Non-Fungible Tokens: Amr Samaha Of Tykes On The 5 Things You Need To Know To Create a Highly…

Patrick Swanson / September 23,2022
Non-Fungible Tokens: Amr Samaha Of Tykes On The 5 Things You Need To Know To Create a Highly…

Non-Fungible Tokens: Amr Samaha Of Tykes On The 5 Things You Need To Know To Create a Highly Successful Career In The NFT Industry


Utilize your network. Your community has your biggest supporters and believers. If you can provide value to them, they will do the same for you.

Many have observed that we are at the cusp of an NFT boom. The thing is, it’s so cutting edge, that many people don’t know what it is. What exactly is an NFT and how can one create a lucrative career out of selling them? To address this, as a part of our interview series called “5 Things You Need To Know To Create a Highly Successful Career In The NFT Industry”, we had the pleasure of interviewing Amr Samaha.

Amr Samaha is a serial entrepreneur, multiple award-winning architect, and real estate developer, as well as the founder and CEO of seven figure companies SAMAHA Studio and Samaha Holdings. In addition to co-founding Tykes, Samaha has spearheaded commercial and residential real estate design and development projects in California, Tennessee, Arizona, New York, Kuwait, and more.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory and how you grew up?

I was born in Cairo, Egypt, and I moved to Kuwait City when I was 3 years old. My father was a real estate developer, and he developed many war-torn properties, inspiring me to get into the industry. I was an artistic kid and was very interested in design, so I decided to attend architecture school in Cairo, where I ended up getting my architectural engineering license and began my career in real estate. After that, I lived in New York for a few years working in venture capital, and I used what I learned during that experience to find my own company, Samaha Holdings, which is an architectural design and real estate development firm. It wasn’t until this year that I broke into the web3 space with Tykes.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I can’t say that there is one person who I am the most grateful for because I wouldn’t have been able to reach the point where I am today without my entire team. My partners and employees have been there every step of the way to support my vision and turn it into a reality.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

This year, I co-founded Tykes with my business partner Ryan Pineda, which I am confident will help many people, and it already has started to. Tykes is a web3 real estate company focused on community learning and real estate syndications. Tykes holders are granted access to an incredible community of real estate investors of all levels of experience. They have already started doing real estate deals together since we minted our project in August. We also provide weekly real estate, crypto, and business training. We have even more features coming out soon such as the Tykes Marketplace, where Tykes can list their services for other Tykes to utilize, and there will be a Tyke Tank, where Tykes will have the opportunity to pitch their businesses to our most prominent members for the chance to be funded by the community. These are just some of the ways that Tykes is providing value to its community, and I can’t wait for everyone to see what else we have planned moving forward.

Ok super. Thank you for all that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. I’m sure you get this question all the time. But for the benefit of our readers, can you explain in your own words what an NFT is, and why people are spending so much money on them?

An NFT is a non-fungible token, which is a unique asset on a blockchain with its own metadata and identification codes. Unlike a currency, an NFT is not interchangeable with other tokens. When an NFT is traded or transferred, its ownership is recorded on the blockchain. The reason people are willing to spend so much money on NFTs is that they act as a key to a community. Tykes NFTs, for example, provide access to a community of like-minded real estate investors. Bored Ape Yacht Club acts as a social club for high-net-worth individuals. If you own one of these NFTs, you gain access to a community where, in theory, your relationships with others in the community could prove more lucrative than the NFT itself.

The NFT industry seems so exciting right now. What are the 3 things in particular that most excite you about the industry? If you can, please share a story or example for each.

The first thing that excites me about the NFT industry would have to be the massive room for growth and application. The vast majority of NFTs right now are focused on artistic expression with very little utility in the real world, but there is a huge opportunity right now to merge the two. For example, I am working on another NFT project outside of Tykes that will act as a private hospitality group. Tykes, on the other hand, is a members-only real estate community focused on the innovation of real estate and web3. It’s amazing to see how we can utilize NFTs to create new opportunities for us as a business as well as for our community members!

The second thing would be the opportunity that NFTs provide to enter the tech industry by utilizing community support. Many NFT projects have been able to afford to sustain themselves and grow solely because of their community. Without this, these projects would likely have needed some other donor or they would cease to exist. Because of the community support of certain NFTs, there is a smaller barrier to entry into the tech industry. Ryan and I could have decided to create a tech company and done syndications online in a more traditional manner. Instead, we are financing by giving our community access to the utility we have, and we already have a baked-in client pool that is interested in what we are building.

The third thing that excites me about NFTs is the real-life applications of NFT contracts. From real estate syndications and transactions in general to holding ownership under an NFT-type contract, it is exciting to see all the new possibilities that web3 is bringing to the world, and NFTs play a huge part in that.

What are the 3 things that concern you about the industry? Can you explain? What can be done to address those concerns?

Firstly, security breaches are a big concern in this space. A great way to combat this that can be done immediately is to bring as much awareness around this issue to NFT communities as possible. Tykes, for example, teaches people how to protect their wallets and provides information on how to prevent being spammed to its community members through Discord, Twitter, and online courses.

Another concern is that the NFT space is riddled with volatility and speculation. The space moves fast, and if NFT projects aren’t delivering on their word, the communities don’t take kindly to that. For the creators behind the projects, this volatility is taken into consideration, but the stability of our project and seeing it through is what we are the most focused on. So in that way, the volatility and stability are at odds with each other as there will be stretches of time where a lot of work is happening but hasn’t materialized yet. During that time communities could create self-harming obstacles due to increased volatility for no reason other than that nothing new has come out in 2–3 days. The pressure of having a communications strategy on a weekly, even daily basis is highly unstable and very costly and it requires a whole team of people. Over time, I see this problem resolving itself as stronger projects with more utility find their long-term holders versus a small number of speculators.

High gas fees are also a concern when it comes to the Ethereum blockchain. A gas fee is a fee for the energy required to perform a transaction. While they have been historically high, the recent Merge promises to lower fees within the next year.

What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about NFTs? Can you explain what you mean?

That NFTs are purely expensive art. That is not the case, aside from a few art-focused projects, which is great! But projects become extremely expensive not because of the art, but because of what the NFTs themselves provide. Bored Ape Yacht club, for example, is a social club and gaming company. Doodles is involved in the music industry. Tykes is a web3 real estate company with community access that at this point is worth around 3 ETH for membership. So, while each NFT project does have fun and artful things that live through their story, that’s not the main focus.

What are the most common mistakes you have seen people make when they enter the NFT industry? What can be done to avoid that?

On the one hand, many projects over-promise and under-deliver. On the other, NFT holders have unrealistic expectations of milestones and product delivery. For founders, not separating and implementing short-term and long-term strategies is a huge mistake. A long-term strategy should help you achieve your overall goal, but your short-term strategy needs to help manage the community sentiment and expectations or your project will fall apart as your community loses faith in your company and leadership.

How do you think NFTs have the potential to help society in the future?

NFTs will digitize contracts and speed up bureaucracy by keeping track of all ownership data and credentials across industries. When it comes to real estate in particular, NFTs will digitize and store dynamic data and vastly improve the efficiencies of deals and transactions.

Ok, fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things You Need To Know To Create a Highly Successful Career In The NFT Industry?”

  1. This is going to sound counterintuitive, but you need to do something outside of NFTs to do something successful with NFTs. NFTs are perceived as an industry on their own, but actually they area group of different industries coming together under one umbrella of similar technology. You would have to come from another industry and know how to utilize blockchain and NFT technology for your respective industry to create a successful NFT project. Whether it’s music, real estate, or finance, if you have a track record of being successful in your career, you should have a following of people who will believe in your project. If you aren’t doxed, you are less likely to be seen as credible. My advice would be to focus on what you know, and then see how you can apply it to web3.
  2. Surround yourself with a great team. If you want to have a successful project with real-world utility, you need to have multiple departments. You need artists who can create the NFT art itself, as well as promotional art and materials down the line. You need a strong marketing team to constantly push out information and spread your message. You will need a legal team to ensure that you are protecting yourself, and even more importantly, your community. You need project managers to carry the project forward and ensure that all the departments are working together. You need experienced developers to build the code and designers to make sure that the front-facing products are user-friendly. You also will need community managers who will be constantly in contact with the community on Discord and through support channels. NFT projects are so much more than just a picture, so make sure you are equipped with a caring, detailed, and thoughtful team to make your project the best that it can be.
  3. Utilize your network. Your community has your biggest supporters and believers. If you can provide value to them, they will do the same for you.
  4. You need to have a purpose. A lot of people in the NFT space think they can just create the art and some hype and they will become rich, but this isn’t usually the case. People who buy those NFTs are going to figure out that there isn’t much to back them up eventually. If the purpose of your project is art, then that’s great. Go with that! However, if you are telling people that if they buy your NFT they are going to reap some other reward and you don’t deliver on your promise, your project isn’t going to succeed.
  5. Strategize! Once you know the purpose of your project, you need to figure out a business plan to achieve that purpose. As I previously mentioned, the NFT space is volatile, and if you aren’t being transparent or communicative with your community, your project isn’t going to last long. Create short-term and long-term strategies that will help you fulfill your project’s purpose and bring value to your community, and you will succeed.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. Non-Fungible Tokens: Amr Samaha Of Tykes On The 5 Things You Need To Know To Create a Highly…

The one we are doing right now with Tykes! We currently have about 1400 members, and we hope to continue to grow with time to provide real estate and web3 education to our community and bridge the gap between the industries to create more opportunities for people all over the world.

We are very blessed that very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them Non-Fungible Tokens: Amr Samaha Of Tykes On The 5 Things You Need To Know To Create a Highly…

I would like to sit down with Jack Dorsey, both for his interest in web3 and for building one of the most reputable companies in the tech industry from basically nothing.


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