Hamptons Tech Week Recap

In Beats + Bytes by Nue Agency

Yesterday at Hamptons Tech Week, I had the pleasure of having a fireside chat with Matt Medved, CEO and Co-Founder of NFT Now.

Alex and I are investors and advisers to NFT Now. We are big fans and dear friends of Matt and his two co-founders, Sam Hysell and Alejandro Navia.

Matt is living this NFT world; chronicling it; galvanizing it; building it…and clearly loving it!

But it’s a major grind and it’s moving so fast. As he said on stage, “In the NFT world, days are weeks and months are years.”

Over the past five years, Matt built Billboard’s Dance Division and was EIC of Spin Magazine, all before selling and running content for Modern Luxury. He’s also a damn good EDM DJ who was early on crypto.

When Covid hit, he fell deeper down the rabbit hole of NFTs and Web3 culture. Matt, like myself, has already been through three up-and-down cycles of Crypto.

As our discussion highlighted, Matt’s biggest regret over the past five years has been not paying as much attention to the space during its bear markets. As he put it: “I know how this movie ends!”

Are we in winter, or is it just a cold? That remains to be seen, but it was great to interview him. It was like watching his tweets come to life. Some of Matt’s key talking points were:

  • Bear markets are for building! That’s what he and the NFT Now team are doing in spades: making some key hirings to grow the vision and the team.
  • Under the mentorship of the late, great Virgil Albloh, Matt and his co-founders realized they are building the NFT Now platform for “both The Purists and The Tourists.” His goal is to super-serve the experts while also onboarding more and more Web3 newcomers.

Matt feels the big difference between audience and community is that a community is a group of people who want you to win, whereas an audience is simply a group of people who are waiting to see if you’ll win. Community is such a buzz word, but isn’t it great to build with people that are rooting for you wholeheartedly?

After a day of excellent panels, there was an after-bar jam session with Toby Daniels, which was also enlightening as we talked media and the future. Toby recently left Adweek as the Chief Innovation Officer after selling Social Media Week and is now building a very exciting Web3 media vision. It was great to compare notes. My main takeaway is that in Web 2, “People are more likely to share a headline than a brand” (Toby’s words), whereas in Web3, ownership of a brand (platform) makes people more loyal to the platform than the headline. If media companies can pull that off, that’s a fundamental shift in media and virality.

Salute to Hamptons Tech Week for pulling off a year one event. It’s a major undertaking to get things like this off the ground and I know they will take it to new heights in the future.

Also published on Medium.