aussie nft founder squishiverse how i made it web3 series

Aussie Founder Built $7M Squishiverse By Asking For Help On Discord

4 min read

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Squishiverse: Australia’s NFT scene may appear from the outside as quite strange — and the Squishiverse metaverse probably doesn’t help with that.

So wait, what’s the Squishiverse?

Launched in 2022, Squishiverse is a collection of 8,888 NFTs featuring “iconic slime characters from Asian media.” The project has a 2D competitive gaming platform, Descend, that’s open to all but catered towards holders of its NFTs – called ‘Squishies’ – with a prize pool.

A metaverse has also been built alongside it through SquishiLand, which will shortly have integration of 8,888 Squishies in 3D.

Squishiverse NFT, founded by fellow Aussie Mooney. Source: Squishiverse

Fast forward to 2023, the project has hit over 3,100 ETH in transaction volume on OpenSea – that’s equivalent to US$7 million.

In the third instalment of our ‘making it in Web3’ series, founder Mooney shares with us some secrets on how they managed to go from noob to degen, leaning on and contributing to the community to launch a successful community of like-minded individuals building a virtual world.

The Chainsaw: Can you take us through your story of diving into Web3? Where did you come from before? How did you get involved?

Mooney: My Web3 journey began in the later half of 2021. I was a broke university student, looking to make a quick buck – like most of us when we first joined the space. 

I had been on the sideline watching crypto/NFTs for quite some time, but never had the capital to enter. I worked during my university holidays, saved up all my money, and then aped everything into NFTs. 

My first experiences included minting Sappy Seals, and learning what a gas war was the hard way – thinking I could mint The Sevens but gas shot up to 7000 gwei.

Squishiverse: What was the onboarding experience like for you? What platforms did you use?

I dove into the deep end at first. All I knew was Twitter was pretty popular for crypto. I shortly found out about communities living on Discord — previously I had only used Discord to talk to my IRL friends and play games. 

I was a complete noob and learned everything through asking people in Discord. Onboarding was pretty good and people were generally kind and wanted to help me.

What were some of your main sources of insights and learnings that allowed you to deepen your expertise in this space today? 

I believe the entrance to Web3 now is much easier than before. The bear market saw the growth of a lot more educational-based influencers. Twitter is always a great place to start, and if you want to ask more direct questions — join an already established, strong NFT community. 

Honestly, OpenSea also has a lot of educational content, like teaching people what a wallet is, how NFTs work, the blockchain, etc. 

How did you teach yourself to go from noob to Web3 degen? What were some of the biggest hurdles and complexities for you and how did you manage to overcome them?

I learned A LOT through asking people on Discord. For a lot of the specific questions, I went straight to NFT Discord communities and asked. Outside of that, I got genuinely curious about decentralisation and how the technology worked, and often spent time reading articles and ELI5’s on Reddit for simple explanations. I think I was blessed with facing some tough experiences early on: floor price of projects I bought going to 0, 7000 gwei gas wars, minting rugs, dealing with FUD in Discords, etc. 

Having faced these early on really shaped who I am today. I guess the biggest hurdle/complexity was first understanding it all. Immutability, blockchains, decentralisation, smart contracts, etc. Once I understood it all, it made everything else easy.

Do you think there’s a place for all artists in Web3? Or is it saturated?

I don’t think Web3 is saturated in terms of artists, but it is saturated in terms of projects. I think artists can really flourish in Web3 as the space matures, but at the moment I believe it’s quite hard for them to get their art recognised. 

Squishiverse NFT, founded by fellow Aussie Mooney. Source: Squishiverse

Squishiverse: Is it better than the Web2 world, and if so, how?

In its current state, I don’t think so. The Web3 space is very immature, and is quite challenging — people don’t know where to get started, scams are very prevalent and  crypto is volatile. 

As the industry matures and focuses on its core values such as decentralisation, I believe Web3 will get to a point where it is much better than Web2.

Tips on becoming an expert around NFT degen things, like whitelists?

There’s 2 routes: 

  1. Scout for an NFT project that seems to get a lot of whitelist spots for hyped projects with a low price entry point.
  2. ‘Grind’ for the spot — pre-mint projects value good community members and those who are active. Be an active community member who is actively seeking to provide value back to the project. Be creative in your approach — there’s hundreds and thousands in the same shoes as you, so separate yourself from the others wanting a whitelist.

What’s your favourite NFT communities and why?

Sappy Seals — they’re always going to have a special place in my heart. My first community to join, I will always be a part of it, and I learned everything here. 

Squishiverse — I’m a bit biased as this is my own project, but we have a strong, passionate community that values empowerment and strength. 

Azuki — extremely passionate holders. So many sub-communities under one project, it’s incredible to see how strong their community is. 

Squishiverse: Is there anything coming down the pipeline for your project?

Expansion and growth in our intellectual property. My goal for 2023 is to be everywhere.

Learn more about NFTs here, or read our ultimate guide on how to make an NFT here.