Neuron-Like Systems

Lately, I’ve been toying with this idea of neuron-like systems. Ones that can operate by themselves but are also easily connectable by nature and even strengthen over time.

It feels like we all know how important digital ownership is, and the future it can help us create but the average person doesn’t & quite frankly doesn’t really care. It’s about what the product does for them.

A question I’ve been asking myself is “How do we get people to switch to something better for them even if they don’t care that it’s better?”

It feels like the focus of many media projects has been to transfer existing data on-chain, making ownership the primary moat for dapps and platforms. These systems focus heavily on the connect-ability, but lack in new value creation which is key to adoption.

I strongly believe to get people to switch to new platforms, we need to create better products that produce better data. If the neuron can operate by itself, but is also deeply connectable by nature, the strength of the network becomes great as nodes naturally connect where valuable.

Inside-Out Acquisition

Ownership isn’t the moat to get the average person switching to blockchain-enabled technologies - the product must be fundamentally better. The adoption game hasn’t changed.

A lot of approaches seem to be curating web2 data and storing it on-chain, attributing it along the process. Bias is heavily at play as people curate the data and also run into walls as it’s difficult to attribute every piece of an already established project.

It’s important to migrate data on-chain, but I strongly believe real acquisition power will come from new data we create with better blockchain-enabled tools. This data will by nature live on-chain absorbing it’s benefits, but the product that created or contextualizes the data is also fundamentally better, giving it real depth.

Web2 products have used the same strategy many times to push users to adopt and stay in a new medium. Instagram, TikTok, GMeets - People don’t want to make choices.

Attribution & Provenance

I believe the same principles apply for attribution and provenance. In a world where open-sourced creative direction can exist, it’s important that media is appropriately attributed so we can refer back to pieces of culture in an open form.

To meaningfully drive toward that future I think migrating “old” data can be de-prioritized until later. In order to build a truly useful system, I think we should prioritizing build better tools that can create better data.

It’s hard to attribute past projects, but if we can build systems that track the process of building of better ones, I think we can meaningfully move towards that future.

  • Instead of storing photos on-chain, what if there was a graphic design tool where every asset was an NFT and people could create designs with tagged assets?

  • Instead of storing a movies on-chain, what if there was a Video Editor tool where every clip became tagged as an NFT and people could create compilations/montages?

  • What if there was a DAW where every sound was a midi file stored on an NFT and DJs could easily remix the sounds & change up the instruments to make tracks?

Though interesting, all of these examples need a fundamental spark to become useful.

The data that exists on the new platform must be better than what exists elsewhere.

The assets in the graphic design tool would have to be better than the free assets you can find on Google. The video clips would need to be better than content you find on Netflix. The music would need to be better than what you can find on Looperman.

Only then will people switch to the new platform, because frankly there’s just no other choice - yours is the best.

When we create these ecosystems with better tools and data, we build a better catalog of attributed ideas and media, etc that will end up be referenced more than what exists on Pinterest, etc because it’s better.

It’s not at all to say to we should never translate existing data on-chain, my point is merely the benefit is low focusing on it right now.

Taking the time and effort to build tools like these + quality products will create the traction needed for adoption.

Blockchain Games

I strongly believe the same applies for blockchain gaming. No one cares if the P2P economy enabled by NFTs in your game is incredible but the game sucks - no one will play it.

By building a good game that’s composable in nature, you start to build a system for high value creation that brings people over to your platform, but is also composable by nature allowing the network’s connections to grow and connect where valuable.


Non Web3 - TikTok

We all know TikTok has taken the world over by storm, but theres a specific nuance I want to hone in on.

In the early days of TikTok, most of the sounds used were clipped bits from released music that already existed on streaming services, Youtube, etc. As users would remix the sounds layering their own media and contextualizations, the data grew in depth becoming more powerful than the same data on streaming services.

As popularity on TikTok started to grow, artists like Doja Cat, Lil Yachty, Ice Spice took notice of the new cultural depth TikTok was layering to music and started releasing songs made specifically for TikTok snippets.

During the pandemic, Doja Cat singlehandedly ran most sounds on TikTok.

Poland by Lil Yachty released as a viral bit on TikTok first before the full release.

Check out this TikTok-first launch by hit new artist Ice Spice xD

Eventually, the sounds on TikTok grew to have immensely more depth on their platform than they used to because of the way it was designed for value and contribution.

The data is better because the tool is better.

TikTok offered a better product that was expandable by nature and artists took advantage of what it had to offer. So much so, that culture has flipped and now many kids discover artists on TikTok, become a fan, and then listen to full tracks on streaming services instead of what used to be the other way around.

Now, TikTok runs RapCaviar on Spotify and will eventually run the Billboard 100 too.

To further lock artists in, what if TikTok offered a revenue model for exclusively dropping music on TikTok first? It would lock upcoming artists into their ecosystem, continue to feed the user behavior of music discovery on their platform, and solidify them as the place to go for new music.


OKPC is a web3 project that I think fundamentally also focuses on this idea. It’s not just about minting cool artwork, but collecting, and more importantly - contributing.

OKPC is so interesting because it packages so much into a fun little toy!

At launch, the team hand selected a group of artists to contribute 24 x 16 pixel artwork that could be minted in randomized colors, frames, etc as OKPC NFTs by the community. Royalties were also built in so the contributing artists got paid some ETH when as the community minted their artwork.

Upon mint, you could also choose to collect more artwork from other artists you liked but maybe weren’t able to mint with royalties continuing to be paid out.

By owning an OKPC, you get access to an expanding set of tools that further add depth to the ecosystem.

Paint is a tool that lets you contribute or draw on your own OKPC expanding the amount of collectable art in the ecosystem. Royalties are also automatically built in when someone collects your artwork you can make some ETH too.

A toy that lets anyone contribute as an artist and get paid for it.

By building an ecosystem around collecting and contributing the artwork, the data is much better than if someone were to upload even the same 24 x 16 pixel artwork as an NFT collection.

The product they built is fundamentally better than what could exist without using the blockchain. They tapped into nifty contribution mechanisms that the blockchain offers to create a fun toy who’s ecosystem and cultural context is ever-expanding.

Art Gobblers

Art Gobblers is a project by Paradigm and Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland that holds a similar mechanism to OKPC.

You can create and mint your own artwork as a 1:1 NFT using Blank Pages.

It can then be traded and collected like any other NFT, but grows in popularity from the contributions and hype of the whole Art Gobblers ecosystem.

Art Gobblers Draw Tool
Art Gobblers Draw Tool

The full mechanics are a bit complex (read more) but Gobblers eat art turning them into 1:1 NFTs and also producing Goo which is needed to create more blank pages. As time goes on the supply of contributions will increase allowing more people to contribute art to the ecosystem more frequently. The Gobblers themselves can also be optimized and curated in different ways to maximize Goo production, curate art how you’d like, etc so theres also a fun game component to the project.

There’s also an incredible mechanism for token issuance “called VRGDA automatically adjusts prices over time to target a desired issuance schedule, adjusting prices up when sales are ahead of schedule, and down when sales are behind schedule” to help maintain contribution constraints on the ecosystem and keep quality of the art high.

Read more from Paradigm here.

Check out some of the incredible artwork!

Once again, because of the ecosystem the’ve built, the artwork being contributed is much more powerful than if the same artwork was minted as a 1:1 independently.


Castaways is an incredible web3 “sandbox game where you are castaway to a small remote island where you must work with others to survive and build a thriving new civilization”.

I especially like Castaways because they focus on building an incredible game first, but game assets are also NFTs letting them lay the pieces for a powerful P2P ecosystem.

While most focused on using NFTs to raise funds with landsales, pack drops, etc with the promise of a game in the future, Castaways focused on building a fun, actually playable game and are definitely reaping the rewards. They even did their first collaboration with DigiDaigaku which is meaningful to the ecosystem because of the following they cultivated around their game.

Unlike many other NFT games who continue to disappoint, the team prioritized building something fun and playable over focusing on it’s NFTs and they will be successful.

Castaways is only scratching the surface of what they are about to do.

Final Thoughts

Projects that can create systems like these are what can truly shift people to new technologies. These projects all have something to offer by themselves, but by nature are built in very composable ways. Their vibes can’t be replicated even if the underlying technology can.

By building better tools, we can create stronger, more powerful data that attracts people to adopting new technologies.

- nishant

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