nft

Jenkins the Valet: The Bored and Dangerous Book and Beyond

Crowdsourcing creativity within the NFT community

JenkinsMobile
Jenkins Valet

Valet Jones, who goes by VJ, recalls when he first met his friend and future co-founder.

“I remember in the third grade, Safa came up to me on the playground,” VJ said. “He was like, ‘I think the future of media and content is decentralized.’”

VJ laughs. “I”m just kidding. But seriously, we are childhood best friends.”

VJ and Safa are the co-founders of Tally Labs, the company behind Jenkins the Valet. This NFT project published the world’s first community-generative NFT book: Bored & Dangerous.

Their friendship started on the playground, and continued throughout college as teammates on the basketball court. Like many others, they got their first exposure to NFTs through NBA Top Shot.

Then a few weeks after the launch of Bored Ape Yacht Club, they purchased Ape#1798, and their lives were never the same.

Jenkins the Valet is Born

VJ was inspired by how other Bored Ape Yacht Club holders were using their commercial rights. He noticed people were monetizing their apes, and wanted to do the same.

"They were putting apes on wine, t-shirts and things like that," VJ said."

That's when he and Safa came up with an idea.

“We looked at each other and we saw an opportunity to build a brand around an ape–to go beyond just building a brand–to build a character," VJ said. “It could be its own thing, It would have its own name, its own voice, its own beliefs.”

Then one day in May 2021, a tweet was sent and the story of Jenkins the Valet began to unfold.

The Writer’s Room

“We really wanted to build an organic community and contribute back to the space,” Safa recalls. “And so once we had done that, we sort of looked at each other and were like, okay, now it’s time to turn this into something.”

The Writer’s Room passes are their genesis NFTs. 

They unlock a members-only portal to a proprietary platform called the Writer’s Room, which enables their community to exercise voting power and creative direction over the stories that will help define the metaverse.

Holders of a Writer’s Room pass can also license their NFTs as characters to stories, including their upcoming book starring Jenkins the Valet, “Bored & Dangerous.”

To help write this book alongside the community, the project partnered with 10-time New York Times bestselling author, Neil Strauss.

The Community Creative Process

“The community really impacts the story in two different ways,” VJ said. “There’s an explicit way they do, and then there’s a more implicit way.”

The main way the community was able to interact with Neil was through questions in the Writer’s Room.

One of the first questions Neil asked was, “What are the sacred rules of the Bored Ape Yacht club?”

The community agreed on one commandment: Telling club secrets to non-members was a bannable offense.

From that nugget of truth, Neil’s mind ran amok. He went back to the community for more answers.

Neil asked, “Then why would Jenkins tell an outsider his story?”

So the community had the choice to vote:

  1. He’s in trouble with the law
  2. He owes a bad debt
  3. He’s in trouble with the mafia

This constant exchange between author and community brought the story to life. But it didn’t stop there.

“There was another way the community influenced the story, and to be honest with you, it caught us by surprise,” VJ said.

4,075 Bored Apes and mutants licensed their characters to appear in the book. Most of those people filled out character backstories, and Neil read them all.

“Based off of how people built their own characters, it gave Neil a sense of tone. It gave him ideas for a whole bunch of other things that happened at the club,” VJ said.
He described, “So in a way, we basically crowdsourced the vibe of the club–the vibe of characters. We were able to think more critically about how we might write them in this story and bring them to life.”

Beyond Bored & Dangerous

In the coming weeks, Tally Labs will finish building its custom eReader so owners of the Bored & Dangerous book NFTs can connect their wallets, and have a unique Web3 reading experience.

But there is already another story on the horizon: Azurbala.

Holders of Bored & Dangerous NFTs have been given a choice. They can keep their NFT books, and can choose to stake them in order to earn governance tokens in Hawthorne, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) that will reimagine collective creativity.

On the other hand, holders may also elect to burn their NFT book in exchange for an Azur Root, a sacred item in their new world: Azurbala.

Tally Labs recently hired Emma Needell as their Head of Story. Emma has imagined Azurbala as a city dominated by five factions, each with its own agenda and vision for the future.

Similar to how the Writer’s Room breathed life into Jenkins the Valet and the story of Bored & Dangerous, so will the fate of Azurbala and its inhabitants depend on the community.

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