Azuki Founder’s First Response to Disaster: Underestimated Community Emotions, Overestimated Product Delivery

Azuki Founder's First Response to Disaster: Overestimating Product Delivery and Underestimating Community Emotions

Azuki’s disaster sale issue has not yet been resolved, and prices for all series are still fluctuating sharply. In a phone call on the morning of June 30, Christian, a major holder of the Azuki series, NDV Fund founder, and co-founder of ManesLAB, talked to Azuki’s founder Zaga for a long time. This major holder, who once offered to buy Azuki for $40 million, shared the content of the conversation with BlockBeats. In summary, the Azuki team underestimated the community’s emotions and overestimated their own abilities. They don’t want to do anything related to raising money, nor will they sell the company.

BlockBeats: Azuki’s founder should have talked a lot during the phone call, and what people are most concerned about is actually two points. One is why such a catastrophic mistake occurred, and the other is the solution. First, let’s look at why it happened. Did Zaga mention why the image is almost the same as the OG version and why it is set at a high price of 2 ETH?

Christian: Last night, I talked to Azuki’s founder, Zaga, on the phone about the cause of this incident and the current status of the team. The reasons for the consequences of this disaster can be divided into several parts. The first is that the pricing of this sale was too high. The Azuki team initially thought that this pricing was reasonable, based on their understanding of the price, community emotions, and market performance of OG Azuki at the time. They did not realize that the pricing of 2 ETH is difficult to bear in the current macro market.

The second is that the 10-minute sales time given to holders during the auction was too short, resulting in many holders failing to mint. Zaga honestly admitted this mistake and said that the team had some discussions and differences at that time, but ultimately decided to proceed with this interval time. He did not give specific reasons, but I guess they thought that Azuki’s holders would not mint all, so including the price, he said that it should be expected to enter public sale and reduce the price through the Dutch auction method. However, they did not expect the response to be so enthusiastic, and it was sold out instantly.

In summary, I think the main reason for this crisis is that Azuki underestimated the community’s expectations and overestimated the products they delivered. Personally, I think there are still some commendable aspects in the production of the Elementals series, and some of the graphics are of good quality, but the most criticized aspect is that the graphics are too similar to the OG, without any differentiation, which harms the interests of the community. The team did not consider this before, and also admitted that they will differentiate through a series of means in the future to better meet everyone’s expectations and positioning of different series.

BlockBeats: Do the teams with feasible solutions have any ideas during this meeting? I saw news that there may be a change in the image to make Elementals different from OG.

Christian: The current plan to change the image may be the team’s final decision. In yesterday’s communication, Zaga emphasized that the focus should be on highlighting OG Azuki and mentioned that OG Azuki is definitely the most core series in the community and belongs to the top identity logo.

He believes that the Azuki series represents very cool member attributes, and may provide more rights to OG Azuki in the future. The team’s solution may be to make some adjustments in recognition and give priority to Azuki in points and other rights to appease OG Holder emotions.

BlockBeats: You said on Twitter that the acquisition price of 40 million US dollars is too cheap. Does Zaga have any opinions on this price, or do you think that Azuki’s value is far higher than 40 million after listening to it?

Christian: Yesterday, I also clarified that the price of 40 million US dollars is definitely not buyable. After yesterday’s communication, Zaga has no intention of selling the brand, and this event is not an intentional act of rug or fundraising. The reason is still what I said above. They overestimated their abilities and the quality they delivered. I said on Twitter that 40 million US dollars is too cheap, not that Zaga has set a higher price, but that he has no intention of selling the company at all. Because there are many core contributors to the Red Bean Chinese community around me, everyone’s emotions are very low now, and many have begun to change their attitudes. I and Zaga pointed out this situation, and he also apologized during the communication, admitting the contribution made by core Builders such as County Princess to the brand, and mentioned that he will pay more attention to the Asian and Chinese markets and communities in the future. This year will continue to hold offline events in Asia. I hope this can give the community some confidence.

BlockBeats: What other key points do you think can be shared with everyone in this meeting?

Christian: We also talked about the development direction of Beanz. As the largest Beanz Holder, I honestly say that I am a little disappointed with the progress of Beanz so far. Zaga said that in their conception, Beanz and Azuki are separate, and the two routes are relatively independent. Beanz will focus on cooperation with Line this year, as well as the incubation of some physical penguin-like dolls and peripherals that are being produced and operated, but the details were not disclosed too much before.

He is also very optimistic about Beanz and even thinks that in terms of IP, the potential of this character may be greater than that of Azuki. He said that compared to Azuki, which focuses on being a unique and rare status symbol, the Beanz character is cute enough and more accessible, which can be used as a cartoon for large-scale promotion, reaching groups such as children, which is also their goal and expectation. He also mentioned that Beanz will play a relatively important role in Azuki’s world view in the future.

Finally, he also emphasized that the future of Azuki is not only the IP operation of the Web2 mode. He has different ideas on how to combine IP with the concept and technology of Web3, hoping to subvert the traditional IP operation mode, and the production of animation is also underway.

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