If you have been in the CNFT game for longer than a couple of weeks you will have undoubtedly come across Grumpy Bunny. Their first drop, a small mint of just 100 NFTs, sold out quickly. Their follow up Halloween drop sold out instantly.
With Season 2 fast approaching we wanted to chat to the team to find out more about the project, what the plans are going forward and why the bunny was always so annoyed!
If you have missed any of our previous interviews, you can find them all here.
For anyone not familiar with the project, why don’t you give us a little insight into Grumpy Bunny.
Sure! We’re a fairly new project in the CNFT space, we officially kicked things off in September after a few months of planning. We saw a gap to introduce a bit of character alongside a project, and with the grumpy little dude at the helm we get the chance to inject that bit of humour into our approach.
We’ve carefully planned 8 ‘core’ series for our community, which will be scattered amongst seasonal events and promotions. Ultimately we’re trying to create something long-term, that provides an ecosystem for supporters with regular rewards, virtual social events and synergy across the community – I know that sounds a bit fluffy towards the end but it’s actually going really well.
We’re noticing our Discord has this real harmony now – people have things in common, they’re finding people they can relate to with the same sense of humour and interests. It’s been so satisfying to watch. And it’s all underpinned by that social engagement from the team – we want to be in amongst it every step of the way. We’re always tweeting, posting and engaging with our supporters – it’s our favourite thing about the project.
Why is he so grumpy?
It’s funny you ask, we get that a lot. I guess the Bun is that fragment in all of us just ready to explode.
He resonates with people because he’s that voice in your head when a colleague dumps a load of work on you at 4pm on a Friday, or when that person in the supermarket keeps getting in the way.
He’s kind of the CNFT world’s stress ball – a little furry mascot you can look to and he’ll just look back, shaking his head and furiously saying “I know. I know!”. That’s the aim anyway.
What about the team behind the project, what can you tell us? What lead the team to this project?
We had some close friends already achieving amazing things in the Cardano arena, so almost all of us had been present in the space for some time, but only ever as supporters. We started to see the success of some of the projects, not just commercially but in terms of the community and following they were building. It just seemed so rewarding.
In all honesty it was one of those things we’d all speak about regularly but would just never come to fruition. It wasn’t until after a heavy night of drinking when one of us drunkenly articulated the concept of Grumpy Bunny – I think it just instantly resonated with all of us. We woke up the next day and there was just a desire to crack on.. and so The Grumpy Bunny was born!
Then things really started moving when one of the girls suggested that we could use some of the funds to support animal shelters. I know that sounds so simple but I think we all took for granted the size of the opportunity with CNFTs.
We kind of ‘projected’ what we thought we could achieve, and then thought to ourselves “wow, we could really make a difference to some organisations here”. I won’t bore you but the animal shelter thing is something we’ve been super passionate about for a long time – we’re all involved in some capacity supporting local charities and so it all just came together perfectly as a shared goal.
Season 1 had a pretty low mint of just 100 NFT’s what was the reason behind this? What will future seasons look like?
To be honest, it really was just down to some meticulous planning and ‘slow and steady’ logic. We’re kind of stepping into CNFTs at a point when the market is becoming really saturated. I think a lot of projects have pioneered some amazing styles and drop strategies, and so naturally A LOT of new projects are trying to follow suit.
We wanted to step away from the ‘mainstream’ formula – not that there’s anything wrong with that, but we just thought it was really important to build a solid base and then work upwards. Exclusivity is always going to be a major factor in a project’s success, as is creating that supply and demand balance.
Now on reflection, we’re so happy we made that decision. It’s worked out really well for us. I don’t think we anticipated quite the boom – when Series 1 sold out in about 16 seconds I’d be lying if I said the whole team wasn’t shocked. But that demand and exclusivity really helped propel the project in our opinion, it attached a premium to our NFTs which can sometimes take so long to achieve. At least we hope it did anyway!
Future series will follow a natural ramp, whilst seasonal events will give us the opportunity to deliver bigger drops and grow the community.
It’s quite interesting actually, We dropped ‘Hoppy Halloween’ which was 400 mints, and then announced Series 2, which was originally planned as 222 mints. We instantly got a barrage of messages saying “222? only 222?”. We were a bit stuck as it left us thinking “can we really deviate from the roadmap?”. Our gut instinct told us to stick with the original plan, but we just had so many messages all with the same ideas. In the end we put it to a community vote, we created a poll on twitter and said we’d only consider increasing the supply if an overwhelming majority (>70%) supported it. The vote came back pretty much bang on 50/50, and so it was a great moment for us as it meant our instincts were right. It reassured us we were doing the right thing, steadily increasing supply in line with a growing community.
Did you enter into the project knowing with a roadmap laid out ahead of you or is it something that has evolved as you got to know the community and your supporters?
I guess you could say both. We built a roadmap – in fact we spent weeks on it. We bought a whiteboard and I lost count of how many times we wiped it clean and started it again. I think having a plan quickly became a big deal to us because we knew it would give us confidence throughout the journey, knowing where we wanted to get to and how we planned on heading there. It’s also really important for supporters, in our opinion. You’re asking these people to make an investment in your project, and whilst the bulk of that should be on the premise they love the art, they also want and deserve that inclusion in the future vision. Without a roadmap I think it’s hard to convey to the community where the project is heading.
That was only for our core series though, which we’ve planned 8 of in total (each with a different theme). Between these our seasonal events are where we keep a lot of our options open to give us that flexibility to grow with the community.
Our first event; ‘Hoppy Halloween’, was exactly that. We got to consider the supply levels, the themes, the way it was promoted – everything really, it was all tailored to the community we built and it was one of the most satisfying things we’ve done in a long long time. Everything just clicked and come drop day, we saw 3000 Tx go through and our 400 NFTs just instantly sell out. It was an amazing feeling. We followed it up with some airdrops, a competition for our community (for which the engagement was just phenomenal) and the whole event just seemed to stretch out over an entire week. We loved every moment.
As project creators yourselves how do you feel about the recent “rug pulls” or project abandonments?
Obviously it really hurts the community, you don’t need us to tell you that. Every rug pull just chips away at the trust, but you need to look at the positives. With every abandonment people are becoming more educated, they’re learning what the red flags are. I know that’s learning the hard way, but the level of scrutiny (in a positive sense) is definitely improving.
We stepped into the space just as “rug pulls” were becoming more commonplace, and whilst we’d regularly look at projects and think “that screams rug pull to us”, they’d still seem to manage to dump 10k and run. Now I don’t think it’s anywhere near as easy as that for these scammers or however you want to label them – people have been burnt and they’re not going to let it happen again.
We’re also lucky to have some great figures in the community who are really stepping up and calling out those concerns. We won’t name them, they know who they are, but their guidance shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s not about creating a witch hunting “you’re new you’re not welcome!” culture. It’s just highlighting those concerns. Any half decent project should be able to take criticism, gather their thoughts and then just discuss with the person alleviating their concerns. Better yet – they can learn from it! Project creators are learning too, and so by discussing these areas of uncertainty we can all improve and ultimately build something better.
All that said you should always DYOR (we know, we know, but it’s the golden rule so we have to say it, because we mean it) – and we mean that both ways, if you see someone shilling a project then carefully research it yourself. Likewise, if you see someone express concern you shouldn’t necessarily set fire to it, but you should take that warning on board and again, carefully dig into the project before coming to your own conclusion.
What advice would you give to genuine creators to set themselves apart and build trust in the community?
Respect the community, and the community will respect you. I think if you come in, guns blazing, telling everyone you’re going to sell 100,000 NFTs in your drop in 20 minutes time, then you’re not showing the Cardano community the respect it deserves. If you look at the blue chip projects (and in our opinion there’s less than 5), they aren’t there by luck. They’re carefully created ecosystems that took a long time to build.
We’d advise any new creator to take their time, start small, and build upwards. If your project is legit and around for the long term, then there is no rush – there’s no need to sell 10,000 NFTs in the first month. Focus on your community, engage with supporters, learn from other projects, stay humble and the rewards (whatever your perception of rewards be) will come later down the line.
How do you see the NFT space evolving over the next few months?
I think Cardano in general has this special ability to blow you away with innovation, make you think that’s it, and then blow you away again not long after. CNFTs are no different. I think we’re blessed with some truly talented people in the space, the likes of Alessandro, Stale, Patrick Tobler etc. As such we personally believe that innovation is just going to continue to spike. Slicker features, better tools – ultimately the supporter experience is going to improve dramatically and that should help the space grow.
I don’t think for projects we are going to see a move away from 10k unique PFP style drops overnight, but they need to evolve now. We’re working on a concept called “Build-a-bun”, which we see as our way to do exactly that and eradicate the nasty lottery element that ultimately leaves 90% of supporters disappointed.
I think as we see the likes of Pavia suddenly bring new things to the table, you’ll see other projects up their game too. We’ve seen enough of the teams at the top top projects to know that they never stand still – they’re always one step ahead, thinking of the next big thing.
I don’t think for projects we are going to see a move away from 10k unique PFP style drops overnight, but they need to evolve now.
What project would you like to collab with if you could?
We’ve already agreed a collab with Professor Cardano which was a bit of a fan-girl moment for us – it was the first CNFT we ever bought so we pursued that from the word go, just for sentimental value. We’re in the fortunate position where we actually get approached by a few projects too – and we mean that in a humble way, we’re super grateful to be in such a place that people feel they can approach us. That said, we want to do right by our community, and partner with projects that we know will resonate with our supporters – even if that means walking away from some big followings.
We’ve always had a soft spot for Yummi Universe – they followed us quite early on in our journey and so we dropped them a DM. We weren’t even expecting them to reply, we had like 300 followers and must of been one of a bucket load of messages in their inbox. Remarkably though, they messaged back and were just so nice. The team they have are super lovely – so I guess we’d love to one day see little Naru and the Bun together.
Do you guys collect NFT’s too? What are your favourite?
We do! We’re pretty rubbish collectors now if we’re brutally honest, we’re spending so much time on Grumpy Bunny that we’re just too slow these days to ever mint. When we had time though or when we jump on the aftermarket we’re all fans of Clay and Yummi, and I mentioned that Professor Cardano was what got us into NFTs. We have some favourite ‘smaller’ projects too (although the rate at which they’re growing we don’t think we’ll be saying that for much longer).
Vudu Brigada seem to have a really cool community vibe, we hear about them doing rap battles and things on Discord and it just sounds super fun. There’s so much superb art out there too – Masha’s colour book is a favourite, the Cardines have some awesome visuals too. One of our favourite projects is called MIPA Toys. Michal designs these amazing 3D concepts that he also makes into actual toys – it’s just one of those you could look at for hours.
There’s so many more too, we could go on!
Thanks to the Grumpy Bunny team for taking the team to do this interview and for such in-depth answers to our questions.
If you’d like to know more we recommend following the Bunny on Twitter.
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