Fall 23 Product Directions


What should we focus on for the next year? Here are three directions to consider (each one links to a full doc outlining the problem space, product idea, and phases of development):

  1. The Neighborhood for Families
  2. Social Clubhouse
  3. Network Citizens


  1. Framework for finding a path forward
  2. Possible paths
  3. Governance
  4. History of experiments
  5. Background and Research

Framework for finding a path forward

  1. Outcomes
    1. Become default alive: Cabin has approximately 3 years of runway at our current burn rate. How can we reach profitability on this time frame and become default alive?
      1. Option 1: Generate >$1M in annual revenue within the next 1-3 years
        1. We would actually need ~$1M in contribution margin, not just revenue, to support our current spend of ~$1M per year. But $1M in revenue would give us optionality to try to raise more money, grow faster, or lower burn to reach default aliveness.
      2. Option 2: Lower burn significantly
        1. Right now, we are spending ~$1M / year. 90% of this is OpEx (paying contributors), 5% is costs like SaaS products and 5% is our N0 lease.
        2. If we cut this in half, we would have twice as long to figure out how to make half as much money in order to be default alive. Six years of runway to make $500k / year is much easier than three years to make $1M / year.
      3. Option 3: Define “default alive” differently
        1. The idea of Default Aliveness comes from this Paul Graham essay, where he defines it as the ability for a company to “make it to profitability on the money they have left”. This makes sense for a company, which uses cashflow to create profits. Does it necessarily make sense for an Unincorporated Nonprofit Association?
        2. The ultimate goal of network city / state projects is often to buy land together. One way for Cabin to gain a sense of “default alive” permanence as a community would be to buy land as a permanent home. But doing this would mean we wouldn’t have the OpEx to continue trying to become default alive via cash flow.
    2. Make something people want (to pay for): to become default alive, we need to produce a product people are willing to pay for. We should evaluate products using the following criteria:
      1. Core pain point for target users
        1. Is this something people need so badly that they are actively searching for a solution to their burning problem?
      2. 10x better than alternatives
        1. Can we offer something much better than existing alternatives?
      3. Size of opportunity
        1. Is there potential for a large and high margin market? Is this category something people will spend a lot of money on?
      4. Feasibility of execution
        1. Can we actually pull it off in the next 3 years?
  2. Values
    1. Does this path align with our values?
      1. Guiding Principles & Obvious Truths
    2. Does anything about our values need to evolve or change?
  3. Opportunities
    1. Core problems we want to help solve:
      1. Loneliness
      2. Cost of living
      3. Biosphere degradation
    2. Where is the world going that we are prepared to meet?
      1. Fashion: cottagecore and vanlife
      2. Commerce: remote work, the creator economy, increased urban cost of living
      3. Infrastructure: satellite internet, solar power, modular housing, self-driving cars
      4. Governance: DAOs, network states, and blockchain leviathans
      5. Culture: digital nomads, internet-native communities, squad wealth, solarpunk
      6. Nature: climate change, biodiversity loss

Possible paths

  1. The Neighborhood for Families
    1. TL;DR - Places to raise kids near friends
    2. Rating: 28 points
      1. Core pain point for target users: 10/10
      2. 10x better than alternatives: 5/10
      3. Share of wallet: 10/10
      4. Feasibility of execution: 3/10
  2. Social Clubhouse
    1. TL;DR - Co-created Social Clubs
    2. Rating: 23 points
      1. Core pain point for target users: 6/10
      2. 10x better than alternatives: 6/10
      3. Share of wallet: 7/10
      4. Feasibility of execution: 8/10
  3. Network Citizens
    1. TL;DR - membership in the first network city-state
    2. Rating: 19 points
      1. Core pain point for target users: 5/10
      2. 10x better than alternatives: 6/10
      3. Share of wallet: 3/10
      4. Feasibility of execution: 9/10


The current First Fellowship has received its last allocation of funding from the DAO under this governance proposal. At current burn rate, the First Fellowship multi-sig will run out of money before the end of the year. At that point, there will need to be new governance proposal(s) for the DAO to keep spending money.

There are some options for how to approach this:

  1. Go back to the DAO for an extension of the current funding for the First Fellowship
  2. Create a set of new governance proposals for new fellowships to do things for the DAO
  3. Foster more intentional deliberation among DAO members on a wider set of proposals

Background and Research


The History of Experiments is one of my fav cabin writeups. Could you break it out into a separate post so its easier to find later? I feel like that’s a useful standalone doc. And we’ll probably add to it as time goes on.


done! History of experiments