The short history of crypto has been rife with scams, rug pulls, security breaches, and unfulfilled promises — to name a few. As avid surveyors of the world of Web3 — spending hours researching and participating in this new frontier of the internet before we even considered the thought of creating our own NFT project — we knew this. It seemed like every other day we were reading stories about a new project that promised the world and would promptly remove themselves from it the moment they profited.

Once we decided that starting a project would be a fun challenge for our team, we wanted to ensure that one attribute remain the backbone of our project — something integral to the Unfold brand — we wanted transparency and honesty to reign supreme in an industry where it felt severely lacking. There has been negative press surrounding NFTs and cryptocurrency since its nascence (which we are arguably still in) and in the Wild West of Web3 — the next phase of our digital era.- we wanted to contribute something that felt authentic, light-hearted, and true. It sounds like a silly sentiment considering the wacky reality that are non-fungible tokens. To have such passionate sentiments behind creating and publishing artwork of goofy surveillance drone birds — a concept born out of a running joke during our weekly HODL meetings. But a valid and honest sentiment nonetheless.

Now five months after launch, we hold true to this despite the strange insights and understanding it gave us for the projects that veer from this path. I want to state that we are in no way supporting or encouraging the path most unethically travelled that leads to sudden ending of projects, but also want to give some level of perspective into the massive undertaking that is maintaining a NFT project. As a means of what we value first and foremost — transparency.

When we started Dronies, we went in with a passion and a slew of remarkably talented individuals with the grit to complete a 10k collection in an impossibly fast-moving and tight deadline-d space. That’s it. We made far more mistakes than we ever thought we would. We learned more and more about the community involved in NFTs as we went. We created a project before we could fully comprehend what a huge feat it would be while also working full-time for a design agency. We dealt with the highs and lows of launch. We moved with the tides of the ever-shifting demands of entertainment and Web3. And it was HARD. It IS hard. Projects we looked up to were also going through the same motions — projects we thought were above and way ahead of the game started to drop, creating posts about burnout and the turmoil the maintenance of these projects were causing. It was a shock, but it was eerily…relatable?

We have always maintained transparency with our community of how our team has felt about the community and about our Dronies project. No one on the team has been shy about sharing our hardships and solid wins to the public. We don’t plan on changing that now. Being public figures is remarkably rough. Unending demands with limited patience and a sprinkle of insults to top it off really accelerates burnout. Rushing deliverables to get something in the hands of folks that understandably want to see return for their investment delivers less than stellar work. It then becomes something of a paralyzing agent when creating new experiences — hoping that this will be the next thing that will keep your followers spirits high. But maybe it won’t. No one can prepare you for it.

No one can prepare you for the indescribable highs that comes with the joy and approval from people that have believed in and followed you from the beginning either. Hearing the excitement from new members finding out about your project months after launch, thrilled to support and contribute to ideas however they can. Checking in on team members when they know we’re out sick, or healing, or on vacation. This is what we dreamt our reward would be for maintaining openness and transparency with our community — it’s what has created and maintained and garnered so many new friendships that makes all of the lows feel arbitrary in retrospect. It’s what feels like the ultimate reward to our core value of transparency even when it has felt brutal to bare your heart and soul and skill to the public.And we plan on keeping it up. There are no rug pulls here. There are no surprises. We want to be a beacon — no matter how small or large — to the importance of being earnest in this new chapter of our digital age.

Stay vigilant, operatives.