How to run a multi million dollar NFT project

John | Ultra Rare
5 min readJun 21, 2024


If you didn’t know, I’ve recently become a father for the first time. It’s been pretty amazing watching this little thing grow and develop before my eyes. But I’m not gonna lie, there have been some sleepless nights spent with a bottle in one hand and a baby in the other, thinking and pondering the space and where we’re going.

All too often in this mad crypto land, it’s about the 10x — how do we make as much money as we can as quickly as we can. Rarely do I see anyone giving advice to the creators on how to build something sustainable. How to create, innovate and excite.

I’ve been wanting to do this for a while — get some of the things I’ve learned along the way out there, in the hope they might be useful to genuine creators who are excited by the possibilities Web3 and NFTs open up. Never have I seen the potential to establish and grow an independent IP in any other medium like the one I’m seeing in the NFT and blockchain gaming space. But it isn’t easy to build and grow something — being a brand new father brings that into sharp focus. There’s a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of puke and poop to clear up. Especially when you work with a business partner like mine. Just joking, I love you really Richie :)

But it is possible. To grow something, build something. And it doesn’t have to be a multi-million dollar project either. It can just be something you love, an outlet for creative energy, a side hustle. These pointers should be useful all the same.

Let’s explore some of the key ingredients to building a successful project: creativity, community and business.

1. Creativity
Do something new. If something already exists, why replicate it? If you’re running a pump and dump of course this doesn’t apply. You’re looking to make as much cash as you can and flee. But if you want to build something that lasts, you need to build something unique. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, just a fresh take on an old genre. Or a twist on the familiar. Whatever it is. Derivatives — by and large — do not stand the test of time. They’re not designed to. Think about that when you’re looking for a project to get involved with. A lack of creativity or originality is a big red flag for me. Best case scenario, these projects are run by a well-meaning but a creatively bereft team. Worst case, they’re a scam, designed to fleece you of your hard earned crypto. Either way — why would you back them?

When we originally created our first NFT series, The Horrors, we looked at the marketplace and what DIDN’T exist. We didn’t aim to copy the many GPK styled art sets out there at the time — we aimed to do something different. There wasn’t much in the way of darker, more adult art — something we loved — so we felt it was a niche in the market we could fill. Did it work? You bet it did! Our original Horrors series grossed over half a million dollars in primary and secondary sales. Not bad for two lads from North Shields.

With our new game Meta Battler, we’ve again looked at what doesn’t exist. And which is why our game is super innovative, enabling players to use every NFT ever created on WAX. That’s pretty crazy. And while it’s a bold move, we believe it’s one the community will get behind. Which brings me to my next point…

2. Community

This really is the key to it all. If a project has any longevity, it’s all down to the community. We see the term thrown around a lot, but what does it really mean? Well, simply, it’s the people who like what you do. The people who’ll back your project and support you as a creator. And we’ve seen first-hand how powerful a great community can be. The Horrors fam is second to none. If you build a toxic project, expect a toxic community.

So how do you build a community? Not gonna lie, it’s a LOT of work. You need to be present, you need to listen to the people who support your project, and most importantly, you need to treat them with respect. All too often in this space, the community is seen as a cash cow to milk for all its worth. That’s NOT how to view a community. These are people who support and like what you do. That’s something to be grateful for, to cherish. Now, you can’t please everyone all of the time, but you can and should always treat the people who back your project with respect. It’s quite simple.

3. Business

My business partner, Richie, says (very often) he usually trusts someone who asks about VAT in this space. Why? Because most people/projects in this space aren’t concerned about taxes or VAT, because they’re either too naïve or they don’t care, because their project is a scam. Either way, not a great way to run a legitimate business. And running a legitimate business isn’t easy — running a crypto art business is even harder. The banks don’t want to touch you. Crypto + art = money laundering. Honestly, we found it so difficult even setting up a business account at the beginning. There are so many things to think about if you’re doing this properly: insurance, legal costs, accountancy. You’ll need a good business brain, or someone who can help at the very least. It’s the boring stuff — for me at any rate — but it’s vital if you want to be in this for the long haul. One man I don’t ever want to be on the wrong side of is the taxman!

There are a lot of other factors that come into play when running an NFT project. But these key things can help you grow a great project. Because if you care, if you’re in this for the right reasons, your project will be your baby. And you’ll want to see it grow up and flourish, and have a long and successful life.

See what I did there, bringing it back to the baby. Which reminds me — I really shouldn’t have left him in the bath while I was writing this.

Ahh, he’ll be fine.

Disclaimer: no babies were harmed during the process of writing this article.


John is a writer, creative director and designer. In 2020, he co-founded Ultra Rare, a digital collectibles, comics and games company based in the UK. Since then, he has created and overseen multiple IP, including the highly successful Horrors series, as well as bringing iconic horror franchise, Texas Chainsaw Massacre to the world of digital collectibles. Ultra Rare have been busy building their first blockchain game, Meta Battler.

With an impeccable reputation, Ultra Rare have been highly innovative in the digital space, utilising new minting systems, levelling up collector rewards and creating a first of its kind Web3 comic viewer. The company has seen phenomenal growth, achieving well over $2.5m in primary and secondary sales revenue in year one, with a dedicated and passionate fanbase.