Failing is Priced In

Yesterday my friends and I wasted $2700 in about 200 seconds.

We were sitting around the picnic table eating chicken paprikash when AJ walked up, phone in hand and let us know that Lil Uzi Vert just dropped a new set of NFT's. Like 10 minutes ago. There was still time to mint some NFT's from the drop.

We all put down our forks and jumped into the Discord channel. Someone asked, "what's the link?" and someone else scrolled through the discord until they found it:

That was the fatal mistake: one of us read out a random link in the Discord, assuming it was the official website. The real link was, but we didn't know this yet.

The NFT drop used the Solana network, and while we all had Metamask wallets at the ready, only Ashwath had the Solana wallet we needed. Caught up in the paprikash-fueled excitement and huddling around his Macbook, we all Venmo'ed Ashwath so he could mint each of us an NFT. Ash was minting them, as fast as they could mint.

Life was good. Until we took a look at the NFT's—they were placeholder images. We'd just sent a scammer $2700 of sweet, sweet magical internet money.

We laughed for about an hour.

Someone joked that we'd just finished paying tuition for our crypto education.

And that's the truth. We each lost a few hundred dollars, but we came out the other side armed with useful information. I now know how to avoid Discord scams. I now have a Solana wallet, too.

We paid the price for being irrationally early and open-minded. Were we stupid? Did we ignore some glaring red flags? Yes and yes. But we approached it with a childlike (childish?) curiosity and we shook it off just as easily.

Today I met Ash and AJ and everyone else, and we talked about the future of Web3 and NFTs, as if yesterday never happened.

I value having friends who aren't just willing to fail, but actively make room for it. As technology cycles compress, there's an increasing risk of being left behind. And experiments—the way we explore this accelerating world—leave failure as a highly probable option. Those who wish to understand the present and the future must experiment, and must understand that failing is priced in.