festival entrance for both days.

The Junction 2 festival will take place at Trent Park in London on June 18th and 19th, and will feature performances from Four Tet, Dixon, Amelie Lens, Robert Hood, and a slew of other artists. Holders of the original Synth Head NFT will be granted admission to the festival's guestlist as well as line-jumping privileges.

The new Synth Heads NFTs collection  contain 300 NFTs.

NFTs that provide IRL utility are in high demand.

The benefits of NFT drops related to In Real Life (IRL) utility aren't limited to Beatport and Pixelynx.

Coachella, a well-known music event, recently partnered with cryptocurrency exchange FTX to offer free NFTs to 2022 pass holders. Access to a dedicated entry lane, a meal and beverage pass, and limited-edition merchandise were all included with the NFTs.

Coachella also has its own NFT store on the Solana blockchain, where fans can buy Coachella NFTs and digital treasures that unlock exclusive on-site experiences, physical objects, lifetime festival passes, and "future adventures."

Individual artists and performers have begun taking advantage of NFT technology outside of large music festivals like Coachella.

DJ Tisto has revealed that he would release a VIP NFT for his upcoming "Eagle" collection during the EDC festival in Las Vegas in 2022. This NFT, dubbed "All Access Eagle," gives collectors the best chance to get NFTs from his first drop, as well as unique access to the music "Repeat It."

NFTs are one-of-a-kind digital assets that can be verified, purchased, sold, and traded on blockchains, opening up new possibilities for artists and businesses alike. Time will tell whether Beatport and Pixelynx's Synth Head NFT collection will be successful, but if it's anything like the first release, it's a safe bet.

More on NFTs & Art

Matt Nutsch

Matt Nutsch

2 months ago

Most people are unaware of how artificial intelligence (A.I.) is changing the world.

Image created by MidjourneyAI user Dreamland3K

Recently, I saw an interesting social media post. In an entrepreneurship forum. A blogger asked for help because he/she couldn't find customers. I now suspect that the writer’s occupation is being disrupted by A.I.

Introduction

Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) has been a hot topic since the 1950s. With recent advances in machine learning, A.I. will touch almost every aspect of our lives. This article will discuss A.I. technology and its social and economic implications.

What's AI?

A computer program or machine with A.I. can think and learn. In general, it's a way to make a computer smart. Able to understand and execute complex tasks. Machine learning, NLP, and robotics are common types of A.I.

AI's global impact

MidjourneyAI image generated by user Desmesne

AI will change the world, but probably faster than you think. A.I. already affects our daily lives. It improves our decision-making, efficiency, and productivity.

A.I. is transforming our lives and the global economy. It will create new business and job opportunities but eliminate others. Affected workers may face financial hardship.

AI examples:

OpenAI's GPT-3 text-generation

MidjourneyAI generated image of robot typing

Developers can train, deploy, and manage models on GPT-3. It handles data preparation, model training, deployment, and inference for machine learning workloads. GPT-3 is easy to use for both experienced and new data scientists.

My team conducted an experiment. We needed to generate some blog posts for a website. We hired a blogger on Upwork. OpenAI created a blog post. The A.I.-generated blog post was of higher quality and lower cost.

MidjourneyAI's Art Contests

Théâtre D’opéra Spatial by Jason M. Allen via MidjourneyAI

AI already affects artists. Artists use A.I. to create realistic 3D images and videos for digital art. A.I. is also used to generate new art ideas and methods.

MidjourneyAI and GigapixelAI won a contest last month. It's AI. created a beautiful piece of art that captured the contest's spirit. AI triumphs. It could open future doors.

After the art contest win, I registered to try out these new image generating A.I.s. In the MidjourneyAI chat forum, I noticed an artist's plea. The artist begged others to stop flooding RedBubble with AI-generated art.

Shutterstock and Getty Images have halted user uploads. AI-generated images flooded online marketplaces.

Imagining Videos with Meta

AI generated video example from Meta AI

Meta released Make-a-Video this week. It's an A.I. app that creates videos from text. What you type creates a video.

This technology will impact TV, movies, and video games greatly. Imagine a movie or game that's personalized to your tastes. It's closer than you think.

Uses and Abuses of Deepfakes

Carrie Fischer’s likeness in the movie The Rise of Skywalker

Deepfake videos are computer-generated images of people. AI creates realistic images and videos of people.

Deepfakes are entertaining but have social implications. Porn introduced deepfakes in 2017. People put famous faces on porn actors and actresses without permission.

Soon, deepfakes were used to show dead actors/actresses or make them look younger. Carrie Fischer was included in films after her death using deepfake technology.

Deepfakes can be used to create fake news or manipulate public opinion, according to an AI.

Voices for Darth Vader and Iceman

James Earl Jones, who voiced Darth Vader, sold his voice rights this week. Aged actor won't be in those movies. Respeecher will use AI to mimic Jones's voice. This technology could change the entertainment industry. One actor can now voice many characters.

Val Kilmer in Top Gun as imagined by MidjourneyAI

AI can generate realistic voice audio from text. Top Gun 2 actor Val Kilmer can't speak for medical reasons. Sonantic created Kilmer's voice from the movie script. This entertaining technology has social implications. It blurs authentic recordings and fake media.

Medical A.I. fights viruses

MidjourneyAI generated image of virus

A team of Chinese scientists used machine learning to predict effective antiviral drugs last year. They started with a large dataset of virus-drug interactions. Researchers combined that with medication and virus information. Finally, they used machine learning to predict effective anti-virus medicines. This technology could solve medical problems.

AI ideas AI-generated Itself

MidjourneyAI image generated by user SubjectChunchunmaru

OpenAI's GPT-3 predicted future A.I. uses. Here's what it told me:

AI will affect the economy. Businesses can operate more efficiently and reinvest resources with A.I.-enabled automation. AI can automate customer service tasks, reducing costs and improving satisfaction.

A.I. makes better pricing, inventory, and marketing decisions. AI automates tasks and makes decisions. A.I.-powered robots could help the elderly or disabled. Self-driving cars could reduce accidents.

A.I. predictive analytics can predict stock market or consumer behavior trends and patterns. A.I. also personalizes recommendations. sways. A.I. recommends products and movies. AI can generate new ideas based on data analysis.

Conclusion

Image generated from MidjourneyAI by user PuddingPants.”

A.I. will change business as it becomes more common. It will change how we live and work by creating growth and prosperity.

Exciting times,  but also one which should give us all pause. Technology can be good or evil. We must use new technologies ethically, fairly, and honestly.

“The author generated some sentences in this text in part with GPT-3, OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model. Upon generating draft language, the author reviewed, edited, and revised the language to their own liking and takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication. The text of this post was further edited using HemingWayApp. Many of the images used were generated using A.I. as described in the captions.”

Stephen Moore

Stephen Moore

4 months ago

Trading Volume on OpenSea Drops by 99% as the NFT Boom Comes to an End

Wasn't that a get-rich-quick scheme?

Bored Ape, edited by author

OpenSea processed $2.7 billion in NFT transactions in May 2021.

Fueled by a crypto bull run, rumors of unfathomable riches, and FOMO, Bored Apes, Crypto Punks, and other JPEG-format trash projects flew off the virtual shelves, snatched up by retail investors and celebrities alike.

Over a year later, those shelves are overflowing and warehouses are backlogged. Since March, I've been writing less. In May and June, the bubble was close to bursting.

Apparently, the boom has finally peaked.

This bubble has punctured, and deflation has begun. On Aug. 28, OpenSea processed $9.34 million.

From that euphoric high of $2.7 billion, $9.34 million represents a spectacular decline of 99%.

OpenSea contradicts the data. A trading platform spokeswoman stated the comparison is unfair because it compares the site's highest and lowest trading days. They're the perfect two data points to assess the drop. OpenSea chooses to use ETH volume measures, which ignore crypto's shifting price. Since January 2022, monthly ETH volume has dropped 140%, according to Dune.

Unconvincing counterargument.

Further OpenSea indicators point to declining NFT demand:

  • Since January 2022, daily user visits have decreased by 50%.

  • Daily transactions have decreased by 50% since the beginning of the year in the same manner.

Off-platform, the floor price of Bored Apes has dropped from 145 ETH to 77 ETH. (At $4,800, a reduction from $700,000 to $370,000). Google search data shows waning popular interest.

Data: Google Trends

It is a trend that will soon vanish, just like laser eyes.

NFTs haven't moved since the new year. Eminem and Snoop Dogg can utilize their apes in music videos or as 3D visuals to perform at the VMAs, but the reality is that NFTs have lost their public appeal and the market is trying to regain its footing.

They've lost popularity because?

Breaking records. The technology still lacks genuine use cases a year and a half after being popular.

They're pricey prestige symbols that have made a few people rich through cunning timing or less-than-savory scams or rug pulling. Over $10.5 billion has been taken through frauds, most of which are NFT enterprises promising to be the next Bored Apes, according to Web3 is going wonderfully. As the market falls, many ordinary investors realize they purchased into a self-fulfilling ecosystem that's halted. Many NFTs are sold between owner-held accounts to boost their price, data suggests. Most projects rely on social media excitement to debut with a high price before the first owners sell and chuckle to the bank. When they don't, the initiative fails, leaving investors high and dry.

NFTs are fading like laser eyes. Most people pushing the technology don't believe in it or the future it may bring. No, they just need a Kool-Aid-drunk buyer.

Everybody wins. When your JPEGs are worth 99% less than when you bought them, you've lost.

When demand reaches zero, many will lose.

Ezra Reguerra

Ezra Reguerra

9 months ago

Yuga Labs’ Otherdeeds NFT mint triggers backlash from community

Unhappy community members accuse Yuga Labs of fraud, manipulation, and favoritism over Otherdeeds NFT mint.

Following the Otherdeeds NFT mint, disgruntled community members took to Twitter to criticize Yuga Labs' handling of the event.

Otherdeeds NFTs were a huge hit with the community, selling out almost instantly. Due to high demand, the launch increased Ethereum gas fees from 2.6 ETH to 5 ETH.

But the event displeased many people. Several users speculated that the mint was “planned to fail” so the group could advertise launching its own blockchain, as the team mentioned a chain migration in one tweet.

Others like Mark Beylin tweeted that he had "sold out" on all Ape-related NFT investments after Yuga Labs "revealed their true colors." Beylin also advised others to assume Yuga Labs' owners are “bad actors.”

Some users who failed to complete transactions claim they lost ETH. However, Yuga Labs promised to refund lost gas fees.

CryptoFinally, a Twitter user, claimed Yuga Labs gave BAYC members better land than non-members. Others who wanted to participate paid for shittier land, while BAYCS got the only worthwhile land.

The Otherdeed NFT drop also increased Ethereum's burn rate. Glassnode and Data Always reported nearly 70,000 ETH burned on mint day.

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Raad Ahmed

Raad Ahmed

8 months ago

How We Just Raised $6M At An $80M Valuation From 100+ Investors Using A Link (Without Pitching)

Lawtrades nearly failed three years ago.

We couldn't raise Series A or enthusiasm from VCs.

We raised $6M (at a $80M valuation) from 100 customers and investors using a link and no pitching.

Step-by-step:

We refocused our business first.

Lawtrades raised $3.7M while Atrium raised $75M. By comparison, we seemed unimportant.

We had to close the company or try something new.

As I've written previously, a pivot saved us. Our initial focus on SMBs attracted many unprofitable customers. SMBs needed one-off legal services, meaning low fees and high turnover.

Tech startups were different. Their General Councels (GCs) needed near-daily support, resulting in higher fees and lower churn than SMBs.

We stopped unprofitable customers and focused on power users. To avoid dilution, we borrowed against receivables. We scaled our revenue 10x, from $70k/mo to $700k/mo.

Then, we reconsidered fundraising (and do it differently)
This time was different. Lawtrades was cash flow positive for most of last year, so we could dictate our own terms. VCs were still wary of legaltech after Atrium's shutdown (though they were thinking about the space).

We neither wanted to rely on VCs nor dilute more than 10% equity. So we didn't compete for in-person pitch meetings.

AngelList Roll-Up Vehicle (RUV). Up to 250 accredited investors can invest in a single RUV. First, we emailed customers the RUV. Why? Because I wanted to help the platform's users.

Imagine if Uber or Airbnb let all drivers or Superhosts invest in an RUV. Humans make the platform, theirs and ours. Giving people a chance to invest increases their loyalty.

We expanded after initial interest.

We created a Journey link, containing everything that would normally go in an investor pitch:

  • Slides
  • Trailer (from me)
  • Testimonials
  • Product demo
  • Financials

We could also link to our AngelList RUV and send the pitch to an unlimited number of people. Instead of 1:1, we had 1:10,000 pitches-to-investors.

We posted Journey's link in RUV Alliance Discord. 600 accredited investors noticed it immediately. Within days, we raised $250,000 from customers-turned-investors.

Stonks, which live-streamed our pitch to thousands of viewers, was interested in our grassroots enthusiasm. We got $1.4M from people I've never met.

These updates on Pump generated more interest. Facebook, Uber, Netflix, and Robinhood executives all wanted to invest. Sahil Lavingia, who had rejected us, gave us $100k.

We closed the round with public support.

Without a single pitch meeting, we'd raised $2.3M. It was a result of natural enthusiasm: taking care of the people who made us who we are, letting them move first, and leveraging their enthusiasm with VCs, who were interested.

We used network effects to raise $3.7M from a founder-turned-VC, bringing the total to $6M at a $80M valuation (which, by the way, I set myself).

What flipping the fundraising script allowed us to do:

We started with private investors instead of 2–3 VCs to show VCs what we were worth. This gave Lawtrades the ability to:

  • Without meetings, share our vision. Many people saw our Journey link. I ended up taking meetings with people who planned to contribute $50k+, but still, the ratio of views-to-meetings was outrageously good for us.
  • Leverage ourselves. Instead of us selling ourselves to VCs, they did. Some people with large checks or late arrivals were turned away.
  • Maintain voting power. No board seats were lost.
  • Utilize viral network effects. People-powered.
  • Preemptively halt churn by turning our users into owners. People are more loyal and respectful to things they own. Our users make us who we are — no matter how good our tech is, we need human beings to use it. They deserve to be owners.

I don't blame founders for being hesitant about this approach. Pump and RUVs are new and scary. But it won’t be that way for long. Our approach redistributed some of the power that normally lies entirely with VCs, putting it into our hands and our network’s hands.

This is the future — another way power is shifting from centralized to decentralized.

Pat Vieljeux

Pat Vieljeux

5 months ago

The three-year business plan is obsolete for startups.

If asked, run.

Austin Distel — Unsplash

An entrepreneur asked me about her pitch deck. A Platform as a Service (PaaS).

She told me she hadn't done her 5-year forecasts but would soon.

I said, Don't bother. I added "time-wasting."

“I've been asked”, she said.

“Who asked?”

“a VC”

“5-year forecast?”

“Yes”

“Get another VC. If he asks, it's because he doesn't understand your solution or to waste your time.”

Some VCs are lagging. They're still using steam engines.

10-years ago, 5-year forecasts were requested.

Since then, we've adopted a 3-year plan.

But It's outdated.

Max one year.

What has happened?

Revolutionary technology. NO-CODE.

Revolution's consequences?

Product viability tests are shorter. Hugely. SaaS and PaaS.

Let me explain:

  • Building a minimum viable product (MVP) that works only takes a few months.

  • 1 to 2 months for practical testing.

  • Your company plan can be validated or rejected in 4 months as a consequence.

After validation, you can ask for VC money. Even while a prototype can generate revenue, you may not require any.

Good VCs won't ask for a 3-year business plan in that instance.

One-year, though.

If you want, establish a three-year plan, but realize that the second year will be different.

You may have changed your business model by then.

A VC isn't interested in a three-year business plan because your solution may change.

Your ability to create revenue will be key.

  • But also, to pivot.

  • They will be interested in your value proposition.

  • They will want to know what differentiates you from other competitors and why people will buy your product over another.

  • What will interest them is your resilience, your ability to bounce back.

  • Not to mention your mindset. The fact that you won’t get discouraged at the slightest setback.

  • The grit you have when facing adversity, as challenges will surely mark your journey.

  • The authenticity of your approach. They’ll want to know that you’re not just in it for the money, let alone to show off.

  • The fact that you put your guts into it and that you are passionate about it. Because entrepreneurship is a leap of faith, a leap into the void.

  • They’ll want to make sure you are prepared for it because it’s not going to be a walk in the park.

  • They’ll want to know your background and why you got into it.

  • They’ll also want to know your family history.

  • And what you’re like in real life.

So a 5-year plan…. You can bet they won’t give a damn. Like their first pair of shoes.

Suzie Glassman

Suzie Glassman

5 months ago

How I Stay Fit Despite Eating Fast Food and Drinking Alcohol

Here's me. Perfectionism is unnecessary.

This post isn't for people who gag at the prospect of eating french fries. I've been ridiculed for stating you can lose weight eating carbs and six-pack abs aren't good.

My family eats frozen processed meals and quick food most weeks (sometimes more). Clean eaters may think I'm unqualified to give fitness advice. I get it.

Hear me out, though. I’m a 44-year-old raising two busy kids with a weekly-traveling husband. Tutoring, dance, and guitar classes fill weeknights. I'm also juggling my job and freelancing.

I'm as worried and tired as my clients. I wish I ate only kale smoothies and salads. I can’t. Despite my mistakes, I'm fit. I won't promise you something just because it worked for me. But here’s a look at how I manage.

What I largely get right about eating

I have a flexible diet and track my daily intake. I count protein, fat, and carbs. Only on vacation or exceptional occasions do I not track.

My protein goal is 1 g per lb. I consume a lot of chicken breasts, eggs, turkey, and lean ground beef. I also occasionally drink protein shakes.

I eat 220–240 grams of carbs daily. My carb count depends on training volume and goals. I'm trying to lose weight slowly. If I want to lose weight faster, I cut carbs to 150-180.

My carbs include white rice, Daves Killer Bread, fruit, pasta, and veggies. I don't eat enough vegetables, so I take Athletic Greens. Also, V8.

Fat grams over 50 help me control my hormones. Recently, I've reached 70-80 grams. Cooking with olive oil. I eat daily dark chocolate. Eggs, butter, milk, and cheese contribute to the rest.

Those frozen meals? What can I say? Stouffer’s lasagna is sometimes needed. I order the healthiest fast food I can find (although I can never bring myself to order the salad). That's a chicken sandwich or a kid's hamburger. I rarely order fries. I eat slowly and savor each bite to feel full.

Potato chips and sugary cereals are in the pantry, but I'm not tempted. My kids eat them because I'd rather teach them moderation than total avoidance. If I eat them, I only eat one portion.

If you're not hungry and eating enough protein and fat, you won't want to eat everything in sight.

I drink once or twice a week. As a result, I rarely overdo it.

Food tracking is tedious and frustrating for many. Taking breaks and using estimates when eating out help. Not perfect, but realistic.

I practice a prolonged fast to enhance metabolic adaptability

Metabolic flexibility is the ability to switch between fuel sources (fat and carbs) based on activity intensity and time since eating. At rest or during low to moderate exertion, your body burns fat. Your body burns carbs after eating and during intense exercise.

Our metabolic flexibility can be hampered by lack of exercise, overeating, and stress. Our bodies become lousy fat burners, making weight loss difficult.

Once a week, I skip dinner (usually around 24 hours). Long-term fasting teaches my body to burn fat. It provides me one low-calorie day a week (I break the fast with a normal-sized dinner).

Fasting day helps me maintain my weight on weekends, when I typically overeat and drink.

Try an extended fast slowly. Delay breakfast by two hours. Next week, add two hours, etc. It takes practice to go that long without biting off your arm. I also suggest consulting your doctor.

I stay active.

I've always been active. As a child, I danced many nights a week, was on the high school dance team, and ran marathons in my 20s.

Often, I feel driven by an internal engine. Working from home makes it easy to exercise. If that’s not you, I get it. Everyone can benefit from raising their baseline.

After taking the kids to school, I walk two miles around the neighborhood. When I need to think, I switch off podcasts. First thing in the morning, I go for a walk.

I lift weights Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. 45 minutes is typical. I run 45-90 minutes on Tuesday and Thursday. I'm slow but reliable. On Saturdays and Sundays, I walk and add a short spin class if I'm not too tired.

I almost never forgo sleep.

I rarely stay up past 10 p.m., much to my night-owl husband's dismay. My 7-8-hour nights help me recover from workouts and handle stress. Without it, I'm grumpy.

I suppose sleep duration matters more than bedtime. Some people just can't fall asleep early. Internal clock and genetics determine sleep and wake hours.

Prioritize sleep.

Last thoughts

Fitness and diet advice is often useless. Some of the advice is inaccurate, dangerous, or difficult to follow if you have a life. I want to throw a shoe at my screen when I see headlines promising to speed up my metabolism or help me lose fat.

I studied exercise physiology for years. No shortcuts exist. No medications or cleanses reset metabolism. I play the hand I'm dealt. I realize that just because something works for me, it won't for you.

If I wanted 15% body fat and ripped abs, I'd have to be stricter. I occasionally think I’d like to get there. But then I remember I’m happy with my life. I like fast food and beer. Pizza and margaritas are favorites (not every day).

You can get it mostly right and live a healthy life.