As the world is adopting technological revolution at every step, most of the companies are looking forward to delivering their products and services in a better, engaging and gamified way. This gamified way results, increasing the traction and enticing people and users to use that particular platform more often. Award Pool is one of the pioneers in the field of Banking and NFT sector that strives to empower users in a more fun way.
Below are the highlights of the interview between Award Pool and Corporate Leaders Magazine:
Tell us about the Award Pool? What was your inspiration behind entering the NFT market?
We recently celebrated Award Pool’s two-year anniversary. It was originally founded by myself, my wife Brenda and our three children. Early in the process of defining the product and market fit, we looked to see how our children were interacting with video games and media. First, we noticed that the YouTube and Twitch generation don’t distinguish between playing a video game or watching another person play the game. Second, they were rewarded for watching others play with things, like drops, points and incentives that gave them a sense of participation and ownership. This made a passive viewing experience engaging.
So we thought, what if we could create a platform that made those activities possible but in a more structured and self-service way? So when we built the system, we chose to include points based on a fungible token (ERC20) and awards based on non-fungible token (NFTs). This allowed us to present both visual aspects (i.e. a digital trophy or ribbon) and underlying data that shows how you won the award (X amount of wins in the game etc.).
We were right that the digital generation doesn’t distinguish between real-world and meta verse but we were wrong in assuming that this was only true in the gaming world.
Once we brought on our CFO, Alex Falconer and our COO, Ahmad Al-Jamal, we shifted the model slightly to address the three primary challenges and opportunities in the creator world and engagement space. Community: creating a community of authentic and engaged fans. Engagement: ensuring that the community continues to be engaged by rewarding them for doing things. Lastly, Monetization – giving clients ways to monetize and make money from that community.
What makes Award Pool a preferred choice for consumers over other competitors in the NFT space?
We address the “field of dreams” issue that many crypto/NFT companies have: Build it, and they will come, but nobody shows. The Award Pool platform provides an easy-to-use, white-label way to create an environment to participate. One that acquires, engages and monetizes. With each campaign, we help clients acquire users and create ongoing excitement with ongoing challenges while providing ways they can monetize their campaigns with NFT.
How do you think digital transformation and NFT have helped businesses expand their boundaries and leverage opportunities?
Digital transformation can apply the digital world to traditional business opportunities. By defining value in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFT) – you can go beyond a random number in a database to something uniquely defined and owned by those who see value in your brand or content. Rather than creating a point and rewards system like Airmiles, you can offer points and rewards among all airlines/stakeholders, and the value isn’t siloed.
How do you induce and implement technological advancements and innovation in business offerings and operations at Award Pool?
At Award Pool we use a design thinking method as it allows us to take a customer-centric view in all things that we do. From technical implementation to usability to sales. We implement a lean start-up approach that allows us to iterate at every stage based on continual feedback.
For example, when we launched the platform, our goal was to get 10,000 users by the end of the year but we got those users on the first day! Great news, however, most blockchains don’t support that level of transactional activities, and we crashed a number of our partner’s infrastructures. We immediately fixed that by quickly adjusting our infrastructure to potentially delay or queue the minting of NFTs and optimized for increased performance. When you fail, you adapt.
Tell us about your contribution to the soaring success of the Award Pool.
As the founder, I spent more than 7000 hours building the product’s first version. Today, as CEO, I have my hands in pretty much every department. We have a great team at Award Pool that shares my passion for creativity and technology. Our culture is that of playful ideas, and we use our imagination and creativity to collaborate and drive innovation.
How has the recent COVID-19 pandemic affected the NFT space? What do you think will be the future of the NFT market post-COVID-19?
This was a pandemic project. It was founded in March of 2020 when the world shut down due to Covid and my family was stuck at home. Our team and work processes were developed to match the Covid world, and we are truly a global and digital company. So how have NFTs been affected by Covid? We have all been locked at home, and the real world has given way to a digital-first world. Digital experiences have become the norm. Even as the world opens up and we venture out of our homes, the NFT space has already established itself as a valuable tool in providing unique access, privileges and rewards.
Tell us in what ways Award Pool is contributing to the betterment of the corporate community and society.
A number of our initial projects are focused on social and environmental causes. For example, we ran a Sustainable January campaign to launch our carbon offset. We challenged our community to go green with informative articles, #campaigns to get users sharing their green strategies and podcasts from our green partners like Celo and Cloverly. We used the campaign to show our corporate sustainability values and launch our carbon offset initiative.
This March, we launched our Female Powerhouses campaign to showcase female CEOs and content creators throughout the month. The campaign included female musicians, artists, writers, blockchain leaders and CEOs in the NFT space. One of our core values is respect, we foster an inclusive and diverse work environment, and we are committed to using our platform to run campaigns that help raise awareness for all individuals.
What are your future aspirations for the company? Where do you see the Award Pool in upcoming years?
We’re close to hitting 200,000 users in a few months since launch, and we are just getting started! Our next milestone will be millions of users with our Freemium SAAS model. Our goal is to enable anyone, anywhere, to access our platform through a combination of Freemium and paid add-ons.
What advice do you want to give to budding entrepreneurs aspiring to enter the NFT space?
Think differently. Most of the projects you see today are copies of other things. They are either clones of OpenSea or variations on Crypto Punks and Apes. I believe the real opportunity lies in the ability to implement new mechanisms to engage and reward using NFT and define new business models within the space.