I read an interesting tweet last week that got my gears turning when it comes to thinking about utility and NFT projects. Rewind to last year and it felt like the name of the game was launching projects with a ton of implied utility. On Discord and Twitter people would go on and on about utility, it was a hot topic.
As the market has matured a bit I'm seeing more and more discussion around the pros and cons of trying to jam as much utility as possible into the project in the early days.
The tweet I'm about to share has probably one of the best analysis I've seen yet of why announcing utility too early can be a bad thing, so bad, it could destroy your project. Okay, enough anticipation - here's the tweet ⬇️
In the thread, NFT God uses Moonbirds, Goblintown, Otherdeeds, RTFKT, and Chimpers as case studies, and honestly, it's a pretty fascinating path he takes. The key point here is that anticipation creates a lot more interest in a project than a laundry list of utility.
The one critique I'll make is that for most if not all of these projects, an existing community was already there and excited about anything the founders put out (maybe with the exception of Goblintown?). The reality is, Bored Ape Yacht Club has been such a huge success, becoming the go-to blue chip NFT project, that anything they did next would have a ton of interest.
So I think the point here is likely a bit more nuanced. If you already have a big following and people are crazy excited about anything you're going to do next, I agree, announcing a ton of utility is both unnecessary and can do more harm than good. If Elon Musk launched an NFT project next week, and said nothing with respect to utility, it would mint out instantly.
On the flip side. If a completely unknown team launches an NFT project, not mentioning any utility could be a tough path to take IMO. You really have two vectors here - either people are so excited about the people/company behind the project that the hype and excitement is there regardless, or people don't know anything about the people/company behind the project so the utility becomes the hook.
So my two cents is - if you're famous, like Elon Musk, or a well-recognized company, like adidas - you can get away without talking about utility and ride the anticipation/fomo game. If you're not famous, don't have a following, and nobody know who you or your company is, announcing some utility out of the gate will probably be pretty important if you want anyone to see value in what you're doing.
Of course, there are no right or wrong answers here, as we all know, these are the early days of NFTs so we'll see how it all pans out over time. The only thing we know for sure is that there are a lot of opinions about this topic!