Conflict escalates between Doodles founders and NFT owners

NFT collectors criticize the lack of brand focus and proper communication with the Doodles community.

Socks with doodle patterns
The recent attempts of the team behind the Doodles collection to improve relations with the NFT community have caused further criticism.

Low social engagement and a Discord post made by Doodles co-founder Jordan Castro aka Poopie on March 16 sparked outrage from the Doodles NFT holders.

"We're trying to go from a startup to a leading media franchise. We are no longer an 'NFT project.' The more time/money/resources we invest in following the latest 'build in public' trends that fuel speculation, the less we have to achieve our long-term vision," Castro said in his post, adding that the company does not plan to spend its resources to "appease those with financial motivations." He stressed that the team is willing to focus its energy only on its most loyal collectors.

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Some members of the NFT community did not like the choice of words in Castro's message, finding it inappropriate for the space, where "people take things very literally," and many people indeed reacted negatively on Twitter.

"Don’t say you’re not what you are when it’s exactly what you currently are. Say what you hope to become with the strength of who created you from the beginning," user Multi, a community manager for Beeple and XCOPY, commented in a tweet.

The Doodles team was also criticized for being a hype-driven project that failed to communicate its identity, purpose, and brand focus from the very beginning.

Later that day, Castro tried to improve the first impression he had left by making a Twitter post in which he broke down some of his Discord comments.

"This is true. But what’s also true is I've dedicated my career to the blockchain. I'll never abandon the pursuit of delivering the promises of this tech to the world. Doodles started as an NFT project, but we are growing into a company with the goal of becoming a leading media franchise. And we want you along every step of the way," Castro explained.

The co-founder also shared his ideas on possible actions that can help the team and community "evolve beyond vicious speculative cycles." According to Castro, Doodles will be able to attract more intrinsically motivated users if the project achieves its market fit and solves real-world problems.

While loyal Doodles fans appreciated this explanation and suggested that the only thing the project lacked was community engagement, others were still rather skeptical.

Back on February 27, the Doodles team triggered negative reactions when it shared its plan to improve communication, announcing in a Twitter post that it would update Genesis boxes to convert all content into rare items and reveal its roadmap to NFT collectors.

Much to the company's chagrin, many collectors received this post with skepticism, calling it "the announcement of an announcement." Others questioned the value and rarity of the boxes since they are all supposed to be rare.

Relations with Doodles owners were not improved by the launch of a new NFT collection on March 15, which included twelve different types of socks. The Doodles team wanted the community to collect all the socks by buying or swapping and promised users a pair of gold socks as a reward. "Accomplish this by March 30 at 12 pm ET and we'll top off your collection with a brand-new pair of gold socks," the announcement said.

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Many Doodles holders reacted negatively to the sock challenge, believing that selling digital socks runs counter to the team's ambitions to become "one of the greatest entertainment and lifestyle experiences in the world."

Launched in October 2021, the Doodles NFT collection initially consisted of 10,000 pastel drawings of imaginary characters created by Canadian-based artist Scott Martin, aka Burnt Toast. NFT collectors embraced the project with enthusiasm, bringing its total sales to over $601 million to date. At press time, there were 5,510 owners of Doodles, while the average price for the NFT was around 3.8 ETH.