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Boardroom Q&A: Shannon Snow, World of Women’s COO

Last Updated: January 11, 2024
Boardroom spoke to Snow about WoW’s growth plans, upcoming projects, and where she sees the web3 brand expanding in the next decade.

World of Women made it clear that “the time is WoW” at its first-ever gala event in Miami earlier this month.

The web3 brand, known for its NFT collections featuring colorful, diverse, and powerful women avatars, hosted the exclusive event for the WoW community during Miami Art Week and Art Basel. The gala’s Galactic Glamour theme was inspired by WoW’s second NFT drop, the World of Women Galaxy collection, which includes 22,222 NFTs donning artwork of futuristic women designed by WoW CEO and Chief Creative Director Yam Karkai.

Ros Gold-Onwude brought excitement to the WoW gala. (Photo courtesy of World of Women)

Hosted by Ros Gold-Onwude, the night was filled with glitz, glam, and a special set from DJ duo Sofi Tukker. WoW also gave updates and provided new info on its various projects, including announcing a partnership with Ledger to launch Ledger Quest, a gamified crypto educational platform. The web3 brand is working closely with The Sandbox on an initiative called Let’s Mint, which focuses on educating young girls on web3.

WoW has a lot coming down the pipeline, so Boardroom took a deeper dive into what’s to come from one of the most popular web3 brands.

Meet WoW COO Shannon Snow

WoW COO Shannon Snow. (Courtesy Photo)

Avid WoW supporter Shannon Snow joined WoW’s leadership team as COO this past June. It was a natural transition in her career, and she’s helping the brand build strategies that expand beyond web3. As someone who grew up around art and technological advances, Snow was excited to see WoW’s inaugural gala event come to life.

“I grew up going to Basel, and it’s been awesome to see the NFT community merge with it. The fact that WoW was such a big part of the Basel story this year blows my mind,” Snow told Boardroom in an exclusive interview. “It’s cool to be in the metaverse, but what’s most important is who you meet there.”

Boardroom spoke to Snow about WoW’s growth plans, upcoming projects, and where she sees the web3 brand expanding in the next decade.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

MICHELAI GRAHAM: How did you first get involved with World of Women?

SHANNON SNOW: I was a WoW holder and a passionate community member. I had been working in tech my whole career already. I like to say I grew up at Google. I was at the company for over ten years, working my way up from entry-level positions to grow with the company and building teams. I followed my beloved boss from Google over to Meta, where I had many roles, including leading their Disruptors team, as well as my final role, where I was leading the US entertainment division.

I became fascinated by Web3 and the metaverse, so when the opportunity came up to work for WoW, I was just a holder, but I was already a huge fan of the company. I saw that they were hiring for a COO, and I knew that I wanted to continue to have an impact in tech and use it for good, which has always been my center. I went for the role and felt super lucky to transition from focusing on the metaverse to really focusing on representation in Web3.

MG: What goals do you want to accomplish in your first year at WoW as COO?

SS: The main goal has always been to create a lasting brand. I think that what’s been so incredible about WoW is it shot out of a cannon when [WoW CEO Yam Karkai] initially launched the collection. All of these collections were launching, and they were innovative, but what was lacking was representation. There weren’t women avatars, and there wasn’t a way for women to feel represented. I think that’s a big part of why it resonated with so many people: they wanted to feel represented. They wanted to feel seen. As we look at the next chapter, the market is in a very different place. For myself, the founders, and the team, it’s been about how we continue to expand our impact—figuring out how to grow the scope of our mission beyond the NFT community and into the overall community.

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MG: How has WoW been able to stay so steadfast on its mission during this crypto downturn?

SS: We realize this has already been a tough market for everyone in NFTs and crypto, so it’s important to show care. We’re showing up and making sure we’re showing empathy in the community because it is a volatile time. Our long-term mission of equality, representation, and inclusion guides us as a project. These aren’t short-term challenges. This isn’t something we expect to solve on the timelines of Web3. These are generational issues, and we like to think long-term about the impact we’re building toward. Sometimes that can be heartening. When you have a tough week, remember what you want the future to look like 50 years from now. That can be a comfort. There is a broader perspective and mission we’re working toward that helps keep us grounded when we have some of these short-term ups and downs.

MG: How did WoW’s inaugural gala at Art Basel earlier this month come together?

SS: We’ve had a lot of success with community-led meetups and held some iconic events. At NFT.NYC, we hosted a concert with Madonna, a WoW holder, and supporter. It was just this huge moment of celebrating someone who shares our values of diversity, inclusion, representation, and being yourself no matter who you are. That was the start. While we have many celebrity holders of WoW, what’s really important, too, is our community and how we come together. For the gala, it was about hosting our first event for the community celebrating our community.

We wanted to recognize that the entire community creates the special mission alignment that is WoW. We wanted to have an event that celebrates every community contributor so they can see the magic they created in this global project.

Galactic Glamour came to life at the WoW gala. (Photo courtesy of World of Women)

MG: What do you say to women looking to break into web3 but are kind of feeling that imposter syndrome?

SS: The advice that most helped me early in my career is that no one’s done it before, so you can’t really do it wrong. This was fitting for my experience when I graduated from Standford. I was across the street from Google when it was going through its huge growth phase. Their whole approach to hiring was to hire smart people who believe in the mission and are willing to learn. At that time, search was new, and no one was really an expert. The most essential qualities we hired for were a passion for the mission and the ability to learn. I think those two skills are so applicable right now in web3. Even the people who know it all are making mistakes, experiencing volatility, or not knowing what the right thing is. Just show up with curiosity and passion for what this next generation of technology can make.

MG: Where do you see WoW’s progression in the next year? 10 years?

SS: It has to be a mix of things that are really foundational and that we know can drive core value to the business right now to bring people into web3 and web3 innovation. We’re working a lot on our business plan for 2023 and how we will continue to invest in the foundations of the business. At this stage, it’s important to think about diversification, like, not only building for web3 but building into how we onboard people in this community.

We have a great partnership with The Sandbox and a $25 million grant specifically to bring more women and girls into web3 and the metaverse over the next five years. We’re always thinking about innovating from a web3 and technology perspective and ensuring we bring in new audiences.

That also includes licensing and making sure the WoW brand is exposed outside of the web3 market. We will be sharing news soon around our partnership with Jazwares to create dolls of WoWs that we hope will showcase the beauty and art of WoW but also introduce WoW to a whole new generation of women and girls who may not have NFTs yet. We have a whole slate of other physical goods partnerships, including Nicole Richie’s brand House of Harlow and Hasbro’s Monopoly, which are all scheduled to drop early next year.

We’ve always thought that WoW is the front door to the metaverse for women and girls. We’re continuing to think about how holders can use WoWs as their digital identities beyond PFPs.

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Michelai Graham

Michelai Graham is Boardroom's resident tech and crypto reporter. Before joining 35V, she was a freelance reporter with bylines in AfroTech, HubSpot, The Plug, and Lifewire, to name a few. At Boardroom, Michelai covers Web3, NFTs, crypto, tech, and gaming. Off the clock, you can find her producing her crime podcast, The Point of No Return.