Polygon’s business-development team has managed to land partnerships with major brands entering the Web3 space, including Nike, Reddit, Meta and Robinhood.
Let's check in with Coin Esq's most influential list of 2022. 1 of the force's leading business development in Web Three is Polygon Studios. This year alone, Nike Starbucks Reddit and many other consumer focused brands have chosen to partner with them to create their web three experiences. That's why Polygon Studios. Ceo Ryan Wyatt is one of Coin's most influential. He joins us now. Hello there, Ryan. So, yeah, good morning. How's everybody doing sunshine today? Yeah, at 6 a.m. I'm bringing the energy. All right, I got my cup of coffee. I'm ready to talk. Starbucks. Is that Starbucks coffee? Absolutely. It's Starbucks coffee. We got a lot to sell. You. Get a lifetime supply. Exactly for it's all free. Yeah. So Starbucks is launching the beta of Web three Odyssey loyalty program. I wonder what was the process of getting Starbucks on board Polygon and, and tell us a bit about, you know what this program's all about. Yeah. So uh uh you know, funny enough, the, the, the gentleman that started the rewards program for Starbucks, Adam Bratman, um he actually has a company and has been working with collaboratively with Starbucks and saying like, how do we actually take it, you know, uh to the next level and what are some things that we can do? And so that hence was uh where Odyssey was born. And, you know, we really just connected with them. They were interesting, they were just interested in learning about different protocols as they were observing where they wanted to put the, the, the actual program. And so we had a bunch of great conversations, you know, I think we aligned on a lot of things philosophically. If you think about it, they really wanted to be around, you know, Ethereum where a bunch of users and developers already are uh and, and large numbers. And then when you think about polygon, we have a carbon neutral footprint where there's a lot that we could do to help them. Kind of one at this, the start of inception to how they onboard and implement on the polygon, how they go to market, how they execute what we can do to support that. So there's a lot of things that, that go into it. Um You know, you can't speak for what ultimately they chose Polygon. But I'd like to think, you know, what we have is a, is a team that's, you know, a bunch of veterans that understand both kind of the polish of Web Two and also the excitement and enthusiasm and nuance of o of Web Three as well. And so what we've really tried to do is build a team that kind of combines all of that. So that when a, let's say any tier one partner, whether it's a, it's Robin Hood or it's a gaming project or at Starbucks, they're coming into our BD team, they're then working with our engineering solutions implementation team. So they can actually build and launch on the protocol and then they're uh with a partner managers just to make sure that they go to market if they have to talk to any of our different teams, whether it's the marketing team or our engineering team or whatever it may be. I think we've built this like really great funnel for partners that kind of come through and make the onboarding to polygon, really seamless. And so, yeah, you know, my, my name is on that one, but honestly, the, the, the Kudos goes to the entire team and not just that BD team, like it's that whole funnel that gets it done. You know, the BD team obviously has done tremendous work and they, they deserve a lot of credit, but that's not like the way that you actually get these partners is that whole funnel end to end and, and provide that experience. So, a a about all the partnerships including Starbucks, what makes, you know, why do they need to use Polygon uh versus I, I use the Starbucks app. I, you know, order my coffee on my way there and I, I cut the lines and get, you know, upset all the people who are waiting for, to place the order. But nonetheless, I, I could do that already. So, what are you doing? That's going to be different for the average consumer? Yeah, Starbucks announced the thing about, uh, I'll do two things. One, the thing about how I think about polygon is like, um, you know, if Call of Duty is, is on Google Cloud or Aws, it's not Google Cloud or Aws that's telling Call of Duty story. It's Call of Duty. So I don't, I say that to not take away too much from Starbucks who is doing all of this. We're simply just the protocol that they're launching on, right? Um But they launched something called stamps and journeys. So people will go through the app, they can do a bunch of different things as far engaging on, on different journeys for Starbucks. They're then rewarded as stamps. Uh The stamp is an NFT those culminate into a bunch of different things that they can do. Um And then the cumulative total of those NFTS can actually unlock uh both digital and physical experiences. So I think the idea behind the web three component or putting it on chain was the fact that the stamps are NFTS, they are collectible, you can buy and sell them on n the gateway will be great. Well, anywhere but nifty gateway is their, their partner, right? Um So I actually think think about even to uh you know, mcdonald's monopoly pieces if you ever remember some of those things, if you could buy boardwalk or something like that, to piece together things. So I actually think that is a necessary part of being on a decentralized protocol because of the ability to kind of sell trade and transact those uh stamp will be the really big thing. You're right. I think a majority of their um their experience doesn't need is like very web two esque and that's like more than sufficient. So I think the real catalyst for saying, OK, why do we actually need to put any of this on a decentralized protocol? Largely stem from this idea of earning minting and being rewarded stamp NFTS and what you can do with those on open marketplaces and trade and transact and so forth, right? Still, there are a lot of cryptocurrencies out there. They could have chosen any one of them. One of your biggest competition competitors is Solana and Sandy Neal, the uh founder of Polygon recently tweeted that the fact that Salana chain is unstable is an absolutely undeniable truth. There is mass exodus of devs to Ethereum ecosystem and some people with a vested interests are trying to spin this to Polygon, paid for partnerships and shaming the devs to prevent them from leaving. Is this true? Uh is what true? There's a, there's a lot to unpack and which part? Yeah. Well, OK, let's start with, uh, I think, yeah, I think it, one, you can look at Solana Status page and you can see how many times they've gone down through the year. But I think it was a little bit of hyperbole. Look, I think Solana, it's a great, it's a, honestly, it's a great, all, one great team over there. Um, I think they've had, yes, they've had kind of, you know, uh, network issues. I think a lot of companies had, we, I think, you know, uh maybe uh uh just under a year ago, we had an outage ourselves as well. So personally, like not keen on throwing stones in general, but I do, I think, you know, I'm empathetic but there was probably some frustration there. Um I think the one thing that came up too and interesting in all of that is look, all of these protocols were pretty well funded in the last, you know, let's say two years, all of them have great programs that are investing in the developer ecosystem. I think that's really good, right? Like Solana has this amazing $100 million fund in Korea for gaming. That's such a good thing for web three gaming. Yeah, it'll obviously disproportionately benefit Salana, of course, because they're gonna be investing in gaming specific projects in Korea. But, you know, all ships rise and that's just like philosophically where my head's at. I think this space is really what really fragile and really nascent still all things considered. And so for me, I kind of look at anybody that's doing any of these investments across the space that's getting people to build on their protocol as a net win. So where Solana maybe hasn't done as well as us on like the gaming and commercial enterprise front, they've done an incredible job with like an organic N FTP FP trading community, right? And that is, that's homegrown built from the ground up. Um And that's great. So mass exodus of devs to Ethereum ecosystem and people with vested interests are trying to spin this to Polygon, paid for partnerships. I think the there's a couple of points in there. I think there was um there was chatter as if the BD team was uniquely like Polygon team was uniquely doing paid partnerships. So the reality is we all are like we have very publicly announced ecosystem funds, those funds are for a hackathon winner all the way up to a big enterprise deal and everything in between, right? So I think this, this there was kind of conversation that came actually not from anybody that is working at these protocols, but just people in the community that might not be fully aware that all the protocols are doing pay deals. Now, the Exodus from Solana, I do think there's a lot of projects taps in specific that are looking to go multi chain in general from there because I think any time you're on like an L one anytime you can hedge your bets on where other users and developers are, is pretty wise, I also think a multi chain future is, is probably pretty likely in general, like not specific to just.