.Eric Spivak, aka Motivate, is an expert Web3 advisor and the founder of Urconduit, a creative agency and marketing firm which aims to help people’s ideas become a reality and maintain its success over time.
💼 What were you doing before Web3?
Honestly, before Web3 I was doing a lot of the same things. I’ve been successful at or most known for doing in Web2. That is, creating original art, music, and fashion, curating shows and cultivating communities.
I feel like people create this great divide between the Web2 and Web3 audience. However, like anything else in life, you have to adapt or get left behind. This space is a very mixed bag of people from all walks of life in it for different reasons.
Whether it’s the finance, the reshaping of industries, the art, subculture or opportunities that come with a new industry. If you think about how much of our world today is still operating on legacy systems with outdated technology and using antiquated business models.
I think we’re far overdue for an upgrade. And that’s what a lot of us are focused on. It’s a format change like paper to plastic, analog to digital, vinyl to cassette to streaming. All of these moments had significant shifts in how we communicate, consume, compensate and create. Those interested in learning, playing, experimenting and building are adapting to the change.
🤔 How did you get into Web3?
Around 2016, I was dating a dominatrix and she used to give me cash that I’d exchange into bitcoin to make adult listings, as well as flip through the underground afterhour raves and warehouse parties I was throwing.
I never really looked at it more than a transactional tool for the dark web. Almost like a foreign exchange or international currency. I treated it like drink tickets I’d get a club, only retaining value within a certain ecosystem and space.
Fast-forward to the world catching up. In 2020 a ton of people were crushed by the pandemic (myself included) looking for alternative means of income, employment, and doing whatever they could to pivot in order to sustain.
From throwing parties, DJ’ing, Rapping, managing talent and chipping away at producing an international women’s music festival. I ended up being one of those people as well and found myself trading stocks, crypto, educating people on blockchain, nfts, web3, and sourcing PPE gear for schools and hospitals.
What a time to be alive right? The cool part was, I was legitimately the creator of one of the first social communities in the world called NFTStips. We held court every single day on the Clubhouse Platform, with daily conversations, education, exploration, and experimentation of all facets of Web3.
From metaverses, wallets, exchanges, smart contracts, marketplaces, different blockchains, VR, AR, XR, AI, non-fungible tokens. We definitely created something special and it blew up rapidly in front of our faces. When I was hosting early Bored Ape Yacht Club rooms, I definitely wasn’t expecting them to explode to what they’ve turned into today.
🚀 What was your first crypto or NFT project?
Unfortunately, I don’t even remember at this point. I’ve gone through so many and I also collected a handful of one of one art from people I admired.
As the story goes, the higher you climb, the more of a target you become. While I understood that I was quickly becoming a key opinion leader with some authority in the space, I wasn’t thinking about how much more exposure I had and how vulnerable I was.
Talk about not practicing what you preach, this resulted in my wallets being compromised and drained. Which in retrospect was a good lesson because I was able to reverse engineer what happened and warn thousands of people while providing them new rails for safety and security.
🧠 How would you explain what you do to someone outside of Web3?
I’m an educator that’s well-versed in all things Web3. I focused on providing credible information in a digestible format for people of all walks to understand, comprehend and participate in.
By breaking down blockchain making the complex simple and easy, naturally it’s contributing to making the space more fair, equitable and inclusive by providing accessibility to this otherwise privileged information. This is important for expanding the conversation at large and to hear from more diverse voices.
💡 Which creator or thought leader do you enjoy learning from?
Not quite sure I can name just one, because the majority of our learning in this space is based on community or group sessions. Those sessions used to only take place in private backchannels via Discord, Telegram and WhatsApp among other forums.
Then during the pandemic Clubhouse. It is where I had the leading community for all of these conversation. Tons of leaders came out of that space as well as tens of thousands of people’s lives were changed.
Eventually, Twitter knocked on my door. And I helped them launch Spaces through their accelerator program called Spark before the feature was publicly accessible.
🥳 What is the biggest highlight of your career so far?
I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in life. I think the fact that I’ve managed to keep it together and not give in to the stress, pressure, depression and dark side of the unforgiving industries I work in would be my biggest highlight.
I could talk about materialistic or vanity achievements like being in GQ, Rolling Stone, Vice. Or working with a handful of top 10 billboard charting artists and internationally recognized celebrities, athletes and more. Truthfully though, I’m just really grateful I’m still here for how many times I’ve been knocked down and pushed to the edge.
📈 What tech or crypto trend are you watching this year?
NFTS, Metaverses and AI are all very much still of high interest to me. I understand how they can seem like buzzwords or novelty to some. But the more you dig into the technology and actually utilize, experiment and produce with it.
The more important you’ll realize, all of this stuff can be for the future of humanity. I remember cannabis not being legal, life without Uber and Lyft, without Doordash, Grubhub, Postmates, UberEats, phones without cameras or WiFi.
I’m lucky enough that I was born just at the right time to be an active participant in all of it. So I feel like with this stuff as well, we’re all at that point where kids half my age are going all the way in on this tech. Just like I did running bootleg blogs, guild raids and setting up message boards and chat rooms.
I think all three of the technologies I mentioned above are going to really change the world around us and the way that we do business & pleasure/entertainment.
🤝 What advice would you give someone starting out in Web3?
Don’t trust anyone, including me. Always do your own research and make your assessments based on what you dig up.
Unfortunately where there’s opportunity, there’s also high risk and lots of bad actors and snakes in the grass just waiting for chances to strike.
Greed knows no bounds and people will go to the end of the earth with you before switching up.
That said I constantly warn people to really be mindful of how you met, what you were doing at the time, question their intentions and don’t get caught slipping.
🎤 If you could do a TEDtalk on any topic, what would it be?
I’d like to do a TEDtalk sooner than later. I think it’d be called “Falling Forward” or “No Safety”. And the conversations would revolve around how many chances we get. I like to tell my friends, that I’m high in “Karma Points”, but low on “Party Lives”.
We only have so many close-calls in life, until we’re out of continues or extra ones. I’d love to break down how people can move a little more effectively, effortlessly, with confidence and security while chasing their dreams. It would be an underdog story that would leave everyone’s gas tank on full.
🚨 What is the one thing you would bring if you were stuck on a deserted Island?
If beans were an option, I think that’d be my choice. Edible. It can grow more. And ideally I can use them to spell things out if I have enough of them that can be seen from high locations, if someone was to be searching? idk lol. Weird questions get weird answers.
Alternatively I was thinking a notepad, but I’d run out of ink or paper. An animal or friend or family member. But that’s just more people to try to keep alive who are stuck with me lol. So yeah.
POW stands for “Proof of Work.” It is a new feature article series in The Mega Maxi to highlight the savviest builders in the Web3 space.