What we’ve learnt while building a unicorn

As Magic Eden's one-year anniversary draws close, we reflect on our journey with four key takeaways on scaling an NFT marketplace startup to unicorn status.

Magic Eden is almost a 365-day-old company. Yet, our CEO Jack constantly stresses: “We’re a day-one company.” No matter how many days have passed, we are always getting started. Hungry, building and co-creating the future of NFTs together. When the four founders came together, roping in the core team and a handful of others, they were still working their day jobs, their free time spent on what has now become a unicorn. Without your support, we wouldn’t have gotten far from our humble beginnings in September 2021. In this newsletter, we’ll unpack what we learned along the way of this very crazy journey:

#1: Nothing worth doing is easy. 

Dig deeper when others quit. Do you remember the Solana headlines on the 14th of September? The network was offline for 17 hours. It resumed 24 hours later, Magic Eden launched a few days later, and we’re still building on top of it. We did $50,000 in trades on day one. Now, we’ve listed over 12,000 collections, launched 320 collections, and done $2,000,000,000+ in trades with over 12 million transactions. Those are wins. But, we’ve also encountered losses. But progress is at the intersection of pain and reflection. Chartering the exciting (and treacherous) waters of NFTs is both groundbreaking and… scary. It’s a chance to pioneer. With the essence of web3 being community, the feedback loop is even tighter. Praises are sung as much as FUD is spread. 

#2: Done is better than perfect. Refine later. 

In February, we passed 100,000+ downloads on our mobile app across Android and iOS. The first version of the app was done in 2 weeks. We recently shipped our Pro Trading Feature in an unexpectedly short timeline across conflicting timezones. All in time for some t00b action. Over the past months, we went from introducing a Drop Calendar, to an analytics tab, to sweeper tools. We release, then refine. As degens ourselves, we know the meaning of “wen”. This has allowed us to innovate and respond to the ever-evolving landscape of NFTs. In February, we released our Creator Hub, a self-listing platform for creators. And in August, we added whitelist creation capabilities. No one hit wonders here, just constant progress. 

#3: To stay ahead, you need to juggle. 

Some may think you’re a clown, but you’re paving the way for others to follow. The position we’re in requires finding the right balance between welcoming challenges (and fresh ideas) and being comfortable making decisions with potentially big impact (or no impact). Although the gaming scene in web3 is nascent, we wholeheartedly believe in its potential and launched Eden Games in March. The data supported our gut feeling: we found that most gaming NFTs are traded on Magic Eden. After our fundraiser, we doubled down, launched Magic Ventures, our investing arm (which we used a portion of to invest in y00ts) and expanded our gaming team. Our value add goes beyond capital, we want to help games develop with infrastructure solutions and an unbeatable NFT experience. We also profoundly believe that NFTs extend beyond maxis and sole chains. In June, we went cross-chain with the Bubblegoose Ballers mint, and last month, we announced our move to Ethereum. In collaboration with Crossmint, SOL NFTs can be purchased with $ETH, your credit card, and good ol' $SOL. The core idea here is to accelerate the growth of NFTs, which will see the light of day when we welcome more people into the ecosystem. 

#4: Be prepared to eat glass. 

A far cry from $SOL trading at over $200, the NFT market was turning from bull to bear, and it continued from May onwards. These cycles of ups and downs reminded us that we will go through many cycles if we are successful. Survive those cycles and you will emerge stronger. The biggest companies in crypto survived the most brutal winters and became titans.
We survive and thrive by being obsessed with our users. We're deep in the community, curious and focused on delivering value to our users each and every day. We’ve learned to build consistently. In response to our community, we’ve launched multiple trading tools, airdropped NFTs, started a DAO (s/o MagicDAO), and we went to ETH. Regardless of the how, our why remains the same: to solve the problems our creators and collectors face.

The energy at Magic Eden is one of endless potential. It still does feel like day one, where nothing is impossible, and the future is ripe for the taking. 

We thank you for your continuous support and for being part of this wild journey!


Thanks for reading, 



🪄 Congrats, all-time top performing collections on ME! 

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