Launching TRIB3S: Pilot episode with Joyn’s Co-Founder Michael Yeung
With a name inspired by Seth Godin’s book, Tribes, Joyn’s new series seeks to highlight the leaders of Web3 who are bringing together communities through perseverance and passion for what they do.
Through the wave of decentralization and the opportunities, Blockchain unlocks every day, concepts such as creative collaboration and co-creation take new, deeper meaning. Everyone is not only able to have their fifteen minutes of fame but also an opportunity to start a movement — connect a tribe of people with the same interests to create and share value from their work.
During the first episode of TRIB3S, Aleksandra Artamonovskaja sits down with Joyn co-founder Michael Yeung. They discuss Yeung’s journey down the Web3 rabbit hole, the challenges creators and founders face navigating in this growing and turbulent ecosystem, and his sights on the future.
What were the main takeaways of this inaugural session?
Art paved the way
Yeung’s career has been primarily in software engineering, gaining experience over the past decade at a range of start-ups of various sizes across North America. Web3 entered the picture when he started following the first crypto projects, particularly Ethereum, in 2016. Yeung’s interest was particularly piqued towards the end of 2020 as more artists started entering the realm of NFTs. Interested in hearing about their experiences, Yeung engaged in conversations, approaching them to learn more.
His current favorite art projects and artists include Bored Apes, World of Women, and Shavone Wong. But Yeung is also shifting his focus on more emerging artists such as Armanized and artemis.
Joyn was born out of the desire to break down barriers
In early 2021 it became clear through talking to creators that while the NFT space is exciting, there was still the common theme of problems surrounding barriers to entry. Artists coming into the scene grappled with figuring out the technological and business sides of navigating Blockchain tools as it were, barring them from experimenting with things freely. Yeung and his team of like-minded collaborators started playing around with ideas that would help level the playing field, which ultimately led to Joyn!
For Yeung, founding Joyn led to a deeper understanding of what co-creation means; While collaboration in Web3 is a much-discussed topic, it is important to distinguish between the various types of work. For instance, Yeung explains that co-creation is only a type of collaboration, but with an emphasis on creating something out of nothing. For Web3, this goes beyond the idea of artists creating something together, as developers, business managers, and even the community often have a fair share in the creation.
There’s still work to do!
Yeung points out that NFT projects face new and recurring challenges; There aren’t yet readily-available tools guiding people through setting up a crypto project. He explains that it feels like each new initiative has to figure out everything from zero themselves.
Another obstacle he noted was sustaining community engagement after launching and selling out an NFT project and navigating the fanbase’s relationship. These challenges take energy and money that not all teams may have.
Yeung is excited about how Joyn may help fill the gaps left in the growing Web3 space and looks forward to seeing the emergence of more Web3-native brands that are openly co-created.
Lots of exciting things on the horizon all around. Stay tuned for the next bi-weekly TRIB3S episode!