Happy Birthday Pudgy Penguins
With Pudgy Penguins turning 1 tomorrow and being the first ever NFT I purchased I just wanted to share the interesting journey the penguins have been through in the past 12 months. We have had a lot of new members join the huddle recently. I just wanted to share my musings on why the project is special. Maybe even bring in a few new members who are currently on the fence. English is not my first language so bear with me.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
What happened with NFT worlds yesterday made me realize what a landmine this space is. Being in a space in its infancy, it’s a giant double edged sword. Projects can 10x overnight, but they could also nuke to $0 as well. Being early does not guarantee success.
Survivorship bias will have us all looking back in a decade’s time, and it will appear obvious to those who weren’t here how easy it was to “make it” back then. Pudgy Penguins has had its fair share of “extinction level” events in the past 12 months.
To name a few off the top of my head:
· Pudgy Penguins was one of the most hated projects in the PFP class of 2021, despite the WAGMI culture most NFT twitter promoted, Pudgy Penguins was often excluded from all the influencers during the initial hype run up.
· The initial founding team were a group of young ambitious kids in their early 20s, despite the initial hype cycle, the team failed to deliver up to expectations on pretty much everything they did.
1. Airdropping an egg to all holders in August and making the community wait 4 months for a reveal.
2. Suggested airdropping the Halloween drop on Matic to save on deployment costs.
3. Created an overpriced merch line and gave holders a grand whopping 5% discount.
4. Provided an updated “Roadmap” that felt like a college paper written in the last minute to please the community after weeks of “Sooning”.
5. Things promised in the new roadmap included a fishing game, educational children’s book and many others were all empty promises with no visible signs of progress.
6. By December Pudgy Penguins was viewed as a “rugpull” by the wider Web3 space with a disgruntled community, the team still had the audacity to drop a second collection with 22,222 lil pudgies with mint despite clearly no market demand.
7. On top of all this the Huddle was greeted with a nice surprise on Christmas day. THEY PUT THE RODS IN THE EGGS. At this stage the Huddle was the butt of all jokes in PFP NFTs.
· Colethereum and the team assured the community they were fully committed to building the Pudgy Penguin Brand, and yet a few months into the project he was more often tweeting about his Degen NFT trades and helping advise other projects than really showing the community he was doing anything with Pudgies.
· A fallout with the community manager Coldpizza about mistreatment added more fuel to the ever-burning fire the Huddle had to face.
· With disappointment after disappointment the team was eventually asked to step down. Cole put up a poll to the community and over 80% voted for him to leave the project.
· After 9x9x9 made some private discussions public, the project was officially on the market looking for a buyout.
· The Huddle was caught in the middle of a public bid from multiple parties to buyout the Pudgy Penguin IP. Pudgy was really a first NFT project to successfully survive a transition of this nature in web3.
· Let’s not forget the Wrapping
· Even after Luca and the team had successfully bought the brand, it took months before they could really take over and show anything concrete. In a space that moves at lightning speed. It’s a miracle the community stuck it out.
In a space where the team gets the majority of its payout on mint, it is easy for teams to give up when they face a hiccup. This is why so many projects appear to be “dead” after some sort of irreversible event. To give examples, who remembers Jungle freaks, The Sevens, 0n1force, Mekaverse to name a few. These were all massive thriving communities that were heavily impacted, projects that failed to live up to its initial hype and have struggled to gain traction since.
I at one time had held over 20 Pudgy Penguins, and over the past 12 months, after numerous disappointments I had sold gradually and now still hold 5 that I love the most. This was the only project despite all that’s happened, deep down inside I really hoped things could turn around. I kept asking myself, why do I hold these despite all the drama, and I realized the one thing that stayed constant through it all was the ART. These Penguins were just so damn cute, they just put a smile to my face when I look at them, and I’m sure many of the Huddle share this sentiment with me.
At this stage we could say Pudgy Penguins have truly become antifragile, there is no hate, no pain the huddle hasn’t seen, the holders of this project have held through so much and are still here and thriving.
11 months ago Pudgy Penguins was featured in the NY Times
I look back and I realized the floor price today is still the same as it was back on that day. What a rollercoaster of a journey the Huddle has been through.
I am my Penguin and my Penguin is me
Pudgy Penguins really are a great embodiment of the web3 culture. During the initial run up, I was listening to the spaces when @joeymooose famously said the line “I am my Penguin and my Penguin is me.” Whether it was instinctual, or he had the giga brain insight. Looking back at that moment, it really described web3 perfectly. The digital age where people can choose any avatar to become their identity.
The one thing I must give to the founding team was their amazing choices of traits and design, the Penguins were the first NFTS that caught my eye, browsing through the whole collection the first time round made me realize how amazing the collection was as a whole, it was inclusive, it was cool, it was derpy but most importantly I wanted one to represent me in the digital age. Pudgy Penguins might not have the historical importance of a CryptoPunks today, but decades from now I would love to tell the story of the “Moose Moment”. How I was there to witness the transition to the new digital age.
Luca Netz and the New Team
When Luca Netz initially bought the IP off the founding team, I was extremely skeptical of Luca’s Flowery pitch to the Huddle, I’m glad I stuck around. Actions speak louder than words, the turnaround has been extraordinary.
The revamped website, the ever-growing Instagram account, The Pudgy Marketplace, The stickers on social media, the twitter verification, the brand new merch line. Everything is done with crisp professional execution.
The way the new team runs community engagement, the quest map, the twitter account, the amazing live events and upcoming PMI Toys partnership are just endless things to look forward to.
The new leadership was quick to bring Antoine Mingo, the Artist behind Pudgy Penguins, onto the team full-time. The Penguins themselves played an integral part in Pudgy Penguin’s survival, and that really showed me the team knew a key ingredient was missing from the formula.
The team was already making a significant impact, leveraging their strengths while keeping the community involved. This is the perfect way to align incentives for all parties involved and bring the project to new heights.
The Pudgy Future
What can I say! The future looks bright for Pudgy Penguins. I now genuinely believe in Luca’s vision of becoming a multibillion dollar IP brand in the world. As we walk this path with the leadership team I will enjoy what the team brings to the table and I am glad to be a part of Pudgy Penguins journey to Unicorn status.
What I love about the new leadership team is their unique vision. They aren’t following anyone else’s playbook. They are doing it their way. They aren’t afraid to take risks and be innovative but at the same time have enough foresight to build with years in their runway.
They have proven in a short space of time that they are massive value creators in the web3 space, their goal is to massively onboard a generation of people through the IP. Their ultimate goal is to bring the Penguins that we love so much to the masses so everyone can enjoy. I am a massive cheerleader of their grand vision. I hope one day Pudgy Penguins can bring a smile to my kids as they have for me.
The combination of a strong community, a strong leadership team, and amazing IP, I believe Pudgy Penguins will surprise those on the outside looking in. I wouldn’t be surprised if Pudgy Penguins becomes a juggernaut in the space in the next few months/years.
Pudgy Penguins has an amazing stickiness to it, they just stood out and had an amazing vibe to them, we can see this as many prominent figures in the community represent the brand outside of the NFT space. Here are a few examples of Penguins that people immediately recognize, not just with in the Huddle but in the wider Web3/IRL communities.
It doesn’t matter who we are; moms and dads, NFT Degens, NBA Champions, Crypto founders, web3 Devs, Digital art connoisseurs, top tier crypto traders, poker pros or a Chubbicorn, we are all here with a similar love for these fat arctic avians. I truly believe if web3 and the metaverse becomes prominent in the future, Pudgy Penguins will be at the forefront of web3 culture.
I can’t wait to see what the team has install for the Huddle on #Pudgyversary day. Onto 22nd of July.