Pak image

How to be successful like Pak ?

Inspiring NFT #7


Pak (Murat Pak) is one of the leading actors of the NFT art space. Before that, he was a leading actor of the motion design and the IA space with Undream and Archillect.

Disclaimer : Pak’s identity is unknown, in this article I will refer to Pak as they/them/their.

If you don’t know Pak, here are 3 example of their crypto-art achievements:

  • One of the first NFT artists who partnered with Sotheby’s in April 2021 with “The Fungible” collection.
  • They sold “The Pixel”, which literally is a single gray pixel for $1,355,555
  • The collection “Merge.” (December 2021) generated $90,000,000 at launch

If you are on crypto-twitter, you already have heard of Pak. However you probably never had the chance to really discover their work. Actually Pak is not just an artist, they are more of a “concept creator”. You need to dive into the concepts to really wrap your heads around their art. And once you do it, you enter into a whole universe of possibilities.

The goal of this article is not to go over Pak’s artworks. It would be very long and others have done it before (At the end of this article you’ll find very good ressources to deep dive into Pak’s NFTs world). The goal is to share what I believe are the key elements of success in Pak’s story. I hope that it will inspire other creators.

If you think I forgot key elements to explain their success, please leave a comment. I will be happy to update the article. Special thanks to @sec0ndstate and @ShortsHoward for the pre-read and feedbacks 🙏💪

Like most of the successful business out there, Pak succeeded by mastering the technical and the marketing side of things. Product without Marketing doesn’t work. Marketing without Product neither. Pak have proven to master these two aspects better than any other NFT artist.

Motion design :

Before being the crypto-artist we know now, Pak have been one of the leading designers in the worldwide motion design communities. They founded, an international multi-award winning motion design studio.

Here is an example of one of Pak’s motion design work, from 13 years ago 🤯⬇️

Artificial Intelligence :

After motion design, Pak became a leading actor of the AI scene with archillect. As written on the website :

“Archillect [archive + intellect] is an AI created to discover and share stimulating visual content over social media channels. She is a living inspiration archive. She is a digital muse.”

In other words, Archillect is an algorithm that analyses the internet (especially social medias), tracks “viral images” that have been liked by Internet users and re-shares it. Millions of people follow Archillect’s accounts on TwitterInstagramPinterest and Facebook.

Blockchain :

In their work in the NFT space, Pak showed a very deep understanding of the mindset but also of the technical aspect of the blockchain. Collections like The Merge or LostPoets present highly sophisticated smart contracts that give utility to the NFTs and makes them interactive artworks.

Pak went even further with the blockchain by creating their own cryptocurrency “$Ash”. $Ash can be used to purchase artwork and you can get $Ash by burning Pak’s artworks. By doing so they created a whole ecosystem with fungibility among their different collections. For example if I have a Merge. token, I can burn it for $Ash and use this $Ash to buy a LostPoet.

– With their expertise in Motion Design, Pak showed their ability to create world-class digital native art.

– With AI expertise, they showed us the algorithm expertise needed to make generative art. Archillect also showed that Pak found a way to “create virality at scale” thanks to AI.

– Finally, their Blockchain skills show that they can build fancy smart contracts and their own cryptocurrency. Most of all it shows that they can create blockchain-native art.

Any artist with such hard-skills would be famous and successful without much trouble. Yet Pak goes even further by also mastering the Marketing side of things.

Being nowhere and everywhere :

When you enter Pak’s universe (also known as the Pakverse) you quickly realize that Pak is a paradox.

  • A Paradox between being secret (unrevealed identity, mysterious messages…) and being ultra-present at the same time. Most artists who play with secrecy are also very careful and parsimonious with their communication. Pak is the opposite, tweets all the time, jumps into the hot NFT topics (like Pixelmons and Taï Lopez recently) and even answers to random Tweets.

This strategy has 3 advantages :

  • Keep the mystery : Pak is an enigma you want to solve. The more time you spend trying to solve it, the more you get attached to it and want to spend even more time solving it.
  • Mere exposure effect : The mere exposure effect is a cognitive bias that tends to give us a positive impression on things that we see often. By being omni-present on social-medias (twitter especially), Pak fully takes advantage of this cognitive bias to occupy our minds.
  • Anti-fragility : When you are ultra-active like that, you don’t fear to say something wrong anymore. It allows for much more spontaneousness and direct contact, it even allows you to come back on your words without negative impact :

This “Communication strategy” is not easily applicable for a newcomer in the NFT space. Pak have been mastering it for 13 years, plus it comes with all the technical achievements we saw earlier. Yet, Pak’s example can inspire us on how to stand out with (1) a strong positioning (the mystery / secrecy in this case) and (2) by being visible all the time visible.

The next marketing elements are more easily applicable.

Open editions :

When every NFT project bets on scarcity with limited editions, Pak does the complete opposite with Open Editions (like The Fungible or The Merge for example). The concept of Open Editions is that we can mint an unlimited amount of NFT, only the time frame for minting is limited.

Why is it a good strategy ?

  • Art is more accessible : If Pak was betting on scarcity, considering their fame, the price of their NFTs would be unreachable for most of us. Very few people would be able to mint and the secondary market prices would be insane. Thanks to the Open Edition strategy, more people can mint and the secondary market is more reasonable (less than 1 ETH for LostPoets for example). This contributes to the mere exposure effect, your NFTs collectors are also your ambassadors, the more you have the better exposed you are.
  • It makes sense financially : One could say that this is a bad marketing strategy because you decrease the scarcity. However It has two “financial” advantages : 1) You can sell more pieces 2) You don’t end up with unsold NFTs (as it is only limited by time). Even if Pak don’t really care about financial optimization or unsold collections, other creators who care about that can benefit from this strategy.
  • Because Pak can do it : every creator can’t, at least not at this scale. This is where the technical mastering comes into play. Making very large NFT quantities means that you must do quality at scale. In many PFP projects we see the limit of this with 90% of the collection being poorly executed. In Pak’s example, the mastering of AI and design allows them to generate a very large amount of creations with the highest quality level. With their Blockchain skills they can bring the “concept” that will give utility to the NFTs and incentivize people to trade, hold or even burn them.

Unannounced airdrops :

When every NFT project announces upcoming airdrops to boost sales, Pak is doing the exact opposite with unannounced airdrops.

This strategy keeps the interests aligned in the long run. When airdrops are announced, prices rise before the snapshot and drop right after. This can generate a boost of revenues for the project owner but it doesn’t look very good for the long term collectors as they end up with a lower floor price than before the drop.

Doing unannounced airdrop rewards the long term collectors, the ones who are into the project because they love the concept or support the artist.

This is also a key element of Pak’s mysterious universe. You never know what Pak’s next move will be : what will be their next collection ? When is it going to be live ? Who will receive an airdrop ? The unexpected makes the collectors’ stories even more intense : receiving an airdrop is cool, receiving an unexpected airdrop is even cooler.

Conclusion :

Pak have a very unique set of skills that make them a successful NFT artist. Even if most of us don’t have all these skills, Pak’s story can inspire us on how to build things with a long term vision that is authentic and stands out.

I really encourage anyone (in the NFT space or not) to discover with more details their work. Please find below three resources that really helped me better understand Pak and write this article.

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25 February 2022 at 17h01

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