gm groundhogs is trying to make NFTs more inclusive
The second day of February is officially Groundhog Day in America, but for some NFT owners, every day is Groundhog Day.
gm groundhogs, co-founded by Utah’s Roger Emmer, is an NFT series consisting of, as the name implies, cartoon groundhogs. “Another animal avatar? Really? Yup,” the project’s website says. “Avatars are simple to understand, and everyone loves groundhogs. Together they’re the perfect way to introduce people to NFTs.”
Emmer, a University of Utah graduate and current co-founder of Remi Labs, says getting involved in NFTs can seem intimidating at first, so gm groundhogs aims to be a welcoming community to help people understand what NFTs were all about. “When we first got into NFTs about a year ago, it was quite small and very niche, and everyone was all about helping each other. We felt like we’ve seen a little bit of a change in the tide.”
Emmer, who is affectionately known as ‘The Hogfather’ within the gm groundhogs circle, says the NFT community has really bought into FOMO as of late. “It’s a lot more about fear, uncertainty, doubt, and pumping the latest project and everyone’s trying to make all this money. So we wanted to bring back some of those early good vibes of the NFT community, and that’s what we’ve tried to do with our community with the gmg.”
The gm groundhogs team is a close-knit group and Emmer says leadership is looking to build a fun, inclusive community. At the forefront of Emmer’s mind is keeping gm groundhogs accessible and inclusive for everyone who wants to be involved, but as the price increases and the prospect of making money enters the equation, that may be tricky.
When gm groundhogs launched, each NFT minted for one Solana (SOL). By late January of 2022, the floor price had since risen to 9.5 SOL, or about $930. On January 25th, gm groundhog #771, adorned with a white crown and diamond necklace, sold for 100 SOL.
“It’s going to be something that we’re going to have to fight for every single day to keep the community the way that is in line with the culture and values that we have as a brand. And as we get bigger and more people get involved, that will be more challenging to do because people will have different intentions, and if the value of the NFT goes up, then money comes into play. But it’s going to be something that we are focused on long-term,” Emmer says.
One thing Emmer mentions is the possibility of a second collection of groundhogs at some point in the future. Members also don’t have to be an owner to have access to the gmg discord and become part of the groundhog community. “There are lots of people in our Discord that don’t own the groundhogs, and they’re just as valued as members of the community as someone who owns 10 groundhogs,” Emmer says.
Like most people, Emmer got into NFTs in the last two years. He’d always been interested in collecting things like cards and vinyl toys, which have been around for a long time. It’s still early for NFTs, he says. In our discussion, Emmer references Chris Dixon’s 2010 blog post on Clay Christensen’s “disruptive technology” theory. Christensen’s work, originally published in 1995, says that technology advances faster than people’s needs do.
“Disruptive technologies are dismissed as toys because when they are first launched they ‘undershoot’ user needs. The first telephone could only carry voices a mile or two. The leading telco of the time, Western Union, passed on acquiring the phone because they didn’t see how it could possibly be useful to businesses and railroads—their primary customers,” Dixon wrote in 2010.
Emmer sees a similar future for NFTs. “It’s obviously very early days of the technology… When new technology comes along, people just dismiss it as a toy. They’re like, ‘this is a stupid cartoon,’ or ‘it’s just a website where you can tell people what you’re eating for dinner,’ or whatever. But the promise of the technology, I believe, is much, much larger.”
It’s central to human nature, Emmer says.
People have always wanted to own things, from clothing to collectibles, and who knows? NFTs might just replace the deed to your house, the title to your car, or a concert ticket. “It’s very simple, but it’s something we’ve never had before. It’s proof of ownership of a digital asset,” Emmer says. “I believe people will want to own digital assets more and more in the future, especially as we continue down this path of more virtual reality, augmented reality-based tech in our lives.
“And I think that there will be brands that start now that we will look at as the cornerstones of culture ten years from now. The same way we look at Supreme as the biggest high fashion hypebeast brand in the world, I actually think Bored Ape Yacht Club… kind of already is that, we just haven’t quite seen it yet.”
New NFT projects launch every single day, so another thing for Emmer and his team to think about is how gm groundhogs can be one of the projects that stands the test of time.
Emmer says he doesn’t have a crystal ball to see into the future, but he’s excited about the future.
“We are focused on building gmg for as long as we can, and we think it’s very early… We think we have a really solid foundation,” Emmer says. “We have a lot of things we’re working on that we haven’t stated publicly that we think will make people want to be part of our community long-term and part of our brand.”