The first quote I ever recorded for @jon was from a panel at DAO NYC in June 2022, and it was a spicy banger:
There’s this thing called revenue.
(pause, looks around the room)
Don’t know if anyone in DAO land has heard of it
Besides being a classic J Hillis burn, it also feels particularly relevant after the focus of this week’s State of the Network: Citizenship. It’s clear that Cabin needs to generate revenue and that citizenship is one of the most scalable ways to do so. As a citizen, I couldn’t be more excited to see the direction Cabin is moving, and yet, there’s a crucial question I’ve been asking myself that I think deserves some dialogue:
As Cabin builds out the offerings of citizenship, would it make sense to think of Cabin as a decentralized government serving it’s citizens vs a business serving it’s customers?
As Cabin orients towards suppers, community organizing, and family-building, it doesn’t feel far-fetched to see a future where the annual dues from Cabin Citizens help Citizens serve and build their local communities via the services Cabin provides.
I get excited by the idea of Cabin building a grassroots decentralized network that scales to fill-in the holes that our government (and many others) fail to sufficiently support their citizens with, areas like:
- Civic engagement & participation
- Pre and post natal support
- Employment support and connections
- Housing, urban development, and infrastructure (what else is a Build Week??)
In my opinion, these areas remove Cabin from the league of a company creating a product to an agency/government supporting its community with essential resources.
Let that sink in…
It SUCKS paying taxes to a government that spends half of a $1.4 trillion annual budget on the military.
Do you know what doesn’t suck? Paying an annual subscription to an org that helps me and my fellow citizens foster spaces for crucial interpersonal support, curiosity, and civic activation.
This may sound odd, but after Thursday, I’m feeling less inclined to call my payments to Cabin “fees” and feel more like “taxes/contributions” to a greater whole that my (and many other) communities will benefit from.
In the Network State, Balaji is obsessed with buying land and building things to make a new kind of state. I guess , but what if we focused on funneling resources to the intangible services that underly a healthy society, with the hopes that building a healthy decentralized society will eventually sprout enough committed citizens who will be down to invest longterm into the properties and communities of our dreams?
Balaji goes straight from establishing an online community to buying land ASAP. I think the better order (one that Cabin fits perfectly into) is:
- Digital/temporary IRL culture to put the bat signal in the air
- Services that get disparate people invested and excited
- Land / IRL community bases to act as the magnets that bring together the decentralized community members to a central longterm space
I got very excited talking about this with @Matai today and felt it was worth sharing with the community to see if it resonates or if I’m missing
Questions that remain for me on this topic:
- What changes if we approach Cabin as a decentralized government rather than a business?
- What are the services that governments aren’t providing that Cabin could feasibly start addressing (I think funding local clubs is a fantastic first step, but what would be steps 5 and 6 look like?)?
- What are the downsides to this approach? Would others be excited by this as well?
- Am I loco? What am I not thinking of?