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(Area 1) Category POV: Does the company have a clear “Point of View” of their category? Are they able to frame a powerful problem, articulate a compelling vision, and most importantly, communicate the core compromises, trade-offs, and problems inherent to the way the category is today, such that the consumer/customer will be open to a new and different approach. It’s important to note this should not be expressed as the “challenges” unique to a brand or company, but rather a fundamental problem to the entire category itself that consumers have typically and unnecessarily accepted as a given.
(Area 2) Future Category Reimagined & Without Compromise: Does the company cast a compelling future—free of these fundamental problems, compromises, and trade-offs inherent to the category? Are they able to explain what the category looks like in its true glory where the customer/consumer is transformed, partners are proud participants, and the company generates an abundance and surplus of benefits: rational, emotional, aspirational, as well as financial?
(Area 3) Radically Different Offer + Business Model: How does this new category get delivered to the customer, both through a breakthrough product/service/offer, but also through a breakthrough business model? How does product innovation and business model innovation come together in a way where 1 + 1 = 11?
(Area 4) Data Flywheel: Does the company generate data about customer/consumer demand/preferences (be it intentional or as a side effect) that creates a unique opportunity and advantage to anticipate the future of consumer demand and any category shifts? Does this Data Flywheel provide insight into not only how to improve company offerings, but predict where demand for this new category will unfold next?
(Area 5) Depth & Degree of Customer Outcomes: Does the company generate satisfied/ecstatic customers/consumers? Are they so happy and satisfied they gladly evangelize the product/service to others? Or, even better, do customers want to tell their own stories of radical transformational outcomes—where the customer’s life is truly different after engaging with the company?
How to Score
Score yourself in the five key areas on a 0 to 2 scale:
0 - currently does not successfully accomplish the area’s goal
1 - is only partially accomplishes the goal
2 - you successfully accomplish the goal
Be the Winner - 60% of companies on the list scored 0 to 2, and were much more focused on “beating the competition” than innovating or creating something entirely new. These “compete to win” companies fight for existing market share.
Be the Best - 20% of the companies scored 3 to 5, and were more focused on “being the best” within an existing category—not “being the leader” of a new category.
Be Different - The final 20% of the companies scored 6 to 10, and were companies clearly trying to design/create a new and meaningfully different category.