This is the story of Mack McConnell, Treasurer, Orange, the investment DAO that was founded by Y Combinator alumni, including the team that built Origami.
It started as a crypto chat group
Mack McConnell caught the DAO bug when the WhatsApp group he was part of morphed into a DAO.
The chat group was for founders who raised money from Y Combinator and were obsessed with crypto.
Mack tends to go deep on interests
He has a history of getting obsessed with new hobbies.
In 2011, when he got into whiskey, he regularly met up with his friends to study, taste, and discuss different whiskeys. He learned everything he could about spirits. The obsession led him to launch Taster’s Club, a monthly subscription box that sent whiskey, rum & tequila to customers and taught them about the spirits they received. It flourished, which allowed him to sell the business and change the trajectory of his life.
He founded Taster's Club, a spirits subscription service.
Forming a DAO was exciting because it was new
The newness of crypto might have scared some people off, but for Mack it was magnetic. They decided to form an investment DAO focused on investing in crypto projects. They chose to only allow fellow Y Combinator alumni in their group. That kind of gatekeeping hadn’t been done before, so the group invented a way to do it.
They turned their solution into Passport, a membership NFT tool any DAO could use.
He loved the newness of the space.
The DAO improved conversations
Forming a DAO also helped make the groups’ conversations more meaningful. Now, instead of just texting about crypto, these YC founders were going to put real money behind their web3 opinions.
The chat group became his favorite crypto news source because the level of investigative rigor increased. So did the relationships.
It all functioned like multiple startups
The DAO structure felt like an octopus to him, with each of its many subgroups resembling tentacles operating independently towards the benefit of the DAO’s mission. As an entrepreneur, he values that freedom.
He likens the DAO to an octopus with multiple tentacles, each one working independently, but towards a unified goal.
He joined a committee
He joined the Treasury committee, which is responsible for setting the budget and making every financial transaction. Members get tokens for the work they do in the DAO, so he has to think about compensation a lot. It’s similar to the work web3 founders have, but everything is in the open and his community has a voice in his decisions.
To make finances easier and more predictable, he’s helping create frameworks. One of those frameworks allows Orange to simplify proposal payments by standardized sizing. When a member writes a proposal for work, they say whether it’s small, medium, or large. Each option comes with a standard bounty.
It’s not unusual for him to spend 15 hours per week on DAO work. He can do it because he recently freed up some time at his latest company, Monto.io, which makes tools for the Webflow eCommerce platform.
Monto, his most recent company, makes apps for online stores built using Webflow.
Software would make it easier
He wishes there was a CRM or LinkedIn-like tool to help him understand the members he’s serving. He’s constantly hunting down answers to questions about people he’s talking with. How have they voted before? How many tokens do they have? What have they contributed to the DAO before?
One tool he relies on often is Multis, it’s a finance tool that simplifies paying multiple people at the same time and enables him to set up triggers for payments. Orange invested in it, naturally.
It’s still about friends…with benefits
Why does he do it? He says, “it’s exciting and fun doing cool stuff with friends.” But also adds what many people don’t talk about: there’s money to be made.
Orange is one of the best-funded investment DAOs.
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