Ethereum's First Marketer on Web3's Real Definition
Amanda Cassatt explains why building in Web3 is different
By: Zack Guzman
May 17, 2023
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Crypto may be an industry overburdened with technical jargon, but as Ethereum's first marketer, Amanda Cassatt has come to realize messaging in this space is everything.
Since leaving Ethereum-incubator Consensys in 2019, Cassatt has been helping crypto brands and builders communicate to the masses through her Web3 agency and studio Serotonin. But as more non-crypto-native companies jump into the NFT space, Cassatt tells Coinage she's found herself reiterating a very simple point: Web3 means real ownership.
"There is no interesting Web3 use case to me that does not involve root ownership of assets, period," Cassatt says in a new Coinage interview. "If it does not offer root ownership of assets to individuals, it is not Web3."
As a community-owned show offering our NFT holders a piece of the very outlet we're building (and the ability to vote on what we do) we couldn't agree more. But as others in the space debate whether NFTs are mostly art, collectibles, or all about community, it's nice to hear someone as influential as Cassatt remind everyone that real ownership is a non-negotiable in Web3.
Importantly, as she explains in her new book on Web3 marketing, ownership can be a win-win for customers and big brands alike. Starbucks, Nike, and Sotheby's (which Serotonin counts as a client) have all forged ahead with their own Web3 offerings in their own ways, but Cassatt says they are pretty solid examples of companies leveraging loyalty and membership in the right way.
"I think the smart brands out there know the market is cyclic," she said. "Big brands have realized that the use cases for crypto and blockchain, for them, aren’t all producing assets that are going to rise and fall in value with the market but rather creating non-correlated assets, creating community, and building on-chain [customer relations.]"
But even as Web2 giant companies take the plunge into Web3 to offer some of their brand power back to their supporters via NFTs, Cassatt highlights that there is still a lot of room for technical innovation to make that conversion process easier.
As an example, she notes that anyone who has used the internet is familiar with a "404" error that occurs when they navigate to a page that can't be found. But, as she describes, few people know that there was such a thing as a "402" error, or one that was originally meant for incomplete payments.
"A 402 error is ‘payment missing’ and it’s because the original architects of the internet actually intended there to be a native payment layer, but they didn’t build it," she explains, adding that the internet was really set up as a communications platform with payments left unfinished. Now, as crypto approaches from the other side of the web with payments as a priority, it's playing out in reverse and catching up in adding the ability for users to communicate in addition to paying each other.
“Web2 ended up being so focused on democratizing communications but had trouble assigning value to those communications, which led to a lot of the ills of Web2 and the attention business model or the advertising business model taking over," she said. Now, new ways to assign value to messages, posts, content and beyond has given rise to new platforms and projects that are challenging that status quo. Cassatt pointed to Lens and other Web3 social platforms that are letting users co-own the social media networks they're posting to as perfect examples.
To watch our full interview with Serotonin founder Amanda Cassatt, check out our video above. For all Web3 marketing NFT holders, mint your Coinage Caucus NFT at nearly half-price to co-own Coinage with us!