The thousand true fans thesis builds on the original ideals of the internet: users and creators globally connected, unconstrained by intermediaries, sharing ideas and economic upside.
There are three important reasons why NFTs offer fundamentally better economics for creators. The first is by removing rent-seeking intermediaries. The logic of blockchains is once you purchase an NFT it is yours to fully control, just like when you buy books or sneakers in the real world. There are and will continue to be NFT platforms and marketplaces, but they will be constrained in what they can charge because blockchain-based ownership shifts the power back to creators and users — you can shop around and force the marketplace to earn its fees. (Note that lowering the intermediary fees can have a multiplier effect on creator disposable income. For example, if you make $100K in revenue and have $80K in costs, cutting out a 50% take rate increases your revenue to $200K, multiplying your disposable income 6x, from $20K to $120K.)
The second way NFTs change creator economics is by enabling granular price tiering. In ad-based models, revenue is generated more or less uniformly regardless of the fan’s enthusiasm level. As with Substack, NFTs allow the creator to “cream skim” the most passionate users by offering them special items which cost more. But NFTs go farther than non-crypto products in that they are easily sliced and diced into a descending series of pricing tiers. NBA Top Shot cards range from over $100K to a few dollars. Fan of Bitcoin? You can buy as much or little as you want, down to 8 decimal points, depending on your level of enthusiasm. Crypto’s fine-grained granularity lets creators capture a much larger area under the demand curve.
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