Following a sensational year with more than 7.4 million NFTs minted across 94,000 projects and a whopping one million wallets holding SOL-based NFTs, Metaplex Studios has now appointed Stephen Hess as its chief executive officer.
Hess left his role as head of product at Solana Labs where he supported the development of the Solana ecosystem and played a key role in the explosion of NFT projects on Solana last year.
Coin Rivet caught up with him to ask about how will he use his experience with Solana at Metaplex Studios.
He said he previously worked very closely with an “incredible team of developers” that was really focused on putting the right tools and mechanisms in place to accelerate growth and adoption.
“We poured significant time and resources into engaging our builder community, creating educational material, and hosting several hackathons,” he recalled.
“We wanted to support all of the builders who were bringing their ideas onto the Solana blockchain as much as possible.”
As the CEO of Metaplex Studios, Hess said he plans to leverage that experience and double-down on growing the ecosystem of projects, creators and developers who are building on Solana’s NFT standard, which is underpinned by the Metaplex protocol.
“That comes in the form of engaging with the community, developing and contributing to new tools that make it easier for people to interface with the protocol, and providing mentorship and guidance to creators and projects who are launching NFT collections using the Metaplex protocol,” he explained.
“We take in constant feedback from creators and work closely to improve upon the NFT minting experience using the Metaplex protocol, and have also contributed code to the Metaplex Github library.
“Currently, we are also partnering with the Solana team to join in the Hacker House world tour in Seattle to connect locally with artists, engineers and brands who are exploring new ways to leverage NFTs.”
Talking about Metaplex Studio’s mission, Hess said the plan was to make NFTs as accessible as possible for everyone in the world.
Future co-lab with Coachella and Snoop Dogg
“From artists who are minting PFPs or in-game characters to DAOs and communities that are reimagining the social experience in web3, we want to make it easy and painless for anyone to begin experimenting with what they can do with NFT technology,” he said.
“Solana’s blockchain is able to offer the fastest and most affordable way for artists, creators and their communities to take part in the metaverse, and we want to maximise that offering to get more people participating in the web3 movement.”
Asked to give us a sneak-peek into future collaborations with independent artists, creators and game studios, the CEO said that outside of PFPs and GameFi NFTs, Metaplex is becoming increasingly more popular among lifestyle brands, entertainment, influencers and photography collectives.
“It’s attracting names like Coachella, Snoop Dogg, Street Dreams, and even famed photographers like Walter Iooss to break new ground in NFTs,” he said.
“In three to six months’ time, I believe that these creators will give new meaning to NFTs as they lead the way in bringing high-quality and high value collectible art onto the Solana blockchain.”
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.