🔥Crypto Fireside #29 — Interviews with crypto people.
🔥Hello! Who are you, and what do you do?
JM: My name is John Marrin and I’m the CEO of Use Case Future Technologies: a blockchain research and development company aiming to target multiple sectors and infuse blockchain technology every step of the way. Currently, I’m focused on building Use Case Studios DAO, which is a DAO that is designed to operate Use Case Studios: a subsidiary of UCFT that is developing Ancient Flame a fantasy MMORPG metaverse/social platform for fantasy enthusiasts to meet like-minded people in a fantasy setting and an immersive open world. Players can trade NFT equipment peer to peer, earn in-game cryptocurrency, and even rent and own property in-game in the Metaverse. It’s essentially the combination of Borderlands and Viewtiful Joe that you didn’t know you wanted.
The project involves crypto in a few ways: the DAO obviously has a tokenized model that handles the governance of the studio itself, and there will also be an in-game currency earned by the players to encourage participation and create a social and fiscal economy in a virtual world. We’ll allow users to rent storefronts, sell their wares to other players, own homes, and trade weapons and other equipment as well!
We want to create a collaborative studio that takes the power that stays with big AAA Studios in the Web2 world and give it to the players. With Use Case Studios players will have more power than ever when it comes to decision making, development, and even future products through the studio.
🔥What’s your backstory, and how did Use Case Future Technologies and Ancient Flame come about?
JM: UCFT came about essentially as a response to what I saw as a lack of leadership in the blockchain space coming from the US in general. I’m a firm believer that we as a nation need to step up to the plate when it comes to emerging technologies otherwise we will run the very real risk of being left behind. 10 years down the line, I want this company to be in the same vein as Google or Amazon.
Beyond having the opportunity, I believe we have the obligation to change the way people view a CEO; People in leadership have a unique microphone to speak to issues that we face, and I think this next generation of CEOs have the opportunity to step up and walk the walk when it comes to being more than your salary. We want to build a company that people want to stay at forever, and that means treating people the way they deserve, financially and otherwise.
I worked (and still do) in customer service, and doing that gives you a unique view of people’s values in the workplace. Customer servants aren’t valued. They’re viewed as low-skilled labor. Being in the space just showed me that when I founded UCFT and its subsidiaries I wanted to see people treated with respect and to have a company that is on the cutting edge of productivity practices and ensure that when someone works at UCFT they work WITH me, not FOR me.
There is a cool story behind Ancient Flame. I had been openly sharing and discussing some of what we were building and planning to build via LinkedIn. A representative from Polygon’s gaming division must have seen some of what we were sharing and so they reached out to us. We had a few meetings to discuss the project, where we were at, our plans and so forth. They seemed interested in what we were doing. We ended up meeting with some of the people from Polygon, and they seemed genuinely excited and happy about what we were building with Ancient Flame. One thing led to another as usually happens in this space and the next thing you know Polygon offered us a 10k grant to get things started. We are super grateful for it! Polygon is building an amazing ecosystem and we are thrilled to have them back on the project.
🔥Describe the process of preparing to launch UCFT and Ancient Flame.
JM: Right now everything is geared towards us sprinting towards our IDO on July 8th of this year! We’ll be doing a 1000 NFT drop to compliment our launch as well as exclusive items, spells, and other unique items that you can’t get at any other time. We’re in the process of retooling our website and making sure we’re fully prepared for our marketing push over the next few months. Should the DAO model prove successful, we’ll be looking to implement it on other projects and even the parent company itself; DAOs will be the future of corporations in the next decade, and I think we’ll see more and more Web3 companies move towards a DAO structure.
🔥Take us through your daily process of what it is that you do.
JM: Day-to-day isn’t as exciting as you might think haha, I wake up around 7 or 8 and I’ll usually have meetings scheduled from 10 into the late afternoon. A lot of time on the phone, getting updates on the various moving parts of the company (huge shout out to my COO Rudy Gomez and my CMO Ben Grenaway for always being available for me to bother them) and by like 4 or 5 I’ll try and wind down but that never happens. Usually, I’ll be up writing beta documentation for another project, a white paper, or thinking about what’s next. When you work in this space you need to be thinking about 10 years in the future, not just what’s happening right now.
🔥Why did you choose Polygon to build Ancient Flame on?
JM: Choosing Polygon was a no-brainer for us, as NFT trading peer-to-peer is such an important and integral part of what we’re planning here that we wanted to make sure that users were able to do that without it costing an arm and a leg. They’re also building an amazing ecosystem as I mentioned earlier, they’ve been very supportive and I have the utmost respect for the team behind Polygon; they have the type of growth potential that we’re looking to embody.
🔥Through launching UCFT and Ancient Flame, what is something you have learned that surprised you?
JM: The journey so far has honestly been full of surprises! Blockchain is such an amazing space with this awesome and welcoming community; it’s been such a formative experience in my own life and I couldn’t be happier with our progress so far. You meet great people all over the world and they’re so knowledgeable and gracious with that knowledge it’s truly incredible. Being a part of something greater than yourself is the goal of every person, and to see that in the real world has been a blessing.
Taking the time to value yourself and your time is a lesson we can all take to heart, and it’s something you learn every day especially when you’re running a business, and knowing when to take a break, man that’s important. Being able to take a breath, and refocus on the task at hand is something that takes practice.
🔥Mistakes were made. What were they and what did you do?
JM: Dude mistakes happen all the time! Learning from mistakes is the most important thing to consider here.
There is probably nothing specific for me to share right now, touch wood, as we are very early but here goes. Seeking advice and getting an outside perspective is almost always the way to go! Getting fresh eyes on that situation can give you a sense of whether or not you’re looking at things the right way.
Mistakes aren’t always clear right away, but the sign of a good leader is recognizing a mistake and fixing it. If it turns out you need to change course, then do it. Don’t just keep doing the same wrong thing just because it’s what you’ve been doing. Just because you’ve made a mistake for a long time, doesn’t mean you have to keep making it.
🔥What have been the most influential things in your life that affected your project? This can include books, podcasts, or people?
JM: Ram Dass and Be Here Now has been an inspiration to me in my personal life and my work life as well. Living in the now is something we can all benefit from, and a lot of his lectures and teachings are things that are still very relevant in daily life. I think really what inspired Use Case Studios, in general, is the lack of fun and playable blockchain games at this stage, they focus too heavily on the P2E aspects and not enough on making something that is genuinely fun.
We need to make fun games, all of the blockchain and cryptocurrency aspects come should come second. I think Web3 gaming has lost sight of what makes great games, and that’s fun. We aim to not only bring that back but also usher in the next stage of blockchain gaming.
🔥Do you have any advice for other creators, entrepreneurs, or developers who want to get started or are just beginning?
JM: Absolutely, just start. Go for it. Take that risk and jump into the pool. We don’t go anywhere without taking a chance and really going for what it is we really want to do. If Web3 is your passion, find a way to make that passion your job; there’s so much opportunity in the space and new things are popping up all the time, all you have to do is find where you fit and get to it!
Don’t be afraid to fail, failure shapes who we are and teaches you so much more than success ever can. Be creative, Web3 will solve problems we don’t even know we have yet, and that means there is a ton of room for people to create their own path to success.
Take a breath, ground yourself, and just dive in.
🔥Where do you see the blockchain, cryptocurrency and decentralization space going in the next 5 to 10 years?
JM: The possibilities are endless for blockchain, decentralization and cryptocurrency. We aim to do research of all kinds when it comes to NFTs, blockchain technology, and artificial intelligence. NFTs have uses in real estate, notarizing documents, ticketing, voting, music and tons of other uses that we have yet to fully understand. The combination of blockchain and AI are massive too: I would love to see an entire city running on blockchain technology, functioning digital currency, and “smart homes”. From the medical field to your own home, the possible uses of blockchain technology is limitless.
In 10 years I can see the cryptocurrency market overtake traditional finance, banks will all be on board, governments will hold digital assets as a hedge against fiat currency inflation and a majority of the world’s population owning some form of digital asset. UCFT will be one of the largest blockchain-based companies on the planet and will use that platform to educate people on the benefits of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency in general. The sky is the limit for companies and people that start early and set their minds to great things. Greatness isn’t easy, if you put in the work anything can be possible.
And if we’re lucky maybe Elon Musk will have shut up by then.
🔥Where can we go to learn more?
JM: Our website is usecasefuturetech.com, don’t judge her too harshly she’s getting a face-lift. We have a Telegram for Use Case Studios, r/UseCaseFutureTech and r/UseCaseStudios are for the Reddit homies and a little more on Ancient Flame can be found here, that’s an executive doc so don’t expect anything too fancy. Some of our other socials are under construction as we are in the process of hiring our social media manager so bear with us.
🔥Thank you, John!
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