Amanda Cassatt, Founder & CEO of Serotonin on Trailblazers Spotlight

“Trailblazers Spotlight – The Leading Innovators in Web3 & Metaverse Marketing” — a curated series celebrating the visionaries and innovators shaping the future of web3 and metaverse marketing.

Amanda Cassatt is the founder and CEO of Serotonin. Amanda previously served as Chief Marketing Officer of ConsenSys from 2016 through 2019. Joining one year after the launch of Ethereum, Amanda played a crucial role in defining, creating, and growing the narrative for ConsenSys, Ethereum, and blockchain overall.


Amanda stewarded the ConsenSys brand through its global expansion across enterprises, governments, developers, and consumers. She created and scaled the marketing team to over 50 people, serving both the ConsenSys brand and 50+ portfolio companies such as MetaMask, Infura, Truffle, and Gitcoin; managing teams in product marketing, growth, design, content, community, events, email, analytics and SEO. Amanda’s contributions to some of the most successful product launches, token sales and fundraises landed her on Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2016. Amanda is the author of the world’s first web3 marketing book, Web3 Marketing: A Handbook for the Next Internet Revolution.

“A Chinese publisher has bought the rights to the book (Web3 Marketing: A Handbook for the Next Internet Revolution) and to distribute it in Mandarin and we're going to be doing a book tour in Asia in 2024, and meeting with a lot of the leading companies in Asia, which goes along with our Serotonin and APAC office launch in Hong Kong.”

Amanda Cassatt

Amanda Cassatt, Founder & CEO of Serotonin

About Serotonin
Serotonin is the marketing and product studio for web3. The marketing arm specializes in go-to-market strategy and execution for brands native and new to web3, in addition to web3 transformation initiatives for blue-chip brands. Founded in 2020 by Amanda Cassatt, Serotonin leverages expertise across crypto in DeFi, DAOs, NFTs, and infrastructure, to accelerate companies building the next generation of the internet. Serotonin has supported web3 mainstays like Polygon, Alchemy, Decentraland, World of Women, and Protocol Labs in addition to household names like Sotheby’s, Vogue, and CAA. 

In addition to its core marketing services, Serotonin builds and launches venture-backed web3 software companies. In 2021, Serotonin spun out its first product company, Mojito, that is now the leading platform for NFT commerce and community engagement, followed by the second spinout in 2022 of the first tax compliant hybrid cash and crypto payroll platform, Franklin.

Dan Barry (00:02.318)
Welcome to this Trailblazers episode where we are joined by a true marketing pioneer of the blockchain world, Amanda Cassatt, the visionary behind the world’s first Web3 marketing book, Web3 Marketing, a handbook for the next revolution. And of course I have my printed copy and I have an audio book version too. This book has been a cornerstone, not only for me, but for many in the Web3 marketing space.

I feel it does an exceptional job in explaining complex theories with stories and metaphors that makes understanding Web3 principles much, much easier than I would say most of what information is out there. I particularly like your spaceship metaphor. Amanda’s journey in blockchain began at ConsenSys where she joined just a year after Ethereum’s launch.

As chief marketing officer from 2016 through 19, she didn’t just witness the blockchain evolution, she helped shape it. Her leadership in crafting the narrative for consensus in the theory and propelled over 50 portfolio companies, including Metamask and Gitcoin into the spotlight. Her remarkable contributions earned her a spot on Forbes 30 under 30 in 2016. And today,

As the founder and CEO of Saratonin, she continues to innovate and inspire. I am thrilled and honored to have Amanda here with us today to dive deeper into her story and her vision for the future of Web3. Welcome to Trailblazers, Amanda.

Amanda Cassatt (01:47.669)
Thanks for having me, Dan. Appreciate being here.

Dan Barry (01:51.27)
Okay, cool. So let’s dive right in. I mentioned your book, Web3 Marketing, a handbook for the next internet revolution in the intro. Any plans to do a follow-up book?

Amanda Cassatt (02:04.813)
When I wrote the book, I was desperate to make it evergreen. And how I did that was focus on the story of how Bitcoin and Ethereum and Web3 evolved in a way that makes them accessible to a lay reader, and then describe the different parts of the substrate of Web3 in a way that makes them usable.

by marketers to form their own marketing strategies. It’s only about a third of the book where I go into the strategies that worked for us at ConsenSys, working on Ethereum, and also at Serotonin as models, but not as constraints. Because I know the field of Web3 marketing is gonna grow so much each cycle, and that as more marketers and as more marketing minds come into the space,

Dan Barry (02:43.958)

Amanda Cassatt (03:02.093)
they’re gonna get familiar with that substrate and they’re gonna use it in novel ways. So my goal wasn’t to say this tactic, this tactic, and this tactic are the way to do things. My goal was to arm marketing minds with the information they need to come up with their own tactics. So I’m hoping that the book doesn’t require a follow-up because it doesn’t actually get outdated.

I want to write another book for sure, but it will probably be about slightly different subject matter rather than a follow-up to make the original book current because hopefully I’ve already written it in a way that doesn’t require that. But a Chinese publisher has bought the rights to the book and to distribute it in Mandarin and we’re going to be doing a book tour in Asia next year.

Dan Barry (03:55.118)
Cool, cool.

Amanda Cassatt (04:00.753)
and meeting with a lot of the leading companies there, which goes along with our Saratona and APAC office launch in Hong Kong and spending a lot of time, not only there, but also in Singapore and Seoul and Japan, and also places with these incredible up and coming markets with lots of devs and entrepreneurs, like a number of major cities in India. We actually made our first hire in India today.

I’m super excited about places like Jakarta, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok. So we’re really going into those markets powerfully in the next cycle.

Dan Barry (04:40.31)
No, that’s exciting. I lived in Asia for 11 years, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Singapore. So I have a lot of friends who are into the space there. And it’s really, really quite exciting what’s happening. Hong Kong, I think out of all the cities I was at in Asia, I think Hong Kong is the city I enjoyed the most. So good selection, I think.

Amanda Cassatt (04:45.741)
Cool, very cool.

Amanda Cassatt (05:07.241)
It’s so much fun. It’s New York of the West of the East.

Dan Barry (05:12.234)
Yeah, kind of like, yeah, yeah. Um, but yeah, I mean, uh, Korea, you know, with like Zepetto and, and a lot of stuff, um, I, I do post very often on, on Asia just because, uh, you know, I, I live there, so for me, it’s exciting to watch and see how the space is, uh, advancing maybe even more so there than, than in the U S it’s hard to say, but, uh, it’s.

quite exciting. So congratulations on that. I think that’s a very good move in. And I’m sure everybody there will be excited to be able to, especially in China, be able to read the Mandarin version. So cool. So yeah, you should be, you should be. You’re going to have fun there. You’re definitely going to have a lot of fun there. So how would you characterize the last 12 months?

Amanda Cassatt (05:52.349)
Thank you, we’re really excited about it.

Amanda Cassatt (06:00.511)

Dan Barry (06:07.97)
for both the Web3 space and Saratonin, and maybe even a little bit for you personally.

Amanda Cassatt (06:16.109)
Sure. So the last 12 months in the market, we’re speaking on, gosh, what day is it? It’s December 21st right now. It’s still 2023. This year has been a bear market year, aka a builder’s market year.

Dan Barry (06:25.73)

Dan Barry (06:36.29)

Amanda Cassatt (06:36.465)
Some people say that term is a cope. I do not think so. I think that when you’re in a face melting bull market, it’s pretty difficult to get actual feedback from customers to refine your product and get product market fit. And there’s just a ton of noise. It can be really hard to hire talent. It can be hard to acquire companies. And so there’s a game to play at the bottom and there’s a game to play at the top and having surfed a couple of these cycles.

My hope is that at Serotonin, we now know how to play these games well. We know how to sort of like Aesop’s fables shore up for winter, and we know how to grow during summer. So for us, while the markets had this pullback, we’ve actually been fairly, we’ve been still growing as, as a business, as our own, you know, brand and as our book of business has expanded.

Dan Barry (07:12.914)

Amanda Cassatt (07:34.333)
We’ve been able to keep that up, which I think has been really unique. Some of how we’ve done that is expanding into new geographies, expanding in Europe and in Asia, in addition to the States. Some of how we’ve done that is starting to work with larger partners in the web two space who are getting ready to enter web three, our first tent pole partner like that was Sotheby’s and we helped them really make a splash getting into web three.

in 2021, 2022. This year, we’ve started working with PayPal and Robinhood, and we’re in deep conversations with a number of the companies that are going to launch ETFs or hoping to launch ETFs. So that’s some, that’s some alpha. And those folks, their interest in the space isn’t dependent on crypto cycles because they’ve realized the future of

Dan Barry (08:12.257)

Amanda Cassatt (08:32.801)
payments, the future of FinTech, it’s on chain. And they understand that during that builder’s market is the time to paddle out to the wave so that you’re actually ready with the product when it’s time to surf it back in. And so that’s our real message to both Web3 startups and to Web2 companies that are getting into Web3 when it’s a quieter moment.

That’s the time to do marketing. It’s the time to break through. There’s less noise. And it’s also the time to go ahead and build your product, come up with that strategy so that when that moment happens, you’re, you’re really ready for it. There are so many companies that get started working at the very top of the cycle, and by the time they’re ready to launch the market conditions have changed. And it’s such a timing based industry.

that a lot of the conversations we have really have to do with how to time these things properly and something that we’ve learned ourselves and that’s in our DNA.

Dan Barry (09:36.49)
No, no, I think you explained that quite well. I actually, I kind of like the bear market better because you could work without, like you said, it’s like all the noise, you can just like bear down, get done what you need to have done without having to, again, deal with everything else. But it’s, the bull markets are exciting too. That’s when like all the work starts to pay off. So it’s, it goes both ways. So yeah. So

You’ve kind of gotten into it a little bit, but specifically for the Web3 marketing space, what are you most excited about over the next 12 months?

Amanda Cassatt (10:18.345)
I think there are going to be more social products and social five products that abstract the blockchain and that.

perform functions that look kind of like staking, but that present those functions like rewards programs or like games and conceal some of the nitty gritty aspects of life on chain. I’m excited for those programs to proliferate because it means bringing more of the people that have digital assets into the true web three world where they can do DeFi, but have it feel gamified.

or where they can do social in a one three way. We’re seeing a lot of this social fi energy actually coming from APAC, where people have a mental model who’ve interacted with WeChat for how value and social and messenger all coalesce into a product.

And that’s a mental model that a lot of people don’t have yet in the States, actually. And so we think there are going to be a lot of really marketable moments and a lot of actual meaningful user growth driven by, APEC driven a little bit by EMEA and Europe on some of those kinds of platforms. Also excited for marketing the next wave of genuine technology innovation. I think we’re going to see some cool new ZK.

uh, technologies come out. Elio is about to launch. So we’re going to see ZK at layer one. We’re seeing all kinds of layer twos implementing ZK. We’re seeing, you know, Ethereum implementing ZK. I think that’s a really novel and positive development for the ecosystem. There are also going to be some new DeFi primitives that are going to need marketing, messaging, explanation.

Amanda Cassatt (12:15.049)
I’m so impressed by what EigenLayer has been doing with restaking, for example. I think we’re going to see more new primitives like that in the cycle. Real world assets on chain are going to come be a new thing that we want to explain to traders that you can hedge what you’re investing in on chain. You can keep your value on chain and get into some hard assets, some commodities, real estate, treasuries.

Dan Barry (12:19.071)

Amanda Cassatt (12:44.393)
I think that’s going to be super interesting. And then the institutions are coming with these ETFs. There’s going to be a whole new style of marketing. We’re going to have a lot of private wealth managers speaking to their trusted long-time clients about the benefits of crypto and web three. And we’re also going to see them trying to appeal to web three native audiences, like what we’ve seen with FANAC. So we get this.

Dan Barry (12:52.353)

Amanda Cassatt (13:11.325)
fun juxtaposition of these brands that we know and love. The Paypal’s of the world, the Robin Hood’s of the world, also the Venex of the world, who knows, the Black Rocks of the world, seeing how they actually come into the market is gonna be super fun. And on the pure marketing side of that, it just means that each of these cycles tends to get bigger and bigger amplitude and bring more people in. And that means you get to have bigger ads, broader messaging, bigger budgets.

Dan Barry (13:32.802)

Amanda Cassatt (13:39.297)
which means more creativity and more cool stuff. So we saw this ad from Coinbase get a lot of traction recently and they’re taking this really thoughtful kind of doomer review of life in the States and how crypto fixes that. I think it’s interesting. We saw the Bitcoin is interesting ad with the Does Equis most interesting man in the world. That was funny. And I think we’re going to get a lot more of those.

Dan Barry (13:51.169)

Dan Barry (14:06.814)
Yeah, that was cool. I like, I love that one. Ha ha ha.

Amanda Cassatt (14:08.993)
I will.

Dan Barry (14:12.502)
No, that’s an awesome answer. You’re getting me super, super excited about next year now. It’s like a lot of those things were in my mind, but now you’re just like one after another, after another, after another. 2024 is gonna be a fabulous year. And as we, we’re kind of like coming to the end of 23, but it seems like we’re, it seems like.

Amanda Cassatt (14:29.124)
I think so.

Dan Barry (14:38.53)
We’re entering a bull market and then like you said with like the ETFs and everything. Yeah, it’s looking very promising. But I think the point that you made too in regards to the tech, I think is quite important because to me at the end of the day, what is so, so important is like when someone’s got a, let’s say it’s a Web3 concept or idea, it just needs to be a great experience for the user, whether it’s Web3 or not to me.

It shouldn’t even be important. It’s just like, Hey, you can look at all the cool stuff you can do with this particular app or whatever, and then people get into it and the underlying technology isn’t important obviously to the people building, but I think to the end user, if you have to use the tech, uh, and they, and sell it based on the tech, then it probably isn’t a good, uh, an application for the most part, but, uh, but yeah, that really, really cool stuff. So now.

Let’s kind of go backwards now. We kind of took a step into 2024. So if we go back in history, what inspired you to leave consensus and start serotonin?

Amanda Cassatt (15:55.017)
Yeah, so when I started building a marketing department at ConsenSys as CMO, I learned that the ideal marketing department, a mature marketing department, is a mix of full-time employees and agency partners. And at the time I went looking for agency partners and I found that I couldn’t get quality ones that also really deeply understood blockchain and crypto in a Web3 native way.

And I filed that away in the back of my mind and thought, perhaps if this all works out, I would go ahead and start something like that. After about four years at ConsenSys, my original mission, which had been to bring Ethereum and our products to the world, it felt like it was safe.

And there are a lot of people that wouldn’t agree with that. That would say it’s still not across the line, and they have a fair point. But compared to where we started, which was zero, it felt like we really checked off that zero to one movement for the ecosystem. And so I wanted to expand our purview beyond the consensus world. I noticed that there were a lot of other

Dan Barry (16:47.504)

Dan Barry (16:56.342)

Amanda Cassatt (17:14.461)
Web3 projects being built outside of that environment and wanted to bring the best practices that our team had spent seven years developing and honing to the next set of L1s, L2s, DAOs, DeFi, NFTs, and then Web2 companies coming into Web3. And those are the best practices that crystallized into the book. And those are many of the practices that we’ve…

used and that we’ve updated and evolved in the work that we do at Saratonin today.

Dan Barry (17:48.812)
Okay, so got you 100%. I mean, consensus mission accomplished, right? So

Amanda Cassatt (17:56.458)
I mean, from my perspective, having started when I did, obviously, there’s such a long way to go for our whole ecosystem. If you look at all of crypto as an asset class, it’s a tiny emerging asset class, but this is just spoken as a radically zero to one kind of gal.

Dan Barry (18:15.458)
No, and I totally get that. I mean, at the time you left, I mean, from my perspective, I got into the space in 17. Ethereum, I mean, Ethereum and Bitcoin are the standards, right? If you have to say, okay, there’s two blue chips in the industry, it’s Bitcoin and Ethereum. So, when I say job done, it’s like that’s established, right? So let’s get onto more fun stuff. So, and getting into that specifically. What.

sets serotonin apart today from other web3 agencies.

Amanda Cassatt (18:51.373)
So we’re the first, the biggest, the best in terms of Web3 Native marketing. And then I think there are two perspectives. What sets us apart from the perspective of a Web3 Native project? And that is the fact that we are Native as well. We know how to talk to the Web3 community. We grew up there, literally. It’s our bread and butter. You won’t have to educate us about how to reach people. We know it well.

Dan Barry (18:55.906)
I love that.

Amanda Cassatt (19:19.801)
and we know how to reach the folks outside of the industry that are willing to talk about something that has originated in this space to reach the audience that project wants to reach. For the really big players, they often, you know, we’re often competing with really big firms in just the world of marketing. We’re not the first, the biggest, the best. We’re small, we’re new, we’re scrappy. It’s a different story.

And our value prop there is that it’s really hard for big agencies to build web three marketing teams. Very few people have this knowledge. And once you have that knowledge, you want to come work somewhere like serotonin, frankly. Um, and, and so we’ve actually been able to partner with rather than compete with some of those large agencies that have a web three component, maybe to the work that they’re doing with a large client.

Dan Barry (19:49.405)

Amanda Cassatt (20:15.229)
And so we end up getting brought into those projects and we’re able to become some of these big companies web three agency of record a term we invented. Because they want to be sharp but in by a native player who understands the ecosystem when you’re talking to folks in web three and you’re a big company you got to do it in a web three native way that’s.

strengthening to the existing ecosystem rather than diverting attention and resources. And that’s something that we’re specialized in.

Dan Barry (20:46.926)
Cool, cool, cool. Get that Web3 agency of record, got that. So last question, are there any initiatives that you and Saratonin are working on that you feel could be a game changer?

Amanda Cassatt (21:05.385)
Yeah, I think that the, again, so the big players coming into Web3, the major fintechs that have so much volume, the major investment institutions, I think that’s going to completely change the game in this cycle. I think ZK and being able to do private transactions on a public blockchain is a total game changer.

social and messenger into a context with digital native value is going to change how we interact with the internet in a really complete way. And we get to see a lot of these projects in their early stages when they come to us and we know a lot of these launches are going to happen next year.

Dan Barry (21:52.43)
Cool, cool, cool. So thanks again, Amanda, for sharing your insights. If a brand is listening and wants to contact you for potential collaboration with Saratonin, how can they reach you?

Amanda Cassatt (22:07.901)
Absolutely. So check out our website at serotonin spelled like the There’s a hello at contact or just email me. I don’t mind if people have my email. It’s amanda at also on X or Twitter or whatever people want to call it. It’s Amanda Cassette to S’s to T’s or amanda.eth. Feel free to get in touch.

Dan Barry (22:35.998)
All right, cool. So again, we’re at the very, very end of 2023. Happy holidays and wishing you a very, very successful and healthy 2024.

Amanda Cassatt (22:47.049)
Same to you, much appreciated.


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