Inside The NBA Top Shot #2 ElDumbo (Community Lead)
Hello! And welcome back to Inside The NBA Top Shot! If you missed the first episode with the TS social lead Carrie Oehm, please go check out, that was a great one! Today’s guest sadly is not that interesting at all but he asked me so many times to feature him that I felt bad for him. All jokes aside I was really excited to chat with Top Shot Community Lead, Luke aka ElDumbo! I got to know him a bit more and at the end, he revealed crazy TS alpha that you need to know (there’s only one way to find out if I’m joking). Let’s get into it!
Alex: I don’t think I know that or just don’t remember it well, but how did you find your way into Top Shot, first as a collector in January I believe
Luke: Yeah I started as a collector in January. A couple of my friends from the UK had been in since the closed beta days, as they had been into CryptoKitties before that. They had talked about NFTs a lot but it wasn’t until Top Shot that I started to “get it”.
Even then, I was still a little slow to jump in after first hearing about it. But once I did, I was hooked right away. In fact I’ve probably visited the website or jumped into the Discord every day since!
Alex: Yeah, the last part is I think relatable to a lot of us!
So who was Luke before that or in fact now, when he doesn’t timeout users, bake pies and go on the dates
Luke: Before Dapper and NFTs I made a living as a professional advantage player. So like sports betting and casinos. And poker too, I did that online for 4/5 years. Travelling around playing online. Not big stakes but it allowed me a flexible lifestyle
And a lot of my free time went into helping out some Mexican dog charities. (Check out Bone Voyage Dog Rescue if you’re in the US or Canada and want to consider adopting a rescue!)
Recently I’ve not had much free time though, as there’s so much going on in this space!
Alex: Yesss! I love that! I remember I donated a little the first time we talked to each other months ago. Should do it again.
So now going into Top Shot, I love the community, you love the community! How’s this entire job and experience been for you personally so far? (After I asked this question Luke rugged me for 30 minutes so he can get a dinner)
Luke: The experience has been awesome. And it’s really blown my mind what I’ve been able to be involved in and part of. From helping out with the Flow Fest, to the first UFC Stress Test, it’s been really cool to be able to be involved in a range of different events across the board at Dapper Labs. And on the Top Shot side of things, being able to be involved with the community every day, being able to launch the NBA Team channels, working with the NLL, these are things that I really enjoy. Obviously, it can be a lot of work and long days, but it’s worth it for all the fun experiences (After his answer it was my time to rug him cause I was sleepy, so we continued the next morning)
Alex: This interview is part of the Inside The NBA Top Shot series, which is kinda inspired by your tweets about Dapper underappreciated employees. People know you, but here’s your chance to maybe talk a bit more about people behind the scenes
Luke: Ah, I could go on all day about so many different people at Dapper. The entire team is full of hard workers who are passionate about the community. I think that’s something a lot of people don’t realise — everyone from the product and engineering to marketing and support, they all feel like part of this community and all have community in mind. Rather than trying to shout out a few individuals and get myself in a pickle when I inevitably leave someone out, I think it’s more fun to highlight how much each team has achieved in the last 12 months.
Take the product team — they’ve rolled out new features (trade ins, tiered queues, hot Moments, etc.), made a range of minor tweak site wide (the buying/selling modal, the Moment page, eth pricing, etc.), and still have a lot planned. The Live Ops team, they’ve helped improve the queue experience, the reward distribution speed from challenges, and the Moment selection process. The superstars over in support have managed to ramp up our customer service to be world class, with response times a fraction of where they were a year ago, a chat bot in the help centre, and providing stellar support.
Marketing & partnerships, well, you all saw the KD video, I don’t need to talk about how great they’ve been doing there. But there’s also the levelling up in our social media, the content, the communications, all so much fun to see. There’s also the engineering/dev team, who have improved the queue speeds, site stability, loading times, and built out a bunch of back end improvements. The folks in the design team, well you’ve seen the pack art, it’s always been fire. But now even our challenge reward packs have extra heat behind them.
All of this has happened in unison over the last 6–12 months, and the results speak for themselves.
Alex: Yes! It’s been almost a year since I joined TS and to see the progress that you guys made has been one of my favorite parts. And the people, how many amazing people started in this space bc of TS and now doing a lot of different amazing things!
So readers of course would want me to ask you a bunch of Top Shot questions from the collector pov, but you probably can’t answer 90% of them. So what can you share? Cause both Jacob and Carrie def gave me some inside sneak peeks (Another rug by Dumbo after this question cause he has a job to do)
Luke: haha well if they’ve already given you sneak peeks, you don’t need more from me. But honestly, I’m not the person to drop any hints or sneak peaks. I spent most of my time heads down on what’s going on in the community at the moment rather then what’s to come. On that front, I’m hoping to continue to level up the Discord, in a way that allows the community to continue to prosper and grow.
Alex: Haha awesome! Well, honestly I don’t wanna hold you for too long and I’m surprised that this actually went kinda smooth. No calling me @Disney or shilling TS TheLockerRoom (Laughing emoji from Luke)
Any final words for the community? Something that may really excite you about the future?
Luke: I would say just keep collecting what you enjoy, remember to have fun with it, and that we’ve still got a lot to come. The road map laid that out. The whole team is continuing to work hard and scale up.
What really excites me for the future is honestly seeing the Dapper ecosystem grow in new areas. When NBA Top Shot got popular, we saw thousands of people get into NFTs for the first time. Basketball fans stepped into a whole new digital world thanks to Top Shot. Now, we’re seeing NFL ALL DAY, UFC Strike, La Liga in the future, and it’s exciting to imagine how many new fans might be stepping into the world of NFTs in the coming 12 months and beyond.
Alex: We love to see it! Thanks Luke! Was a pleasure to chat and get to know you a bit more!
So this is it for this interview/chat with Dumbo himself. And yeah he couldn’t really reveal anything but you know, we still love him for everything that he does for the community! That’s why I encourage you to go and donate to the cause he supports, Bone Voyage Dog Rescue! Also, #FireDumbo. If you know you know. Thank you so much for reading and happy collecting!