Overpromising and under delivering is unfortunately the norm in the NFT space right now. Slow rugs, fast rugs, missed deadlines, and disappointment have unfortunately become expected. NFT scams are starting to outnumber engagement farming on Twitter (also follow me on Twitter and I just might change your life) . Only Khloe Kardashian is more numb to betrayal than the NFT community. Roadmaps are stuck to less than JLo can stick to a boyfriend (alright enough pop culture references). What I want to talk about in this article is what NFT projects are doing wrong when it comes to roadmaps, red flags to look out for, and what some projects such as Kiwami, Creepz, and Psychedelics Anonymous are doing right.
Let’s talk about what is on the typical NFT roadmap first. Go to any NFT landing page and you’ll see a lot of the same promises. Metaverse, staking, cross-breeding. And they always seem to be just one quarter out. The unfortunate truth here is that this is more marketing than product. These lofty goals are rarely met, and even if they are delivered they come after months of delay and only half baked. Let’s run down that list and quickly talk about why these should be red flags. First, the metaverse. The ultimate buzz word of the moment. Metaverses are large, interoperable digital experiences that require vast technical resources to develop. Mark Zuckerburg literally pivoted his entire multi-trillion dollar company to focus exclusively on the metaverse and they still have produced absolutely nothing. What makes you think a few people living in a studio apartment listening to a Gary Vee podcast will be able to pull one off first? Unless a project has a large, doxxed team behind them I would highly doubt a metaverse in any sense of the word is a realistic deliverable. The next big one is staking. Staking, while easy to deliver, is nearly impossible to maintain. By implementing staking you are basically build a complex economy you need to balance like Jerome Powell. If a project promises staking but has no white paper explaining the tokenomics, odds are the mechanic will not be successful.
With the average project way overpromising and severely underdelivering, I’ve been looking for projects over the last several weeks that have approached roadmaps differently. The first project I want to talk about is Kiwami. I’ve been monitoring their website, Discord, and community and there are a couple things I’ve noticed that I’m impressed with. First, instead of promising deliverables on a roadmap, they promise a mission. If you go on their website they have no roadmap listed, just a mission statement. Their mission statement is more of a direction they’re aiming the ship, rather than promises they have to deliver. These mission statements include building a strong community, making technical advancements with their revenue, continuously building partnerships, and working towards a multimedia presence. No items or dates promised, just a mission they’re working towards. I really like this no roadmap strategy. This means the value of the project won’t tank every time a deliverable is missed. This means community members won’t bring negativity to the Discord when promises aren’t kept. I’d like to see more projects take the mission approach rather than the roadmap approach.
Another project using a strategy I’m really impressed with is Creepz. While I’ve talked about Creepz plenty on this blog, one aspect I really haven’t talked about is their roadmap tactics. While most projects give a 3 year plan filled with unobtainable promises, the Creepz team head up by Dom and Sharkbait, exclusively focus on what they’re delivering next. By focusing on the next item and making sure it’s delivered well, they’re able to pivot and fix challenges that might arise. A lot of projects will deliver half baked functionality and then move onto the next priority. This leaves behind disappointment and low quality experiences. The Creepz team focuses completely on underpromising and over delivering. They will focus on what is next and make sure it’s delivered as high quality as possible. They think big in the background, and deliver one item at a time. Part of this strategy involves not promising too much. As they deliver, they drop small hints on what is to come. This allows them to not promise too much, but also build hype for what is next. The lesson to learn here again is UNDERPROMISE, OVERDELIVER.
The last example I’ll use here is Psychedelics Anonymous. What Psychedelics does well is a combination of Kiwami’s and Creepz strategies. They have no roadmap, and just a mission. The mission of building a world around mental health. They also focus on delivering one item at a time in a really strategic manner. Over the past several months since launch, they have slowly been rolling out different “components” and “passes”. Component 1, Component 2, IRL Pass, Metaverse Pass. These collections are dropped with little warning or context, but they are building towards a larger vision. As each collection drop, the puzzle gets a little clearer, all leading up to the second generative collection launching later this year. The mystery around the roadmap and components actually adds to the experience and fun of being an investor. The PA Discord regularly hosts long conversations filled with speculation on what’s coming next and what it all means. This is why NFT’s are such a unique asset class. NFT’s allow investors to be a part of an experience and shape a narrative. This is something no other asset class has been able to provide up until now.
Projects are simply promising too much on their roadmaps. When I’m researching a project and see a list of these buzzwords it’s a major red flag for me. It feels like I’m being sold to by a sleezy salesman in order to separate me from my hard earned ETH. I believe in the near future the average NFT investor will be so scorned from missed deliverables that their mindset will shift. Instead of looking for roadmaps jam packed with the flavor of the month functionality, they’ll be more focused on teams and their reputation. In the future I predict free mints will be a lot more prevalent. Instead of getting people to spend thousands of dollars to get into a project with an unrealistic roadmap, they’ll allow people to get in for free. If they start delivering then prices will go up and revenue will come in from the secondary. This will reward creators for delivering, rather than making promises.
My goal with this article wasn’t to sell you on any of these projects. I simply wanted to open your eyes to some trends that are working, and some that aren’t in the NFT space. These are things that I think about as I look for projects to invest my hard earned money into. If you found this article informative and would like more research in your inbox, feel free to subscribe to my absolutely free newsletter. Also engage with me on Twitter if you have any feedback, would love to hear from the community.