How to Evaluate an NFT Project

“Father Time” from the Snuggle Buddies NFT Collection

If you’re reading this article chances are you already know what an NFT is, and you’re probably a holder of at least one digital asset you like. The question is Why did you purchase it and what compelled you to believe in the project enough to spend your hard earned dollars? Let’s dive into that question and further explore several observations I have made over the past few years as the NFT market has continued to expand.

  • FOMO – The common abbreviation for Fear Of Missing Out. If you FOMO’d into an NFT project hoping you would find the next Bored Ape Yacht Club or Crypto Punk, that is NOT the right reason! You would probably do better driving down to the gas station and dropping $50 on a Powerball ticket. So what should you look for?
  • The Art – Do you actually like the artwork the project is creating? If you are a collector of digital art and you believe in the future of NFT’s you should be watching the top artists in the genre including Beeple, Pak, TylerXHobbs, Fewocious, and XCopy just to name a few. If you’re like most of us and you can’t afford to drop millions on a piece from one of the aforementioned, than find something You like for your own reasons. If you are solely focused on finding something you can buy low and sell high, it’s just not that simple. Buy what you like!

What should you look for if you want to invest in a strong NFT project? In no specific order here are the 5 top things I look for before I invest; 1) Community 2) Purpose 3) Utility 4) Vision 5) Value. If a project satisfies what I am looking for in 1 or 2 of these categories, I probably won’t invest. If it checks 3 or 4 boxes, it has my attention and I will take a serious look at it. That being said, I may have purchased one or two NFTs in the past simply because I like the art! Let’s go!

Community

I always begin with the community because it’s the easiest, quickest place to start. Who are the people behind the project and what is their background? Are they transparent on the plan (roadmap) and are the goals realistic? Is it just a cash grab? It’s takes a lot of time, money and resources to build games and virtual communities. Web 3 will not be here in 6 months in the capacity that most of us want it to be. That’s years away. Any community that promises something too good to be true…well, it probably is!

Next, jump into the discord and spend some time monitoring the chat. Does it feel like a strong community of people who understand the vision of the project? Or is it a bunch of teens using profanity, looking to flip as soon as there is a small move in the floor price? Ask questions in the chat! If you want to understand decisions being made by the team, the team needs to answer you. I recently observed this with a project I was very invested in. The questions being asked were fair and needed responses, but instead of responding the moderators (and the management of the project) simply booted the User/s from their discord…red flag! Also not cool!

Loner Girl 1817 from the Loner Girl NFT Collection

Purpose

The purpose should be crystal clear and easy to find on any projects website, linktree, or social media account. Here are a few actual examples from projects I have been in, are in now, or currently evaluating.

“Loner Girl – Women led project, featuring 10,000 original digital artworks. Supporting awareness of mental health and autism.” I happen to like the purpose and it speaks to me personally because I have a young daughter on the Autism spectrum. You should still dig deeper into the project to make sure they are following through with their purpose and learn exactly how. Are they involved with the ASD community and how? Do they give back? I am much more compelled to want to support and believe in a project when I can see that it has purpose, and bonus if it means something to me!

Snuggle Buddies An NFT project that values artwork, community, & family!” Again, just like above I happen to like the purpose of the project because as a single dad, I know the importance of community and family in my personal life. The team also has plans to launch children’s books and plush toys. How cool is that! In summary, if the project has a purpose which resonates with you, even more reason to support it.

Utility

Utility can be interchanged with the term use. It’s cool that I can use an NFT for my Personal Profile Picture (PFP) on social media, but do I really care that much? I am not a celeb, and I am not trying to prove to anyone how much money I have (or don’t have, from investing in the wrong NFT projects!). So what is utility? Simple put – What else do I get from owning this NFT? Here are some basics.

Access to a Unique Community No, I don’t mean the discord chat. By the way, I don’t have countless hours to BS in a chat room. I did that back in 1999 when AOL created chat rooms, and I thought it would be cool! It grew old fast. Access to a unique community means any or all of the following;

One on One Time with a mentor, coach or Subject Matter Expert (SME) in an area or field where I want to learn more. Example? The STIX OG Project I invested in. The project founder Nick Black has a special private chat group which is open ONLY to the holders of this NFT. We have unique, live video chat sessions where we can discuss, brainstorm and evaluate the crypto/defi/NFT market space and more. This is valuable to me because its what I do and how I make a living!

STIX OG NFT Conror McTaxEvader

Access to Special Events, Locations and Venues If you’re into NFT’s you prbably know about Vee Friends, the NFTs created by social media influencer and motivational figure Gary Vee. Holders of his Vee Friends NFTs receive special access to his programs, as well as free admission to his live speaking engagements around the world and so much more. It’s a ticket to learn, grow and earn…so much more than just a cool jpeg. Same thing with a project I am in now with entrepreneur and social media influencer Tai Lopez. Holders of his different NFT’s (and different levels) enjoy special perks ONLY available to NFT holders including live events and more. Tai even has an OG Hotel, Restaurant, and Club Membership card which provides the holders with guaranteed access to unique hard-to-get-into restaurants, night clubs and more! This week is Bitcoin 2022 in Miami – What’s my ticket to enter? The BTC Miami 2022 NFT I purchased! In summary, the utility of an NFT can have a huge impact on the present and future value of a project.

Vision Much like the purpose, the Vision of the Project should be easy to find and clear to understand. Most projects have the Vision explained on their website or linktree as their road map. Simply put, where do we intend to go and how will we get there?

The vision for a project is no different than your own personal life in that you make plans for where you want to go an how you want to get there. If you want to become a VP at your company, you make a plan to work hard, exceed quota, communicate clearly with the management and set goals. Once you establish your plan, you work to achieve the measurable goals and adjust your plan along the way as means of reaching your objective.

A clear vision should define the tasks needed in order to get the Project (NOT the founders!) to the finish line, as well as a realistic time line for reaching the goal. If a project has no vision, it tells me they have no idea where they want to go much less how to get there! I don’t really want to cry about the bad decisions I have made in projects which did not work, but I can unequivocally share that ALL of them lacked a clear vision for the future of the project.

Value Value is one of the more personal and nuanced factors because to assess because what has value to me could mean little or nothing to you. Let’s look at this.

I happen to enjoy nice cars and Porsche has always been my favorite since I was young. I don’t know that Porsche has come out with NFT’s yet (but if they want to, ping me!) but if holders of Porsche NFTs had special utility like access to the Porsche Club of America, track events, discounts, promo gear, etc. I would buy one! While this may seem like utility, it’s not the same because value can be viewed differently by everyone. To me, it would have tremendous value.

Other aspects of value can be time value and intrinsic value. Most NFT buyers and traders want to look at the intrinsic value meaning if I buy this NOW, how much is it worth and will someone want to pay me more or less than what I paid? It is a risky proposition since nobody has a crystal ball and can accurately predict this. That’s where time value comes into play and buyers try to evaluate if I buy this today, what will it be with 3, 6, 9 or 12 months? If you were LUCKY enough (yes, it was only luck!) to mint an NFT which became one of the super rare highly valuable projects, congrats! 99% of the projects are NOT like that! You got lucky.

How can you evaluate the value to you in an NFT if you believe in the 1) Community 2) Purpose 3) Utility 4) Vision 5) Value? If it’s a newly created project with little to no volume or history, the first thing to look at is Rarity. Any collection launched will have a limited number of pieces ranging from small (500) to large (10,000 or more). Most discord servers will tell their community where to check the rarity of a piece within a project. I like Rarity Tools but there are many sites and too many projects to be listed on each rarity site. A general rule of thumb for me has been the more more rare pieces, the more they will, over time, become more desirable as the project grows and matures. If you are willing to put in the time and effort, you just might be able to find a rarer piece for a fair value! I got lucky when I found this Paradise Trippie which ranked #136 out of 10,000 pieces and it was listed for far less than what it should have been worth!

Paradise Trippie #533, Ranked #136/10,000 in rarity

As the NFT market matures over the coming weeks, months and years, check back here for more insight. If you have a question about a project you’re interested in, hit me up on social media! Good luck you degenerate gamblers!

Dan Lounsbury

Crypto Currency Advisor

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