Cabin Citizenship 2.0

TLDR

I think Cabin should pivot from a $420 Cabin Citizenship and focus on a salary-adjusted monthly Cabin membership to empower Neighbors to meet the needs of their Neighborhood.

What

I keep having this vision for a Cabin billboard on I-80 in Downtown SF that looks like this:

For me, this is a message that Cabin can own and spread to the 2 generations most receptive to it: Millennials (starting to have kids) and Gen Z (want to live near friends post-college)

The offering is a monthly Neighbor membership that funds the local culture-building required to have a values-aligned and thriving local community.

If you’re interested in eventually owning land in the country as well, Cabin will ensure there are consistently events you can either integrate existing besties into or meet new besties at in order to build towards that longterm dream too.

Why

Primary Why

So many people have dreams of buying land with friends, living near friends, co-raising kids, but making consistent progress towards those dreams is hard in everyday life unless there is a person, org, or passion present to keep the dream top of mind.

I think Cabin has the opportunity to be the go-to org to make our longterm living & social dreams come true, no matter where in the world you live. My hypothesis is that people will be willing to pay Cabin for a service that helps ensure they keep their longterm dreams in focus while still living their day-to-day life.

Like Fidelity or Vanguard, but for longterm community and social wealth.

Secondary Why

Right now, I don’t have anything to showcase to people who attend a Cabin event. As a Steward, I want to know what I’m moving towards. Without emphasis or clarity on Citizenship (it’s benefits, how it works, etc), I’m left feeling confused about what to do with the efforts I’m expending.

  1. How is Cabin planning on making money?
  2. What are we actually doing here?
    1. I know we’re building neighborhoods we’d want to live in, but what does that mean to someone who’s new to Cabin and just joined an event?

I’m proposing pivoting away from a large upfront fee for Citizenship towards a monthly membership fee that is pay-what-you-can based on annual income.

I think Cabin’s role in this is to be the international network that gathers community-builders in a Steward accelerator that then provides the seed funding to have each Steward develop Cabin-aligned culture via consistent events in their local neighborhood.

How

Here’s how I see the Neighbor Memberships immediately impacting Cabin’s User Journey:

  1. Local neighbor sees a flyer that the Steward posted in the neighborhood and decides to join
  2. They enjoy the event, connect w the Steward and is added to the local TG chat
  3. After attending 1-2 more events, they receive an automatic email from Savannah asking if they’d like to have a chat to learn more about Cabin and how they can get involved
  4. On the call, Savannah discusses the longterm vision of Cabin, talks about their experience in the neighborhood thus-far, asks for feedback, and at the end of the call, checks to see if they’d be interested in joining as a Neighborhood member?
    1. At no point before this does Cabin pitch membership to the people attending events. It’s purely good vibes with mentions of the macro vision, but no sales talks until someone has attended 2+ events
  5. Similar to taxes, I believe Membership should be based on annual salary
    1. Unlike taxes, this will be an honor system and is very transparent and open.
    2. I also believe it’s essential to have a portion of monthly dues go into a neighborhood treasury that the neighborhood Steward uses to fund community events & initiatives
      1. The exact portion here is tbd
    3. The general pricing I’m thinking about are below, but is very TBD at the moment and would want more feedback on
      1. $30-40k - Free in exchange for volunteering
      2. $50-60k - $10/month
      3. $70-80k - $15/month
      4. $90 - 100k - $20/month
      5. $100k - 150k - $25/month
      6. $150k - 200k - $50/month
      7. $200k+ - $100/month
        • At this level, we could potentially start messaging the membership as a public good that they’re supporting each month, so looking at it more as a donation that has tangible local impact
    4. As with any membership, there’s also a ton of opportunities for each neighborhood to make ancillary revenue outside of purely memberships. This could be via:
      1. Merch & goods
      2. Local partnerships & sponsorships
      3. Ticket fees for non-members
      4. Services to the broader neighborhood
  6. If someone joins and has attended 5+ events, they can apply to access the community treasury to start hosting their own events that address a local need
    1. Cabin would likely establish the general processes/guidelines for what this looks like across all neighborhoods, but it’s up to the Steward to implement them to solve their neighborhood’s needs.

Benefits

Cabin Neighborhoods empower Stewards and their neighbors to solve their immediate needs.

I think it’s up to Cabin to outline what falls into the categories of things to fund, but it lies in the hands of the Neighborhood to decide what their needs are and to prioritize events and their resources accordingly.

Here’s a list of some things me and Shirah thought-up of when thinking about our ideal neighborhood:

  1. Community gatherings
    1. Outdoor movies
    2. Playdates for kids
    3. Arts and Crafts
    4. Clean-up / Volunteering
  2. Urban disaster & emergency prep
    1. Skill classes
    2. Shared supplies
    3. Preparation and support
  3. Skill & knowledge sharing
    1. Legal
    2. Tax
    3. Computer
    4. Immigration
    5. Medical
    6. Family care
  4. Civic participation
  5. Mutual Aid
  6. Shared Resources
    1. Petcare
    2. Tools & machinery
    3. Art supplies
    4. Amenities
      1. Hot tubs
      2. Pools
      3. Trampolines

When?

Asap! I’d love to have an easy neighborhood membership for me and Shirah to share when we start hosting more consistent events. It feels hard to get motivated to put the effort into making events happen when Cabin’s funnel is as uncertain as it is now.

Immediate Changes

  • Update website to reflect new focus on neighborhoods
  • Setup Stripe system for payments (they’re now accepting USDC!)
  • Communicate these changes to the community & Stewards

Longterm Changes

  • I think it’d make sense to eventually build a platform to help coordinate Neighbor’s dreams together
    • In other words, I think it’d be epic to have Cabin eventually be a match-maker to help people find other people who share their longterm living dreams. The platform would ask questions re:
      1. Urban vs rural
      2. Family vs no family
      3. US-based vs International
      4. Co-living vs co-housing
      5. Shared resources vs independent living w shared social settings
    • There’s so many more variables to think about here, but I think planning for Cabin to eventually help people put words to their dreams (maybe integrate AI to help them visualize the situations they’re describing?) would position Cabin as something that could scale in truly unimaginable ways

Alright, that’s all I got for now. I’ll edit this as I see more comments and questions, but would love to hear everyone’s thoughts on this whenever you have a chance to look through it ◡̈

Much love,

:heart: Cam

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Overall, it’s an interesting proposition, but I definitely feel differently, particularly this statement. Moving forward with selling memberships definitely not something I feel a need for in my own neighborhood. I feel instead it is great we’re having gatherings, and the major thing Cabin is doing for me is giving me the nudge of a reminder to put in the bit of work that is always needed for something (community!) to happen. It feels pretty normal to gather with other families on our block. At the moment we’ve had several events but if any of the other families were to be offered a call with Savanah they would be perplexed and if it become a sales pitch I don’t think that’d likely go well. So far, our kids are the central focus of our events and they generally interrupt any conversation that is starting to get to any length or depth. I’ve been playing with the idea of having a series of events where different subset of parents watch the kids and the others get to have adult conversation. But even then, it can be hard and take time to connect meaningfully about our deeper/ weirder beliefs. Do we at some point send them a cabin manifesto to mull over? As much I want cabin to become a sustainable business model, too, I think there should be more intermediate steps to introducing people to cabin. One thing I wondered if it can do (since I myself want it, and given John’s sourcing background) is provider more guidance of a pathway toward sustainable living – but since it would be switching toward buying hyper-locally (and thus not plastic wrapped) that might not be feasible. Anyway, point is, I’m doing community building because I think it’s the right thing to do, regardless – and will, when possible, drop some hints of my cabinesque beliefs and try to see where it lands. After that, who knows!

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Love this image so much!

:fire:

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Agree with this - hard to point folks in a strong direction right now

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addendum: note that we have not been seeking reimbursement for our tiny events and had only 1 “supper club” drawing cabin-natives that we had not yet known IRL – agree that was a heavier feeling lift. Trying to envision how the citizenship links to the imagined billboard… getting from here to there still seems pretty uncharted – do you see yourself buying land and forming a little intentional cabin community with other citizens? I’m curious to hear more about that vision…

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Hey Cam, thanks for writing this up. I totally agree with you that Cabin citizenship is not working the way it is now. What I’m not clear on is how the pricing change you suggest would help.

This is the core question. I think Cabin wants to create such a service. At least I know I do. But we’re not there yet. So if I imagine myself in my neighbor’s shoes, I’m not clear why I would want to pay $50/month today and what I’d get for it.

I can see how a Neighborhood Steward might benefit from a Cabin membership. They’d get help from us to grow their community, access to others doing similar things, maybe a collection of resources or discounts, etc. But what would others in the Steward’s neighborhood get from a $50/month Cabin membership that they can’t get by giving the Steward $50 directly.

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Totally here you here @grin, I think there’s definitely a cold start problem here, but I think once a neighborhood gets to 10+ people and happenings occur more frequently, the $50 makes much more sense.

Examples of what the $50 could go to:

  • Groups of parents can coordinate date nights with a Neighbor whose kids have left the house or doesn’t have kids and can host 2-4 family’s kids for an evening and use the Neighborhood Treasury to get compensated for that night’s food + that week’s grocery bill for stepping up to babysit at a much lower cost than a traditional babysitter.
  • I’m sick and could use some support. I could post a message in the TG that the Steward has already built and populated w neighbors to see if someone can support.
  • I want to make a difference in local elections, but have no idea where to start. I could submit an idea for an event where I find a local organizer and get some funding to host them and the local Neighbors to learn more about how we can get involved

It’s most useful for the Steward when a neighborhood is 1-10 people (cuz the treasury won’t be very large). But as soon as you cross the 15-20 person threshold, I think really exciting opportunities arise.

The $420 option is not the answer IMO and the only other way is a monthly membership and it’s up to the community to decide what needs they have and how to utilize the community treasury to address them.

Great points here Diana!

I totally agree with you here. And maybe if Grin wasn’t involved w Cabin, then that would be totally enough and there wouldn’t be any need for Cabin! You and you neighbors can take care of your immediate needs enough so that Cabin, crypto, or larger coordination efforst aren’t actually necessary.

I think Cabin becomes important once there really is a vision and intention for legitimate growth in a neighborhood (25+ paying members/month). I want to buy and share collective resources like tools and survival supplies. I want to get active in local elections and have my neighborhood actually impact them in a non-insignificant way! I want to think about a new era of home schooling and what that might look like. All of those things are much larger than 3-5 families getting together and require more resources & coordination to pull off, and that’s where I think Cabin can be an invaluable resource for highly motivated Stewards.

Scope & vision are essential to keep in mind here, and it’s 100% ok for Stewards to have different versions of what that looks like in their neighborhood. Each version will have slightly different needs for Cabin to address.

I’m also curious to hear from you @dianacornell : what is your vision for your Neighborhood and how do you see Cabin being involved/supporting of that vision?

It’s definitely uncharted for Cabin, but I think that’s exactly the problem we’re here to address! ◡̈

What does the path look like for each person’s dreams, and then how can Cabin ensure we’re clearing that path for each Neighbor in Cabin so that they can eventually reach that dream in the way that works for their situation.

For me, I suspect I’ll always live near/in a city, but I want to buy land w 10 best homies to be able to visit on a monthly basis (and for more time over the summer once we have kids). I don’t have the money or list of friends that are ready for that vision, so I’m looking towards Cabin to helping me make progress on the friends & organizing portion so that, once the money part situates itself, we’ll have the social logistics of the situation ready (bc of hosting Cabin events and making our intentions to the community clear) so that we can make that dream happen!

Thanks for your thoughtful questions @dianacornell and curious to see if this answered your questions?

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hey Cam, I think this is an interesting dialog, my problem is primarily it feels like jumping ahead and I’m confused why you say we need to do this asap. You say you’re looking to cabin to help gather the money and friend list but I think strong relationships form organically. The DOW can help govern and coordinate larger groups / across groups, but if I’m looking for someone to bring me soup when I’m sick or trade off with me on watching kids, those every day things are I think all about human connection care and reciprocity based on relationship and trust. I think cabin pivoted from trying to build a village from scratch because nobody wants to move across the country to live with people they only know from the internet or maybe met once. To a large degree, we have to build our communities ourselves. I think cabin can give us inspiration, support groups, guides, sounding boards. Maybe one day a directory of places not just to stay but communities to go see if you vibe with. Or, once you have a built up a group of friends and capital among those friends to buy land, I have no doubt cabin could be able to help facilitate. Maybe your community is different and more invested, but it seems like we also may have different expectations of cabin’s role. For my community, I feel we’re just nowhere near at a base level of trust and commitment to be taking on projects that need governance yet, i hope we could someday get there!

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Cam I think this is interesting to hash out and I really hope I’m not coming off as adversarial here – maybe you are even more of a believer in the original “make your friends online” theory then I am (I’m less online then most) and still are thinking maybe once we funnel enough people into being serious cabinites this will happen – and I hope thats true, too! – I even also would’ve been more into it pre-kids, also, so thats another just difference of perspective…

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@camlindsay thanks for writing this and @dianacornell @jxn @grin thanks for sharing your perspectives

I’ve been simmering on this conversation and had some great followups to it with @grin and @savkruger at our Cabin Labs retreat in LA this past week.

I agree with the points above that the current Citizenship offering is a hard sell to local neighborhood participants. Our takeaway from the retreat was that Citizenship probably not the right fit for the DAO right now. That said, there’s something adjacent that might make more sense:

What if we focused entirely on neighborhood treasuries instead of Citizenship?

  1. Pooling shared resources is a big part of what makes communities build trust and do things together
  2. It’s nearly impossible to set up a shared bank account for a neighborhood, but it’s easy to set up a shared treasury
  3. There’s a direct, clear reason for people to contribute to a shared neighborhood treasury - to fund local events, shared resources, emergency prep, etc

Instead of trying to sell people on Cabin’s vision, and then on becoming a Citizen, and have that money flow to a centralized treasury that provides benefits…what if you could just scan a QR code at local neighborhood events and chip in some money to the community treasury, which is accessible and transparent and funds more things happening in your community? Maybe you could even be a local Citizen by contributing on a recurring subscription basis.

The DAO could provide the financial infrastructure and perhaps take a small % of transactions in the future to monetize, but most of the money would stay local. Instead of having resources flow through one big DAO, we’d enable thousands of little local DAOs to pool resources and do collective action together.

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I love this iteration @jon!

This approach accomplishes both problems I focused on in the post and also allows for a much easier onboarding for people to immediately support with options to expand to monthly contributions once the momentum is established :+1:

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