The Sunday Drip #6 | How one ignored text cost me $252k (and counting)
"I love this kind of stuff. I think it's going to get some traction at some point." -Me, a known idiot
Welcome to The Sunday Drip from the Sunday:Drip Society crew. Each Wednesday, we’ll breakdown a broad web3 topic and share our thoughts on what’s really happening beneath the surface. (Today is a departure from my normal deep dives. We are jumping into a more lighthearted story. Maybe I’ll add a point at the end.)
Be sure to subscribe to get these posts delivered directly to your inbox as soon as they come out 👇
I told this story on Episode 3 of the podcast Cryptoland (you can listen here at 55:05), but the story actually needed more context to show just how stupid it really was and why I feel worse than the average person who knew about, but missed, some early NFT projects. I also have a plan that won’t work but will make me happy.
Let’s give some background. On June 6th, 2021, my Sunday:Drip co-founder, Kallaway, and I exchanged these texts.
In summary, he told me that Bored Ape Yacht Club was going to be massive and I basically told him this is cool I bet it will catch on. And I didn’t buy one. Roman, you idiot. The floor at this time was 1.25 ETH or $3,400 (~1ETH today).
But wait — there is more to this story.
Lots of people passed on BAYC. Lots of people passed on BAYC at every price point. Why is my story worse than anyone else’s story of passing on BAYC?
Let me summarize why, starting from “not that crazy” to “okay wow, you had every chance to not mess this up.”
I trusted the person telling me about BAYC with other investment advice.
Kallaway is a super close friend of mine who I trust with advice on many things. I know he had been successful investing in BTC, ETH, and SOL. To me he is not that crazy friend who started buying jpeg’s in a basement. He runs a business within a major management consulting company. He had already earned my trust. To quote the Fridge from the Bears Super Bowl Shuffle, “he’s no dumb cookie.”
I was actively looking into crypto investments at this exact time.
I had just started a new job and had received a signing bonus that I wanted to partially invest in crypto. I had recently taken his advice to buy Ethereum (simple enough) and I was starting to look into alt coins at this time.
Like many others, my strategy was invest in the more sure things (like BTC and ETH) and take some fliers on alt coins. I knew that in crypto you have to take chances on smaller cap projects when you want to get a big win. BAYC was fully within my risk tolerance and budget at the time for crypto investments.
I loved the art of BAYC and am a huge fan of modern art.
Growing up, my mom owned an art store on a college campus. When your mom owns an art store growing up, you embrace art in your life more than the average person. Currently, my sister is an assistant to the curator of a major art museum. Art has always been a part of my life, and my aesthetic preferences lean toward modern art. Digital art is a perfect example of a modern art medium that I embrace.
Additionally, I knew digital art was up and coming. I knew that digital art pieces from Beeple had been selling for millions. NFTs and digital art were right up my alley. When I saw the BAYC collection on OpenSea for the first time, I loved it.
I was as far from the right-click-save crowd as you could be. I got NFTs. As soon as I learned about NFTs I was completely on
Bored (get it?) board. This wasn’t a blocker for me. The art was a compelling enough reason on its own to consider BAYC.
Let’s get a status update.
I got advice from a person I trusted. Check.
I was financially secure enough to invest $3k in an NFT. Check.
I loved the art and believed in NFTs. Check.
Okay let’s keep going.
I am a huge basketball fan, and NBA players were buying BAYC.
I like to put myself in the rare camp of people who love hockey and love NBA basketball (that didn’t add to the story at all). Kallaway told me in those texts, “A bunch of NBA players are buying them.” That, once again, was extremely enticing to me. Kallaway also tells me, “imagine if celebs start buying them and it becomes this exclusive club.” First off, wow, is Kallaway the oracle? He literally nailed that prediction 6 months ago. Second, if you love basketball and NBA players this is a dream, being in an exclusive club with them.
Let’s get dumber.
The first and most notable (to me) NBA player who bought a BAYC was Josh Hart. As a Piston fan (we’ve been bad for a while), I’ve spent time cheering for other teams and players in the league as we rebuild (join the Motor Cade). I like Josh Hart because from 2017-19 I was cheering for the Lakers, not because of LA, but because I love Lonzo Ball of all people.
Which brings me to my next point…
LaMelo Ball is my favorite NBA player and BAYC owner.
I’m a huge fan of all of the Ball brothers.
I’m not a “LaMelo proved us wrong and won NBA ROY” or “Lonzo figured out his shot on the Bulls so I respect him now” fan of the Ball brothers.
I am a “I watched season 1 and 2 of Ball in the Family on Facebook TV ” fan of the Ball brothers. (It’s actually a great show)
I cheer for both LaMelo and Lonzo on Charlotte and Chicago now. And you would think having one of my best friends and my favorite NBA player buy an Ape would have convinced me to buy one. Not only that, but LaMelo aped in the day before Kallaway texted me. But nope.
It’s worth noting that both Kallaway’s and LaMelo’s apes have captains hats too. I should have gotten one too. But nope. I sat there, watching from the sidelines.
And I watched, and I watched, and I watched.
This is my last point. It’s not like I just ignored every single sign from the heavens telling me to buy a BAYC. I ignored them constantly.
I talk to Kallaway every day knowing he has an ape. I get status updates on BAYC. I cheer for his ape and the community every day. I stayed up for 8 hours doing the BAYC treasure hunt with him trying to win an ape as a prize. (Turns out we never had a chance.) We record a podcast together, and he has a gigantic neon light of his ape in his background. He told me in August he was going to buy a house with his ape. BAYC never left my attention.
Final summary, I had every reason in the world to ape in, but I just watched and let it get completely out of reach. Ughhh.
There is a happy angle to this story! Kind of…
While I did let an Ape get out of my budget, I was able to
mutant ape into MAYC.
I was on a trip with Kallaway and we sat in a basement room during a party to watch him give his Ape the M1 serum. Because of this, I was online with him at that time, and I was able to luck into the stealth(ish) MAYC mint. I minted two mutants, sold one to cover the mint cost, and now I have a mutant! And I love him.
So this is a happy story.
But let me take another fun angle.
After realizing that a BAYC was completely out of range. I took my texts ignoring BAYC and turned them into an NFT. I put them on OpenSea and I regularly price them at the floor of the BAYC. It’s harder to keep up with than you would think.
So, for now, I have this amazing NFT that has more utility than most PFP. It reminds me every day to ape in. Especially when mother nature and god and maybe even karma(?) have all joined forces, trying to convince me to buy a BAYC.
Maybe someone will trade me my mistake in NFT form for a real ape.
Normally, I finish these with a point. When one of your best friends and a favorite basketball player buy an NFT, you should too. No wait. When life gives you a signing bonus, say f**k it and buy an ape. Closer.
I got it. My point today is “I love this kind of stuff and I think its going to get some traction at some point.”
Agree? Disagree? Comments? Questions? Let me know! Possibly some typos.