Non-Fungible Tokens: Brian Choi of Com2uS USA On The 5 Things You Need to Know to Create a Highly Successful Career in The NFT Industry
Network, network, network. — Not only is it important to have the right group of people around, but just as important to meet and talk to the people in the industry. Not only will this help you keep a pulse on the industry but give you more opportunities to gain experience from what is happening.
Many have observed that we are at the cusp of an NFT boom. The thing is, it’s so cutting edge, that many people don’t know what it is. What exactly is an NFT and how can one create a lucrative career out of selling them? To address this, as a part of our interview series called “5 Things You Need To Know To Create a Highly Successful Career In The NFT Industry”, we had the pleasure of interviewing Brian Choi, Business Development Manager, Com2us USA Inc.
Brian Choi is the Business Development Manager of Com2uS USA Inc. Com2uS, headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, is a public company on the KOSDAQ Market and has been pioneering the mobile gaming space since 1998. Com2uS has been one of the most active and innovative mobile game companies in the world with an investment portfolio including companies such as Animoca Brands, Candy Digital, CoinOne, Devsisters, Mythical Games, Skybound Entertainment, The Sandbox, Wysiwyg Studios and many more. Com2uS’s roadmap has a focus into Web 3.0 with the company slated to release more than 10 Web 3.0 games on to the C2X blockchain gaming platform, for which they are a genesis content provider. A lifelong gamer and crypto enthusiast, Brian is excited to bring his two passions together and build the future of Web 3.0 and blockchain gaming. Brian graduated from the University of California, Irvine.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory and how you grew up?
Is there a particular book, film, or podcast that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
Is there a particular story that inspired you to pursue a career in this new industry? We’d love to hear it.
While there is not a particular story, I was very fortunate to be presented with the opportunity to transition into the Web3-side of the company I was working out. I was familiar with crypto and believe in its utility as a currency and technology going forward. If you are interested in building the future of Web3 now is the time to transition.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began this fascinating career?
While I was familiar with and had interest in crypto, there was so much I did not know. At first it was a bit overwhelming because I felt so behind and felt the pressure to get acclimated as quickly as possible. As I started to meet more and more people in the industry and grow my network. I met many individuals who are well-known and highly respected in the space. Through my interactions with these individuals, I’ve learned to slow down a bit and really relish this opportunity, we are currently building the future of Web 3 as we know it.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I don’t know if I can say there has been a “funny,” mistake but there have definitely been few mistakes I’ve made. I think the biggest mistake I’ve made so far was putting too much burden on my shoulders. I was trying too hard to be “the smartest in the room,” and to know everything that was going on. It wasn’t until I had chance to speak to other high-profile individuals in the space that I realized it was okay to slow down, and it was okay to not know things. The people in this space are so welcoming and I’ve learned from a significant pool of talented people.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
As I’ve mentioned I’ve met a ton of people who have all taught me a tremendous amount about the space. However, without sounding too cliché, the two people I would have to thank the most would be our President, Kyu C. Lee, and our Director of Corporate Development, Michael Lee. I want to thank Kyu for giving me the opportunity to transition into this side of the company and having the trust in my abilities to grow in this role. Michael, a true savant and mentor, has taken me under his wing, taught me a great deal and connected me with numerous prolific people in the space.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
The main project I am working on is helping the development of C2X of which is a blockchain gaming platform that Com2uS is the primary content provider. Through C2X we want to bring high quality gaming experiences to blockchain and continue to grow blockchain gaming.
Ok super. Thank you for all that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. I’m sure you get this question all the time. But for the benefit of our readers, can you explain in your own words what an NFT is, and why people are spending so much money on them?
The NFT industry seems so exciting right now. What are the 3 things in particular that most excite you about the industry? If you can, please share a story or example for each.
The three things that excite me the most about the NFT industry currently are the following:
- Creators finally be rewarded for their hard work and effort through royalties. The level of creativity and innovation we are seeing from all the variety projects that have already minted and the upcoming projects who have yet to mint.
- The advancement in NFT utility and technology. Not only are we seeing more and more projects break the mold of “PFPs” or purely art, but we’re also seeing increased utility. Whether that is through exclusive members only live events such as Azuki’s into the Garden or YUGA Lab’s APEFEST. Through collaborative efforts with other builders in the space to help bring more life to your NFTs through the likes of NFT Art Galleries in the Metaverse.
- The community. NFT communities have taken people from all over the globe, from diverse backgrounds, cultures, etc. in support of a common passion project. The sense of community that is being fostered by these projects is truly remarkable to see
What are the 3 things that concern you about the industry? Can you explain? What can be done to address those concerns?
The three things that concern me the most about the industry are the following:
- The existence of “rug pulls,” and greed of those utilizing them. One of the remarkable things about Web3 is the anonymity you are afforded. People have the chance to be who they want to be, unfortunately, there are people abusing this anonymity and using it maliciously to exploit others for their own financial gain.
- To piggyback off the existence of “rug pulls,” I believe the lack of accountability in the space, can be a bit concerning. While the spirit of Web3 is in DeFi, I do believe there needs to be some level of oversight or accountability to help eliminate “rug pulls” from the space. In this case, it is up to the specific NFT marketplaces to have some sort of oversight on projects that are listed on their marketplace.
- While there is a profound sense of community and positivity from within the industry, there is still a large stigma and negativity from outsiders. Bridging the gap and on-boarding people into Web 3 and NFTs remains a huge challenge and will decide its success long-term.
What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about NFTs? Can you explain what you mean?
It’s not just about “PFPs.” I think the most important thing about NFTs is the technology behind it and what it provides. If you are a collector, there will always be a concern on authenticity. Through NFTs not only will you get digital ownership, but you can also check the records through the transaction records through the blockchain. For anyone who has ever been into collecting whether that’s apparel, trading cards, etc. the ability to easily verify the authenticity of an item and track its transactions is highly desired.
What are the most common mistakes you have seen people make when they enter the NFT industry? What can be done to avoid that?
The two biggest mistakes people make are that they only focus on the biggest projects for your Bored Apes, Crypto Punks, Azukis, etc. of the world. Which is a shame because there are many great and creative projects out there. However, this leads into my second mistake where I see people who are motivated purely by financial gain. That is why the focus on the biggest projects, because those inherently have the biggest audience and the largest numbers. If you are a newcomer to the NFT space, I encourage you to take the time to do your due diligence, research the projects out there, and find a project you believe in.
How do you think NFTs have the potential to help society in the future?
I do believe in the utility that blockchain and NFT will bring to the real world. From a collector’s standpoint, NFTs and blockchain are the greatest things to happen. You now have proof of your digital ownership of the item along with easily accessible transaction records on the blockchain. NFTs also benefit the creators with royalties creating additional revenue streams for creators. NFTs will help take digital media to the next level.
Ok, fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things You Need to Know to Create a Highly Successful Career in The NFT Industry?” (Please share a story or example for each.)
1. Know your Audience:
What is the appeal of your project and who are you building for? Knowing your audience will help you tailor your project for success.
2. Have a Detailed Roadmap:
With the history of scams and rug pulls having hurt the credibility of NFT projects, having a detailed roadmap will help show that you are serious about your project. What are your goals, what will set your project apart from the sea of projects popping up? A roadmap will help you stay on-track with goals and milestones.
3. Know your Competition
Are there any other projects who have similar goals or ideas? What does your project offer in comparison?
What have other successful projects done (good and bad)? Make sure to take learnings away from all the other projects out there.
4. Stay Hungry, Focused, and Passionate
When you’re passionate about what you are doing, work feels less like work. Nothing resonates more with people than passion, if you can show your passion through your project, you will gain more supporters.
5. Network, network, network.
Not only is it important to have the right group of people around, but just as important to meet and talk to the people in the industry. Not only will this help you keep a pulse on the industry but give you more opportunities to gain experience from what is happening.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
We are in a unique opportunity to shape what Web3 will become, and it would be great to see people collaborate and work together instead of being motivated by personal ambitions and advancement.
We are very blessed that very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them :-)
If I had to choose one person to meet it would have to be Bill Gates. The amount of information he could share would be immense, and I have a lot of respect for Bill Gates as a person. I would also like to speak to him to hear more about his thoughts on the technological application of NFTs and Web3, since he’s known to not be fan of cryptocurrencies and NFTs. Just because we don’t have the same opinion doesn’t mean his viewpoints aren’t valid, and there aren’t things I can take away and learn.
Thank you so much for these excellent stories and insights. We wish you continued success on your great work!