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Pudgy Penguins NFT collection is one of the most known NFT projects. They took off fast and had real potential. But suddenly at the beginning of the year, the birds were under the threat of extinction.

Now, during the past month, the NFT space is once again buzzing over the Penguins. The reason for it - the collection is now under new leadership after the close of the 750 ETH ($2.5 million) sale.

Therefore, if you are looking to get in on an NFT project early, this will not be the one. However, Pudgy Penguins are up for a new start and their journey has taught NFT communities what is really important.

Keep on reading to discover why the penguins were almost left out in the snow and what the NFT community can learn from this experience.

What are Pudgy Penguins?

Pudgy Penguins collection consists of 8888 unique NFTs, with each cartoonish penguin having an array of randomized traits - some have funny hats or glasses, unique hairstyles, or clothing items. There are even some special elements like devil horns or a fish on the top of the penguin's head.

These rare Penguins include the following characteristics: a banana suit, a shark costume, a pineapple suit, and a ghost costume. Among them are also five penguins created by the artist, which don’t have randomly generated traits making them the rarest. The rarest one of them all faces the opposite direction as all the other Penguins.

The NFT collection was launched last year on the 23rd of July and became an overnight sensation - within just 19 minutes, the penguins were sold.

But these were the good times…

Where did the Pudgy Penguins take a wrong turn?

The original team (consisting mainly of college students) behind the Pudgy Penguins made a few big promises along the way for the project’s future. Among them were their own token launch, a children’s book, a metaverse game featuring the penguins, and many more.

As you guessed, these did not become a reality, and with failing to deliver these plans, the community started to lose faith in the team. Therefore, the NFT collection saw a massive drop in its sales.

So how did it all go down?

Founder’s dirty history

Late last year, one of the Pudgy Penguin founders, Cole Thereum’s not-so-pure history surfaced. His previous business, called the eBoy Outlet, had received numerous negative reviews about customers not receiving their orders, refunds, and not even a response to the complaints.

As things got heated, Cole admitted he had received payment for an NFT project shill on Twitter, which naturally didn’t sit well with the community.

The team fails to deliver

What really made the community question the Pudgy Penguins team was the inability to deliver what was promised.

A Twitter user and a Pudgy Penguins holder @9x9x9eth pointed out that the community was “promised a game, a token, an educational book on NFTs and more” but according to him even after a year, the team was still in the process of forming a team.

Instead of the initial plan, the team had sent holders free eggs shortly after the project launched, containing a surprise that were to hatch on Christmas Eve. However, after the long wait, all they got from the eggs was a fishing rod, misspelled as “rog,” according to a Penguin holder Juan Angelus.

The fishing rods on a white background without a real purpose that took the team 5 months to develop were seen more than useless by the community, and they started to rebel.

Community takes action

While the community was already driven to the edge, more news came to light. First of all, 9x9x9x published a Twitter thread that showed the teams’ intentions to find a way to sell the project without having made any indications to the community beforehand.

And more news surfaced about the founding team removing all the Ethereum they had netted from the sales from the project’s wallet to their personal Coinbase accounts. After this, there were no funds for the further development of the project.

All of this led the community to vote out its founders in early January 2022, and the battle over Penguins future started.

What does the future look like for the Pudgy Penguins?

The community turning against the project's original founders was something never seen in the NFT space before. And while the community huddled together, the future was still uncertain.

Numerous influencers approached to take over the Pudgy Penguins. And many others presented their own offers and visions for the future.

Finally, at the beginning of April, a perfect suitor, entrepreneur Luca Netz, was found and bought the control and management rights over the collection for 2.5$ million. And just after 24 hours of the new ownership, Pudgy Penguins' floor price saw over a 38% increase.

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Now, after a month under new ownership, the community buzzes with positivity. A new roadmap was launched just after a few days of sealing the deal, and exciting things like the Easter Egg hunt and a Quest Map, among many other things, have been introduced.

While perhaps it all took a turn for the best, there are a few things to take away from the hectic journey of the Penguins.

Key Lessons Learned For the NFT Community

The downfall of such a potential project like Pudgy Penguins is a great learning lesson for us all. The key takeaways remind us that extensive research and keeping calm to ensure you are not just blindly following the hype is always necessary before purchasing an NFT.

Relying on the experience of the Pudgy Penguins, here are some key things to keep in mind when looking for new NFT collections to buy.

  1. Know the team

The team behind the project is the main factor determining the long-term success of a project. Research on all the team members should be done to understand their expertise. Even with good intentions, the team might run into obstacles that they will not be able to overcome if they are new in the crypto and NFT sphere.

Moreover, look at how the public received their previous projects - have they delivered what they promised, are they transparent in their endeavors, and consider how their previous actions can affect the project at hand.

Remember to check out all the team members, not just the one seemingly in charge. Does the team have an experienced engineer, artist, marketer, community manager, or some other important role that will determine the course of the project?

Knowing this information can give you a lot more confidence that the project in question can push through the challenges that come its way.

  1. Trust in the community

The community has power. Undoubtedly, the Pudgy Penguins community stood together strong to ensure they would not be forgotten. And now, they have created a new potential path for the whole collection by working together.

And that’s why it’s always essential to check out what the community is like when looking for new NFT projects.

Thriving NFT communities usually have an active and passionate user base on Discord. They can engage with each other, share important information on social media, and help the project move forward.

And engagement truly is a crucial factor to keep an eye on. While it’s easy to buy fake followers and create fictitious conversations on different channels, real in-depth discussion, and a high engagement rate is only possible with a healthy, dedicated community.

As seen from the Pudgy Penguins, a determined community can keep the project from sinking even if the team fails.

3. Read the roadmap carefully

The roadmap shows where the project will go in the future. However, if things seem too good to be true, it’s quite likely that the community will be disappointed along the way.

Make sure to check out your desired NFT’s roadmap and think:

  • Are the scope and timeline realistic? Has the team got enough members and specialists on boards to deliver on time what is promised?
  • Is it adequately scheduled? Look for business or calendar details (e.g., Q2, early June, late November, etc.) as such details indicate there is a clear plan in place.
  • Is it value-driven? How is the team planning to give back to the investors, and what will the future look like for the hodlers?

As Pudgy Penguins taught us, if the roadmap starts to fall off its rails, it’s time to say something and take action. If things are continuously going wrong, analyze how the team reacts to it and think about how you can still benefit from the situation.

In conclusion

The tale of the Pudgy Penguins will go down in the history of NFT space. And hopefully, it’s a good learning experience for us all, especially now that numerous NFT projects are available on the market and new ones are taking off every other day.

Therefore, if you are on the lookout for a new NFT to invest in, take the time to evaluate the projects. Pay attention to the founding team, and their ability to execute and deliver what is put down on the roadmap.

Moreover, don’t overlook the importance of the community. These people all believe in the same cause and are ready to take action if necessary. So make sure the right crowd surrounds you and your beloved project.

And finally, always take caution when investing your money. Even when dealing with the most praised and hyped-up projects, be prepared that things can take a turn for the worse in an instant.