Li Jin of Atelier – Cointelegraph Magazine

Someone once said that the Internet can make a living for anyone with 1,000 fans, but Li Jin believes that in the NFT era, one or two serious supporters may be enough.

Jin is the standard bearer of the “passion economy”, which she describes as an economic system that allows and encourages people to make money while following their passions. For Jin, NFT is a new tool that can help creators in the passion economy reach their “true fans” and build lasting relationships with them.

Through her venture capital firm Atelier, Jin has invested in “a platform that lowers the barriers to entrepreneurship and broadens work channels.” With experience in the field of venture capital, she is fully capable of helping to change our view of work.

Regain the passion

“Living in Paris is my dream, so I will just hang out here for the time being,” Jin told the magazine at the end of the interview. This was after the highly anticipated Ethereum community meeting, also known as EthCC, which took place in the city. . Although admitting that she did not “fully understand why people work on DeFi,” which caught most of the attention of the attendees, Kim “organized a lunch for people working at the intersection of cryptocurrency and the creator economy.”

The current difficulty of traveling is a good reason to savor the new city, but wandering in a new place, “temporarily” is not something that ordinary workers can do, because they are often tied to annoying things, such as physical offices and reservations. Mandatory face-to-face meetings.However, this It’s not like this For many creators-especially creators in the passion economy.

After all, why should we work? When you ask a child what he wants to do when he grows up, the answer is usually—hopefully—full of fun and passion. When asked why they chose a particular occupation, the answers rarely involve salary, job security or benefits. When they grow up, many people seem to abandon these core motives and instead make a living by adapting to the company structure or blindly completing freelance work.

According to Kim, the passion seems to be back. She explained optimistically, “The transition from a gig market built around truly commoditized services and products to a more flexible and creative market will actually enable people to make money by doing more of the things they really like. Earn income.”

This is the core of the passion economy. It “represents a new type of work that is completely different from the traditional employer-employee relationship.” This means that enthusiastic “workers” (if we may call them that way) will not be The boss is responsible and will not act as an interchangeable or fungible freelancer like la Fiverr or Uber. Instead, they just do their own thing-the customer/subscriber pays for the privilege of being part of the journey.

Jin’s first NFT was priced at $25,000.

In a sense, the results of any creative worker-whether it is writing, design or painting-are actually an irreproducible and irreplaceable “symbol” of their efforts. This article is actually a non-blockchain NFT created by myself-sold to magazines, but always connected with me. The work output of non-creative workers such as security guards or Uber drivers is obviously not like a unique NFT, but more like a commoditized, uncapped “working time” token with a clear market value.

The relationship between NFT and creative work is not just Lenovo’s word game, because the technology allows creatives to create their work on the blockchain and benefit from its sales and resale.

“This year, many creators are beginning to realize encryption technology and what it can bring to them, earning income in an unprecedented way.”

Venture capitalist

Jin is from Beijing, and her parents immigrated to Pittsburgh in the early 1990s. She described her “very poor” growth in her first year in the United States, which led her parents to push her towards a safe career.

She enrolled at Harvard University in 2008, but her parents were dissatisfied with her major-English literature-and told her that she was destined to become a hungry writer, and her choice “brought shame to the family.” To appease her parents, Kim turned to statistics.

Her first job was as a reporter for the Pittsburgh Post, where she “was sent to cover the G20 meeting when she was 19 years old.” During college in 2011, she worked in mergers and acquisitions at Blackstone, and later worked as a strategic assistant and Shopkick product manager at Capital One for many years. A mobile shopping startup in Silicon Valley.

When Shopkick was acquired, Jin was “unsure of my next role in the technical field” and followed the path of his peers. He started studying for an MBA at the Wharton School in 2016, but continued to apply for a job. “If you want to stay In terms of technology, maybe you should try venture capital-it will be a very good way to get a more comprehensive understanding of the entire industry,” a mentor suggested to her.

Two weeks later, she received a quote from the famous venture capital firm Andressen Horowitz, also known as a16z. “I really didn’t want to go to business school,” she recalled.

As a trading partner, Jin is responsible for “meeting with startups all day, talking with founders, conducting publicity, and helping with due diligence”, and often sits on the company’s board as an observer for employers. Many of these companies are what Jin calls “consumer creation platforms”, such as Imgur, Patreon, and Substack.

For Jin, these companies mark “a transition from a gig economy to a passion economy, in which new platforms enable people to do jobs they love and monetize them through personalization.” Tools to support the thriving creative middle class.In her February 2020 article “100 True Fans”, she layout With a formula, creatives can achieve a middle-class income of US$100,000 with only 100 true fans (each person contributes an average of US$83 per month).

Today, most of the “middle-class” creatives envisioned by King are still digital farmers, “may upload millions-hundreds of millions-of pictures to Instagram every day, without any advertising revenue.”

“Instagram made a lot of money on advertising, but the creators didn’t see any — I think it’s 100% tax.”

Even if millions of people view their personal data, the artist will not gain any material benefits. On the other hand, Instagram has gained “billions of dollars in equity value” from its poster work-why shouldn’t content creators ask to share cheese?buzzer Published nearly 5,000 artworks Before finally cashing out tens of millions of dollars through the NFT boom.

1,000 compared to 100 real fans. Source: a16z

In July 2020, Jin decided it was time to put her proposition into practice and “build a complete company dedicated to this particular emerging category. This is what I did — and I also feel that it’s to understand certain things and evaluate it personally. Experience it.”

The result is Atelier, an investment company that originally had a $13 million platform investment portfolio, allow Users build their own future.

“I started Atelier to fund a specific vision of the world: a world where people can earn a living the way they like and have a more fulfilling and purposeful life.”

Encrypted connection

Jin first came into contact with cryptocurrency in 2017, when her employer a16z became “one of the first funds to set up her own crypto fund”. Although she often works with people participating in the fund, she finds that the industry is very abstract because “it hasn’t touched everyday consumers.”

This year, the situation has changed.

“The connection between the consumer and creator economy is increasing, especially this year with NFT.”

Jin believes that NFT takes the idea of ​​her 100 true fans a step further. “You can have only one true fan, or ideally like two true fans bidding against each other,” she explained. Although in the end only one person will own each digital asset, “their content can still be freely accessed and spread virally”, triggering a chain reaction, which makes the possibility of “real fans who really value and are willing to pay for originality” even more. “Large Version” will appear.

Studio investment.Source: Studio

Rear writing In an article titled “The Case of Generic Creative Income” published in April this year, Jin auctioned the NFT representing the article for 5.6969 ETH-all of which were donated to Yield Guild Games’ Sponsor Scholar Program. Although anyone can read this article for free, someone paid 5.6969 ETH for the original text.

Jin believes that creatives should view encryption as a way to monetize their work, which she describes as the third step in the creative economy funnel. The first step is “How do I build my audience-how can I be discovered?” The second step is “How can I engage my audience more deeply?”

A lesson from Mr. Jin.

Although cryptocurrency and NFT have great potential as rocket fuel (a term coined by Jin) of the passion economy, her main focus is to train creators to jump. She offered a course called “Building for the Creator’s Economy”, which taught participants the ins and outs of her world in three weeks.

Earlier this year, she also launched the Atelier Angels pilot program, train Thirty founders became angel investors-thus gaining additional sources of income while learning more about their businesses. For Jin and Atelier, the future belongs to the creator-so who is more suitable for investment?

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