Over the past few months, all eyes have been on the world of NFTs. Whether you're someone who's been monitoring the space closely, investing and minting projects, or if you're someone who has no idea where to even begin, the concept of NFTs has become part of our day-to-day.
Creating a good project can be difficult, (just look at what recently happened with Pixelmon and its terrible reveal) but some have succeeded. Early projects such as Bored Ape Yacht Club, Cryptopunks, RTFKT, and more are now fetching for hundreds of ETH, or thousands of dollars, with plenty more exciting projects entering the sphere.
One of them is Mutant Shiba Club.
"The four founders of Mutant Shiba Club (MSC) met early in the NFT space in voice chats," the team behind the project explained. "None of us had any plans of creating an NFT project when we first entered the space. We entered the space for the same reason so many others did: curiosity about what precisely the space was and what NFTs involved. Eventually, we started interacting with people, which transitioned into friendships."
"The origin behind Mutant Shiba Club is the result of an amalgamation of several different ideas and projects," they explain.
With nearly 200,000 followers on Twitter, and a Discord overflowing with nearly 80,000 members, the project has seen an immense amount of hype ahead of its upcoming mint at the end of this month.
After spending some time in the Discord server, it is clear that MSC is much more than just a project – it's a community.
Users are chatting daily about everything from food and their pets, to mental health, and many have found friends along the way – just like the founders did. It isn't a happy accident, it has been a big focus since day one. "A strong community is the foundation of any successful NFT or business."
"Initially, we had thought about projects in the NFT space that had created something that we perceived as special. There are several "blue-chip" NFT projects out there, and we researched those projects to try and determine what it was about them that made them so unique compared to the other hundreds of projects that were appearing daily. While some projects benefited from being early, we recognized that projects that truly differentiated themselves had something that aligned with a core principle of the vision we had for MSC: a strong community."
Personally, I've been checking the crypto and NFT chat, the private women's chat, and more on the daily since I joined the MSC community myself. It is positive, encouraging, and everyone feels like they are proud to be a part of the community, no matter what their background, interests, or experience may look like.
"We liked the idea of the mutants because of what the mutant stands for in our eyes. The mutants represent the "misfits" of the world. MSC celebrates individuality and differences - we accept people for who they are."
I first came across Mutant Shiba Club on Twitter. I've spent a lot of time learning about NFTs and Crypto in general, and when I first saw the art by Brett Berry, it made me smile. I've got a shiba at home who's often causing a lot of laughs, so I needed to know: why a Shiba?
"Why did we choose a Shiba? This answer is multifactorial. Aside from loving dogs, we also know that the Shiba is loyal and devoted. They are energetic, bold, spirited, intelligent, and clever. These are characteristics that we appreciate. The Shiba is also a very prominent animal in the web3 culture."
Of course, building an NFT project isn't just a straightforward process. The industry is still very new to most people, and the space is constantly changing.
"One of the most challenging issues in the space is adapting to the perception of the passage of time. The NFT space is like nothing that many have ever experienced before. Given the global nature of the 24/7 NFT space, it never stops and is constantly changing. As a result, the passage of time is such that one day in the NFT space can feel like one week in real-time. One week can feel like one month. One month can feel like multiple months."
Because of how fast it is moving, a lot of people in the space have grown impatient. So many are there to make a quick buck, but MSC is a long-term project that has taken plenty of time to build.
"Helping people recognize that we are building something for the long term can sometimes be challenging. Those projects that have been successful approach this with the mentality that this is a marathon, not a sprint. While some of these projects that have quickly gained hype and minted quickly have had short-term success, few of them are still around today in any meaningful capacity. The projects with the proper vision and recognition that building something for the long term takes time to build are the ones that will be successful. A team that has the vision and ability to execute is a necessity."
Because of this, MSC have spent time building and curating its community, shaping it based on genuine bonds and individuality.
"Community is the cornerstone of Mutant Shiba Club. Without a strong community, a project is nothing. The MSC community is strong, and we attribute that to a strategic decision we made from the outset of the project: the focus must be on the community and the voice chats. Quality over quantity."
But, even when a community is strong in the NFT space, oftentimes it is heavily male. As a woman, stepping into the space and learning about it has been challenging, but MSC are working to change this.
"This question is an important point of discussion. We recognize that women need a safe space free of harassment. We understand that the womens’ community in this space may not be the largest, but is without a doubt one of the most genuine communities."
Besides the private, invite-only chat that MSC have established for its female members, 25% of its moderators and the head moderator are all women. "It is beyond important to have roles within the team where the community truly feels heard. We are proud of the diversity within the MSC community and continue to prioritize it."
"As more and more women enter the NFT space, we strive to provide that feeling of "home" for the women of the NFT world. In doing so, we have a vetting process that provides females with a safe space within our community to chat amongst each other only. It is a priority for us to provide that comfort within our community."
It is a tricky space to maneuver, and when asked about the future of the space, the team behind MSC emphasized that there's still plenty of change needed.
"The current NFT space is changing rapidly. The current NFT space is filled with illegitimate projects, scams, and people trying to earn a quick dollar. There are many regulations and changes to be implemented within the space. Throughout the remainder of the year and the future, we are hoping to see things of that nature be mitigated, as many people are losing hard-earned money through destructive projects, scams, and more."
Mutant Shiba Club is set to mint a collection of 10,000 NFTs on March 30, with the price still TBA. But, there are also plenty of other ventures to look forward to post-mint.
"We could not be more excited about the future of MSC. Without giving away too much detail, we are very excited to transcend into both virtual and real-life collaborations, merchandise, social events, commercial rights, and more. There will also be future collections (that is all we can say for now)."
With a strong community and vision, it is clear that Mutant Shiba Club is on track to becoming one of the biggest NFT projects following the mint. Personally, I've been impressed by the work, vision, and positive space that MSC has created, as well as the genuine passion shown by the project's four founders – it's one I definitely want to be a part of.
As we get closer to the mint, the community is only growing. If you want to take part, join the Mutant Shiba Club Twitter community and learn more.