Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Etiam posuere varius magna, ut accumsan quam pretium vel. Duis ornare felis

Hirtenstraße 19, 10178 Berlin, Germany
(+44) 871.075.0336



⚡️ Booming trading-card resale market shows the value of nostalgia

Pokémon cards
Booming trading-card resale market shows the value of nostalgia

The Future. Fueled by an increase in savings and boredom during the pandemic, trading cards — baseball, Pokémon, Magic the Gathering — have kicked off an investment gold rush. Mixing money-making with nostalgia is a winning formula… and it may be fueled by the same ideals that turned GameStop into retail traders’ catnip.

Hologram hit
We hope you still have your Pokémon or baseball cards lying around somewhere.

eBay saw a 142% surge in sales for sports, non-sport trading cards, and collectible card games in 2020.

Sales were up 4,000% on StockX, even though that site is mostly dedicated to streetwear and sneakers.

Mercari saw a 405% increase in 2020.

Pokémon has struggled to print enough cards to keep up with demand. StockX co-founder Josh Luber compared these collectible cards to rare Picassos… maybe not in terms of quality, but definitely in terms of supply-and-demand scarcity.

Baby steps
Trading cards have garnered a reputation for both their nostalgia and also their financial value.

eBay's General Manager of Collectibles and Trading Cards Nicole Colombo said that they are “a perfect mesh of something that makes you feel good, but it could also help you make a lot of money.``

Mercari CEO John Lagerling said trading cards are sort of like ``old school Bitcoin(s)`` because they are a “volatile and valuable investment.” But cards also bring joy because they are “a tactile asset that can be enjoyed by their owners before being sold.”

For many, trading cards are an easy first step into an investment because collecting them doesn’t require the same technical know-how of traditional stock trading or hyper-technical crypto, which is why platforms such as Rally are quickly growing in popularity.

gen z


Gen Z is a doozy.

The digital natives born between 1995-2010 are an unpredictable but intriguing group. They consume new media at a terrifying rate, yet they are savvier and more realistic than Millennials. Probably their most identifiable, and admirable, characteristic is their inherent ability to detect BS.

According to Goldman Sachs, Gen Zers are more conservative and prragmatic than Millennials…

  • They are less likely to take abuse at work.

  • They are more practical about money and the value of their labor.

  • They are more likely to view the news with a skeptical eye.

They also happen to make up 32% of the world population—and will control 100% of the future—so we should probably pay close attention to them.

Their Apps

Gen Z loves apps just as much as Millennials… they just like better ones. A recent report from Zebra IQ identified Gen Z’s most used apps and channels. Besides the usual suspects—Twitch, reddit, Tik Tok, imgur—there were also a few surprises.

  • NTWRK: The sneaker drop app for the StockX generation.

  • Unfold. The ultimate aesthetic-booster for better storytelling on Instagram.

  • Brat: Apparently the new MTV?

  • Lomotif: Another Tik Tok for DIY music vids.

They’re also less narcissistic, and more about that action

While just as Instagram-obsessed as Millennials, Gen Z is less focused on self-expression and more focused on giving followers what they want.

  • “It’s not about what you like, it’s about what your audience will like,” says the report.

Perhaps as a reaction against the “famous-for-no-reason” paradigm of the Millennials, they also put a premium on action, responsibility, and DIY success.

So how do you get through to Gen Z? It’s less about aesthetics and more about finding the purpose behind the aesthetics. Take Gen Z Billie Eilish’s new CK ad as an example.

“I never want the world to know everything about me,” she says. “I mean that’s why I wear big baggy clothes: nobody can have an opinion because they haven’t seen what’s underneath, you know?”

Image Sizing Template 8

You’re The Star, It’s Your Digital Identity

As we dive into the week after celebrating our nation’s independence, I can’t help but think about the conversation we had with our community just a couple weeks ago about our digital identity. If you scrolled across Snapchat, Instagram or Facebook, you’re sure to have seen a myriad of photos about the 4th of July, from your time with family on the lake to the exclusive day party you attended with your friends. Maybe even that cool new outfit you wore that totally sported the “Red, White, And Blue”. How fitting, after all, we’re all glued to our phones, and it’s our second self, our primary form of expression. Everyone in that room that evening felt the need to really understand this impact.

We had some world class speakers speak on digital identity. Our friends Brett Hyman, Tiffany Zhong & Billy Hawkins boiled down some truths on where our need to express ourselves is going. These guys are powerhouses to say the least. Brett runs an experiential agency called NVE Experience Agency. They are the definition of the experience generation as they’re pinnacle in ushering a future where experiential marketing is the most important kind of marketing. Through Brett’s leadership, they’ve nailed down the marriage of physical experiences and online expression. Billy runs Arsenic TV. They are a new women-first, upstart multi-media company that have exploded in the last couple years. Tiffany, at only 21 years of age has her own research agency called Zebra Intelligence focused on Gen Z, and before that was a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley!

Jar.Photo 55

Combined these guys lead us on a winding journey. We talked about how everything online will become HQ via interactive live streaming as well as the future of digital characters like Lil Miquela. BTW, not everything is positive and even though it’s all “new”, we came to the conclusion that we’re all just the same people given new tools to tell different stories. We also covered our need to detach and step away from digital expression and the companies like Yonder and Brick who pioneer this school of thought.

My favorite learning came from a conversation a couple days later when discussing our event with a friend. It’s obvious, but what these tools and platforms have done is made us the star of our own movie. We now have our own platform to share and express ourselves in ways that people could only have dreamt just 10 years earlier. It used to be that only celebrities or accomplished people had the platform to take photos and images of themselves and distribute them to the masses, now anyone has the platform to unlock their own celebrity. Only time will tell if that’s a good thing or not. What we do know though, as far as business and creative art go, we’re in a watershed moment with lots of opportunity.

Jar.Photo 3 1

This event was hosted at Kid In A Korner. It’s a 1 acre estate owned by mega-producer Alex Da Kid. It’s a creative wonderland of studios and awesome artists and the house is full of spectacle, so naturally it made for a great location. We’re thankful for our partnership with them. Shout out to our amazing sponsors especially Jacob Perler at Cryo Cafe. Ya’ll are up to something and we’re completely down. Stay tuned for the next one!

Image Sizing Template 3

Is This America? Social Justice Pop Art

Last week “This Is America” took control of our screens. After Donald Glover’s initial SNL performance of his new single “This Is America,” he dropped the visual and the internet went wild. The video has reached over 130M views since it’s release on May 5th. Not too shabby for a week and half’s work. The views have been boosted by video embeds in almost every major news outlet one can conceivably think of as everyone and their grandmother rushes to breakdown the details of the symbolism and “hidden meaning” behind the visuals.

The real reason this video is setting the world on fire is most certainly not the nuanced details laid out across all major media outlets in the typical ‘listicle’ articles or explainer videos.  Everyone is watching because the message is both clear and socially relevant: America mistreats its black citizens. Donald Glover is making waves for creating an overtly black artistic masterpiece as a conversation starter with his size-able crossover white audience. He has access to powerful visual channels like SNL from his work on 30 Rock and Atlanta where he also tackles the modern American black experience. Yet, this time he chose to push the message through his Childish Gambino outlet because music can be a more resonant platform for speaking to the people.

Music has long been one of the vehicles through which our society has addressed and demanded solutions for our pain points. It has traditionally been more accessible as TV’s were cost prohibitive in their early years. Sam Cooke was instrumental in the 60’s as “A Change Is Gonna Come” became an anthem of the civil rights movement, Marvin Gaye spoke for the people of the 70s with  “What’s Going On?” and acts like NWA and Public Enemy carried this torch into the 90s. At a certain point these artists transcended their musical output and became a social force. With this release, Donald Glover has also crossed that line, very intentionally leveraging the power of his voice for social justice.

He’s made such a fuss that even his director and choreographer are getting famous.  Sherrie Silver, the video’s West African choreographer, has been covered in Vice, Fader, Glamour, Hypebeast and more. She also recently released a dance tutorial so you can dance just like the music video. The director Hiro Murai, one of Glover’s frequent collaborators, has been seen in the The New York Times, HighSnobiety and Vanity Fair amongst others. Perhaps some of the attention falling on the supporting cast this time around stems from Glover’s refusal to explain his art. Left with no answer or single clickbait headline from the man himself, the media has been grasping at straws in its attempt to make sense of the video.  

Well, if this is what the media wants they should be celebrating as 2018 is not poised to disappoint. From Black Panther in February to This Is America now, it’s looking like a year for activist art. Spike Lee’s latest piece, BlacKkKlansman is already making ripples at Cannes and is sure to make waves when it hits theatres. There are an ever increasing number of social injustices and art that tackles these issues thoughtfully will always have a welcome place. Art that tries and fails will be laughed off the stage. That’s why no one is toasting Donald Glover’s success with a Pepsi.

JPEG image 03BEB5775E64 172

Roy Choi Cares About Community

Wednesday night was a compelling evening. Hundreds of Future Party veterans came through to enjoy a night of music, food and conversation. For a while we’ve toyed around with the idea of Future Sounds. We really like trying new things and we figured why not merge great speakers across various topics with compelling musical acts. When we got connected with Airbnb Concerts, it was a lot easier of a reality to kick things off and we’re glad we did. It was awesome to see everyone come together. There were people from all walks of life including artists, agency executives, musicians and investors.

The special guest of the night was Roy Choi. For those who don’t know, Roy is one of the Godfathers of modern LA food. His big break came with the Kogi Truck at the rise of the food truck movement and from there he went on to found several different restaurants and food projects from A-Frame to Chego! and Alibi Room. He actually flew in from Vegas where he’s working on a major restaurant.

MIKNNA, the musical act of the evening and Roy have been friends for some time now. Before their performance, Roy spoke about LocoL in Watts, CA and the process behind the building of that restaurant. Behind all the restaurants is a sense of love and inclusion in everything he does and cooks. One person from the audience asked, “If you were to have a billboard that would be seen by 1 million people, what would you put on it?” MIKNNA answered “a mirror.” Roy was in the moment and said “Future.” It’s a fun exercise to try on your own.

The theme of the evening was community. Community brought us together that night, community has propelled MIKNNA’s music and community has been the secret ingredient behind the launch of Roy’s career and new restaurants like LocoL. “Trust your passion project.” Roy says. So many of us have passions and it’s easy to have imposter syndrome, but you’re heart needs to be in the equation.

We hosted the event at at The Great Company. For those who have never been, The Great Company is a great location downtown in the warehouse district, it’s incredibly spacious and beautiful with wood floors, brick walls and an artistic vibe. They host great experiences like the one we did that night. Cheers to community and cheers to pursuing your passions. Whether you’re a chef, musician or creating the next Facebook. Lean into community. More to come.

Thank you to our sponsors!

Newsletter Header Template 4f

The Philosophy Of Kanye West

Whatever you think about his music, no one can argue the cultural power of Kanye West. The Atlanta born producer, songwriter and rapper turned fashion mogul is an anomaly; he manifests his own success and has been all of his professional career. Kanye’s supposed net worth is around $145M and his music and fashion resound around the world. He is at the top of the A-list.

Kanye is of a rare breed similar to Elon Musk or dare we say, Donald Trump who create their own hype and media, leveraging publishers and social media daily with the words of their own mouths. People want to hear what he has to say, that’s why when Kanye recently came back to life onto twitter after a two year hiatus, all eyes are on him.

The last we heard of Kanye, he had prematurely cancelled the St. Pablo Tour and had a mental breakdown leading him to jump off of social media all together. Now, he’s back with a vengeance and in just the last week, to the tune of about 10 tweets a day, Kanye has announced two new albums, teased a collaboration with artist Murakami, released new designs on his Yeezys and debuted the beginning of his new philosophy book, to be distributed live on twitter.

Whatever you think about his music, no one can argue the cultural power of Kanye West. Kanye’s dive into “philosophy” is fitting. According to author Julius Bailey, “West’s philosophy draws off the backs of a long line of existentialists, such as Friedrich Nietzsche and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, whose ideology focuses on creating meaning for oneself and identifying their purpose as an individual, a staple of Kanye’s music.”

His tweets sound like a self proclaimed guru, and while we may never see his quotes of wisdom come to life on the level of a Confucius or Aristotle, don’t be surprised if his sayings become memes, t-shirts and cultural revolutions. The self proclaimed “Genius” has already shared lots of wisdom.

Kanye’s behavior is quite polarizing and often inspiring. Kanye, at his core, has tapped into his work and art so much that he knows what he gives people is absolute talent. It resonates beyond his music as everything he does is a work of art. His albums and tours are cultural movements full of unique marketing activations and other forms of creativity that celebrate the music. Standard for Kanye, get ready for a marathon of art and innovation as over the next 6 months we’ll see interesting news on live shows, performances, music videos and new unique activations.

Kanye hates conformity, he respects authenticity, and when he sees something he likes he goes after it. He’s incredibly emotional and has a reality distortion field that would make even Steve Jobs jealous. Many are inspired by Kanye even Elon Musk himself. Virgil Abloh is a collaborator, Kid Cudi is like his little brother, and thousands of creatives look to Kanye as an example.

We all have an inner Kanye, the creative entrepreneurial self that feels that what they are doing is truly important and isn’t afraid to say it. Any entrepreneur, artist or executive who’s driven and wants to do “something great” could take a page out of this book, and now, literally you can. All you have to do is follow Kanye on Twitter. Here are some simple steps to becoming more like Kanye.


  1. Login to your personal Twitter account.
  2. Go to Kanye’s account (@kanyewest) and make sure you are following.
  3. On the right side of the Following button on Kanye’s page, there is a vertical circle button (More user actions). Press that button and hit the submenu item titled “Turn on mobile notifications”.
  4. Soak it all in and be inspired by Kanye, every day.
Lil MNewsletter Header

Fakes On IG Are Changing “Identity”

The concept of social “identity” has been the center of many discussions over the last few years. Half of the world has an online extension of themselves via the internet. This is shifting the paradigm of how people behave and see themselves. It’s also changing how we relate to our favorite things like brands and characters. Engaging with fake people has been made real by things like twitter parody accounts several years ago. Lately, people have been seeing and interacting with fake characters made to feel real visually. One example is Instagram sensation Lil Mayo’s meteoric rise to fame. His account currently boasts 1.6 million fans who follow his every move as he lives it up in LA. Lil Mayo parties with Rihanna, Dillon Francis and Rich the Kid, but he isn’t the next big rapper. He’s actually a vintage alien doll manned by a guy named Alex Martyn.

Getting his start as an instagram account making memes of existing alien pictures, Martyn quickly ran out of subject matter. Then, as he told VICE, “one day I thought, If I just had my own alien, I could take my own photos and make more dank memes.”  Then things really changed. People gobbled up the documentation of Mayo’s lifestyle and a robust community quickly sprung around him. His public presence has grown since those early days of 2015 until now; where Mayo commands a brand that has powered the mostly sold out launch of its own clothing line, SUCC.

While fans from all walks of life are descending upon Zumiez for merchandise or inviting him to lavish hollywood parties to show their adulation for Mayo’s more tangible presence, another influencer is building her empire behind the scenes. Lil Miquela is pushing the boundaries of identity at the intersection of tech, fashion and entertainment. The creator behind the wildly popular Instagram account is still a mystery woman. However, the CGI face and body she’s generated stays adorned by an increasingly wide spectrum of brands. The very interaction from the brands is a nod to the growing social clout of the world’s first computer generated influencer.

On the surface Miquela is a new breed. When investigated deeper, with more context Mayo and Miquela are just updated iterations of classic concepts such as the monster and the doll. This time however they interact with fans in DM’s and comments creating a loyal base of followers. There is sticker shock at just how real Miquela looks but beyond that she is no different than anyone. Even if the only filter we use on instagram is what we choose to show people, all of us are still curating our digital presence. In the end how are Miquela and Mayo any different? It’s just a person on the internet showing us what they want us to see.

There are inherent risks. Perhaps some little girl will see Miquela and think she is real.  Perhaps that same girl will have some issues from attempting to match an unnatural standard of beauty. Or perhaps we’re overreacting. Are these “fake” people co-opting cool and selling it to brands? Maybe, but that’s no different than brands hiring celebrities. This is just the beginning of this concept of “virtual celebrities”, where we see influencers commanding large audiences when they aren’t even real. It’s definitely not the last time we’ll ask ourselves who we want to tell people we are on the internet.

Romance And Technology

Do you believe in Love? We make fun of love, we cherish love, and we are entertained by it on shows like The Bachelor. According to The Beatles, it’s all we need. Yet in 2018, love seems so hard to find. Technology in the modern age has promised to help us live wholly and find those who we really connect with, possibly even “the one”. Love is one of the things that makes us human, but in today’s age, we’re in an existential dilemma where romance and technology are actually in conflict.

One of the first times modern technology and relationships intertwined was at Harvard in the 1960s with questionnaires compared by IBM computers that helped users find dates for a $3 fee. There really wasn’t a whole lot of change to this format until the internet and Match.com came along. However, the internet wasn’t widely accessible in the mid 1990s when Match first came to be, so it took a few years for the the love algorithm to overcome it’s negative stigma and for the tech to catch on. By the early 2000s the perception had shifted and it was becoming socially acceptable to search for love online.

Yet, an online rendezvous being socially acceptable is not indicative of romance or courtship being preserved. In fact, since the early 2000s when social norms began to adapt to technology, the rates for marriage in the US have declined. Maybe having the entire world at your fingertips isn’t exactly optimal for romance. The overwhelming choice, has brought down our willingness to compromise in relationships. Now this is exaggerated tenfold by apps like Tinder and Bumble, which have created the swipe culture. We are growing accustomed to seeing people on such a surface level, but humans are more than a set of pictures and a left or right swipe.

The objectification of people on varying degrees is proliferated by many progressive technologies. We’re all reduced to a set of split second impulse decisions and a never ending spectrum of options. We’ve all become disposable. In fact, since 2000 the marriage rate has declined almost 20%. One could argue that technology intertwining with romance has, in fact, been counterproductive. Not that marriage is the definitive metric of romance, but it’s certainly an indicator.

Maybe in the future, technology will enhance romance…anyone seen the Black Mirror episode “Hang the DJ.”?  In the future, VR tech could run countless simulations of human interactions to determine a degree of compatibility. Tech like this could move us towards a relationship and remove some of the guesswork. Hell, even Tinder and Bumble have their upsides. Future Party Co-founder Francis Pollara met his now wife, Chloe, on Tinder, and yes there have been many other wins in this new technology:romance matrix.   

You can look all over the world and love is the thing that everyone desires. As technologies innovate, you better believe we’re in for a storm affecting how we approach love and relationships. There will be a never ending source of solutions that hope to connect us, improve our communication and bring us closer to that serendipity and ecstasy of being with another person. It’s important though to always think of the balance we must maintain as technology advances. We don’t want to lose out on what we’re seeking in the first place.

The Olympic Dichotomy

The Olympics have long been a beacon for cultural and technological advancement.  From their debut in Athens in 1896 to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics where the first color television broadcast happened, the Olympics have an impact on the legacy of their host cities. While initially the International Olympic Committee (IOC) courted cities, later the cities began to court the commission in order to host the games in a complex bidding process. Cities essentially vye for the right to show off their nation’s prowess on a global stage, it’s a once in a lifetime shot at writing a powerful chapter in their history books. Making history however, doesn’t always pay the bills.

The 1964 Tokyo games were the first held in Asia and in that same vein the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics are poised to debut a slew of new technology from 5G to Smartsuits. Infrastructurally speaking the close to 200 mph light rail is the highlight for the Korean games. Since the games themselves aren’t in the capital, the country has invested heavily in a system to swiftly move around the deluge of visitors between multiple venue sites and also in and out of the country for foreigners. The 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France had a similar infrastructure boost that had no long term benefit for the area and left the country millions in debt.

Again, broadcast history will be made at the Olympics as Intel will be broadcasting more than 50 hours of VR content from the Pyeongchang games. The VR broadcasts themselves will be made possible by a 5G network, also custom built just for the games. But folks, the fun doesn’t stop there, in the ice skating arena “bullet-time” video tech will be introduced. This essentially means you can pause, zoom, rewind and interact with live television like never before.

Great, but will these snazzy tech tools smooth relations between North and South Korea?  Will 5G internet stop a war? Does bullet-time video help restore water to the people of Cape Town? Obviously, the Olympics are not meant to solve the world’s problems but they aren’t supposed to leave cities worse off than before they hosted the games. Lake Placid, for instance had to be bailed out by the taxpayers of New York state as a reward for meeting all of the extraneous demands of the IOC. In others, like Sochi, the city is burdened with an $8.5B light rail system that is underutilized and a financial burden on the country and city to maintain.

The IOC are not urban planners, they’re event planners. Yet, they’ve been changing the course of urbanization around the globe for over a century. The simple truth of the matter is that the party always ends. When an event planner is hired for a wedding they’re responsible for every last detail from the first person arriving until the last chairs and silverware are packed and the venue is returned to its original state as if no one were ever there. They leave no trace. Yet the IOC runs around planning “parties” and creates disorganization that they leave for their host countries to clean up for decades, like the people of Montreal who ended up losing $3B to meet the demands of the IOC placed on them in 1976.

All that being said, a city like LA stands to benefit from the 2028 games like they did during the 1932 and 1984 Olympic games where Los Angeles expanded the Coliseum. The city is actually busy enough to maintain and utilize the surplus infrastructure. With tons of existing infrastructure for the competitions, the real investment is in the public transportation which LA is sorely in need of.  LA has actually had a surplus in cash from the last time it hosted the games, a stark contrast with many other host cities. The demands for the contest are simply accelerating existing plans.

This Friday, the Winter Olympics begin and the world will be watching and waiting. History will be made, medals will be won and no doubt there will be a lot of energy and excitement around the city of Pyeongchang. The jury is still out on whether it is the IOC itself or the host nations who are dropping the ball when it comes to the aftermath but one things is for certain: more often than not, the host nation’s bank account is not taking home the gold.

The Black Mirror Future

And it’s much closer than you think…

Black Mirror is considered to be the Twilight Zone of our modern age. Originally aired in Britain on Channel 4 in 2011, the show is an anthology series created by Charlie Brooker that has reached an uncanny level of critical acclaim. Every episode looks at a future that is literally no more than 6 months to 5 years away depending on the story. Netflix quickly bought the rights for subsequent seasons for north of $40 million dollars and there seems to be no better pairing.

Within a week of Netflix announcing a long awaited offline viewing mode, Black Mirror gave us a future where Netflix is our only viewing mode. This meta video dives into just how weirdly possible even an awesome company like Netflix could adversely dominate our attention.

Black Mirror has represented a recent trend in TV and film showing the ramifications of the growing control that technology has over our lives. We’ll remain spoiler free, because you really should watch the amazing show, but it tackles topics and issues like human and robotic consciousness, politics, terrorism, relationships, crime, social currency and economic classes. There is never a happy ending, and those that are, really aren’t because there is always a catch.

Just this past week we’ve seen China come out with a credit score for your life, where every single thing that you do will give you a “rating”. That rating is important because if you have a bad one, you won’t be able to do basic things like travel or get a loan effectively. Let’s not forget McDonald’s creating self serving kiosks bound to replace existing jobs. It seems to be the nail in the coffin for the on-going minimum wage battle, and other fast-food restaurants are following suit.

France is jailing citizens looking at terrorist propaganda online, autonomous driving cars are now trucks threatening even more jobs. There is something new every week. How will the loss of all these jobs impact our society? How will the democratization of content creation and distribution affect what we have access to, when others are abusing it?

No matter what is happening in the world, as we pour into technology to make our lives easier, it’s our responsibility to make sure that as a society we move more towards harmony as opposed to away from it. Marinate on it, recognize it, and be the ones to make it happen, so that our future looks more like The Jetsons as a opposed to a Black Mirror episode, even though we can’t wait for the next season.