Meme-Driven Culture

tl;dr: already happening at the edges of society, meme marketing will get professionalized

After reading Fred Wilson’s post, Meme Investing, I’ve been continuing my dive into The Meme Economy with posts such as On Value, Memes, and Belief Bitcoin and Memes.

That’s typically my M.O.

Find something interesting. Go read something about it. Blog about it to get a bit more understanding (mostly by clarifying my thoughts) and then go on and read more.

Rinse. Repeat.

It certainly doesn’t get me to master and I’m certainly no “Meme Lord,” but upon reading The Meme Economy a second time, the picture of the industry isn’t as foggy as it was.

There’s also a site called Know Your Meme which has some good navigational aides to understanding this emerging phenomenon.

There are a few things that jumped out at me.

Like any emerging market, there are creators, investors who invest in markets like Meme markets like NASDANQ and MemeTrade, educators, and analysts. There is a “founding moment,” which seems to be on Reddit.

And, now, thanks to the arrival of NFTs, the creators can get compensated for creating the “dankest” meme.

And they have, with the creators of Doge  getting  $4 million, Disaster Girl  getting  $570,000, and Nyan Cat  getting $515,000. And that’s just some of them.

As usual, Balaji Srinavasan sums it up quite nicely in a tweet

So, what will it take to succeed in the Meme Economy and to differentiate yourself as a Meme Marketer?

I really don’t know yet, but I think it will be a symbiotic ability to

  • identify universally understandable images for their power (e.g. ‘Disaster Girl’)
  • figure out how to frame the copy so that it highlights the power of the image (even if a picture is worth a thousand words) in order to get the ‘meme snowball’ effect (i.e. others re-using it) started
  • provide proof of ownership (blockchain fixes this)
  • understand timing– when does it get released to maximize ‘social lift’
  • publication and channels- how to get it out there to ride the right wave.

note: this is a copy. The owner of the NFT associated with it is the actual owner of the image.

Of course, I’m just speculating here (which is what I guess Meme Investing is kind of all about) and certainly don’t know enough to be able to pick any winners and, frankly, I find most of the potential offerings out there to be terrible (which isn’t surprising, now that the Meme Gold Rush has begun).

Just waiting for the BitShares Meme Futures ETF now so everyone can get fleeced (except BitShares, of course)

Which means we are going to have entire Marketing departments at big corporations that are paid to create and leverage memes for brand awareness.

It’s going to be Meme Wars and now that I think about it, the post Low-Level Vitalist Memeing makes a lot of sense.

If numbers is the common denominator of business (hint: OKRs) then images-driven by Memes- become the common denominator of culture.

Definitely going to keep digging into this. Open to suggestions/recommendations as well.

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