The Intersection of NFTs, True Fans, and the Flywheel Effect



Aug 05, 20234 min read


The Intersection of NFTs, True Fans, and the Flywheel Effect

In the ever-evolving world of digital content creation, two concepts have been making waves: NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and the idea of a thousand true fans. These seemingly unrelated ideas actually have a lot in common and can work together to revolutionize the way creators monetize their work. Additionally, when we examine them through the lens of Jim Collins' flywheel effect, we can see how they contribute to the long-term success of creators.

The concept of a thousand true fans refers to a dedicated group of followers who are willing to support a creator by purchasing anything they produce. In the past, creators relied on intermediaries such as record labels or publishers to connect with their audience and monetize their work. However, with the rise of social platforms and now NFTs, creators have more direct avenues to engage with their true fans and make money.

NFTs, in particular, offer creators fundamentally better economics by eliminating rent-seeking intermediaries. When a fan purchases an NFT, they have full control over it, just like when they buy physical items such as books or sneakers. This direct ownership allows creators to bypass traditional gatekeepers and retain more of the profits from their work. It also gives them the ability to offer special items or experiences to their most passionate fans at higher prices, further monetizing their relationship with this core group.

The granular price tiering enabled by NFTs is reminiscent of the subscription model used by platforms like Substack. Creators can "cream skim" their most dedicated fans by offering exclusive NFTs at higher price points. However, NFTs take this a step further by allowing creators to slice and dice their content into a descending series of pricing tiers. This opens up new possibilities for creators to cater to fans with different budgets and preferences, increasing their revenue potential.

Perhaps the most significant impact of NFTs on creator economics is the transformation of users into owners. By purchasing an NFT, fans become stakeholders in the creator's work, reducing customer acquisition costs to near zero. This aligns with the original ideals of the internet, where users and creators globally connect and share in the economic upside. With NFTs, creators have a new way to monetize their work and establish a sense of ownership and loyalty among their fanbase.

Now, let's consider how these concepts intersect with the flywheel effect as described by Jim Collins. The flywheel effect is the idea that small, consistent efforts applied in a consistent direction can lead to significant long-term results. From the outside, these efforts may seem like revolutionary breakthroughs, but from the inside, they are part of an organic development process.

In the context of creators, building a successful career or business is not about a single defining action or miracle moment. It's about consistently engaging with their true fans, leveraging platforms and technologies like NFTs, and incrementally growing their audience and revenue. Each interaction, each piece of content, and each sale contributes to the overall accumulation of effort that moves the flywheel forward.

To harness the power of these concepts, here are three actionable pieces of advice for creators:

  • 1. Embrace NFTs: Explore the world of NFTs and understand how they can empower you as a creator. Learn about the different platforms and marketplaces available, and consider how you can leverage NFTs to offer unique and valuable experiences to your true fans.
  • 2. Cultivate True Fans: Focus on building a dedicated community of true fans who are passionate about your work. Engage with them directly, listen to their feedback, and offer exclusive content or experiences that cater to their interests. By nurturing these relationships, you can create a strong foundation for long-term success.
  • 3. Consistency is Key: Remember that success as a creator is not built overnight. Stay committed to consistently creating and sharing your work, even if the results are not immediate. Each effort contributes to the flywheel effect, and over time, you will see the momentum build and the rewards come.

In conclusion, the convergence of NFTs, the concept of a thousand true fans, and the flywheel effect offers creators exciting opportunities to monetize their work, connect with their audience, and build sustainable careers. By embracing these concepts and taking action, creators can navigate the changing landscape of digital content creation and thrive in the new era of decentralized economies. Let's make it happen.


  1. "NFTs and A Thousand True Fans", (Glasp)
  2. "Jim Collins - Concepts - The Flywheel Effect", (Glasp)

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