March 1, 2022

Sound.xyz: web3 listening parties | David Greenstein, Matt Masurka (Gigamesh), & Vignesh Hirudayakanth

David Greenstein, Matt Masurka (Gigamesh), & Vignesh Hirudayakanth are the cofounders of Sound.xyz, a web3 platform that helps musicians host listening parties and engage with their fans.


Here is my conversation with David Greenstein, Matt Masurka (Gigamesh), & Vignesh Hirudayakanth, the cofounders at Sound.xyz.

Sound is a platform that helps musicians host listening parties and engage with their fans. It's a suite of tools that will grow over time to help musicians make a living using NFTs and other web3-native primitives.

I was particularly looking forward to this conversation since David, Matt, and Vignesh participated in Zeitgeist Season One and we got to work pretty closely together. They're moving fast and are working towards a beautiful vision of the world.

Timestamps:

  • 3:42 - Redefining engagement between artists and fans
  • 7:23 - MySpace, HypeMachine, Optimism, and Friends With Benefits
  • 12:50 - Using Discord DMs for recruiting
  • 16:53 - NFTs as the perfect medium for music patronage
  • 20:34 - Fair-play incentive structures for music
  • 26:25 - Differentiating the first fan and the millionth fan
  • 32:03 - The technical architecture underpinning Sound
  • 34:33 - Getting to market and building in public
  • 39:45 - Oshi breaks the website
  • 41:37 - The Daniel Allan EP
  • 42:14 - RAC and deploying to mainnet
  • 44:12 - Zeitgeist’s impact

 

Transcript

Sina [00:00:19]: Hey everyone. Welcome to another episode of Into the Bytecode. Today, I sat down with David, Matt, and Vignesh, the co-founders of Sound.xyz. Sound is a platform that helps musicians host listening parties, and engage with their fans. It's a suite of tools, which will grow over time. This helps musicians make a living, using NFTs and other crypto native primitives.

In this conversation, we talked about the backstory of how they connected as a team, their macro point of view on the music industry, architectural decisions they've made that will inform how Sound will evolve as a product and a protocol. Towards the end, they each shared memorable stories about the drops on the platform so far. I was particularly looking forward to this conversation, as David Matt and Vignesh participated in Zeitgeist over the last few months and we got to work closely together.

They're an incredibly thoughtful team. They're moving fast and I think they're working towards a beautiful vision of the world. With that, I hope you enjoy the conversation. Maybe a simple place to start would be what is Sound? Before we get into more interesting territory.

David [00:01:38]: Let me take that one. Sound is a suite of web3 tools that help artists monetize and experiment with their music in new ways. The first tool that we built is the ability to release a song in a fun and exciting way, which we called listening parties. We released this tool that lets artists upload their song meant a scare a set of limited edition NFTs associated with that song and creates a countdown where everybody can listen to the song when the countdown ends. If the listener chooses to, they're able to support that artist by purchasing one of their NFTs. The first benefit of owning that NFT is that you can leave a comment on the song as a public sign of your collection. We took a lot of inspiration from the SoundCloud days where there was the same type of common feature, but just made it scarce and tied to the owning of the NFT.

Sina [00:02:34]: It's cool seeing that form factor come back, as it was unique even back in the day.

David [00:02:40]: There's not been too many social features of music for a while. Very isolated listening experience today. If you're on any of the traditional streaming platforms, it’s your library. There's something cool about supporting and seeing what other people are listening to and bringing some of those shared communal listening experiences. Probably the pinnacle of that is where you go to a concert amongst other people. Concerts would not be very fun if it was just one person listening to an artist. Some of that communal aspect is missing from the listening experience today in music.

Sina [00:03:17]: Yes, it's how we listen to music on our computers. We're very alone.

David [00:03:22]: Exactly, I can count the social features that exist across all the major streaming platforms today. I'm looking to just bring it, make it a little bit more fun to listen to music, support an artist and just give people a way to back their favorite artists specifically through their music.

Sina [00:03:40]: Well maybe on that theme, this idea of the comment wall. One thing I particularly like is that you can see the artist has written. They usually write a piece about the track that they've produced and that’s unique to read the story of how this came together. I'm curious, what sorts of interactions are you seeing between artists and their fans or people who are listening to the tracks?

David [00:04:11]: An underrated factor of what we're doing at Sound is we're giving artists the tools to be able to like identify and communicate with their listeners and collectors on an individual basis. Today no artist owns their relationship with their fans. They know they have fans in New York or they have fans in Europe, but they don't actually know their names. Not that they know their names here, but by everybody being tied by their single Eth address, sometimes they know the names, They know who their individual collectors are. We're starting to see a mix of like IRL and on-chain experiences. One is we've seen people obviously just create telegram group chats, escort, private channels, where they're actually chatting with their collectors and soliciting feedback. Padlock was the first to do the telegram group chat and was one of our Genesis artists. We've seen others reward their collectors for giving it as essentially a mint pass to other NFT jobs that they've been doing. We've seen some create custom merch for their holders, which has been cool to see. There's been honestly just different types of engagement amongst their collectors that are completely outside the scope of even what they promise with their initial drop. The reason why is at any point they can wake up and say, Hey, I want to do this, or I want to engage. Those types of interactions are really, powerful. Well-known artists, like PussyRiot have done phenomenal, phenomenal jobs at posting content and building community amongst the songs, which has really been really--

Sina [00:05:46]: I guess in some ways it makes the audience legible. It makes me almost think of crypto projects and their discords. Where, when it's an open free for all, there's like thousands of anonymous people in there and you don't know who's who, how much they care, how much they actually know about what you're doing. Then as soon as someone's shown this level of intent by buying one of these NFTs, there's a certain level of shared context there.

David [00:06:18]: Recommendations in music have always been a thing and we're not at the scale where we're dealing with that yet, but I'm really looking forward to it. From a perspective of today, recommendations are relatively passive in the sense of, because you now listen to this song or Matt listens to the song, and then they might recommend Vignesh that song as well. Because you listen to a song doesn't necessarily mean you're a fan of that artist. Maybe there's some more explicit actions like if you added that artist to a playlist or saved it to your library. That probably means you like them a little bit more. Collecting the music or supporting them, but they're buying the NFT associated with that song; It was the most direct form of, wow this person must really like this song or really like this artist. The recommendations there of people who supported this artist, supported that artist, are going to be extremely powerful, super high signal. In addition, you can still do the listening recommendations too. Mixing that with something as high signal as collecting their NFT is going to be interesting stuff.

Sina [00:07:17]: So maybe bringing in Matt and Vignesh. So Matt, the impetus for me reaching out to do this was reading your blog post from about a year ago, where you had talked about your journey of going from musician to working in crypto. At that point you were working with the Optimism team, which we were also just talking about such adope, special group of people; but now you've come like full circle and you're working on like crypto and music.

Matt [00:07:50]: I went to school for music and managed to work my way into the industry almost despite my education. I went to a four-year school and got the traditional music education with some recording tech classes, eventually releasing my own music and just sending it out to music blogs. This was back way before Spotify, before Facebook pages. I had my Myspace page. That's how most musicians were getting their music out there. It was a good time for musicians. It was at a low point for the industry as a whole because MP3s had decimated revenue. This was 2007, 2008 so it was even before iTunes. There was like this long tail of musicians that were starting to get traction through Myspace and through music blogs. Then eventually this website came around called hype machine. That was good for my career and a lot of others including RAC who we just did a draw for. When I'm looking back on that time, it feels similar to what's happening now. It's almost as if web three is reinvigorating this decentralized music discovery thing. That's more human-centered than algorithm-centered, which really excites me. I had some success and toured globally. I had a couple songs that I produced, made it to the billboard charts. I struggled creatively because I didn't necessarily want to be a pop music producer, even though I fell into that success early on. I tried to create my own sound but I had many varied interests and tech was one of them.

By the time 2017 rolled around, I had gotten really into Ethereum in particular. I had already invested in Bitcoin. Thought it was interesting, but it wasn't until I learned what a turning complete blockchain was that the light bulb really clicked. I obviously got interested in projects like Ujo and I was following various other things. I was curious about what Spotify was doing because they, earlier that year had, or maybe the year before bought media chain. Just started by Jesse Walden, who's now one of our investors. My career had plateaued and crypto was taking off and it gave me a financial security blanket to make a career change. By the end of that year, I decided I'm just going to try to learn how to code and see where it takes me. Maybe I can work my way into crypto at some point, even though at that point, I thought it was way beyond my reach. I got some experience working for design agencies, mainly doing front-end development for a few years by the time.

Sina [00:10:52]: You were burnt out on being a musician and that grind of trying to rank on these algorithmic feeds and whatnot.

Matt [00:11:02]: I can't blame it all on that but it was a big part of it in retrospect. The competition for attention that all creators online have to do now. Where you're not only competing against other musicians, you're competing against all the random nonsense that people are, seeing every day when they go to Facebook and other places. I was getting really concerned that this was becoming a big problem for society, which is obvious to most people now. That was another reason I was getting really interested in crypto. I thought that its main value proposition was as a coordination mechanism and anything that improves human coordination is the most powerful thing, even better than AI. It was figuring that I want to learn how to code because it could not only help my personal finances and career path but also maybe give me a better sense of feeling; I'm having a real positive impact on the world eventually. That's why I got interested in optimism because I knew that they had similar values and interests and were working on the big scaling challenges in crypto by the end of 2020. I jumped into their discord, asked if they needed any front-end help; did a short contract that eventually turned into a full-time job, and ended up making their front-end interface for their bridge between optimism and main net. Only a month after I started there, David reached out on Discord because we're both part of Friends with Benefits. I'm sure listeners have heard of it. It's a crypto social token.

Sina [00:12:51]: David's core skill sets. It's really these Discord DMs. It's the fifth time I've heard of this happening now.

David [00:12:56]: It's unfortunately where the whole story starts, Friends with Benefits was one of the communities that I joined in the beginning. I just thought it was an interesting concept. I thought I even could have applied for things like music communities as well. I was just curious and what I do best is click links and I joined them and I was like, who's behind this. It turned out to be Matt was part of the core team, to begin with, and Trevor MCs who started Little Bradand Little Mikaela and comes from the music world. Dexter who otherwise or Dexter Torella, who also is part of an artist project called houses in Don golden. There's a lot of music presence in here. This is interesting. Then I just started hanging out and messaging everybody. Matt was actually the first person to answer. Matt was like, you should talk to Dexter. Then just stayed in touch with everybody, over the last couple of months. It had run everybody through. Because sound came out of a multitude of iterations and the core, problems were always the same that we wanted to solve; which is how do we reshape what music is worth and help artists make more of a full-time living off their music alone. Then two, how do we help artists get their voice heard and their music heard by as many people as possible. No matter what we were going to work on that was always going to be at the core of it and just kept bouncing and bouncing.

David [00:14:17]: As we got closer to really narrowing down the vision for sound, I was pestering that to be as if maybe you should leave and join this. Then Vignesh and I had worked at a prior startup together and that's how the whole thing came together. Not too long ago, honestly, mid-mid-July early August. Then we went just heads down building for three months and came out with the one of sound. We launched, if I remember correctly, December 6th with Oshi who was the first artist and another person that I had met in discords of all of all places and

Sina [00:14:59]: Very, very like web3 native, it's all happened on discord.

David [00:15:03]: Yes, Discord and Twitter. DMs is literally the answer to all and a couple telegrams here and there, but people asked me, "How do we find the artist that we chose for the initial cohort?” which we called our preseason and Genesis artists. It was all just friends of people that had given us feedback over the upcoming or the prior months because Sound wasn’t built in isolation. It was built with so many kind people giving us feedback. Even somebody that Matt had mentioned earlier. Anthony Lankin created Anthony or hype machine. Anthony is somebody that I had cold Twitter DMed four years ago, had been in touch with ever since. Again just, like Matt, as if hype machine was one of the coolest music discovery product. It's not that hard to track down the products and people behind them that have inspired us.

Anthony is somebody that, I'm lucky to call a friend and has been really, really kind. Giving us feedback and I'm always, making him as uncomfortable as possible, telling him about how many people he's inspired from like just listeners and artists. It's been really cool to just get so many, I can't even put into perspective how many people I'd have to thank for why sound even exists in the first place. Friends with benefits is definitely very high on the list. Then I also have to give a little bit of a shout-out to party Dow, which is actually how I met Sina and just a lot of good friends John, Steve, John Palmer, and Danny. Steve and John are both angels in sound. That's where we met many of our investors and just from hanging out in the discord, nothing really came out of that. It's just a small world out there.

Sina [00:16:44]: It's cool. How it's all come together.

David [00:16:46]: It was all open and I mean, literally, it's crazy to me that it's all free.

Sina [00:16:50]: Very fluid. Vignesh maybe bringing you in, what attracted you to working on this problem? Through our interactions, I know you probably had a systematic point of view on why this is a compelling thing to work on. What did you see here that pulled you?

Vignesh [00:17:12]: NFTs broadly are just something everyone's kind of figuring out. I've been following the crypto space for a few years. First with Bitcoin and like the idea, there was, how we make a non-government internet made money, some store of value that we can all trust without trusting each other. That idea it grows in power as the distrust in government or Fiat currencies grow. That one theme’s just moving crypto along. Then Ethereum came along and we saw this is the next evolution of FinTech. Being able to build all these compassable applications without having to rely on people and gatekept code and data. For me, this was the evolution of open source plus financial fluidity. Then when NFTs came is where I had to drop everything I was doing and figure out some way to get involved. Because now it was how do you represent the value for anything and create communities in an internet native liquid way. The theme of COVID was it just played so beautifully with this. There are many artists, especially if you think of musicians that relied ongoing to tour selling merch, doing things very physically in order to sustain themselves and make a living. Especially the early stages of the pandemic. On the other hand, you see the money printing, excess inflation world happening. There's this idea of how do you better allocate money to the things that people value and art is something people always value. You could say that's the only, thing that makes us human.

Sina [00:19:08]: Right, in a world where every automation and AI continues to move forward. Art is one of the things that remains.

Vignesh [00:19:18]: Exactly, that's where a lot of people who have a hard time understanding NFTs. They really think about art as a very physical thing, as a painting or a sculpture. What makes art valuable is the story and the culture behind it and like any other market, the community that values it. For something like music, we've always valued it as maybe the price of buying a CD or the price of an iTunes song. Then later on add sales X listener count on like a streaming service. It’s the feeling and emotion it invokes in someone and the market around like a particular community artist musician. That's what really drew me to sound. When David and Matt and I got together, we were thinking, how could we solve two goals? One is just create tools that put the artist in control that let them have their music heard and also engage fans and make music patronage more fun. So with those two, it seemed like NFTs were the perfect medium for it.

Sina [00:20:32]: That makes sense. Music has always felt undervalued compared to its cultural and emotional significance. One of my questions, anyone feel free to take this, you wrote this blog post early on. It was the one where you announced sound where you talked about the problem being, how the business model is structured. The business model of streaming of each listen being worth the exact same dollar amount. You said it was like $0.003, this is the core of the problem. and the downstream effects that it causes. I'm curious from an economic point of view, how do you see Sound? What impacts do you think Sound can have over time? What is the shape of the economic landscape? Who are the other players here? How will they react to what's going on here? It's a big question, but I'm curious how you would unpack it.

David [00:21:39]: Getting into it what drew me into web3 was the incentive structuring. The fact that everything is on train in public, it creates a system of fair play because everything is transparent and music, many things aren't transparent today in the traditional industry. To get into the question directly the core problems with the streaming services today is not necessarily that they're out to get artists. It's more around the lack of incentives and the way that the economics of streaming has been set up. Again, in terms of how streaming works today, there's a fixed price 0.003 for roughly sense per stream, depending on what service you're on. That number was determined by the streaming services themselves and typically in partnership with the three major labels. It will not determine by artists and their listeners. The idea that there's one price for streaming and that implies that everybody values music, the same is fundamentally bizarre to me. Because of that number, you need millions and millions of streams to make any real amount of money in the current world. The problem is that there's only billions of people on earth. So to ask every artist to get millions and millions of streams is a very, very high bar, right? On top of that, the quantity of people needed to support that artist is super high. This is resulted in the head of the content doing really well, right? The biggest artists in the world are making decent amount of money.

This evidenced by the fact according to Spotify; there's 7,800 artists that make a hundred thousand dollars or more per year out of the 8 million artists on the platform. It doesn't matter really what number you use the number for $50,000 or more per year, which is a bit low for saying, you can live off that is $13,400. We're talking about a very small percentage that can actually make a living off their music. What sound aimed to do is kind of flip that on its head? What if you could make a living off only 25, 50, a hundred a thousand, it doesn't matter what that number is, as long as it's in that range. That's much more achievable if you're thinking about how to become an artist and building a community amongst your music.

Then from a listener side of things, how can I support artists that I care about? Well obviously, I can assume it’s always glanced over. The listening in the web3 music space is free; anybody can listen to the art and enjoy it. Support is optional. There's never an obligation or from anybody's end to support that artist. That simplicity of anybody can listen but the supporting is scarce or optional has created this kind of ability for artists to be able to live off their art in a very small sample size. We only have been around just under two months. We've done close to $700,000 instreaming paid out to artists, which is over 200 million streams paid out instantly. It's promising in terms of if we can turn being an artist into the same level of profession as being a doctor, being a lawyer. It will make it much more sustainable for millions of artists to be able to make a full-time living off their music alone. Then that's the purpose and the mission of sound. In terms of how the other participants react to this, in the traditional world, it's very adversarial here. If you're not streaming this person. You’re taking or not supporting them. In the web three world, part of what drew, all of us here is the interoperability. Artists are free to experiment with their music in any way, form.

That might be other web3 platforms or it might be in the traditional sense as well. An example of this is there's a very real world where Spotify continues to exist as the mainstream listening platform. The ability to reach the most amount of people from an eyeballs perspective, like how the radio has been for the last 30 years. That's where they go to reach the most amount of people. The point of monetization is much stronger in the web 3 sense for all the reasons that I just talked about. Ultimately, the best solution went out, and to be honest, the optimal solution might be trying out many different things. It's been cool and artists have done a great job already of this at just experimenting with different platforms and different products that are out there. That's the gist of it. Actually, many of the artists that we chose for our Genesis cohort were artists that we saw were experimenting with everything. That's what inspired us to build sound in the first place. It all comes, comes full circle on that front.

Sina [00:26:25]: The basics of it are you're moving away from this artificial, every stream is, every fan is contributing the same amount and can't diverge from that. You're moving to a model of the actual content is free, but giving people the freedom to go and support an artist to the extent that they want. It's actually quite simple when you put it that way. It almost makes me think of why this hasn’t happened before. This piece of it doesn't feel like it depends on crypto, even though you get the interoperability and composability stuff.

David [00:27:11]: I feel music NFTs are one of the simplest and most obvious used cases for NFTs today. If you want to support an artist through their music today, it's hard to do. Unless you have their Venmo balance or their cash app. It's not exactly clear on how to support an artist through their music. Then on a listener side, something that's always bothered me is the first fan of an artist is treated the same as the 1000000th fan. Those are inherently two different people. One has been there since the beginning supporting that artist when nobody cared. The other is still valuable because fans come in at different stages and everything. It does feel reasonable to highlight the one who has been there from the beginning. The same applies, not just in music; artists don't always have the data and the information on the concert level too. Who showed up to his or her concerts in the beginning when nobody cared and now is a named attraction?

David [00:28:13]: That's just something that you get free with the web three-space. You get proof of timestamp support, which is how long have they been supporting this artist or holding this NFT? Did they buy it off the secondary? How long have they held it? There's just all the information that you get free because again, everything is public. That's the beauty of and the simplicity of kind of the system. The final thing is just making it because we are built on layer one Eth and the simplicity of anybody around the world, as long as you have an Ethereum address can participate. A much-undervalued aspect or underappreciated aspect, in my opinion, instead of building login and payment systems for like every single part of the country, anybody can support.

Sina [00:28:59]: You get like global access and you get liquidity importantly free, which both increase the size of the demand meaningfully

Vignesh [00:29:07]: The other part, what you mentioned was you could build this. The payment aspect of crypto makes things simpler. What draws people to NFTs is just fun, to be honest. You can build cool things that didn't exist or spark the same curiosity beforehand. One of those examples is let's say you had Patreon, you can support an artist. You can channel subscription and payments. The idea that now you have this like on-chain record of who holds it, you can have a collection page where you show all of the music's NFTs you've collected. Bringing that collector fund out that hasn't really existed is powerful. Many people tie the ownership of something to their own identity. You can see from someone's ENS all of the things they've bought. The whole profile pic game has been going nutty. There's this whole aspect of also sharing your support with other people that has made it more fun with NFTs. Then the fact that it plugs into all of the other crypto ecosystems. You can just move it fluidly, not be locked in is powerful. All the centralized services, they provide great service. I use Google all the time. Then if Google cancels you, you're done. The way our artist services are set up or as our artist's tools are set up is the artist makes their own contract. They sell the NFTs directly to fans, other than some metadata stuff that we're going to change. If sound ceases to exist, these things should still exist. The artist should be the final decider of their relationship with fans. That's the other powerful thing, which speaks to both artists and fans. With systems outside of crypto, they're beholden to whomever they're using. Matt has many thoughts on stuff like that.

Sina [00:31:13]: This last point is one of the architectural decisions that you've made that I really admire. In building something like Sound, you have to think about like UX and making it accessible to a larger group of people. There are many of these considerations and some other team facing the same questions may have decided to go a different path. They compromise on the core, who's in control of the data. Making an architectural decision like this, each artist having their own smart contract has very profound the downstream effects, in what direction things evolve. Maybe Matt, how did you people think about the design of the system and where do you see it going from here?

Matt [00:32:14]: We struggled with that a little bit because it was certainly a technical challenge to give each artist his or her own contract. It introduces the need to make them. They’re independent things, but we decided to make the contracts upgradeable and that's hard to do when you're, doing these proxy contracts. We figured it out and we think we landed on the right tradeoffs. That's a big selling point, when artists are comparing different platforms, knowing that they will have their own collection on open sea and other marketplaces is really attractive. In general, our approach is whatever we can do to reduce platform risk, not to create it ourselves the better.

**David [00:33:05]:**The main point is to me, at least this was a non-starter from the perspective of we wanted to obviously undo and rethink and experiment with how it currently works today. Today artists do not own the relationship with their fans. The opposite of that is artists can own the relationship with their fans. How do you do that? Well, artists have their own contract and from there you can start to build different experiences. At the end of the day, sound is a suite of tools as I started of this interview by saying. The tools are only as good as the artist using that tool and wielding it. It's, whoever wants to build, the artist could take their contract and people could build different front ends on top of that. The artist could plug in their artist's contract on top with different experiences on using some of the kind of groundwork that we've laid down. Sound.XYZ is the first app built on top of the sound protocol, which is something that is completely different to how music, services work today. Where everything is an iron, like a firewall between the consumer app and backend services. That's part of what we have the ability and the luxury and the privilege of being able to explore in the future. Which will be cool.

Sina [00:34:33]: Maybe on the more personal side, one of the cool things for me has been just kind of jamming with you all closely also through Zeitgeist, like last year. I'm curious just what the experience of building sound to this point has been like. Is there anything that surprised you about how it evolved over this short span of time?

David [00:34:58]: You try to get used to the unexpected turns that come every single day. There’s so many different layers of like stakeholders in sound whether its artists, its investors, its listeners and its collectors. It’s definitely obviously a challenge in terms of making sure that all voices heard. The things that we've really learned and enjoyed in public is something that I highly recommend and encouraged. That's definitely how we got a lot of amazingly really helpful and insightful feedback. Not being afraid to ask for help.Even in zeitgeist just having access to some of the same people that are going on around some of the same problems that we are. This has been super helpful for just forming and now we're close to unveiling like a partnership or collaboration with one of the companies in Zeitgeist, which is going to be really, really cool.

Then lastly just get to market. We have our opinions and our hypothesis, but once you get to market and the products live, that's ultimately all that matters. Then you start to get user feedback and see what people care about that has been the best part. I'd say the final thing is the feedback from artists and seeing how happy it makes them to hear their voice heard and valued. When we host these Twitter spaces, we do twitter spaces for every single song release now, which I'm not sure, is the most scalable thing. It has been fun so far. The delight on artists, talking to them is what makes it. That’s why we've done it every single day, doing a drop for the last, 60 days or whatever it's been. It's exciting, but definitely, no two days are the same.

Matt [00:36:48]: The most exciting thing for me is the blue-sky nature of everything that we're doing. That's true for all of crypto, but to do it in music, because that's been one of my biggest passions in life, is very exciting. I'll just mention, if anyone is listening, who is thinking about getting into web three, I would strongly recommend it. It's working out great for me. What’s very cool is you very quickly realize how close you are to like the frontier of this technology. I still feel like a complete nube, but on a weekly basis, it feels like we're grappling with some challenge that feels new. For example, the beacon proxy thing, we went back and forth on that and we realized that there are some challenges of verifying the contracts on ether scan. All that stuff can be difficult, but it's like super fun when you figure it out.

Vignesh [00:37:47]: One of the other challenges, which being in crypto is you see the amplification of both the good actors and the bad actors. Especially when there's some financial thing on the line. An example of the good actors is as we're building this, we get to rely on all the giants that have built before us. Both incorporate open source code and figure out new ways to do stuff. Then in that process also share what we've built. We wrote a blog post on how we've made the tradeoffs for our protocol. That and the data aspect is fully open. Then on the bad side, we initially thought, okay, we'll put these music NFTs for sale and artists can mint them, sell them, and fans will buy them. Very soon, you have people who are buying it too quickly. Then there's the difference in sophistication of the different types of buyers. Some people use flash bots and some people look at meme pool and gas snipe stuff. Then we have to go and relearn, okay, let's add a waitlist system. How do you do that in an artist-friendly way that still keeps the ideals of like decentralization. Then we incorporated it away where an artist can opt into different types of systems on the contract level. They can pass in their own address for the wait listing. Then if they're using our UI, we have a simple way for them to set it up. Those kinds of tradeoffs of earning and then thinking of, how do you build something with your ideals in mind has been definitely challenging.

Sina [00:39:31]: So interesting. There's so many different rabbit holes to go down. So maybe to close since I know we have limited time and I really appreciate all three of you joining when it's a very busy time. I thought a fun question to end on would be just each of you sharing one of the drops. Maybe the listening parties that has been particularly fun or meaningful for you and why maybe like a bit of a story around how it felt.

David [00:40:01]: I'll never forget the first one with Oshi. It was the first drop that we did. I had no idea what to expect. We do these Twitter spaces, which became like a regular format, but at the time who knows. I remember we do the twitter space, people try and buy, the site just completely turns off. I'm on FaceTime with Oshi being like, what is happening? Like Trying to call Vignesh. What is happening? Vignesh trying to keep the site up. Somehow, I’m only checking Etherscan things went through. The whole site had crashed. Somehow, there was a moment where the buying happened. I forget the actual number of requests second, we were getting some large amounts it was just like whoa, what just happened? Even to this day with Sound, we've never spent a penny on marketing, our marketing channels are, and Twitter are discord. That’s pretty much it. It was fully organic even today, especially that first launch, because we just put out a tweet. You try to prepare yourself for it, but I was just shocked like still am shocked. We did 25 NFTs at 21 ETH, so it was just 2.5 ETH. It was the amount of people that tried to buy and the surprise of people actually caring about what you had worked on for the last couple of months. This will always stand out as one of my favorite memories or just on building sound. So that one for me, I can't forget the first.

Vignesh [00:41:37]: The Daniel Allen EP was memorable for me because that was the first time we were doing before we just did 25. That was the first time we were doing a hundred and it was a huge traffic spike day. There's just a lot of hype because he's been working on this EP in public, in web3 for a while. That's memorable to me because I was like, okay, we had him do the solo song and now he's kind of releasing more stuff. Then that's also when we were thinking about the next season and how he'd rather bring on other people. I remember that one.

Matt [00:42:14]: I'll give two, actually. So one, it's sort of like a shout-out to my friend RAC. We've both been in the music industry roughly around the same time. We started 2007, 2008. We were both like remix artists and known for the main thing. He got super into crypto. He was exploring how it can help his music career and how it can help musicians. More broadly starting way back in 2017, he did something with Ujo and many things. Since then he did his first NFT drop, on sound a few days ago. That was super cool, but then also I want to mention, the thing that was most special for me is when we deployed on main net. We said, “all right, we need to test this.” So I had some unfinished music. It wasn't a public thing. It was like a test thing, but it made it feel real. That was a super emotional moment for me. Okay, here we go. Let's do this.

Sina [00:43:25]: I was looking through some of the drops and seeing that the first one was one of your tracks gave me the feels. That was cool.

Matt [00:43:33]: Yes and it's like unfinished, but it's almost appropriate that it's unfinished for me. It's like, oh yes; this is a work in progress.

Vignesh [00:43:42]: Yes, the one of three Gigamesh that I'm going to huddle forever.

David [00:43:47]: It’s not for sale anytime soon. I have received a few offers. A few like collectors that have pinged me saying could I buy that from you? I said, not.

Matt [00:44:00]: That's good to hear

Sina [00:44:03]: Friendship, not up for sale. All right, sweet. Well, it is fine jamming with you as always. Thanks for taking the time. Let's call it here.

David [00:44:13]: Thank you, I just want to say we definitely, as I said earlier, wouldn't be here without your support and Zeitgeist. The friendships and the relationships that we had made are still super valuable. From what started, as the usual random discord, DM is just so lucky. I also would recommend in the chat, anybody who can be a part of future zeitgeist kind of cohorts and programs. I would definitely recommend it because we are using the knowledge and the relationships daily, in building sound. So thank you.

Matt [00:44:45]: Yes. Big plus one. Thank you, Sina.

Vignesh [00:44:48]: Thank you, Sina. Zeitgeist was a pleasure

Sina [00:44:50]: Pleasure. All right. Until next time.