A California man suffering from a midlife crisis has quit his job to turn himself into a collection of handsome NFTs selfies – but as the launch event approaches the man’s mother-in-law may be vindicated in her belief this was a waste of time.

Marco de Leon, a 52-year-old father of three, says he decided to “bet on myself” and quit his job as a computer programmer after watching kids get rich quick trading NFTs.

“I’ve worked so hard my entire life and to see my daughter’s friends make more money from NFTs in a day than I’ve saved my whole life is disheartening,” he said in a press release.

“So I quit my job and now my mother-in-law thinks I’m nuts.”

His line of 11,111 selfies was conceived, created and launched within 10 days. The Me Human Not Ape collection pokes fun of the various ape NFTs currently dominating the market.

“The most popular NFTs are designed by the top digital artists. I can barely draw stick figures so instead, I picked up a camera and started taking funny selfies in the corner of my bedroom,” he said.

Small numbers on social

Whether the collection will be a success is an open question, however.

The project’s Twitter account had just 39 followers when Stockhead checked on Tuesday afternoon, and its Discord chat had just six users – four of whom were bots.

(It seems like de Leon tried to drum up excitement by emailing journalists – hence this article – rather than relying on the paid influencers projects normally use to drum up excitement for their mint events).

De Leon didn’t immediately return an email from Stockhead inquiring about whether he was worried about the apparent lack of interest on social media.

For those interested, Me Human Not Ape is holding its mint event on Thursday for 0.11 Ether (US$311) apiece.

The NFTs will serve as the membership key to a DAO (decentralised autonomous organisation) launching in June, but the project’s website has no details as to the purpose of the DAO yet.

(DAOs are co-op-type organisations governed by members and run on the blockchain. “Imagine if YouTube was run by the creators or if Uber was governed by its drivers,” the project’s website says.)