Episode Notes

In this episode, Fadumo Osman shares what Play-Learn-earn is and how that differs from Play-to-earn model, which was popularized by the game - Axie Infinity. Fadumo shares insights on the Play-Learn-Earn model as a great way for improving soft skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, and negotiation. Fadumo is relatively new to Web3, which I found quite refreshing as she has a more nuanced perspective on this ecosystem.

Topics & Timeline

  • 3:00 - Fadumo's Background
  • 4:15 - Play-to-earn (P2E) model
  • 12:00  - Where Roblox and similar companies fall short
  • 13:08 - Play-to-Learn & Education
  • 14:30 - We3 & Financial Inclusion
  • 17:00 - How Fadumo got started in Web3
  • 19:00 - About Red Cat Multiverse

Links from this Episode

Fadumo's Recommended Resources

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Episode Transcript

disclaimer: may contain unintentionally confusing, inaccurate, comical transcription errors amongst others)

Laide: After my last episode with Brianna Fay titled NFTS, virtual real estate, metaverse - overhyped or hype worthy? , some folks were curious what my take on it all was that is, do I think this is all over-hyped or do I think it's worthy of the hype? I'll admit I still don't fully understand virtual real estate and the metaverse.

I have some vision of it, but I struggle with how to fully understand the value and how we can change how we do things today. I'm sure I'm also using existing frameworks and models that don't really help me fully conceptualize it here. And I also think there's a lot less data for me to fully assess it.

But with NFTs, there's enough data now to have an opinion, I do think majority of NFTs are overhead. Especially the standalone ones, those lack utility. There's really no value for them besides sitting in my wallet and feeling proud of myself, that I have something that I think is a value to me and nobody else.

I think NFTs tied to some utility, physical or digital makes some sense. I can see the value for that. I think the clear use case for me is around ticketing. I think NFTs have a perfect use case for ticketing for events. Think about using NFTs as a way to access. Concerts is definitely a lot of value in preventing scammers and scalpers and things like that.

So I see value in. I don't think NFTs in the metaverse, whatever that is, could be interesting. You know, I hear that a significant portion of our lives will be spent in the metaverse. It's kind of a scary reality, but it's actually very feasible. And so if NFTs is sort of how we move and identifies with that world, I think there's some utility there.

So that's my takeaway. Thank you for listenin. Now onto this episode 

Fadumo: I think working on soft skills and how important they are, is not highlighted in a fight. Collaboration and negotiation, which are skilled. I definitely still need to work on my. It's something super important

Laide: that was for Fadumo Osman. Fadumo is the head of growth at Red Cat Multiverse, a company that is utilizing blockchain gaming to build the world's first play-learn-earn model. In this episode, we'll discuss what play-learn-earn is, how that differs from play-to-earn model, which is popularized by the game. Axie Infinity. Fadumo also shares insights on how the play learn and earn model is a great way for improving stuff. Skills such as critical thinking, collaboration or negotiation. Fadumo is relatively new to web3, which I found quite refreshing as she has a more nuanced perspective on this ecosystem.

We discussed her foray into Web3, as well as recommended resources for anyone. Who's looking to learn more about this. I learned a lot and I'm sure you've all too, without further ado. Here's Fadumo.

Laide: Hi, how are you doing? I'm 

Fadumo: doing great. How are you doing? 

Laide: I'm doing well. Thank you. I'm excited to chat with you today.

Likewise. Excited to be here. Awesome. All right. Let's kick things off with your background and foray into this crazy world of web three that we're all experiencing. 

Fadumo: Right? Sounds good. So my name's and I'm actually quite new to. Web three and crypto in general, a little bit about me. I graduated in 2018 with a degree in computer science and I minored in political science and some roles I've had since then.

I include being an ed tech Coursera and being on the Google play store team. So I've always had an interest in the future of learning and future. But didn't really look into crypto until last year when everyone was of course talking about. And if T's et cetera, in this new role, I'm in, I'm actually the head of growth over at RCM labs where we're building something on top of the plater earn model, and we're calling it the play learn and earn.

And so I'm really excited about that because it combines my past experiences in ed tech and gaming, but in a whole new. 

Laide: That's awesome. Thank you for sharing. You mentioned a couple of things that I'll eventually touch upon, but the first one was play to earn. Then I know it's, you know, getting a lot of attention with ax, infinity that blew up last year.

Yeah. So a lot of gaming, uh, folks are excited about it, but just curious from your knowledge and understanding of it, what is that and why is it all of a sudden, like getting so much. Yeah, 

Fadumo: for sure. It's played an urn also known as is this like really popular concept at the moment where players can earn a profit from the video game that they're a part of, or just adding to the ecosystem.

So this profit can come in a few different ways. It could be through trading and exchanging and purchasing items in the game, characters, things like that, but also things like NFT. Which can later be sold and actually get Fiat currency through that. And so that's really cool about play to earn is.

Increasing, not only here in the developed world, but also in developing countries like the Philippines and Venezuela, where unfortunately, a lot of people lost their jobs during the pandemic. And so people, you mentioned Axie infinity started playing that game and which has seen, like, I think they have something crazy, like 300,000 active users these days.

So it's awesome to see people shifting and making money this way to support themselves in their levels. Thinking 

Laide: on that topic a little bit. I don't know. Maybe I'm a little bit cynical here, but a part of me wonders if the rug is going to get pulled from under that, uh, just, you know, think about like, gig-economy back in the day when Uber and Lyft and all these delivery companies are showing up and everyone's like, this is great.

I'm making more money. And then over time it just felt like so many. I ended up having to foot that bill. And so when you think about plater and do you have any thoughts there? It's great now, but like for how long will it last and is there really something? 

Fadumo: And what interested me so much into this is that we have this trend of gaming that has always been around, but has only increased, especially during the pandemic.

So, uh, the gaming market is currently at, I think, as of like 20, 21 around 180 billion, but by 2025, we expect it to be 270 billion. So that's a huge difference in just a few years. Yeah. So I think as long as gaming is around this concept of playing to earn and being a part of the larger community, not just being a player, but also earning through it and earning in a way.

Uh, is fair because we have what, two concepts of being paid to create games, for example, roadblocks. But as there was actually an article that came out not too long ago, about how models such as roadblocks are actually taking advantage of the kids that are creating the games. And so I feel like with plater, earn this concept, won't just be around, but it'll actually be a lot more fair than its predecessor.

Laide: All right. Well, I definitely hope so, uh, excited to see how that part of me is just like, I don't know, something feels very weird about it, but we'll see how things are, but I do agree a lot of people spend a lot of their time playing games. So it'd be very interesting to kind of see how they can get compensated for that time.

And so that shifts gears a little bit to, you know, there's the learn and earn model that I've heard about. And I know. There's Coinbase earn where you serve, learn about various cryptocurrencies or crypto concepts, and then they give you some tokens. Is that really what it is with that? Is there something else there that I should be thinking about when I think of learn to earn?

Fadumo: Yeah. I think that exchange of learning concepts and being paid to do so is kind of what Coinbase is trying to do with us at RCM labs. We're kind of combining that learning aspect with gaming. And so for us, we're working on. The problem of soft skills, which has been a long time, probably way before even the internet was introduced because a lot of our jobs depend on that.

Whether it be critical thinking or mitigating arguments, et cetera. Uh, we're actually rebranding soft skills into power skills because we see those skills being at the forefront, whether you're an engineer or you're in customer service or both, honestly, a lot of roles are blending. And so that's kind of what we're building upon and people get to earn through that by adding to our gaming experience.

Laide: How exactly does it combine the gaming aspect with the learning and the urine? I think I'm trying to figure out like how. Piece those things together. If I were a users in that system, what would that experience look like? For me through 

Fadumo: the gaming experience, you're given certain situations or circumstances that, uh, through gaming, like you'll have a character and you'll have this multi-verse, you're playing.

Um, we don't know if they're going to be cat themed or not just yet, but what we're doing is introducing these more, I guess, concepts that we work on in-person but through the gaming experience. And so eventually people will be able to be mentored by advisors at top institutions that are currently advising this project and actually gain that educational experience with.

Necessarily paying for that course or degree that this professor or a thought leader is actually teaching, whether it be at a traditional institution, like a university or through new institutions, like masterclass, for example. And so that's kind of where we're combining the two where you're learning these skills, but in a gate, in a game, essentially, 

Laide: Okay, so then is it fair to just think of it as, you know, like the MOOC concept.

I forget what it stands for Massice open online courseware or something like that. You got it. Yeah. And so combining that with gamification, is that a good way to think about it? 

Fadumo: I think so, especially with breaking it down to people who aren't aware, either played earner, play learning. 

Laide: Gotcha. Okay. And so then for what you're working on, then, do you think it's, is it mainly going to be around the educational institutions or, or do you see a path where in the work environment, this is this sort of replaces some onboarding and training courses that employees have to go through.

How do you think about that at the. I 

Fadumo: think we're still super early stage, but those are kind of the circumstances we're looking at first we're. Uh, our first initial target is actually gen Z and current university students who are applying to these internships are graduating and applying to these roles where these critical skills are needed.

And so that's kind of who, we're kind of like the blockchain education network, uh, university clubs, like my Alma mater, et cetera, or who we were targeting at first. But of course we love. Our audience is later on. 

Laide: Understood. Thanks for sharing that. So then I guess in your experience and in what you're working on, apart to me just wondering, it was like, why does this all have to be on the blockchain?

Like any set, critical thinking skills. These are soft skills that are going to be more in demand in the future, but why is, why do you think what you're working on the PLC model is the best avenue for that to be experienced as opposed to. I know, taking more classes and critical thinking. I don't know.

I'm just, 

Fadumo: yeah, no, that's a good question. Yeah. I think there are like two main points at the moment. One is that literally anyone can take part and profit, basically. Any person that's a part of the ecosystem can be contributing to the development of. The game or the ecosystem in general, and also the aspect of the NFTs.

Uh, these digital assets have been all over the place, but being able to actually gain. Through just playing and learning, I think is why I, for example, is personally attracted to this project. These means can definitely be created in other ways, for example, roadblocks allowing teenagers and others to create games and profit from them.

But again, they're just not as fair. And of course, yeah, I think that's pretty 

Laide: much. Can you just say a little bit more about roadblocks, what kind of advantage to taking of people? How does this sort of make it a little bit fair? Just so we have an undecided of. Where the benefits lie here with this technology.

Fadumo: Yeah. So I think the main point is just transparency, just knowing the exact amount that is being made off of whoever created that first game. And of course, roadblocks is a larger platform. So they're bringing on the eyes and the players, et cetera. But the exchange is still not completely fair, especially when people are kind of pushed.

Kind of churn out as many games as possible. It's kind of like a hit and miss if they're going to actually make money. And so with everything, and I think everything in crypto, there's some definitely rug pools and a lot of scams going on, but I think transparency's the number one thing, which. The best thing.

I think like people knowing who's actually benefiting from their contributions. 

Laide: Gotcha. Thanks for sharing. Uh, one of the things I had mentioned earlier was, uh, in the introduction, you talked about web three and combining that with your education and future of education. And I know you've talked about the PLC model as one aspect.

Is there something else here that you want to see this ecosystem evolve into as far as education is concerned? 

Fadumo: Amazing. I would love to see is just the continuation of using these like play, to earn, play, learn, and earn models to just onboard more people into crypto in general. More and more, I guess they're called developing countries, but just like we call them developing countries, but a lot of them are actually quite more online and more tech savvy than us.

Uh, in Western countries, I actually spent around five months last year in Kenya. My family is actually originally from Somalia and I was able to see the kind of startups and future of learning concepts being built there. And they just move a lot quicker and there are a lot, there's a lot less red tape.

I think that's like the number one thing, all of us in blockchain hate is the amount of red tape. I understand it to an extent because you'll have things like people getting money stolen or money disappearing, not knowing who took it. Like we see with these more centralized platforms these days. And so I understand the need for red tape, especially when it comes to financing, but when it comes to education and just lowering barriers, I feel like there, there could be something awesome.

Yeah, 

Laide: no, thanks for sharing that. And then thinking along the lines of education, there's this whole concept of, you know, everyone's talked about like the plater and model and financial inclusion and how one of three is going to make things more equitable. And I really haven't seen that yet. If you're already in the know, then you're able to make money and there's a lot of Ponzi schemes and scours in the space that, you know, make me sometimes wonder.

If there's more to this technology than just a bunch of scams. And so, and then you hear things like, well, web three and blockchain and equity, and then plater and financial inclusion. And they talk about the examples in the Philippines and other countries. I just really wonder is that feasible? And do you have any thoughts there?

Fadumo: Yeah, so I think they're definitely buzzwords out there right now. Like everyone wants to be diverse and include as many populations as possible, but when you look at the hard numbers, it's still very much a white and male oriented space, especially for those who are actually being rewarded at the moment.

And so I think being realistic. With where we're at is the most, the best thing that we could do. I think there are some amazing communities springing up like boys club and other communities that are trying to bring in as many diverse folks as possible. But there's a difference between having like social events for those of us that are, like you said already in the know those of us who have.

Good institutions are already connected through the tech world are getting access to this much earlier on. So I think there's going to be. There's already a good focus on like what to, where diversity is already being talked about early on. But I feel like when it comes to translating, like a lot of the actual content, isn't understandable for anyone in like, forget about not knowing crypto lingo, there's other language, just technical language and things that aren't accessible.

There's some awesome, like try crypto and other, uh, groups that are. Focusing on Latino populations, et cetera. But again, a lot of us are well-connected or have already worked at thing companies, et cetera. So to be honest, I think we're far from being as inclusive, uh, especially financially as we'd like to be, but I do have hope, uh, maybe five to 10 years down the road that it'll look a lot more equitable.

Laide: Yeah, no, I hope so too. We'll see. You'd mentioned earlier that you relatively new to this space. What was your learning curve like or has that learning path? I know. Beforehand. So that definitely helps, but just how was that path for you? So I 

Fadumo: kind of have, I think, like everybody else, a hate, love relationship with discord at the moment, constant notifications.

I can't even listen to it anymore, but that's kind of how I got started with. Getting to know people we've been in this pandemic for nearly three years now. And so there are as many in-person events and with zoom fatigue, I kind of just wanted to read and just follow people. So what I started to do was join.

I already mentioned boys club, there's web 3 Famiglia, Women in NFTs, tri-crypto. Those are kind of just like a handful of the discord servers I initially looked at. And I was like, and I was just finishing. My freelancing kind of career. I did that for about a year and I really enjoyed it, but I wanted to be a part of a team again, and a team that was kind of at the forefront of something new.

So, um, I knew I wanted to be in crypto, just not sure how I would fit in and. Uh, when I saw RCM labs through angel list, I saw that they were working on the future of learning, which is something I was like, okay, I didn't know I could combine the two. So again, I just want to reiterate joining discords and finding resources.

There has been helpful, but also just reading and taking breaks from these constant Twitter spaces and zoom fatigue, because I think it's easy to get overwhelmed and just be turning. All of this. And so I would advise folks just like spend an hour or two each week, but don't feel like you're so far behind because there's some people that I was looking at where I was like, wow, like, you know, so much in there.

Like I've only been here for like two months. And so that's, what's comforting. 

Laide: Yeah. Yeah. No, there's a lot of information out there it's changing so much every day. It's really hard to keep up and you're so right about discord. I used to get like anxiety, whatever. I heard the slack notifications. I know, I feel like that's been overtaken by discord and I'm just like, ah, stuff like you turn it off.

Fadumo: Oh, my God. 

Laide: It's a lot. It is a lot. It is a lot. Hopefully they do something about this score ecosystem. It's not very pleasant. I hope they fix it. I agree. 

Fadumo: It's not good for long-term use. Yeah, 

Laide: exactly. All right, let's talk a little bit more about RCM. Now. I know you talked about the business model, but just curious about what you do, but also where the companies that I did stage, if you can.

And your milestones are upcoming. How can people get involved? Just as much information as you can share about the company? Awesome. 

Fadumo: Sounds good. So they actually reached out to me via Angelist, like a month and a half ago on their actually female founded team. The main founder, she's an MIT professor and what she's Turkish and our other founders are Latinos.

I was like, okay, awesome. Like women of color in this. Sign me up before I even learned what they were doing, but basically they're creating this gaming experience that we're calling play, learn and earn, which is why it's called the first model, because no one is really combining playing and learning in a way that is also including institutional thinking, such as professors and things like that.

And our creative director was the former league of legends creative director. So we have that longterm gaming experience, which. But basically we're a pretty, tight-knit a handful of people team. We're super early stage. We just wrapped our angel round and we're working to create this community while we're working on the game.

So that's kind of where I come in. I'm leading. And that comes in a few different forms. A lot of it is community building or seeing on the discard, making sure people are engaged, but also just linking up with others who are in this feature of learning space and seeing how they kind of see it moving and what the future of it looks like.

Because at the moment we're always told like, oh, like XYZ jobs, won't be available in five to 10 years because there'll be automated and. Idea of working on soft skills and how important they are is not highlighted enough. I think collaboration and negotiation, which are skilled, I definitely still need to work on myself.

Is something super important. That's what brought me in initially. And so again, we're super early stage. We're around seven people now, but super creative team, super insightful. And we're actually really honest about where we see the space going and we don't want. To kind of just get in on the hype because a lot of this will not exist in a couple months to a couple of years.

And so at the moment, I think I'm really focused on growing our insider community. So our goal is about to have a thousand people that are actually interested in our mission and the way we kind of reward our initial insiders is through giving them a free NFT, which will we be dropping airdropping students.

So if anyone listening to this is. I'd love to get you on board before they run out and including yourself. Of course. So, yeah, of course. Yeah. And so I'll send you the links to also included on the page. Yeah. That's pretty much what 

Laide: we're working. Yeah. Awesome. Excited to see that I signed up for the website and the discord.

Uh, all right. I'm excited. I can't wait. Um, yeah, definitely send me the link as well. That way I can include that in the show notes. So it sounds like you've got the NFTs that you're launching. Anything else you want to share a sneak peek in here that we can take a look at or nothing to share? 

Fadumo: Uh, we don't have a gaming, a sneak peek for another few weeks, but I definitely want to send that over to you for the audience to check out as soon as it's out.

Laide: Awesome. Can't wait, can't wait. Um, yeah. Any other sort of resources, just in general that you'd like to share, you shared quite a bit already, but anything else for the people listening to this to just learn more about RCM, about blockchain web series? 

Fadumo: Yeah. So definitely joining those handful of discords.

I mentioned where they're like resource channels in each. We actually have like a blockchain one-on-one series going on right now. So if they want to just sell us at RCM labs underscore on Twitter, they can catch. If they don't want to hear the sounds of discord and yeah, that's what I can 

Laide: share for now.

Awesome. And how can people connect with you? What's the best way to reach you? 

Fadumo: I'm on LinkedIn and Twitter. The most Twitter is a combination of web three slash my political thoughts. And so I'm @fadumzz. F A D U M Z Z. And on LinkedIn, they can just search up Fadumo Osman

Laide: Fantastic. Thank you Fadumo.

Any last questions that I should've asked that you want to share with folks, or are you think we covered most of it? I think 

Fadumo: this was a good coverage. And thank you so much for hosting this. I was listening to your early episodes and looking forward. 

Laide: Awesome. I can't wait to share this with everyone. So thank you for your time today.

I really, really appreciate. 

Fadumo: Likewise have a nice day. You too. Thank  you

Laide: Thank you so much for listening. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe wherever you listen to podcast. I'm your host, Laide, until next time.