You might recognize Noam Krasniansky from when he closed a deal on Shark Tank. Now, this innovator is diving into all things NFTs. He sat down with Jessica Abo to talk about his company, Ooonimals, Club 44, and what you need to know about the risks and rewards that exist within the world of NFTs.
Jessica Abo: Noam, how did your experience on Shark Tank prepare you to enter the NFT space?
When I went into Shark Tank with my wife, that changed our lives completely. I went with one of my inventions, which was Bambooee, which is bamboo paper towels. I remember after we aired and we were in QVC, in eight minutes, we sold over $300,000. It was just amazing. As an entrepreneur, it’s a beautiful experience. But we started getting copycats, like in all the supply chain, it was all over from Asia suppliers, all the way to our customers and big-box retailers. It was like, they say, ‘Hey, it is the art of war, right?’ I always have had a motto and that’s ‘innovate or die.’ And at that point I said to myself, I need to create something that is uncopyable.
How did you go about doing that?
So I found out that there were certain key things that have done very well, that had to do with collecting. And that’s when I shifted my view and I looked at Disney and I looked at commercials like Pillow Pets. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Pillow Pets. It’s a pillow, it’s a pet. Those guys sold over $300 million and it was just a pillow that folded. So I just shifted my focus and blockchain really is the key to this because it’s a new technology that makes it uncopyable.
Can you tell us a little bit about your NFT project?
Our NFT project is Ooonimals like animals, but Ooo, Ooonimals. We have a website that actually has the Oooniverse. The purpose of Ooonimals is they come to this world to save people from being too adulty, right? To be kids again! So we created this Ooonimals project and gave life to these characters. We thought about the expansion. How are we going to expand it? Where are we going? Because we’re not after just minting. That’s just the first step.
We are working on a movie, for example. We’re working on a web series. We are in the middle of developing a Web2 and a Web3 earn-to-play game. We are actually going to marry a real-world collectible with an actual NFT together. We’re going to do events and we’re thinking of even doing an amusement park. We’re really crazy. And all of that is going to be built upon a foundation of our community and those people that get into Ooonimals will be part of the founding members and those NFTs that they get, which are very limited. We have a very small collection, Jessica. We only brought five out of hundreds of Ooonimals characters, and there are only 1,289 of each of them. A total of 6,000 and change. So they’re going to be very rare in all respects. Every year as we expand what we’re doing, this collection will look very small in comparison, increasing its value. And that’s what we want to give our founding members.
What are some of the dangers and opportunities that you see in the world of NFTs?
There is an elephant in the room, Jessica, which we call in the space, a rug pull. A rug pull is when you have a creator and a leadership who create a project and then start building their community. They bring celebrities, A-list people sponsoring and they make it grow and it grows and it grows. And it grows even up to a 500,000 people community. It’s huge, but what they’re releasing is very small. It’s only 10,000. So when they mint, it sells really quickly, and then the aftermarket makes the prices go to the moon. Now, at that point, the leadership thinks that they have had a successful project and then you hear nothing from them. All you hear are crickets. And the problem is that the community feels like they’ve been orphaned, and they lose faith and they feel betrayed.
That’s when the selloff starts and that’s when it crashes. I believe that the leadership of those projects misses the most valuable part of the equation, which is actually the community. Because I really believe that a community is worth between 25 to 50 times more than any NFT collection. So I really think that a new gold rush is coming and is going to be filled with the new blue-chip projects. We are going to be part of it, and we’re going to take all the spoils left behind.
What advice do you want to give someone who is thinking about entering the NFT space?
If you are coming as a collector, join an alpha group. An alpha group is sort of like mentoring. It’s people that really know the space. They have experienced it. They had wins and losses but mostly wins. They know what projects are best, including creators, who make things because they know how things are. Join them, like our alpha group Club 44. There’s a social media app called discord. And they create little groups. I recommend you join that. You should think differently. There’re many projects that are copycats and they bring no value. Just bring utility. Think, what would you like to get that gives you value?