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What's in it for them guys, WIIFT, never forget it!

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NFTs are still very new to the world. So, legal regulations, processes, and laws for them are still in the process of being decided upon, developed, and passed.

That's why certain "should be unlawful" activities can happen and go handled ineffectively from a legal perspective.

In such a case, it's all the more important to have a good handle on the advanced social skills (power dynamics) that will get you what you want.

An example is when someone stole an NFT, formerly owned by Seth Green, called Bored Ape.

A scammer managed to get their hands on the NFT, steal the rights to it, and resell it to someone else.

Now, the new owner of the NFT is a user named DarkWing84 (we'll call him "DW").

Green's approach to asking for his NFT back was less than ideal though:

He frames the NFT as stolen so there's an implied "moral pressure" to give it back.

But, what's in it for him to give it back?

It's his NFT now, he owns all of the rights to it. And there's no legal body who will enforce what Green wants from DW, their focus is only on the scammer who stole the NFT in the first place.

So, DW has every incentive to resell it to Green rather than simply hand over an NFT he paid good money for.

And, does Green's message seem like the type that's open to negotiation? Not really, in my opinion.

Namely, because before reaching out he also said this in a viral video:

Green: If there's a door to kick in, I can promise you, I'm going to kick the door in...I'm already into it with the best authorities that you can get. I've got them the means to be able to chase this...we'll figure it out. I've got some top men on the job.

A very public threat.

Worse, Green makes it more work for DW to resolve the issue with him.

Green needs the NFT, has no leverage, and has been begging crypto investors not to buy the stolen NFTS that are now for sale and readily available on the market.

And yet, DW should be the one to hit you up?

No, you need him more than he needs you. If anything, you should be the one doing more work to reach out.

That's why the result so far has been unsurprising to me:

Coffeezilla: Now, Dark Wing hasn't responded to this and, technically, until he does, he's the real owner of these commercial use rights. Not Seth Green.

Feel free to let me know what you think below.

Lucio Buffalmano and John Freeman have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoJohn Freeman

Yep, perfect analysis, Ali.

In terms of effectiveness, it's not that the approach necessarily won't work, but it will work mostly -or only- with the most undiscerning and power unaware folks who have no idea about their rights, and no feel for aggression or asshole behavior (or who have that feel, but don't mind being disempowered -ie. "doormats"-).

It won't do much for those who know their rights, except maybe being a nuisance as threats always give people some pause -that might be the most effective thing threat accomplish, as a matter of fact-.

And it will backfire with high-power folks.
Of those high-power folks, even those who don't know their rights, they'll dig their heels, pick the fight and seek to harm you back just because they resent the aggression and being put power-down.

If I'd have lots of money to burn and time to invest in this ahole, I'd personally hire a lawyer to chase him for harassment and threats.

Ali Scarlett and John Freeman have reacted to this post.
Ali ScarlettJohn Freeman
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Some time ago, I wrote a post about my friends being selfish.

Well, I think what I was not realising is how generally in an individualistic society, people are selfish.

So generosity is quite rare. Therefore it's an opportunity. When you are generous, even a little bit, people are surprised.

So there is this concept of "lead with giving". I'm not sure how strong it is though.

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Ali ScarlettTransitioned

James Clear once said, "People follow incentives, not advice."

And, I think that can also apply to giving feedback to businesses sometimes when you receive a bad product or poor service.

Any complaint would be considered advice on how they can "do better", but Lillian Moore shares a quick story that highlights how incentives are often what really motivate people (and businesses) to make change:

"A few months after my husband and I moved to a small Massachusetts town I grumbled to a resident about the poor service at the library, hoping she would repeat my complaints to the librarian.

The next time I went to the library, the librarian had set aside two bestsellers for me and a new biography for my husband. What's more, she appeared to be genuinely glad to see me.

Later I reported the miraculous change to my friend. "I suppose you told her how poor we thought the service was?" I asked.

"No," she confessed. "In fact—I hope you don't mind—I told her your husband was amazed at the way she had built up this small town library, and that you thought she showed unusually good taste in the new books she ordered."

In this case, even though it was only emotional value-giving, that still was incentive enough to promote and encourage a change in her behavior and service.


I think that when Moore's friend was speaking to the librarian and giving compliments on Moore's behalf, she could've also shared Moore's specific constructive feedback as well because, after all of that (appreciated) emotional value-giving, the likelihood it would've been well-received was pretty high and it would've increased chances that the specific changes Moore wanted to see would be acknowledged.

Lucio Buffalmano, John Freeman and 2 other users have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoJohn FreemanTransitionedMaxim Levinsky

Thanks Ali. Key concept!

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Ali Scarlett

Back in April, someone (we'll call her "S") from the International Journal of Entrepreneurship (IJE) reached out to me to connect on LinkedIn.

It seemed like she was reaching out to convince me to write for them. But, until she said so, it could've been that she simply wanted to connect.

So, I accepted and offered to follow her work:

She gave my message a like and said, "Thanks, Ali."

And, we left it at that.

Then, in July (three months later), she says out of the blue that she'd like my thoughts on joining her review board:

So, of course, I ask for more information.

She gives some more details, but nothing that really shares a WIIFM so far:

So, I go for straight talk. And, she says:

"We can publish your 2 articles without any publication charges....".

I propose a call which she says won't be possible.

So, I outline my concerns with her idea in the chat:


OK, well I'd like some more information:

1. What do you mean "my two articles"? Are you also asking me to be a contributor (frames her offer as debt-swapping)?

2. On the publication charges, what you're referring to sounds like a discount (discounted to free, yes, but still a discount). I'm asking if there's any compensation (assertiveness technique: ask twice, expect a response).

If not, that's OK, maybe we can find another way to make this work because I'm interested in working with you (expresses interest as a move for honesty to lay cards on the table and avoid games). However, I'd also like to make this as win-win as possible (invites discussion for them to offer more concrete incentives).

Let me know.

First off, I didn't say I was interested in writing for them, so to say that they'll publish "my two articles" (as if I had articles lined up that I wanted to put on their platform but couldn't) feels like a slightly manipulative assumption because they frame it as an incentive here (which comes across as credit-presupposing to me).

So, I ask a question that exposes the downsides of their offer in order to reveal the main issue with it without coming across as overly-assertive. (In other words, this approach seems smoother to me than saying, "I didn't say I wanted to publish any articles with you." Albeit, there was still probably a better way to go about it.)

Then, on my choice to go for honesty, I think it was a great move to avoid this becoming a "serious negotiation" that descends into too much game-playing.

In response, here's what she does:

With a few typos (that make me even more skeptical), she uses my honesty of being interested as a grounds for moving to secure an application from me without me even knowing if it'll be worth my time/effort yet.

I didn't respond.

Would be curious to hear you guys' feedback on if you agree/disagree with how I read the situation and if you would respond.

Lucio Buffalmano, Transitioned and Maxim Levinsky have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoTransitionedMaxim Levinsky

Hi Ali,

it's great to talk to you again.

My first thinking is that this may be a "predatory journal", i.e. one of those fake publications that claim to be academically qualified and peer reviewed but in reality are nothing more that "pay-per-publish" schemes. That could explain the offer to "publish 2 articles for free". There is a reference to it being a fake journal here

I would probably just not respond as you did. With her last messages she is trying to reverse the trend of the communication and try to make you qualify.

I thus think you handled it great. My impression is that your intuition alerted you and made you go into full straight talk mode and then into let's cut this bull**** mode.

Lucio Buffalmano, Ali Scarlett and 2 other users have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoAli ScarlettTransitionedMaxim Levinsky

+ 1 to what Bel said, great analysis from you Ali on their games, and good call on dropping it.

Ali Scarlett, Maxim Levinsky and Bel have reacted to this post.
Ali ScarlettMaxim LevinskyBel
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Thank you so much, Bel and Lucio!

Great to know I dodged a bullet.

Lucio Buffalmano, Maxim Levinsky and Bel have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoMaxim LevinskyBel

Hi guys,

I received an email by a foreign lawyer relocating to my country and wanting to "make contact" with the local community:

Dear Mr. Bel,

It is a pleasure to contact you. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is ... and I am a foreign laweyer ...

I have lived abroad for .... I am looking to establish contact with the legal community in ... I found your contact details on ....

I am inquiring whether it would be possible to squeeze a few minutes of your valuable time to meet with you for coffee and exchange a chat? I would appreciate it.

Kindly advise. Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

I had mixed feelings because of the "would appreciate it" and the "kindly advise", and all the other little things, but decided to answer and see what this leads to.

My answer was lower investment than the initial email, but still (I think) friendly: something like "happy to meet, let's do it on ... if that works".

This is the answer I got:

Dear Bel,

I am unavailable the .... How about the ... at But where are you exactly? Are you at ...?

Now I'm feeling a definite "no way I'm answering back", because:

  • the answer seems too much out of character compared to the initial message
  • this person is "unavailable" on the time I proposed? Wasn't he that wanted to meet me?
  • he asks for another time without a question mark, so it feels he is imposing
  • no closing salutation, no signature on the reply
  • he interrogates me on my exact location, and this makes me feel he's trying to understand if my office is a comfortable reach, and in turn that makes me feel this is a disguised job search.

BTW, I now understand why asking for a job when one has firstly framed his request as an informative interview is very bad.

Do you think I'm reading it correctly?

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