Friday, August 12, 2022

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Sabine Elsässer
Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

ADA Ninjaz community-driven NFT, manga, anime and music business on Cardano

Please introduce yourself and your startup ADA Ninjaz to our readers!

Zushan Hashmi here, I am one of the two Co-founders of ADA Ninjaz. I am also the COO and community lead of ADA Ninjaz. The other Co-Founder is Tommy Bui, CEO and Project Manager at ADA Ninjaz. Both of us have been mates for 3 years and used to work together in the public sector. After I introduced Tommy to Crypto, a few months later he told me all about NFTs and pitched an idea to me to create an NFT.

4 months later, and ADA Ninjaz is well on its way to becoming a full-fledged community-driven Multimedia NFT, manga, anime and music entertainment business.

How did you get the idea of ADA Ninjaz

We were bouncing ideas off each other, and came up with the story and vision behind ADA Ninjaz. The NFT and crypto space is the dot com boom of the 2020s and being a part of an industry this exciting was something we simply could not pass on.

Both of us grew up around anime and manga, watching and reading the famous anime/manga of the early 2000s, such as Naruto, Bleach, Dragon Ball Z, Pokemon and more. We always wondered what it would be like to decide how Goku’s (the protagonist in Dragon Ball Z) journey played out in the actual story. And the best means to achieve that vision was via NFTs, by giving people the opportunity to hold onto a part of the story and guide its direction.

That’s how ADA Ninjaz was born.

Why did you decide to start with ADA Ninjaz?

As I mentioned previously, the NFT space is exciting, fun and most importantly, limitless in its potential. If you utilise the blockchain to create NFTs and build a community in the right manner, the things you can achieve are second to none.

At the same time, it is very experimental, and allows you to trial things and get instant feedback from your community, something that is very difficult in a conventional business model. ADA Ninjaz is a passion project for both of us, having run small businesses before, and has very quickly become our full-time business.

What is the vision behind ADA Ninjaz?

To become the first multimedia entertainment business driven by the community. Whether it’s NFTs, manga, music or merchandise, the ADA Ninjaz community has a say in how things work, where the direction should go and what we should be doing with the business. Our one-year developmental roadmap can be found here and consists of what we envision over the next 10 or so months. We are also in the process of developing a whitepaper that will elaborate and expand on this roadmap to provide our vision.

How difficult was the start and which challenges you had to overcome?

We’ll be honest, it was not easy. Neither of us are programmers or designers. We have run projects in the past both in terms of small businesses and while working. There was a lot to research and understand, but most importantly it was to find the right people to support and work with us to make ADA Ninjaz a success.

We were easily working 12-14 hour days in the beginning, while managing our day jobs. All the operational work was being managed by us, and our first team member at the time, EJ Boac (now our operations manager). Gradually we were able to find the right people and now have a team upward of 27 staff.

Another key challenge was the transition from doing operational work to managing staff and delegating. Besides both of us, our team members and partners are spread across almost every continent and not in Australia. This means managing staff in various time zones which of course is challenging, however, being able to truly become a COO and CEO was challenging.

As I mentioned, in the NFT world, things move so rapidly that within a span of 1.5 months we went from doing everything ourselves to suddenly having a team of over 20 people, which meant delegating and strategic thinking became our key focus. This is still something we are working on and improving day by day.

Who is your target audience?

Our core audience at this point is the NFT community. People who like to trade NFTs, support NFT projects and are interested in the crypto space as a whole. Overall, being a multimedia entertainment business, our longer-term vision is to have an audience that enjoys and appreciates manga, anime and music. We aim to integrate all of these verticals into one, and our target audience has to match those ie. manga fans, anime enthusiasts, music fans, NFT/crypto investors and traders.

What is the USP of your startup?

A community-driven NFT, manga, anime and music business.

Can you describe your typical workday?

My workday consists of lots of calls with my team members around the world when I wake up in the morning, followed by strategic development that could vary across our verticles.

In between this I spend time speaking to our community members, either just having conversations with them, or asking them for their thoughts/feedbacks on our discord server. As the evening comes by I have further phone calls, again as our team is global and we need to have these conversations, but also with external parties interested in what we’re doing and looking to engage or partner with us.

What’s exciting is that despite all the scheduling and time management, the NFT world and ADA Ninjaz will always throw you a curveball, which can potentially shake up your day. This is great, because personally, I enjoy working on multiple things at once, and like the excitement and surprise that comes with running a business in this world, and that’s exactly what I get.

Where do you see yourself and your startup ADA Ninjaz in five years?

Well, with ADA Ninjaz, I see it on a major streaming platform as an anime with a couple of seasons at least. The manga being sold online and at your favourite comic book stores, and the music being listened to by hundreds of thousands if not millions of people.

Becoming a blue-chip NFT project on Cardano is something that we think we can also achieve in the long run, and 5 years from now all of these are very possible and achievable if we do things right. Personally, I’d love to be in a position where I am working with and guiding new, up and coming founders in the NFT space and helping them establish and develop their businesses.

What 3 tips would you give to founders?

If you’ve started a business, and it failed, that’s okay. Think of all the things you learned and how you can use those skills to start something new. Essentially, you’re already ahead of most other people in the business world.

Secondly, particular to NFTs – Communicate with your NFT holders, speak to them, be transparent and honest, and listen to their views and opinions, after all, without them, your project is nothing.

Always try to think outside of the box, see how you can provide value with your business, and do something unique. This will make it exciting for you too, and allow you to be creative and do something you can enjoy too.

Thank you Zushan Hashmi for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

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