Ricardo Garcia-Amaya was leading a Y Combinator alumni group when a friend told him about an upcoming DAO. Ricardo, who is an expert in creating powerful communities and has founded two tech companies, quickly understood the great potential of DAOs.
He joined the DAO his friend told him about, Orange DAO, an investment DAO for founders whose startups were backed by Y Combinator. He then recruited other YC founders who he knew would bring value to and benefit from Orange DAO.
He realized DAOs super-charge groups
What he liked about DAOs was community ownership. I asked if seeking consensus from a community would water down good ideas.
He explained that a DAO is not about constantly seeking consensus. Everyone in the DAO is like an entrepreneur. The projects they choose to work on are like mini-startups, where members make the rules.
He told members to stop asking permission
He joined the Governance committee and used an analogy to empower members. “When we were kids in the playground,” he told members, “if a game we played didn’t make sense, we changed the rules. We didn’t need to ask permission from a teacher on the playground. It was our game.”
That attitude of self-direction inspired allowed members to:
Publish a podcast, Peeling back Web3, about how web3 can solve big, real-world problems
Create Passport, software that enables DAOs to create membership NFTs
Launch Orange Fellowship, a program that funds Web2 entrepreneurs’ Web3 education
Onboarding became a challenge
He noticed that the real challenge in DAOs (and any groups of smart people) is that new members can feel out of place, especially in Web3 where so much is unknown. So he makes a point of welcoming new members at weekly Town Hall meetings and setting up 1-on-1 conversations with new members to help them find their place in the DAO and answer any questions.
He sees his role on the Governance committee as empowering members to contribute. He’s done that by:
Hosting over 35 Town Hall meetings for members
Helping to plan DAO Retreats
Creating an onboarding sub-committee, whose job is to make it easier for new members to participate
Ensuring that members’ work is recognized and compensated
Hosting IRL events in New York and California
Creating Juicy Bot, an AI Discord chatbot that answers Orange DAO questions
Personal mission kept him going
Why does he do all this work? Despite being an entrepreneur, there’s something in Ricardo that draws him to public service. He told me he plans to run for high office one day. The DAO gives him the ability to work alongside great builders and also provides him a way to enable others to lead.
Now he’s fully committed to DAOs
He invested his money in Orange DAO’s venture fund. He’s an active member of Orange DAO, and the Orange fund is an investor in his web3 company, ILUMA. ILUMA is the ‘Superhuman’ of web3, giving DAO members the superhuman ability to filter out the chatter and noise of Discord. And following the community-owned ethos of Web3, he also shared a significant token ownership of his company with all his 1300+ fellow DAO members.