Julia Rosenberg is the founder & CEO Orca Protocol, a gas-efficient, Sybil-resistant DAO implementation using ERC1155. The protocol features a simple UI dashboard to manage DAO proposals, allowing on-chain voting for on-chain assets, all secured using Gnosis Safe. Here’s what she had to say about the future of the Web3 space:
Please share a little about your life journey and how you originally got involved in this space
I think I have always been someone who seeks out the unconventional. I previously worked in the cannabis industry, which I have found to be pretty crypto-adjacent in terms of new frontiers, strange legal grey areas, lightning-fast evolution, infinite opportunities, and deeply connected communities. I also spent some time working on a consumer-facing startup, but quickly became frustrated with the limitations of Web2 options for creators and digitally-native communities. So, coming from the complexity of the cannabis space and energetic world of consumer startups, the Web3 space felt like a pretty natural next step (I say half-jokingly).
What are you focusing on at present?
Our primary focus right now is on Orca Protocol, a flexible and adaptable DAO implementation that we are curating. It’s no secret that existing DAOs have a usability problem. DAOs have traditionally been either overly complicated or not robust enough. Moreover, the current governance framework lacks ways to meaningfully manage hierarchy and permissions leading to voter apathy and misaligned voter incentives. On-chain governance has simply not reached its full potential.
Can you talk more about the value proposition you are pursuing?
We are excited by the new approach we are taking with Orca Protocol. While traditional DAOs are interested in managing the thousands and potentially millions of actors in a single space, we are more interested in managing the many actors through modular working groups called pods.
We believe, by structuring an organization into smaller, more effective action units, (pods in a modular, lego-like build), organizations can better govern, organize, and manage themselves. In this modular system, organizations (through collective decision-making) decide their own checks and balances system while also allowing for collective ownership, group autonomy, and flexible hierarchical structures.
Governance is an extremely complicated and usually a subjective/biased mechanism. Through the Orca Protocol, we hope to build objective modular governance tools for organizations to build their own governance system.
What sorts of trends are you seeing emerge around Web3?
I am really excited about the crypto x creator movement. The creator movement brings new voices to Web3 and diversifies the entire Web3 ecosystem to extend across genders, races, and varying levels of technical backgrounds.
What sort of impact do you believe women can bring into this industry?
With emerging female, LGBTQ+, and BIPOC creators transitioning to Web3 alternatives, not only will they bring new and diverse ideas with them, but DeFi will also have access to a whole new category of users. I’m excited for newer users to realize the full creative potential and financial freedom they can unlock in Web3.
What goals have you set for yourself and Orca Protocol in 2021?
We are eager to launch V1 of Orca Protocol this spring. Although our preliminary focus is internal governance, I’m excited to see how Orca could optimize other collective use-cases such as pooled investing, community management, creator collectives, and more.
What first steps do you recommend for people who are interested in gaining knowledge and practice in Web3?
I think for anyone hoping to enter the Web3 space, you have to prepare yourself. I often say jokingly that you need to be caffeinated 18 hours a day to keep up with crypto. The Web3 space moves so quickly and there are so many projects. It can be very intimidating.
There’s a certain level of imposter syndrome you have to get over when you enter the space. You will never understand every inch of Web3, but you’ll also find that the entire community is incredibly welcoming. Most are eager and willing to educate, support, and ideate with each other. When Web3 projects succeed, it pushes us all forward. So there’s definitely a level of group mentality you’ll find in the space.
There are not many women in the Web3 space. What advice do you have for women who want to join this industry?
For women specifically, definitely prepare to be the ‘only woman in the room.’ But again, I think the industry is aware of this disproportionate gender ratio and people are eager to advocate and support women in the space. It’s important to find your own support system, even if it’s only a few female peers you can reach out to for help when you need it. I’m really thankful for the couple of women I lean on in this space.
Any final thoughts?
My advice to everyone is to use the community to your advantage. I truly have never been part of such a supportive, collaborative, and passionate community. The collective energy and excitement in Web3 is contagious! I urge everyone to not only dive in and experience it for themselves, but encourage others to take the plunge.