Trip Report: Network State Conference

I went to the Network State Conference in Amsterdam last week. My goal was to rep Cabin (here’s my talk), meet people (both the top builders in the space and also the biggest network state supporters), and to try to understand how Cabin can best serve the world.

Here’s what I learned:

People Love Cabin

We have one of the best brands in the space. In my conversations, people regularly told me they loved Cabin and what it’s doing. Many were familiar with the project and roughly what we’re about, though few understood exactly what we’re doing (a point we can improve on :grin:). I had at least a half-dozen convos that started with “I love Cabin… how do I join?”, and I vouched for ~5 people there (though only one made it all the way through to minting citizenship).

All of that is despite the fact that Cabin does not meet any tangible needs for most of the people.

A small anecdote: I offered one person a Cabin sticker and he said “oh, are these network state stickers”. I replied with “no these are Cabin stickers”. His face instantly lit up and went from “meh” to “yay”. At least in his mind, we had a more positive association than the brand of the very conference he paid a bunch of money to fly to and attend.

Green Light for Supper Clubs

The main CTA in my talk was an invite to sign up for supper clubs. As I write this, we have 336 people signed up. Over 100 of them also said they’d host one. That’s a big win for us, and strong validation for our theory that people want to attend Cabin events near them. And if even 10% of supper clubbers mint a citizenship, the effort will pay for itself.

Digital Nomads Are Still Out There

I met at least a dozen people who describe themselves as digital nomads in search of community or just a place to stay. Most surprisingly, I met two couples with infants who are living the nomad life (and might be headed to Costa Rica to stay with Zach in the near future). So even if we think nomadism is declining and coliving in nature with strangers is not that popular, a significant part of our existing audience is in that category and we should at least have something to tell them (which could be low-touch, e.g. “mint and check the directory”).

Minting Citizenship is Clunky

I tried to walk several people through the minting process in person, and it was like pulling teeth. There are maybe a dozen steps: go to our site, create an account (four screens all by itself), request a vouch, get a vouch, payment (4-5 screens here as well, and sometimes wallet issues).

Some concrete suggestions:

  • Create a dedicated page in the app (/mint or /citizenship or both) where anyone can start the minting process (even if they don’t have an account). That way, when anyone asks “how do I join”, I have one clear place to direct them.
  • Move most of the account setup steps to be after citizenship is minted. They are secondary to the “how do I join” user journey.
  • Vouching is a huge offramp in the minting flow. One idea could be to give citizens a way to create invite links, which would serve as an implicit vouch. Or we could experiment with other trust/gating mechanisms. Finally, maybe on-chain reputation markers could serve as an implicit vouch (e.g. certain NFT holders can mint without a vouch)
  • Collect payment within our app instead of using Unlock’s UI. We can do it in fewer steps and lose fewer people. However, this adds dev and maintenance costs.

I had experienced these problems during my own minting experience, but seeing it again really brought it to the top of my mind. If we’re going to continue to sell citizenship, streamlining this flow is vital.


The above points are all about onramps to Cabin. There’s also more we can do to maintain and showcase the community. The following ideas are all on the theme of helping people help themselves and returning to our community-focused DAO roots.

  • Update the Census to facilitate person-to-person connections.
  • Build out the Network Pulse – a single page to see what’s happening right now in the Cabin city, and what’s coming up.
  • Suggest more projects. A standing list of things Cabin wants to see created is another opportunity for people to engage with us on their terms.
  • Be more liberal with ₡ABIN distribution.
  • Create a self-serve welcome guide. There are a lot of things to do in Cabin, which is natural for a diverse network city. To make that process less confusing and create a single CTA, a choose-your-own-adventure guide would be huge. That way when people ask me “how do I join?”, I could reply with “go to” and know that no matter what they’re looking for, they’ll find it there.


People want to be a part of Cabin’s journey, but in their own way. There’s a range of how much time and money people are willing to invest. So we have a tension between

A) focusing on just a few points along the spectrum of engagement, and
B) blanketing the spectrum with options

My suggestion is to do A, with a focus on upper and lower ends of the spectrum: the meetup and the village. We want the meetup/merch/groupchat to give people an easy local way to get involved in our journey, and we want the village/city/network because our journey needs an inspirational destination and because that’s what ultimately motivates this whole project.


Great trip report @grin.

I’m curious, what’s the reasoning behind the belief that nomadism is declining?

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