At Galactic, we recently released our first NFT series, floppydisk.xyz — 1440 fully on-chain NFTs that react and change depending on the other NFTs that you hold.
This post details everything but the tech: the creative inspiration and thinking behind the drop site, the way we envisioned our drop going, and the way it actually went.
Solidity frens have no fear—if you’re interested in the technical details behind the floppy disk NFTs, we’ve written that up over here. This covers everything else, so let’s get started, shall we?
The Drop: How It Started
Our original release plan for our free NFT was oriented around a mint site, where people would be able to connect their wallets and mint via the site’s interface. We created a drop site that was easy to use, a ton of fun, and kept fairness in mind throughout the process.
Easy to use
While we didn’t necessarily create an NFT drop for beginners or normies—we did not include any educational resources, for example—we also wanted to be accommodating to all. The drop site was designed to make minting as simple and frictionless as possible for our community members and friends.
We supported a variety of wallet types.
We could have only supported Metamask wallets—but knew that would be self-limiting in terms of who could mint from our site. We supported both Metamask and WalletConnect as means to connect your wallet to our drop.
No guessing games.
Our drop site had a counter on it so it would be instantly obvious to any would-be minters where they stood, and if NFTs were available for them. It’s no fun to have to wonder if gas is really that high or if a drop you’re going for is sold out.
Fun with big nostalgia energy
For the look and feel of the mint site, we dove deep into old Geocities GIFs, WordArt, and retro aesthetics for the site. It was so fun to browse old websites and find other nostalgia lovers who
Some graphic inspiration and unused art from this iteration process:
In the lead-up to our launch, NFT drop fairness and fair mechanics were discussed extensively.
I myself have been on the losing end of many drops. There’s a depressing, demotivating joylessness to the whole affair when you are excited about an NFT and then do the whole thing— race against bots, fight against a clogged network, try so hard within your abilities ( I mean, I’m tech savvy but I’m no Flashbots queen)—and still go home empty handed.
I didn’t want that for us. FOMO can be soul crushing; I wanted better.
No, I will not tell you who the VC was I complained about. My comments in this screenshot will shortly become famous last words.
Paradigm’s “A Guide to Designing Effective NFT Launches” was a key resource for our team. We experimented with multi-raffle, the sample contract that provided a framework for how to run a NFT raffle that culminated in a hilarious giveaway for fake $BUTTs.
As you can tell from the screenshot above, I myself was hyper aware that you can’t assume your obscurity will protect you. I had seen the same story play out in drop after drop—we had no idea it would be this popular!
Unfortunately, we did not internalize this message as strongly as we should have. All of us assumed that no one would pay attention to our little drop.
The raffle work went unused, and the only protection that was put in place was a limit on minting per wallet address. For the team, well, we’d be able to mint prior to public release of the drop site… right? No one would care about us… right?
The Drop: How It Went
As it turns out people did care, and our well-intentioned plans went slightly awry.
The engineering team was set for a late night weekend deployment in order to minimize the gas fees required to set our contract free on Mainnet.
The plan was to deploy on a Sunday night, then release the drop site and share the mint with the rest of the Galactic team the next day.
That did not happen. Instead—
Harper tweeted a direct link to Etherscan in the middle of the night
Consumed by what I can only imagine was post-deploy euphoria (I myself was dead asleep, huge mistake), Harper tweeted a link to the Etherscan contract and invited people to take him up on his alpha and claim a free mint.
if you are into the NFT type of thing and like getting alpha leaks - hit this contract and mint a thinghttps://t.co/FsJasMVHG9— harper 🤯 (@harper) November 1, 2021
Harper has tens of thousands of followers. He said in hindsight he assumed this Etherscan link would stay unnoticed. He felt so strongly about this that he went to bed after he sent the tweet and minted a few floppy disks. Obscurity is no excuse…
The NFTs were fully sold out within an hour, our Twitter and Discord absolutely flew off the chain with new floppy disk holders, and I slept through all of it.
All these flavors and at first, I chose salty
I woke up on Monday morning and saw NFT promo images I made for the floppy disk collection being tweeted by NFT whale bots — and I didn’t even own a floppy disk.
The FOMO hit twice as hard because it wasn’t someone else’s collection I missed out on this time, it was my own.
It was difficult for me at first to even enjoy anything that happened because I knew that the majority of our team would have to buy—or have bought for them—their own NFTs on secondary.
Nagging and paranoid thoughts of impropriety haunted me. We don’t have a wallet disclosure policy at Galactic. Could I be buying off secondary from one of my teammates?
Plus—the late night stealth launch deprived the entire company of the excitement and momentum of launch. I’ve been lucky to participate as a teammate on other NFT launches and know first hand how getting to watch it “happen live” with your team is special and meaningful. Instead, we woke up and saw the aftermath.
I had to first sit with the disappointment of not getting to enjoy this with my team, friends, and family — all of whom worked so hard and/or supported us to make the project happen, but only a few of whom got to mint and see the launch live — before I was able to enjoy our success.
It wasn’t the launch I envisioned—but it was a successful launch all the same, and I’m really proud of the Galactic team.
We sold out. We learned a lot about NFT drops. We seeded our community with hundreds of people excited about Galactic. The late night timing allowed us to take advantage of the quiet hours and trend on OpenSea, something that probably wouldn’t have happened if we had tried to push out the project during business hours.
But for next time, now we know—never count on obscurity.