Architecting an NFT short-film platform

Modern Mantra
for an
for a
Web3 Startup

Our client is an NFT platform for film and music video built on Solana. Their goal is to give short-film directors a platform to distribute their work independently.

The founders are seasoned film directors who wanted to build a NFT marketplace for independent films. In the very early stages of their product journey, they came to us with questions about what the actual product should be like and what blockchain they should build on.

Our work together

We worked with the client to provide product strategy and technical direction, through our flagship 6-week Venture Design Sprint.


Our venture design sprints always begin with stakeholder discovery. In this case, we met with film directors, financiers, and producers to identify their pain points, and then the founders to understand their product journey so far.


Using affinity mapping, we processed the discovery work and identified common themes. We explored the future of Web3 for short films, unpacking ideation and developing foundational concepts for the project. We also considered design elements, design parameters, and How Might We statements in their design considerations.

Venture & Technical Architecture

Using the How Might We statements as a foundation, our team developed venture requirements, evaluated potential technical partners for the build and decided on technical infrastructure: which blockchain to use. We ultimately selected Solana as the blockchain platform due to its robust architecture and relatively favorable environmental impact.

NFT Strategy & Tokenomics

Finally, we also created a go-to-market strategy for NFTs and developed a tokenomics model that included supply, breakdown, and utility.

Product Strategy & Next Steps

We finished off the project with product roadmapping and high-level strategy so the founders had a clear path to move forward with.


To begin the project, we started by defining and refining the objectives and then identifying target age groups and user personas. We honed in on a core design challenge and conducted foundational research to inform our scoping and ideation efforts.


Rather than developing a single product, we centered around the concept of a gaming platform upon which the client could launch different games to address the unique needs of different learners. This would be the fulcrum of their R&D efforts, giving them a platform to not only deploy and test new learning experiences, but directly retrieve data on the efficacy of those experiences to then add to the broader pedagogical literature.

Product Design

We worked on designing the learning experiences on the platform, and led user testing and usability testing for both the platform and the games.

Venture & Technical Architecture

We then provided strategic guidance, including identifying potential partners such as schools and tutoring organizations, and developed a scalable software architecture for the platform.


In marketing and comms, we worked on branding and identity, including brand strategy, mission, vision, and values. In addition, we composed a go-to-market strategy.

Team Building & Development

To support the completion of the product, Modern Mantra provided human resources and technical team building support. We worked with the client to vet and hire a Head of Product, a Head of Engineering, and two development studios with expertise in gaming and education to bring the product to life.

From concept to clear product roadmap

Their initial idea was to build a film marketplace but, by the end of our work together, the concept had evolved into a Web3 take on the film festival, where viewers can mint digital collectibles connected to each film they watch, giving makers a new way to monetize and live off their work.

Last updated: 
January 6, 2023

More from this project

More from this project
Project Date

Project date


Project Activities

Project activities

Venture Design

User Research

Product Strategy

Technical Direction


Why we care about this project

Why we care about this project

For many film makers, film is their vehicle for highlighting the social issues and humanitarian narratives they care about. However, the current industry model means much of their talent must instead go into filming advertising commercials in order to make a living. Our client wants to change that by creating new channels for independent film makers to monetize their work. Fundamentally, this is about supporting creative expression, which we see as a key part of every human’s awakening and healing journey.

Listen to Nick & Elijah talk about it in their own words:

Venture design is for entrepreneurs who want to build technology like a well-oiled tech startup.

As a non-technical founder, the biggest risk is putting all of your funding into product development without industry-standard processes, systems, and architecture in place.

Our 6-week venture design program puts in place the foundations for a successful product launch.

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Last updated: 
January 6, 2023

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