Ep. 8: Farokh on building communities from web2 to web3
In Episode 8 of Probably Nothing TZ (@TZhongg) and Alexis (@alexisohanian) chat with Farokh (@farokh), Founder of Rug Radio (@RugRadio). Rug Radio aims to become the first ever decentralized media company. In this episode, Farokh shares his journey building communities online, why Rug Radio is important to him, and why memes are so important in web3.
Tiffany: GM and welcome to episode eight of Probably Nothing.
I'm TZ CEO of Islands, and with my cohost Alexis Ohanian, we'll be uncovering how NFTs and web three are changing community, commerce, and content online by talking directly with the people building in the space.
Our guest today is Farokh the founder of Rug Radio, and an entrepreneur for over a decade.
Rug Radio aims to become the first ever decentralized media company.
And they fully minted out 19,000 Genesis NFTs this week.
We wanted to bring Farokh onto the show to share his insights into community building and why it's so important in web three Farokh has previously built communities, filled with millions on platforms like Tumblr, Instagram, and Clubhouse, and he is now spending all of his time in Web3.
You may be wondering what the power of community is.
For Farokh it's building and launching Rug Radio off of a joke within Twitter Spaces where he had over 300 people apply to work with Rug Radio.
Don't forget to give us a five-star rating on Apple or Spotify.
Subscribe and share this on social media to help others learn more about web three.
Feel free to tag me on Twitter @TZhongg and at @AlexisOhanian.
You get into NFTs and what helped you understand them?
Farokh: I got into it this year actually.
Hasn't been, been a full year.
You know, I was always curious about the blockchain cryptocurrency.
Like for the last few years, I don't live with regrets by me.
It gets regret is never listening to homie's in 2016.
So yo like get into this Ethereum thing.
And, and so I always thought I was late my whole life.
And so the story starts last Christmas.
I never took money from my mother.
And I think growing up, I always did my own thing, my business.
And she gave us each, my brother and I check of 5,000 Canadian, which was 3,800 USD at the time.
And I'm like, no,
Alexis: It's a lot of loonies.
Farokh: Yeah, and so I was it, but it's the first time you meet him, take the money from us and like 14 years old.
And I'm like, I'm not taking.
And she's like, put it in this Cryptocurrency stuff.
You just keep hounding me about, I'm like, you know what alright lets do it.
And so come gen one, make my account Binance, all this cause we Canada's finance and all that good stuff.
And I get some crypto.
I get into it.
I started getting really curious even more about it.
It was around the time where Clubhouse started popping, right.
Where we were curfewed Montreal.
We had it really by rural a curfew 8pm, very strict quarantine, nothing else.
You could, you were allowed to do nothing else, but breathe in your own apartment.
And so basically all I was doing was Clubhouse cause actually a year ago, yesterday was when I made my first Clubhouse room to two listeners.
So it really all started around this time, December 28th, 2020.
And so one night, you know, it's midnight.
I'm browsing the hallways of Clubhouse going through rooms and this and that.
And then I ended up in, end up in a room with my friend Buster, who, you know, T who called collectibles at NFTs.
And I'm like, what the hell is an NFT?
Next thing you know, Logan Paul joins the room.
So obviously when you have like a big name joining it, it pops two seconds later.
It's 2000 people in the audience.
We were just like a couple hundred at first.
And all of a sudden you have a bunch of artists that swarmed the stage and the good way.
So one of them was on your show, live in Basel.
Ryan Ryan, Jan Silva, Victor Fewocious shares Victim Mascara, Fvckrender greg Mike, the whole click came on.
And I was so blown away by these people.
Cause I directly felt the community feel like it felt really wholesome and it just felt, I don't know, something clicked kind of like how in 2014 I moved to Instagram and I just felt that I just felt this like thing inside of me.
And so, I started asking questions for four hours straight to four in the morning.
What is the blockchain?
How does it work?
What's an NFT, all the stupid question that people are scared to ask.
I went for it and I was asking them away and I asked everything I was fascinated.
And so I fold all of them.
I started messaging them on the side and things like that.
The next one.
I quit everything I was doing.
I bought my first NFT.
I start, we started the co-founded, the NFT called my Homie Paolo on Clubhouse, which became like the biggest club on there.
And from there everything changed.
I mean, now I literally quit everything and I was like, this is going to be my Bitcoin 2013, that I missed the theory of 2016 that I missed out on.
I'm not doing it a third time.
It can change my life and it can change the life of others.
So I just jumped in.
Alexis: Good for you.
It's quite a ride.
Alexis: I love it.
That curious mind, that instinct, that spidey sense is special.
And I think a lot of people- I take it for granted cause like my life has been starting startups, investing early in startups.
Like that is a muscle I have to exercise every day in my life the last 16 years, but what's so special about what's happening in web three is that sense of wonder and curiosity is something I think most people, when they feel like they don't understand something, the tendencies is usually to recoil and just be like, that's weird, that's dumb.
I don't understand it.
This is different.
Farokh: It's a scam.
It's a Ponzi.
And there is look, there is nothing wrong with skepticism and I would argue even it's, it's better to go into it with, with sort of an open-mind, but still a skeptical one, one that's asking question that wants to better understand.
And so what was it that I don't know, what got you on there for hours?
Farokh: Like genuinely the vibe, like the vibe check, you know, Alexis, I see you write a lot about building community for 16 years, actually shared your, your thread the other day about that.
And and so I've been building community for 10 years.
This year, I started 2011 on Tumblr.
I started social media, 12 I'm 27.
So at 12 I started making, when Facebook came out, I had to, like, I was such, such a bad ass talk life glasses.
I was 12.
And I put said that it was 13 on Facebook to make an account, you know?
And so, you know, the Facebook, Twitter 2011 was really my gig.
Like when I found out about Tumblr.
And I was 15 years old just in school.
And I was like, wow, like, I'm going to start a luxury blog on Tumblr, blah, blah, blah, 2014 found out about Instagram.
So it was always curious about community-building.
So same thing about Clubhouse.
Clubhouse was really pivotal for me because I built 15 million followers on Instagram, organically over the years, both the media company on there.
So I've been doing media and branding for the last eight to 10 years.
But when I went to Clubhouse, I realized the power of life, social audio, because the most powerful tool you have as human is your voice, because storytelling is so important, especially in community building, but even more in the NFT space.
As storytelling is one of the most important key components of talking about your art, talking about yourself and expressing yourself.
And so when I felt that energy and that vibe from like Ryan and everybody in that famous space, by the way, it's like a really famous space because it was the beginning of a thing for a lot of people.
So a lot of the artists will like, remember that and all that good stuff.
Every time I talk about it.
And it's just like that vibe, like I just saw it.
It's like, I can finally, after 10 years doing this, get rewarded for simply being a community builder and that's special because all this time.
You know, you could get rewarded at the detriment of yourself.
The platform will grow.
So essentially I'm just helping Instagram and their platform and Meta here, Clubhouse, I'm helping Clubhouse Twitter, I'm helping Twitter and this and that.
Alexis: Getting harvested for ads.
But whereas, you know, web two is like platform, creators, listeners, but what three flips the script and now its listeners, participants, creators and platform, which comes last and the creators the most important, because they're the bridge.
You know, they, they hold this thing together between the two.
And so that's where I found myself and I'm like, listen, like I'm not an artist.
I don't paint.
I don't draw.
I don't do anything of that, but I'm a community builder.
That's my art I'm a community developer.
And so I'm just going to try and build a bridge in this space and just try to make it both mainstream all while keeping in respecting the ethos of web three and the NFT space
What's wild about this is even the full-time job of community managers.
Barely existed 10 years ago.
When, when you were getting started, I didn't exist.
I remember hiring, I mean it, like, I remember, okay.
2006, hiring Eric Martin at Reddit as community manager.
Like we had to just make up what that role and responsibility was.
It was basically like, make sure people are feeling good vibes.
And, and eventually we started to understand, okay, here are some metrics, here's some goals.
This is what a healthy community looks like.
This is what good engagement is, but like that entire professional sector.
Only got really developed in the last decade and now okay.
People are realizing, okay, community teams are very important, yada, yada, yada, but, but, but, but there was a let's call it unprofessional way of doing community building that you and so many others were doing on these other platforms that you never actually got paid for.
It, you weren't a full-time employee.
You were, and you weren't a content creator in the traditional sense, right.
You're not taking a selfie and hoping to make some money on the side with selling the right sugar water or whatever and yet like the craft, the art, as you said, is community building and what's wild is people only barely understood that as a career path, there are maybe little kids today who will understand that they could grow up and be full-time community managers tomorrow, just even the traditional
Farokh: And get paid extremely well.
Like I was a law school student, by the way.
At the same time I was building my business like, and I saw the shift.
It happened during this period of me being in law school, the whole shift.
Alexis: So you left law school because you thought it was more lucrative to be a community builder?
Farokh: It was already cause so basically one-
Alexis: More satisfying or more, or just viable?
Farokh: So in 2014, when I got into Instagram, I just did my homework and I started building my business in January, 2015.
So I was one of these guys that was selling shout-outs and growing multiple pages.
Like I was selling shots like Gary V back March, 2015.
I mean like this, this type of people, like for growth can be services.
Got my Instagram page to 2.5 million followers.
I built the, one of the biggest luxury publications in the world, and it still does 150 mil impressions a month, except I don't run it since a year.
I abandoned Instagram completely.
I just made a move to web three.
And so I was already an entrepreneur, but I stayed in law school.
I mean, I have a Persian model.
It's probably a lot because of that, that lasted so long for like four years.
And so yeah, like really mostly because of that.
And so it's funny because in Jan 17, I was in Bologna.
I was doing a year in law school abroad.
I came to New York to meet with G with Gary, and then in person, he offered me a job to move to New York for six months.
And then that's when I realized, I said, if somebody like him realizes that someone like me has this value to bring this up to something good, that means I'm really up to something good.
So I actually dropped out, like I was like, I didn't actually end up going to work over there, but I was like, that was like a signal for me that this is exactly where I need to be.
And I was already making enough money that it was looking at people around me and the burnout and anxiety.
And this is not like law school is not easy.
And so seeing all that, and I was like, this is not where I want to be.
I don't like it.
I did an internship at 18 at a law firm.
It wasn't for me.
And so I want it to be out there on social media, inspiring building, making money, helping people make money, just do my thing.
And it was web 2 kind of help build a base for people like myself and community builders.
But web three allowed us to actually turn this into something that's profitable, but also will help, like before I can inspire someone Instagram.
So you have this like connection with people, but in web three, you can change a life financially and there's a different level to this, and I'm sure you're seeing it too firsthand.
And it's just like, there's this different connection you have with people and it's really special here.
Tiffany: Your story is just, so, is so incredible to hear.
I mean, both of you guys took similar paths and almost becoming lawyers and like dipping out at the last minute to start companies.
Farokh: Wait you too?
I had no idea.
Alexis: In theory, I was an aspiring lawyer.
And then I walked out of an LSAT.
So in order to get into law school here in the states, you got to take the LSAT.
I made it 20 minutes into the test and I bailed and I went to go eat waffles.
And I realized I didn't want to be a lawyer.
And I needed to be an entrepreneur instead.
And then I recruited my roommate.
I was like, Hey, you can code.
Like come on, I'm going to build a company.
I need you to join me.
Like let's do this.
And the rest is history.
Tiffany: That's how that's, how Reddit came to life.
That's how popular websites came to life after you decided to not become a lawyer.
Alexis: Thanks to waffle house.
Farokh: Yeah, that's really cool.
Alexis: I'm glad you saw the light to a man.
Farokh: Thank you.
I mean, it's, it's, it wasn't that hard.
When I was looking around me and seeing what was coming out of Instagram, like just what we could build out of it.
Tiffany: Farokh, you came from Tumblr to Instagram, to clubhouse, to Twitter today.
Now across the past decade, almost I'm curious on how you've seen building community, changing across all these different platforms and how you've seen even just different types of social dynamics on these platforms.
You've mentioned kind of web two versus web three.
There's a reason why you completely abandoned Instagram and you're just fully on Twitter and Discord now.
I'm so curious on what you've seen as the shifts across the years and how you've been spending your time as well.
Building up these communities.
Farokh: It's all platforms.
If there's one thing I've noticed, like there's, it's the same secret across all of them is that there's no secret.
And the secret is just consistency and just going at it every day, whether it was on Tumblr where the first two years I did nothing and grew 1k followers.
Then in the last year, I was like, no, I'm going to do something.
I built one of the biggest luxury platforms on there, or an Instagram where it started from zero to 10 million followers across pages in 24 months or Clubhouse or Twitter is just, I show up every day and I build an authentic manner.
First of all, because being authentic is the best way to avoid any types of burnouts or anxiety or all that stuff.
Cause you're not lying.
You're just being undeniable yourself.
So once you break that ice and you can be yourself comfortably on any platform changed.
Now, the only difference is the medium.
On Tumblr, we're posting these sort of like, oh, that's nice dog on Tumblr we're posting nice pictures and this and that.
And, you know, connect with people.
And that's it.
On Instagram, you post photos, you connect with people through your comments.
Remember the whole comment thing, thing to if like I was just commenting back replying to everyone.
As soon as stories came out, I was on it.
Like I w I used to be pretty big on Snapchat too.
At some point I just pivoted to IG moved to stories.
So I suppose it's just using the tools and the mediums that your given.
Tiffany: I'm so curious on the tactical side as well, obviously like you have a lot of persistency and consistency.
That is one of your most important kind of traits.
I feel like you always show up every day and you always bring a very positive attitude to these platforms.
That's literally what Farokh is good vibes in a human being.
Besides that though, what were kind of the tactical things you've seen in growing on, on these platforms?
Farokh: Engaging as much as possible with your community and the audience means being present for them, not just for yourself.
Cause yeah, you just talking for, being present for yourself and be consistent every day, but it's just genuinely going out there and replying to people like how many people.
Will tweet, but are not willing to reply to the tweets like them back answer people answered them DMS and put themselves out there, whether on Instagram or any platform, a lot of people go the first step of day, which is trying to put a quote cool tweet out.
But not that many people are willing to actually put the time into building their own energy, their own audience.
Because when you think about it, I used to do the same thing on, on Instagram, which I copied pasted methods Twitter, your audience is a living, breathing organism, right?
A big one, but you don't reach out your entire audience with every post.
So every single post, every tweet is its own also microorganism and micro entity within the larger one.
So you have to, every single time you put something out there, follow up with it.
It's not like yo Jim, why me and my friends and you're out.
Like it doesn't work like that.
You know, there's much more depth to it.
Creativity and authenticity, people will be able to call it out very easily and web3 through even more than a web 2, but the importance just actually showing up for people and answering them, you'd be surprised how many people would be just grateful for you to acknowledge them.
And it's important.
Because people value time as much as people may believe that or not.
And you liking a comment means you've read it and you've given them that couple seconds or minutes in their time.
And it can mean the world for someone.
And I've seen that first.
I know on Instagram, you're like someone's comment or post on stories.
Thank you for liking.
You know, it's just, it means a lot for people.
So sometimes as a creator and a community developer, you have to put yourself from the other side, understand that people really expect more of you than just putting something out there.
They want to be part of what it is that's going on.
Tiffany: I pretty much almost always like replies on my Instagram or, or tweets sometimes I'll reply and anything that's like a negative comment.
I won't engage, but like, pretty much, if you say something that's like a nice enough comment or helpful or insightful, I'll like engage with it.
It's just about building these long-term relationships and engaging with people who are willing to give their time to you.
Like they deserve to have a reaction.
Farokh: Yeah, they do.
These are people that follow you everywhere.
They support you.
Some people I saw my Twitter has been following me since seven, eight years on Instagram.
Like, yeah, like they don't have to do that.
They don't have to like me.
There's so many people like me, but you know what?
Like they decided to, to, to follow me in my ventures.
So the least I can do for them is like, try to, you know, acknowledge them at least.
Alexis: I love that.
And you're making me feel guilty now.
I feel like I get back to a couple of people in their replies, but I needed to be doing so much.
Farokh: You're good.
You're you're I mean, come on, like.
Tiffany: I go in and like replies to Alexis is tweets that are regarding our podcast.
Farokh: I go every tweet, every tweet, after a few minutes, I go and I just chain like people's replies.
And I try to read a few and retweet a few and answered.
So a few buttons.
It's not for everyone.
It's a lot of work.
It takes a lot of time, but like, that's what I love doing personally and everything we're building, even a Rug Radio, like lives on Twitter right now with our audience Discord in our community.
So it's like, it's, it's important that we do it.
It's like literally like one of the most important things to do to engage with people.
Tiffany: It's so simple, but like most people just don't want to put the it's just time.
TIFF like most people just aren't ready to go.
The extra mile, that extra mile with community building is actually.
Alexis: Look, you, you spend your time and you put your attention in the places that matter to you and it's work it's effort.
Like anything you can't expect to get better at video game, unless you put in time, you can't expect to get better at quilting unless you quilt and you put in the time you can't expect to develop a community unless put in the time to build community, to engage, to do all this stuff.
And I get it, especially right now, you know, community was already becoming very popular.
I've been ranting and raving about minimum viable community for a little bit now, but NFTs in particular took it to another level because people could instantly see the potential for value creation for wealth creation for, for things that are good things.
You know, people, people who are now early to the right communities even get rewarded for being early and in quote-unquote.
That's, there's tremendous value to being one of the first people to get into hip hop and spread the word about hip hop that never normally got collected by the people who actually helped create culture.
Time and time again, that was never possible NFTs fixed that, but it also attracts a lot of people who just want to earn a quick buck and.
You know, ghost and disappear.
How do you think this, the, the broader ecosystem is going to evolve especially next year when Coinbase gets into this?
When I think we're going to see even more people thinking about talking about engaging in NFTs, how do you think the immune system responds to even more kind of grifters and rug pulls?
Farokh: You know, like anything, like even outside of web three, there's a bunch of scams, a bunch of scammers that come to trust my Instagram, where we were like, just five of us build the Instagram pages in 2014, Alexis.
Like I was building Instagram pages where they used to tell me I was an idiot.
Like it's, you're almost not part of anybody's marketing plans in 2014.
And like they were saying I'm stupid.
But through time we saw how many, even the word influencer wasnt in the dictionary.
Remember when it got coined in.
And so like the Merriam-Webster made a whole thing about it.
And so, you know, it was just the same thing as web 2 Alexis on Instagram, all of a sudden there's gurus.
Like all of a sudden it's people that know everything about social media sell you fricking courses on build community and like, no, yo just follow Alexis Ohanian.
I'm sure he has a podcast that you got for free.
So, so the thing is, but the same thing is gonna come.
The web three is already coming.
It's going to NFTs.
There's gonna be grifters.
But the beauty of web three is like no other space.
It weights the negative out so quick.
You've seen whether it's celebrities or regular people that, you know what I mean by that it's like all sorts of people come in and get pushed out by the core committee and by everything.
Because they did not care for the very community.
I started nine months ago, which is like, like 10 years in this space right now.
Like, especially the speed with which is going.
And like, there's a lot of people that started sitting around same time as me.
I'm already not seeing part of the ecosystem because they just got weeded out.
There's a lot of people that come in and just get out.
So I'm not worried about that because I'm so locked and loaded, focused like tunnel vision, almost on the good and the power of the people are elevating the people that are good.
Which is why we're building Roberto as a platform in launchpad to build multiple community builders, developers, hosts, creators artists in the space and elevate them so that once those people come you're going to have no choice, but to look towards these people that are doing good, because they're the leaders paving the way the trailblazers paving the way for the people that are coming.
So our goal is really to build this attention machine where people are gonna be like, wow, like I want to go towards music NFTs.
I'm going to listen to these kind of people.
I want to listen to this sports NFT, psychedelic NFTs, fricking any sort of thing.
That's where I go and listen and educate myself.
So I'm not- there's going to be a lot of people coming, especially web tool platforms, pivoting, right.
I'm sure Meta has a move for NFTs in 20 21, 20 22 Twitter already spoke about Ethereum wallets that's public knowledge, you know, as commented to Twitter as well.
I mean, it's inevitable.
I believe that like my, my theory is we're 10x-ing by this time next year.
Not financially, I'm talking about attention and people coming in.
So let's say I have 150,000 followers I'm going to hit that maybe today or tomorrow on Twitter.
It's probably going to be 10 X that next year.
That's why I'm seeing happen with like the amount of people are coming in.
Even at the end of this year, it's like racing to get in 2021.
And so I'm more focused on that.
I think it's on us like myself, you TIFF.
And everybody that's really like building right now in this space to work on tools, to educate the masses that are about to come.
That's mainly what I'm focused on right now.
Tiffany: What do you want to be known for?
Farokh: I just.
The same thing you say by me, like to life you're like, yo, he was like good vibes.
Like that's, that's like, I want to be known for like what we're building right now.
I'm funny in the position Alexis of like the founder, right.
With rug radio, and we're building like the first, fully decentralized web media company.
That's governed by DAO.
And it's going, gonna be owned by the people and the creators and the listeners like actually owned by the creators and listeners.
And so that's, my legacy is what I'm going to leave on this earth.
And like in a few years, like, I don't even have to even like be there building is barely being built by the people and owned by it.
That's that's that means I'll be successful in life.
So why we just want to be known for, for the guy that gives good hugs and as just vibes myself, like, you know, like I'm 27, I'm a kid, I get to jam and vibe with people like yourself and like just grow and build with some really incredible people now, which is a blessing.
It doesn't feel real, honestly.
Like it's really new to me.
So this like is quite insane and overwhelming at times.
If I can just be your own for the guy who really helped like be voice and the face for NFTs and web three and elevate communities, especially you know, like all sorts of communities, including minorities to change the past and what the mistakes we've done, a web one and what two, then I'll have them.
Tiffany: I love that.
I asked that because you're talking about, there are certain people to follow around music NFTs or specific category.
So I was just curious on how you wanted to think about your long-term branding in the space as well.
Cause I know you're very thoughtful about how you position yourself, how you brand yourself, even down to kind of your bio and things like that.
Farokh: So yeah, just like, you know, it's funny cause on Instagram and that's why you started with that.
It was a CEO of everything it's just because, and that's the joke, right?
Obviously it's like, I want to be the CEO of good vibes.
I'll be CEO of good vibes.
I want to be a CEO of like, I dunno, like Twitter space, VCO, Twitter spaces, like co like, you know, there's that, like, I think that as an entrepreneur, we wear many hats and of course it's good to be focused on one thing you build and you explode and then, you know, you can move on to the next few things, which is what I'm doing now, but like, for just in general, being more of the people that really changed the world.
Like, and I mean, that really, like, it's not just like, oh, somebody put on a postcard, like, that's it, you know?
And it's happening slowly, like in New York.
And the NFT week, I think I was talking at the same time as you Alexis actually, but I kind of stopped, but it's it's just, just seeing people come and say, like, I listened to you, you made COVID the pandemic easier to live with or someone saying they met their brother again and started being friends again because of our clubhouse rooms and spaces or people connecting with themselves.
And this feeling like inspired or changing their lives financially because they heard me host a board room on May 1st.
$400 and now they made $2 million.
It's just like, it's, it means a lot.
It like straight up like in New York after my speech, like I just like when the head in the quarter it started crying, like, cause it just like, it felt so good, like for the first time in years, because it's crazy what's happening right now.
I hope a lot of people listen to, as I get into the space lives are being changed, like it's really crazy.
Tiffany: It's such an exciting space.
We're so lucky to be able to be building and doing things in web three full time.
It's a blessing.
I hope everybody moves to web three.
I hope everyone moves to web.
Tiffany: People will, it's just a matter of time and we're just trying to shorten that time frame.
Farokh: It's that's why like what's Alexis.
It was cool with web three allows us like it's it allows, and you touched on that for being an early adopter or a participant in something to get rewarded.
And so anyone in one building where three, you can go and try and participate in give of your time and your expertise, like what we're building.
Like you want to make memes and get paid, to make things we'll pay you to make memes straight up.
And you know what?
That's one of the most important jobs, literally like you want to host a show, we'll set you up with a team over there.
We'll push your show.
We'll launch a show.
We'll create, you want to build a brand.
You wanna be an artist or be creative.
You're anything you want.
Like one of three, literally like allows that it's crazy.
I hope everybody wastes up to it.
Cause it exists.
Tiffany: I want to talk about memes and how your background can memes and curating things and like trends leads to you being really good taste-maker and collector and web three
Farokh: Elons tweet last year or something.
When it says memes on the universe, he will control the means.
control of the universe is more than a tweet.
It's very deep actually.
Because when I started making memes like.
Kids high school.
Like I saw it just me, like it was something that attracted the masses and people could associate to me, like for every reaction or feeling now you have a meme for it, you know?
And in this space, especially like a lot of things that become memes like one of the biggest themes of all crypto is the dogecoin.
It was a meme and then blew up right.
Then you're seeing a lot of means blow up also in the space.
In web three and NFTs, I think they've impacted like everyone's lives and the way that's on the internet, like for meNFTs.
And that was my thesis early on.
When I started understanding it is you have crypto OGs, which is not me.
It's like all the people that have been in Bitcoin in 2013, you heard ETH early ICO or whatever.
And then you have internet kids, which is where I stand because I'm an internet kid that just met.
Like, it's like the mix of the two of them that started this visual evolution, this revolution.
But the first form of it is NFTs, which is being shown through art, which is the most beautiful form of self expression.
So like you have a bunch of internet kids and people that have been living in like video games and crypto on social Twitter, there's that have been making memes as a vehicle to like push, like to express themselves.
And that are now creating generational wealth through those memes.
And there'll be able to like really just build things out of them.
So like Rug Radio it's a meme.
Like it's just a massive meme being actually built, like it's called Rug Radio.
And so the other day, like even my, my, my girlfriend's father asking me like, yo, like why Rug?
And I had to explain the Rug Pull, pulling the rug on someone in crypto, and then it evolves to just like, oh, If someone wants-
Tiffany: You should explain that here, you should explain the name and the origin and the whole meme around rugs.
And you've been robbed every time you're on Twitter spaces
Farokh: So a rug pull originally is a very negative, like very like bad connotation to that.
I'm not a cryptologist.
I would try to explain as well as I can, but getting rug pulled like there was an ICO boom, in 2017, you'd put your money in the project.
They would pull the rug under you and steal.
So it's actually a pretty bad thing getting ruffled.
And, but the thing is, it became kind of like crypto slang, like NFT web three, like Twitter slide to get rugs.
And so when Twitter spaces came out after clubhouse, their technology was like, not that good.
Actually two days ago it was hosting 2100 people for the MP3 serum, Chubb from the boy yacht club.
And they rugged us like the Twitter space just ended on us when early on I was hosting Twitter spaces for lethally.
See, like, and I still do it, but like six, 12 hours a day.
Like I run marathons, we get rubbed like four or five times an hour and I would come back and I would come back and I w I didn't care.
I would just start the space.
My audience would get slashed in half.
I don't care.
I would just start over and, you know, it would reset the room and we made memes about it in a joke.
And one day I'm like, you know, I'm going to call it Rug Radio and it get sponsored by Dyson, you know, cause rugs and stuff.
And so we finally got the email from Dyson, but the thing is, it started as a meme as a joke.
Cause like Rug Radio.
It's so catchy.
When you think about it though, like people love Rug Radio, because it's like what started as a big joke on a Twitter space because one night I rented for on September 19th of this year, three months ago, we run a 12 hour long space and we got ruggedmaybe 30, 40 times.
I'm like, Hey.
We'll call it Rug Radio, and let's build a decentralized web three media company out of it.
While we're at it.
We have so many big brains in this space and all of a sudden this guy's like I volunteer to be that person.
I want to be creative director.
I want to do the tokenomics.
I want to do that.
We built a team-
Tiffany: Everyone was volunteering to be so many different things.
You've got all.
Farokh: 300 people applied to work for Rug Radio with Rug Radio.
And I haven't even made the form public yet to the Discord.
As 20,000 people were just 3000 people back then.
Cause I still have to go through 300 forms and people that wanted to work with us.
And so what's crazy is we actually, what started as a meme, we built it and we did it and we launched it and was funny.
And you guys are going to see on the one 11, I showed the one when this recording goes out, but on January 11th, it was just coming out.
But maybe it'll have come out by the time.
The 20,000 NFTsare actually modeled after like Persian rugs.
I'm Persian too.
So it just helps.
And it, and it's hilarious and they're beautiful and the artwork is incredible, but it's not even an art project.
It's a utility project, but it had to have good art.
And it's very like memeable because, you know, that's, that's what gets shares.
That's what gets, this is what people want to collect.
That's what people love.
So I think, you know, that's how it started and, and, you know, it's, it's like a meme ecosystem.
Like we're going to have a market for memes as well.
Like it's just like, why not?
They literally run the internet.
Tiffany: How is Rug Radio going to work?
Farokh: So basically the way it works, it there's a lot going on.
Yeah, there's a lot.
So what's cool is we have all like infographics and, you know, recordings and this and that, that are coming out with to show everybody exactly how things worked.
But basically we manage to fully decentralized the way we're building this, which is really cool.
And so basically you have Rug Radio, which is, you know the brand and it's going to be governed by DAO the Rug DAO, within the rug that we're going to have the Rug Bag, which is going to generate the Rug Token on a daily basis, over the span of five years, going to almost all the tokens.
I'm not a tokenomics expert that smell she's a genius.
I found her on that space as well.
She built the entire backend infrastructure.
It's a slow release on purpose so we can respect the true decentralization of it and really put, our community first, which is super important.
And so it's really cool the DAO is going to be governed by first by council and then the artists, the tech team that I've helped it.
And then by its actual people.
First we released 20,000 membership passes for free, with low gas, which was really cool because the cynical Dowty managed to lower the guests down to all the way to $10 for some people minted, depending on price gwei, which is really cool because I think that it's on the founders nowadays to really work on lowering the gas fees.
Like we know.
We can't fix it yet.
So figure it out and fix it for your community.
Like it's all new now.
Like when I see a project, like $500 gas, I'm like I'm out because he didn't care enough because the truth is there are protocols.
There is the tech now to work on it.
So we managed to do that thankfully for us and the kids that were incredible people.
And so basically it's 20,000 memberships.
So 19,000 go to the public a thousand will go to the DAO and then on January 11th, 2021.
So 1/ 11/ 22 going to love the numbers.
They they're also a big part of the space too, but on 1 /11 /23, 19,000 people will be able to meet the one in FTE goes is max one per wallet for .11 ETH, which is so one past equals one Rug Genesis NFT, and then a thousand of them will go straight to the DAO and out of the 19,000 that people are paying for more than 50% of the total amounts of the first sales go directly to the DAO.
And I was, that was a very important part for me because most of the projects you've seen come out in the last year the founders taken a hundred percent of primary market and the secondary goes to a DAO or whatever to community, but like, I don't think it's fair.
Like, why do you need to get 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10 million, $20 million.
But what have you done?
Like, what are you doing for this space yet?
I think as a founder, you have to put in a Dow so I can help serve the community and build the actual project.
So with what we're building and also instills a lot of confidence in the project, people will see a treasury with like four to $5 million to pay the price of ETH right into the project.
And then you calculate taxes, paying the team, this and that.
So part of the blockchain saw public.
This is how it's going to run TIFF.
Like people would have to member passes to be accessed to ecosystem, and then they're going to have the Rug cause you don't burn the pass you keep your Rug, which depending on scarcity will yield a different amount of Rug Token that is directly airdropped into people's wallets on a weekly basis.
So they don't even have to claim it or waste gas on that.
There's a whole system set up to directly airdrop it to people which incentivizes the holding a long time.
Because once you get to 1800 rug tokens, you can go to the Rug Bank and exchange it for a DAO token, which has ownership in the company so you have a saint into the whole rug radio ecosystem, but there's going to be a, it's a utility token.
So there's going to be a lot attached to it.
Of course, that'd be a whole bunch of brands would be incubated built within web three within the Rug Radio ecosystem.
You're going to be able to use Rug Token with that can buy art memes like so many different things that are yet to come, because the reason why we decided to build this, like instead of just being me for real I think trying to help my community is like, we can have like a hundred of me that are all using Rug Radio as a launch pad and an ecosystem as an incubator and accelerator to build their own brands because we're armed them with all these tools, they pay nothing.
And then they're going to be able to go out there and educate the masses about web three.
And this is exactly why we started that.
It was one night, that one that we talked about earlier, I'm on spaces for 10 hours and someone, my community Discord writes damn.
I wish I could stay listening, but I have to go back to my shitty $11 an hour job tomorrow.
Like word-for-word the person said that, so it doesn't come from me.
And I was like, whoa, like how can I create something so that they can spend 10 hours on my spaces, learn, educate themselves, but also get rewarded for that, right?
Because time is money.
And like, you need to put food on your table and a roof over your head.
Like, let's be honest.
Like you need a cell phone to get on spaces right.
So like you got to pay those bills, but there's so much interest in where we have a lot of people still have that barrier to entry, which is their actual regular lives.
Like it was just talking to a teacher and she's like, well, if I can find a way to like, get out of that and to educate in there, but get paid for it.
And I'm like, yeah, this is exactly what it is.
Because if I told you that you get paid to stay in school, you probably would've stayed at school.
Well, not you specifically, but a lot of people, right.
It's like learn to earn, participate to earn I don't like the word anymore.
I think we're getting rid of it and web three, but consume to earn just for people to understand better where they're necessarily web three native, but even that.
And so if we can tap into the Twitter ecosystem at first and try to, you know, especially cause they're like puttingEthereum wallets and all that, and try to reward our people in our community for just being, just being, they can get rewarded, just holding a token, just holding the passes of the Rugs you get rewarded.
But if you want to help we're building tools and protocols.
We're going to put, be able to put pledges out for people to take jobs and get rewarded and ETH and Rug token as well.
So basically it's just an incubator, creator, fun, frickin everything at once for everybody in the web three space.
And we had to build it because we're from the community.
So it has to come from us.
We have to do it, or someone else will, and they may not have the right intentions.
And it like says, it's like, like you said, a lot of people are going to come in and I don't know what intentions they'll have, but I know my intentions and that the intentions of the team is surrounded with and our communities are a really good, even Ginger agrees, right Ginger?
Ginger says, yes!
Alexis: We love when pets are involved.
Tiffany: The future, the future of media right here laid out right in front of us.
Farokh: Right there, straight up, like it's like, it's, it's crazy.
Like, I can't believe we're launched.
Like it's, it's really unreal.
It feels good.
Tiffany: I'm excited for, for this next year for a Rug Radio, as you go and build it all out, launch it in January, it's going to be an absolute blast.
Farokh: I'm excited for everyone, honestly.
Like what I, what I think, you know, what you see in 2021 is nothing next to what we're about to see in 2022, like we're hitting the masses so hard.
Like some people say we might not still be early.
We're still very early in terms of the understanding of what three and you know, like people actually getting it.
I mean, you've seen it on Twitter recently, right?
The whole thing with Jack and Milan and this and that, and people and records they were and all that.
So that goes to show us how early we are when there's still these conversations going around, which are good.
I'm happy this is happening because wept is all about conversation, which is why it's important to have Twitter space and all that because they allowed conversation flow and or podcasts like this, you know, but it's we're, we're, we're early, but we're almost there.
Alexis: What's it going to take for you to come back to Clubhouse?
What would it take for you to come back to Clubhouse?
Farokh: The community.
I'll go wherever the community goes like tomorrow, the whole NFT space says, yo, we're going to this platform I'm out.
And that's what happened with me and Clubhouse.
It was nothing personal, or I talked to Paul about that, but it's just like, it's a really tough conversation because genuinely love Clubhouse from the bottom of my heart and the technology they've built is beyond anything.
I could have 200 people on my stage.
We did it once with the apes who are doing ape sounds and like reading rooms was hilarious on May 1st.
And by your first ape .2 ETH and sing, oh my God, are we going to flip them for 0.3?
Now its like 60 ETH but it's, it's the big early, like just being in the right room at the right time.
But it's Clubhouse had everything going on for themselves, right, Alexis.
I mean, I see, I saw you on there quite a few times and it had the best creators and the best clubs and the best people and everything was rolling but I feel like Twitter, like probably just had the people on there and I've had that conversation a lot with people.
Cause it was tough for me to move.
And I was one of the first bigger club households to completely shift if not one of the first, like really one of the first one, because I started really, it's just like, people don't want to go on another app.
People want to go on an app where they can actually interact with each one another on the same app.
You know, they don't want to quit and go and click on a tweet and then go on Instagram and going there.
They want to stay on their ecosystem and then maybe for some people it's the doxing thing or the fake names.
Like our space is a lot about identity and having your own secret identity.
I think you speak about that a lot, right?
Alexis like you're right.
Alexis: Identity is a big deal.
I am one of my big bets, founding Reddit, even 16 years ago, I had an investor ask, like, what's the thing you believe about the world that nobody else does.
And it was that people would care as much or more about their pseudonym, their made up name than their government name.
And never, is that more obviously true than, than right now in web3.
Farokh: I'm just, Farokh like there's no, that you can find my last name is everywhere on my social media.
It's just Farokh all my usernames, everything.
Like, it's just this who I am.
And like a lot of people, like, obviously I know a lot of the collectors and face those spaces that are anon, but because we've met in places and they're still stinging on, right.
They're there, but they're like, So they can be like chill, relax, and they have their audience on Twitter.
And I think that's what happens.
So what would it take for me to go back on there?
Like, I don't know, like every time I go, I open the app and I'm like, all right, let's bust out a room open.
Let's just run with it.
Like I'm like, but I can spend the same two hours on Twitter and maybe grow my audience there and this network effect.
And like, you know, I don't know.
It's a really tough question.
It's where it all started though.
Like, you know, it's because of Clubhouse.
I wrote that yesterday because it was my one year starting my first room where I had two listeners for six hours.
So I think people should really, I hope people caught on to that because a lot of people would quit at two listeners and then we did it.
And and you know, it's just, they started something which then there's Discord stages, Twitter spaces, green line, or green room on Spotify, whatever that was all because of this effect, that Clubhouse created and it's important to acknowledge that.
But sometimes I guess, I don't know if it's about being, is it, I mean, you would know better than me, but sometimes being first and having the best tech is good, but having maybe a less, better tech and more bigger communities.
Alexis: It definitely depends in this case.
It's like, if what you're building is just a feature, then you're in a dangerous territory.
And so folks who have the distribution can copy that feature executed a little better and because people already have you know, a following there's a, you know, the switching cost issue.
It makes people want to stick around where they already are, but obviously web three also fixes this because if everything is happening on an open ledger, you have, you know, the, the OpenSea OpenDAO phenomenon was amazing, maybe because you're, you got a glimpse into what can happen in the future where a new team can show up with something pretty compelling and instantly incentivize all of the like power users of another platform pay attention somewhere else to become a new community somewhere else to hit that minimum viable community overnight.
And it'll be interesting.
I don't think anything particular about OpenDAO it's just that proof of concept now is just one more example of how the power is going to continue to be held by the community and then the individuals that they want to talk about and celebrate.
Farokh: Well, I can tell you right now that the goal for Rug Radio over the span of a certain amount of time is to build our own decentralized social media platform where everybody's going to be able to go own it and consume and educate and build on like people asked you, yeah.
Phase one, your immediate platform, your social media.
I think this is phase one.
We're launching the media platform.
We're building the community, but the second we have a million people that are part of the community and the funds and the team that you can build.
You can easily roll that out into building your own planet.
And I think that the current web two platforms should pay more attention to that they already are.
They've always reached out.
It's really cool because we get to work with these platforms now and really elevate, well, three, like I'm in a position where I can say, yo, like, I think you guys should do this better or that better work on this and that to really focus on that community.
Cause there's something going on here that you don't want to miss the boat, but the future, in my opinion, is a platform called XYZ.
That everybody owns and can participate in, you know and like, I think the idea was very good.
I ventured there.
Of course, my curious nature, you have to venture everywhere, especially in this space.
There's a good idea with the wrong execution, right?
But once you have the right idea and the proper, nicely done execution, not a company where 80% of tokens are owned by VCs and this, the VCs are not bad.
That's not what I'm saying is they should not own everything everybody's on web three is this we're all on the same level.
Me, you Tiff the new person that comes in as we're talking, or the person has been there for four years.
I don't care.
Like it doesn't matter OG new, whatever.
We're all on the same.
That's what three.
So the next platform is going to pop and the one where everybody starts here and gets reward the same amount and is building that's.
What we did with Rug Radio is that we went straight to our community with 19,000 fam lists.
Like we call it fam lists the presale, right?
And then that's where we went, because we could have gone the traditional more web2 route of trying to raise money, this and that.
There's nothing wrong with that because you need money to build.
But I rather do it from within the community give ownership to them because these other people.
That helped me get to even 150,000 followers in the first place to get to where I am now.
So they should be the people rewarded first because the other entrance can enter at stage two and still a afford too and still see a massive gain in resolve even financially speaking right on their public market once everything's out there.
And what's cool is that once they, these people enter, at least I know my community gets the buyout, which is the most important thing to me.
Farokh: And if someone's not community centered, it gets, seems very quick on Twitter, especially like
Tiffany: It's very obvious.
It's so obvious to read right through it.
And people like that come and go.
We're just going to, so as a final question Farokh, if you're stranded on an island, what NFT would you bring?
It can be your collection or any NFT in the world.
Farokh: I have to say...
One NFT only?
Tiffany: You can do one NFT from your collection, one NFT, any, any collection,
Farokh: I'll go for my collection, but some strength, but what am I going to do with the NFT on an island?
I'll take my Cool Cat because I'm a Cool Cat and my Cool Cat is me.
I have many of them, but it's the one that I use as my avatar, which is my identity if I had to go all the way down to one cat, it would be this guy.
Cause I just love it.
It's this guy right there.
He is this web three as it gets like a, with a tactical VAs, rainbow head in the unicorn and the guy like this makes no sense to some people, but it's just amazing.
Tiffany: I love your cats so much.
Farokh: I love my punk.
I love my ape.
I love my other NFTs and the art, but my Cool Cat is really like.
I know you like him, you guys both like it.
We're just, you know, I have a bunch of them and, and I just love the project, but again, another power of web three is what drew me to them in July.
When I first saw them under one eighth is like the community again, a community is only as good as their leader too.
So you're looking at the artists and the deserts are amazing people.
You're looking at the community being burst or wholesome, and people want to help one another.
It makes everybody wants to get into NFTs.
And there's so many of those communities, I'm just mentioning this one.
Cause I'm obviously I've been into it hardcore, but like there's a lot of them being built.
So everybody should just wander around Twitter streets and like Discord servers and just like go and find something.
But yeah, definitely the island, you know, on my islands, my Islands .xyz.
Tiffany: Thank you so much for joining us Farokh.
This was a lot of fun and excited for next year with you.
Farokh: Thank you guys.
I'm excited with you guys too.
We're going to change the world from probably nothing.