In a rare interview, the founders of the Bored Ape Yacht Club talk about their early days in NFT, how they were doxxed, and how they dealt with critics.
Gordon Solano and Wylie Aronow are two of the people who started the very popular Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection. Input’s cover story, “Planet of the Bored Apes,” is about them.
Here, you can find out about Bored Ape’s past and its plans for the future.
“We’re an odd couple. We like to beat up each other’s ideas,” two of them said.
During the early years of their friendship, they fought about books, movies, and playing “World of Warcraft” online.
Solano, who is also known as Garga online and in the NFT community, got the two friends interested in the cryptocurrency market.
Garga said, ““In 2017, I bought a little bit of Ethereu, a little bit of Ripple.” He also called Aronow, who goes by the name Gordon, to try to get him to do the same thing.
The two of them liked the cryptocurrency ecosystem, especially “crypto Twitter,” which liked to “Ape” into assets without doing any research.
The idea for Bored Ape Yacht Club came from this group and the conversations on a Twitter,” Garga said, “Wanted to make a club, a token that gave you access to something, Wanted them to feel like kinda outcasts.” .
Launching Bored Apes: The presale and minting of Bored Ape Yacht Club coins started on April 23, 2021. The NFTs’ art was shown for the first time on April 30, 2021.
The NFT collection 10,000 Bored Apes went on sale on May 1, and it quickly became popular in other NFT communities. Being popular on Twitter helped the project do well and sell out quickly. At the time, 0.08 ETH, or about $220, was the mint price. Gordon said, “It felt like success” when the whole collection was sold out.
The two said that a lot of NFT entrepreneurs were starting businesses, taking the money, and then leaving. They wanted to show what happens when the founding people stay in charge.
Garga said that “it changed our life” on May 1 of last year.
Getting Doxxed: The interview takes place months after Buzzfeed Inc BZFD + Free Alerts author Katie Notopoulos doxxed the co-founders without their consent.
Notopoulos said “Its founders’ anonymity raises questions about accountability in the age of crypto,”
Interviews with people from Rolling Stone and NFT that weren’t doxed didn’t have video or a spread of pictures like Input’s did.
Six months ago, the two knew that Buzzfeed would publish their personal information.
Garga says “We got 20 minutes warning.”
The two men got on a conference call and talked about how they would get personal information off the internet, shut down their social media accounts, and let their families know.
After the story came out, the couple and two other co-founders who were left out of the story posted their pictures on Twitter and asked the public what they thought.
Defending Against Criticism: The pair has been the target of online trolls and other people who have said bad things about the Bored Ape project. They have also been doxxed. This includes Ryder Ripps, a conceptual artist who was sued by Yuga Labs for stealing their trademark.
Ryder Ripps’s project to copy Bored Ape was taken down from OpenSea. Ripps also said that the debut of the collection had racist and neo-Nazi symbols, which the producers of Bored Ape Yacht Club say are not true.
Gordon said that “It’s extremely apparent to anybody who knows our history how absurd this is.”
Garga said that there is hatred on the internet every day, even though the charges against Ripps have gotten the most attention and visibility.
What’s Next: The team says they are working hard to make the metaverse how they want it.
Gordon said, “The biggest thing I think we’re working on right now is Otherside,” Gordon said.
Since there are only 10,000 Bored Ape NFTs, the team is also thinking about how to get more people to come to the NFT and Yuga Labs spaces. Gordon said that the project didn’t pass the “mom test,” which meant that Garga’s mother couldn’t use it easily enough.
Garga asked, “How do we reduce the friction of owning a token on the internet,”
The team thinks that one million more people would be welcome to join the Yuga Labs ecosystem.