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LanceLetter - GaryVee on NFTs; Apple Fixing Watch Storage; Teen in Space



July 19 · Issue #238 · View online

Stuff that matters.

Written while wondering why the TVA can’t stop the Delta Variant

NFT art by Lance Ulanoff
NFT art by Lance Ulanoff
NFTs Hot or Cold?
I’ve dabbled in NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens) with zero success and have wondered if they’re already yesterday’s news.
Cryptocurrency has been sliding in recent months and it seems like they might be dragging NFTs with them. That said, some people are very bullish on them. Sports and entertainment see them as a way to make digital objects as valuable as traditional collectibles without all the trouble of trying to verify authenticity. In addition, trusted businesspeople are diving in.
Gary Vaynerchuck (A.K.A. GaryVee) the entrepreneur, wine-seller, hyperkinetic speaker, and first-mover just launched his own NFT company. He’s convinced that NFTs are the future.
Vaynerchuck and I have crossed paths over the years, so when I heard the news, I asked him on Twitter (shortly after he went on CNBC to announce VaynerNFT) for three reasons why NFTs have staying power. Here’s what he told me:
Three reasons. One, It’s a normal human behavior. People collect things for their own personal pleasure, whether it’s magnets, or chains, or art, or wine, or cards, or marbles. And also, to social signal and for identity. That’s just the core human trait. It’s the same reason I knew that social media would work. It’s a human trait to communicate.
Number Two: It’s already happened, right? Fortnite, Roblox. We have an entire generation 2K Madden, who live in digital, and they buy digital assets. People buy for identity and power ups.
Three: There’s gonna be no reason for tickets in any shape or form to not be NFTs because they’re an extra layer of economics for the issuer. So, they’ll trump a QR code or piece of paper.
Those are three staying powers.
Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for a clearer or more interesting answer. I’m especially intrigued by the ticketing part. Those are both transactional and collectible. NFTs do seem like the perfect replacement.
I’ll be watching VaynerNFT to see what’s next.
Apple Might Get watchOS right
A little while back, I wrote about how my wife’s Apple Watch 3 couldn’t handle the watchOS 7.4.1 update. No matter what we did or how many things we removed from the watch (podcasts, photos, apps) and directed the companion iPhone app to remove, there was never enough space.
Lately, that inability to update has somehow broken the watch. Now it doesn’t even track step/movement activity in the activity app. I don’t know what’s going on.
I was heartened, though, to learn that watchOS 8, which is set to launch this fall, will make a radical change to OS update storage requirements. Instead of the need for a GB or more of free space, it’ll be able to install on Apple Watches with just 500MB of free space. That’s a big deal. It’s the kind of thing that could revive my wife’s Apple watch.
Of course, she’d have to agree to start running some of the public betas, which is not at all her thing. Perhaps we’ll wait unto the fall.
So Fleeting
Twitter is done with stories or at least a separate tool for building them within Twitter. The company announced the end of Fleets last week after, I’m guessing, most people ignored them.
I tried Fleets for a bit and created one or two. The problem was that it didn’t feel like a native part of Twitter. TikTok is nothing but story-style content with a much better set of creative tools and a hyper-engaged community. Instagram stories are a close second, with the image-focused platform making Stories feel like just another form of Instagram photos. Twitter’s Fleets never felts like another form of Tweets.
I will not mourn or miss Fleets.
Space Camp
Through a trick of fate, 18-year-old Oliver Daemen is about to become the youngest (paying) passenger in space–ever. No, he’s not hijacking a spaceship. Daemen is taking an anonymous millionaire’s space. Someone (maybe this guy) bid millions to fly on Jeff Bezos’ first Blue Origin space flight this week and, for unspecified reasons had to drop out. Now Daemen is taking their place.
I know, it does sound like the plotline of a made-for-TV Disney Channel movie. The kid isn’t unqualified. He’s a physics student (science!), and he has his pilot’s license (not sure how much use that will be in space).
As a reminder, Blue Origin’s New Shepard is not so much a spaceship as it is a reusable rocket with a spacious capsule at the top. Unlike Virgin Galactic’s Unity22 flight, which took Billionaire Richard Branson to space last week, this craft will go up and spend just a few minutes in space before falling back to earth and landing with the aid of a parachute on terra firma.
Even so, it will be an amazing experience for the young Daemen and fellow passenger, 82-year-old female aviator Wally Funk (passed over as an astronaut decades ago when a program to train and use female astronauts was canceled).
So, even though Bezos failed to make history by beating Branson’s first tourist space flight, he will make a different kind of history, radically lowering the age (to the border of adulthood) for space passengers.
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