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Cabin is expanding to Europe! If you’ve always wanted to attend Cabin or web3 events but struggle to get to North America, then this is for you.

Software engineer Zach Caceres writes the newsletter Startup Cities where he talks about startup cities: physical neighborhoods built by corporations. On this episode of Campfire, Zach and Jackson chat about the difference between startup and charter cities, the problem with grandiose city planning, the struggles with zoning rules, the social side of future cities, product vs. platform cities, and the tools needed for city operations.

Nestled in the California Desert, Mars College can be thought of as a pop up city. It rises from the sand, disassembles, and then comes back. This week, Jackson sat down with Gene and Freeman from Mars College. They chat first about the mission behind and the logistics of constructing a city from scratch each cohort before diving into daily life. When you’re so remote, communal living is a big part of life, so the three talk about shared responsibilities and the food situation at Mars. Finally, they talk about the college side of the group— how people learn from one another. 

We’ll be doing a Build Week in Puerto Rico this fall. Ready to meet your Cabin community IRL? Read on.

Welcome back to Campfire! In this season, we’ll be talking with thought leaders and executors on what it means to have a successful city and how to build one. 

To start things off, we’re sitting down with Cabin’s own Phil Levin. First, you’ll hear about the issue at hand: Americans want to live in walkable cities, but less than 8% of them do. This leads into Phil’s discussion about Culdesac, a startup he co-founded building its first car-free community in Tempe, Arizona. Him and Jackson talk about the demand for such a neighborhood and the difficulties Culdesac has had to overcome to start building. Finally, both Phil and Jackson talk about their personal experiences with co-living and what makes a co-living experience top-notch.

July 4th, 2022

Lauren and I spend the summers living in a cabin on a lake in Minnesota, something we’ve done together for at least part of every summer for a decade. In addition to her love of children, having flexible summers to come to the lake has always been a key fringe benefit of her career as a school counselor. We have developed a deep and abiding sense of place here. It is where we fell in love, where we got married, and where we tend to feel most relaxed and happy together.

Deep in the early pandemic summer of 2020, I worked remotely from this cabin for the first time. It was the proof-of-concept for Cabin. That summer—living in a cabin surrounded by nature and still deeply connected to my work—taught me what was going to becoming possible for tech workers like myself.

It was the summer I took Write of Passage, started the Creator Coop, wrote and published essays consistently for the first time, began actively using twitter, started angel investing in creators and communities, and committed to building my own cabin in the woods. The seeds of Cabin were planted here, and returning each summer feels like a return to some of Cabin’s earliest roots.

We hosted Cabin’s core contributors and city council out here at the lake over the past few weeks as we planned for Cabin’s next season. It felt like the DAO had reached a new cross roads. Two years ago, we were a loose set of ideas, not yet woven together. A year ago, we were a scrappy crowdfunded creator residency project. Now, we were steering a large community in the vague but exciting direction of founding a new city.

Between August 1-31, 2022, Cabin will be hosting ~15 residents for a community coliving and coworking experience in the Eastern Sierra Mountains.

In collaboration with Montaia Basecamp, our “Summer in the Sierras” is a month-long coliving experience, designed to be a fun way to spend IRL time with the Cabin community and with some of the finest Nature in the world.

Read more to learn about the experience.

Curious about Montaia? Check out this page. Ready to sign up? Here’s the form.

If you’ve ever fantasized about spending a month in a "cabin in the woods" to write, you're in luck. 

As part of Cabin’s 1 year anniversary, Cabin's very own Roxine Kee will be hosting a monthlong writer's residency in the Texas Hill Country this summer. The four lucky writers will participate in a one month intensive IRL experience from July 1-28, 2022.

For all of our excitement about the ways that DAOs could usher in a revolution of collective action, we should remember: they wouldn’t be the first one, and they won’t be the last.

Our current world is designed primarily around large centralized structures like national governments, universities, and corporations. But this hasn’t always been the case—cycles of decentralization and centralization define the ebb and flow of major periods of human history.

We seem to be in a late-stage period of the modern era, where centralized institutions are failing. So it’s natural to run in the other direction, to swing the pendulum toward decentralized maximalism. Maximalism is the strategy of a cancer cell. Successful complex systems are diverse, permeable, and inherently pluralistic.

If we’re going to run screaming from centralization, we need to have a sense of where we are running towards as well as what we are running from. Movements focused on abandoning centralized structures without suitable replacements tend to end in apathetic collective action failure, or worse, mob rule. If we are to avoid the proverbial guillotine, we should learn what has worked and failed in other decentralized organizations. We need to ask ourselves:

This week, to mark the end of Campfire’s Season 1, we have a very special episode for you. We’ve invited eight rockstar Cabin contributors on to hear about what brought them here, their work at Cabin, and the future of the DAO.

Tune in to this episode to hear about Cabin’s origins, the unique considerations of working in Web3, Cabin’s programming, and the future of governance at Cabin. As a note, we’ll be taking a short break to regroup before Season 2, where we’ll bring you all the same content you’ve come to enjoy this season and more.

🎉 To celebrate Cabin’s first birthday, we’re proud to announce that we partnered with Mirror to publish three of our most popular articles as NFTs.

Mirror’s crowdfunding platform powered Cabin initial crowdfund. Since then, it’s been our home to build the DAO in public. Today, we’re taking that partnership to the next level.

From now until the end of May, members, fans, and lurkers of the Cabin community have the unique opportunity to collect and mint three of our most popular articles as Writing NFTs and directly support the Cabin contributors behind each article. Here’s the exciting part: Every NFT minted is a ticket to an intimate masterclass taught by Cabin core contributors.

On this week’s Campfire, we sat down with Richie Bonilla from Clarity: a DAO tool that describes itself as the “Contributor Community Hub.” With Clarity, DAOs can onboard new contributors, match contributors with opportunities, log that work, and get people compensated.

Tune in to hear Jackson and Richie talk about Clarity, how Cabin is using the platform, the short + long term vision for Clarity, the future of DAOs, and much more!

On this week’s episode of Campfire, Jackson talks with Laurence Ion and Theo Beutel from VitaDAO, a DAO democratically funding longevity research. So far, they have deployed over 2 million dollars over 10+ projects with the help of their community. 

Gather around to hear about the current state of science research, VitaDAO’s value proposition, their working groups, and governance structure.

On this episode of Campfire, Jackson speaks with Alona Shevchenko (@cryptodrftng), co-founder and operational lead of UkraineDAO (@Ukraine_DAO). They discuss how UkraineDAO has raised over $8 million US dollars to help defend Ukraine from the Russian invasion, counter Russian propaganda, and amplify Ukrainian voices.

The episode details how wartime DAOs are different from traditional charities and nonprofits, the founding of UkraineDAO in the days leading up to the Russian invasion, and how web3 mechanics enable coordination of humanitarian aid and a fleet of trucks during war.

Let’s face it – the DAO landscape can be a difficult space to navigate, even for those who work within the emerging ecosystem. As new DAOs with similar (or perhaps even opposing) goals proliferate, keeping track of developments becomes increasingly complicated. How might this information be shared among DAO participants, and what might that look like?

This question was at the heart of “A UN for Social DAOs,” the first workshop session during April’s Cabin DAO Operator Residency at Node Zero, the DAO’s first city node which sits on 28-acres of Texas Hill Country outside Austin.

Moderated by Cabin Placemakers’ Guild member Aleena Vigoda, who also led the Operator Residency for the week, the session was hosted by Forefront Media and Ecosystem Lead Jihad Esmail (@jaesmail), who called into the residency over Zoom.

This article is based off of a workshop from a session in our DAO Operator Residency program. This program brings together DAO leaders from across the ecosystem for a one week intensive IRL experience. Interested in joining a program? Fill out this form.

On this week’s episode of Campfire, Jackson speaks with Greydient (@greydientmusic) and Mark Redito (@markredito) from Songcamp (@songcamp_), a community focused on helping artists further their music careers by leveraging web3 technology.

Tune into this exciting episode about how web3 is allowing artists to bypass legacy systems, build connections with their audiences, and forge community among fellow artists.

May 2nd, 2022

It felt like seeing family again.

For Speakease, his feeling of homecoming meant “wanting to stay up late to hang out with everybody, but also wanting to wake up super early because I didn’t want to miss the conversations that were happening.”

Build Week Two had just wrapped up at Cabin’s Neighborhood Zero. This physical location is a 45 minute drive from Austin and has been attracting a whole host of web3 builders (pun intended) from all over the world. Over a voice call, the Toronto native sounded refreshed, eager and happy; the result of a life-changing week. His desire to take part in the joy of IRL was reflective of the sentiments of the global Cabin community to this location.

A veteran of the hospitality industry, Speakease felt he had the least web3 experience of the cohort. Initially unsure of how the experience would be, his concerns quickly melted away. Everyone was welcoming and inclusive. Backgrounds didn’t matter, only the vibes that came with them did.

We are excited to announce that we have opened spots for DAOs and web3 organizations to book our Austin location (and get on the waitlist for future nodes neighborhoods).

Curious and excited to jump on the Cabin vibe train? Read on.

Already sold and ready to book Neighborhood 0? Fill out the form here. (Takes less than 10 minutes.)

To get more content from us on how to level up as a DAO leader and operator, make sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

How It Began

When Cabin Community Guild facilitators Jackson Steger and Jon Dean Keiles sat down to craft a vision for Cabin’s community building in Season 2, they knew the DAO needed a formalized plan to improve its diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). A significant portion of Cabin’s contributors (as is the case for many in web3), come from either web2 tech companies or traditional finance firms, industries that have been historically white, wealthy, and male-dominated. As calls for greater diversification across web3 increased, Jackson and Jon Dean wanted to ensure that Cabin moved beyond that pattern. 

In an interview for this piece, Jon Dean explained why he believes Cabin is well-positioned to spearhead a DEI strategy, “Given Cabin’s mission to build a decentralized city, we want to create economic opportunities for everyone. Web3’s location independence allows anyone who has access to the Internet to be able to create economic value for themselves as they help build Cabin. And, considering how early it is in web3 and Cabin’s own formation, the systems are still so flexible and rapidly changing that prioritizing DEI can be really resonant.” 

On this episode of Campfire, Jackson speaks with Dakotah and Marcus from Cohere, a member-owned network of co-living communities around the world. They use cutting-edge web3 technologies to create a network of changemakers to address the most pressing issues of today.

Gather ‘round the crackling fire with us to hear more about how the digital world is merging with the physical. How can we create successful co-living experiences?

Flying to an isolated area in the middle of Texas to hang out with a bunch of people from the internet can be nerve-wracking. That’s understandable, but in the case of Cabin retreats, the experience and relationships are well worth the nerve-filled day(s) of travel.

Back at the end of February, a group of people, united in our interest in decentralized governance, took nerve-wracking flights from across the Western Hemisphere, bound for the Texas Hill Country. We worked and lived alongside each other for a week, despite having only communicated online until then.

To get more content from us on how to level up as a DAO leader and operator, make sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Welcome to the ongoing series on how we are building Cabin! In this deep dive, we talk about conflicts and ways to resolve them.

Communities often design their conflict resolution in retrospect of their first blowout. Waiting until conflict takes place puts the community at risk of loosening cohesion and losing valuable members.

With a bit of time investment and intentional design, both can be avoided. After all, conflict is a natural part of human interaction and hence a community. Getting practical about conflict resolution tactics can help your community strengthen cohesion and withstand turbulent times.

To get more content from us on how to level up as a DAO leader and operator, make sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Out here at Neighborhood Zero, the last vestiges of the winter grasses are dying and the first sprouts of spring life are blooming forth. As if on queue with Cabin's transition of seasons, the bluebonnets, paintbrushes, buttercups, and coneflowers are bursting forth from the brown detritus of winter and declaring the arrival of spring. The timing is so perfect and the metaphor so clear that it feels like we should retire our seasonal numbering system and consider calling this next three months Spring instead of Season 3.

In my role as Caretaker, I spend my time dipping in and out of conversations and decisions across guilds within Cabin and across DAOs within the ecosystem. This gives me a broad aperture view of the landscape, and I intend to spend more time in the coming seasons distilling and sharing that view in ways that help contributors within Cabin and other DAOs with their work. Seasonal transitions provide a natural opportunity to look back and look forward, which we cover in this piece.

To get more content from us on how to level up as a DAO leader and operator, make sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

DAOs offer unfettered access for open and fluid contribution, which is great. But the flip side is that without clear processes on how to start contributing and earning, new members are out through the door as quickly as they came in.

At Cabin, we recognize that bounties are a sure-fire way to incentivize the community to get work done. But for the DAO to truly scale, guilds within it like the Media Guild should allow members to be as autonomous as possible, allowing anyone to hop in and start contributing with minimal hand holding. The fluid nature of DAOs also means that members are not contractually tied and can therefore depart at their own whims with no notice period, leaving the founding team to come up with an emergency plan to meet publication deadlines.

To fix this problem and after months of iteration, we are proud to unveil the first DAO Media Guild Handbook. The handbook offers detailed processes to allow anyone to take a piece of content from idea to publication. It offers guidance on the different tasks of the Media Guild such as articles, feedback, distribution and podcast.

The handbook is the collective effort of our community since Cabin’s inception, and is not considered to be the be-all and end-all. As a creator collective, we reasonably expect the handbook to be further iterated on. We hope it will serve not only as a guide for Cabin’s members, but also as a reference point for other DAOs to establish processes that allow them to scale.

On this episode of Campfire, Jackson speaks with Rockwell (@RockwellShah) and Nick (@Nick_deWilde) from Invisible College, a community looking to provide people the skills necessary to effectively navigate and take advantage of the web3 world.

Grab your favorite warm beverage because here we’ll be talking about how access to content is not the issue plaguing education today, how NFTs are allowing people to define themselves outside of their careers, and the various lessons Invisible College is imparting upon its students.

We made some serious progress towards becoming an Embassy for DAOs in the last season.

In our 2022 Roadmap, we outlined a plan to grow our role as the Embassy for DAOs, both online and at Node Zero. We are ahead of schedule in accomplishing those goals.

In Season 2 we ...

In episode 5 of Campfire, Jackson Steger interviews Juliet and Loni from Surge, a crypto-native, talent pool of badass women building web3.

While the web3 space keeps growing exponentially, one of the biggest challenges up to date is the inclusion of women. The founders of Surge discuss their NFT project that will help diversify the space and bring in more women and non-binary creators and leaders into web3.

This week, Julia Lipton (@JuliaLipton) joins our host Jackson Steger to talk about Awesome People Ventures, and how her quest to share the upside from those investments led her down the path that eventually formed DAO Masters, which is focused on investigating DAO tooling and sharing their findings.

Julia and Jackson discuss the legal ambiguity surrounding tokens, the obstacles facing DAOs today, inflationary governance tokens, and instilling a sense of ownership within a community. Shadman Uddin from Cabin then joins the pod to talk about challenges around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in web3, and what we can do to solve them.

On this episode of Campfire, Jackson speaks with Jess and Nicole of Seed Club. A DAO that’s investing in high-potential Web3 communities. 

Sit down and get cozy because in this episode we’re talking about DAO value ideation, how Seed Club utilizes DAO tools, the token exchange model that Seed Club uses for generative partnerships, sectors ready for web3 disruption, finding community market fit, collective ownership models, and much, much more.

There are two types of DAOs that seem to be gaining traction: financial flash mobs and hyperstructures. Each taps into a unique quality of DAOs that isn’t feasible via traditional corporate structures. They represent different extremes of on-chain coordination: fast and hot, or slow and long. In both cases, they ultimately represent ways that memes can be merged with blockchains to create emergent structures of coordination. When combined, they could point towards how we bootstrap the public goods infrastructure of an abundant future.

Financial flash mobs

Financial flash mobs turn potent memes into money very quickly. Constitution DAO was a breakout moment for this type of DAO: over 17,000 people came together to pool $47M in less than a week. Typically, it takes longer than that just to set up a corporation and open a bank account.

Less savory examples of financial flash mobs are token pump-and-dump schemes. By having aligned financial incentives, internet strangers can coordinate to drive up the price of a token and sell to a greater fool. The ponzinomics of greater fools is so powerful that even things with no intention of becoming a meme coin sometimes end up as one. After internet supervillain Ken Griffin revenge trolled Constitution DAO, the plan was for everyone who participated to claim refunds for their contributions. But, much to the surprise of the core team, the token got pumped into a meme coin and is still trading inexplicably above its actual redemption value:

In the second episode of Campfire, Jackson Steger interviews Flex and Commodore, the founders of Krause House DAO.

Get your jerseys and huddle with Flex and Commodore while they talk about the possibilities of owning and the associated challenges of buying and operating an NBA team as a collective of investors using new technologies.

One of the pillars of our Media Guild’s vision is to become a creator-first media publication. We want the Media Guild to be a way for writers and creators to build careers in web3. 

Previously, we published a general framework for figuring out contributor rewards. Since then, we’ve taken our own advice and remixed it to build a compensation framework for our Media Guild. 

At Cabin, our initial bounty was 10 ₡ for the writer and 10 ₡ for the designer regardless of the article’s length and required research. (For the purposes of this article, we’ll set the conversion at 25 USDC per ₡.) We struggled with this because the quality of our articles is worth a lot more than that. This one-price-fits-all approach handicapped us from putting out larger scope, high-impact, industry-level writing projects that would require multiple writers, designers, and editors.

From a DAO mission standpoint, the toughest pill to swallow was that at 20 ₡ per article, a Cabin writer will have to publish 25 (!!) articles with us to make a full-time core contributor equivalent compensation of 500 ₡. And that’s if they don’t have to split the bounty with a designer and/or an editor.

Campfire is a limited series podcast translating the jargon of DAOs into plain English to help listeners understand how Decentralized Autonomous Organizations achieve wildly ambitious and creative goals. Each week, host Jackson Steger is joined by different DAO leaders and operators to help explain the tactics, traditions, and goals of the different online communities.

Cabin’s Media Guild is partnering up with Gnosis to build a content library for DAO pattern languages. This is one of the many exciting projects to accelerate Cabin’s place as the embassy for DAOs and for the Media Guild to be the Creator Town within Cabin’s decentralized city.

If you’d like to support, we have a Gitcoin grant proposal open until March 25, 2022. If you’d like to learn about why we’re taking on projects like this (and about the other projects we have in the pipeline), read on.

Alchemy was many things, but none as famous as the transmutation of metals. For centuries, smart minds have attempted to turn lead, a nearly valueless metal, into the most valuable one: gold. In the Cabin forum, Dave Merin describes himself as a coin alchemist. Coin refers to tokens, the underlying infrastructure of DAOs. But why alchemist?

“Tokens are not exactly rocket science, but they can be scary to engage with,” Dave says. “I’ve worked full-time in crypto for years, so to me, they’re much less intimidating. What I mean by alchemy is helping the DAO transform what could be a valueless social token into a valuable coordination tool that rewards the participants who make the network more valuable. It’s about turning valueless bits into valuable bits.”

As a part-time core contributor to Cabin, Dave’s day-to-day involvement is of two kinds. The first is managing the ₡ABIN token: structuring the liquidity pools, making sure it does what the community wants it to do. The second is providing advice on financial and legal matters to point other contributors in the right direction. For this, Dave draws from his long experience in the crypto world.

Like many, the path that brought him to Cabin is meandering, with stints in real estate, law school, political internships in Washington D.C., and consulting work in international infrastructure. Unlike some, however, Dave was relatively early to web3. He got interested in it as a hobby around 2015, before getting involved with ConsenSys, the blockchain company that notably develops the MetaMask wallet. He co-founded a platform called Coven, a decentralized app for venture investing within the ConsenSys network. “During the 2018-2019 crypto bear market, it was one of the top twenty dApps. Although that’s not saying much since it only had about 100 users,” Dave says with a laugh. Even though Coven generated profits from some great early investments, the fluctuations of the market eventually forced it to shut down. After that, Dave stayed at ConsenSys, where he now works full-time as Head of Corporate Development.

Our current focus at Cabin is to build a community around a future of decentralized cities to aggregate demand for this decentralized city. But ...

  1. How do we decentralize the supply of land for this decentralized city?
  2. How do we scale Cabin’s nodes without losing quality?
  3. How do we allow the community to give feedback on the quality of the nodes while disincentivizing bad behavior?

We want to bring increasing amounts of land into the DAO without building a massive balance sheet and without needing to deal with the complexity of the DAO directly owning or operating physical property in diverse jurisdictions around the world. This article ideates on a mechanism to scale Cabin’s available nodes without actually knowing them, using Mike Goldin’s TCR model.

In this article, we answer those questions. We lay out our current hypothesis on how we could effectively bring on new nodes once we’re ready to scale. We also examine how tokens and token-curated registries (TCR) can be the vehicle that aligns incentives amongst the candidates and consumers that benefit from a list, like a list of nodes in a decentralized city.

If you’ve been circling the web3 corner of Twitter, it’s probably not a matter of “if” you decide to start working in the space, but “when.” Joining the vanguard of this nascent space requires rethinking a lot of old models of how we work. There’s a lot of excitement around a variety of experiments for new working models, but you still need to interface with the stagnant legacy world of laws and taxes.

Working in web3 has two aspects: finding work and staying compliant.  

There are many resources and different avenues to explore for work in web3, such as bounty boards, grant programs, career sites, and posting on Twitter. 

Finding work is the easy part, staying compliant is a bit trickier. How you organize yourself and your work can potentially save you a lot of money and headaches when it comes time to pay your taxes. It can also protect you legally if anything should ever go wrong.

Cabin is a decentralized city built by creators, for creators. We are the DAO to help other DAOs accelerate their work by getting together IRL.

Today Cabin announces its treasury diversification. We minted 1 million ₡ABIN with 10% going to strategic partners in exchange for $2.5M USDC. In this article, we discuss our:

  1. Community driven treasury diversification
  2. Community focused token governance
  3. 2022 roadmap

We are stoked to announce the launch of our DAO Operator Residency program.

This program brings together DAO leaders from across the ecosystem for a one week intensive IRL experience. Participants work together at Cabin's Node Zero location outside Austin, sharing in the triumphs, pains, and learnings from building their own DAOs.

This program is for people that work part-time or full-time as core contributors in DAOs. We’re talking top community managers, guild leaders, product leaders and builders. This is for people who are knees deep in the DAO muck... and could use a little “Group Therapy” with others on the same adventure.

There are still a few spots left in our next two residencies :

February 9th, 2022

“One of the first jobs I had was counting screws at my uncle’s hardware store,” Rafa tells me as we chat on a Discord call. That sounds miserable to me, and I let Rafa know that I wouldn’t have lasted very long doing that work. “It was tedious,” he agrees, “but it got me thinking about how systems and organizations work.” It’s obvious in speaking with him that this was no passing spark of inspiration. From his uncle's store to the present day, he has continued to think about systems and organizations. A lot.

As a core contributor to Cabin, Rafa researches and experiments on ways we could improve the systems by which we work, collaborate, and socialize. He acts as a “knowledge stringer,” a self-discovered role designed to disseminate Cabin’s findings and theories to the wider web3 ecosystem.

Rafa’s intellectual output is a stream of good data and optimistic new language in the form of articles (such as the widely influential “How to DAO” series), and frequent tweets. He also remains keyed into what Cabin contributors are working on in order to seek out and share relevant articles and events with them.

“I make sure the right information makes its way to the right people at the right time,” he says.

Today we are excited to announce Cabin’s 2022 Roadmap. In support of our goal to build a decentralized city for online creators, we will be spending this year building an Embassy for DAOs, both physically in our cabin network and virtually around the world.

We believe an Embassy for DAOs can provide the seed for our decentralized city because:

  • DAOs are the best organizing structure for independent online creators
  • Coordination among DAOs is one of the most important bottlenecks to ecosystem growth
  • Cabin is uniquely positioned to help connect DAOs to each other physically and virtually

In 2022, we believe we'll start to see what can happen when DAOs collaborate more deliberately with each other. By connecting DAOs together to share learnings, build mutual financial incentives, and develop the culture of web3, we can help scale the GDP of the DAO ecosystem. We envision a future where every DAO has an ambassador representative to build and strengthen these connections, in person and virtually. As we help grow the GDP of DAOs, we will seed the economy and culture of our decentralized city.

Meetings have a reputation for inefficiency within the traditional organizational structure. Middle managers need to be able to quantify the reason for their existence, and meetings are the easiest way to do that.

This means most meetings do not provide a value that equals the amount of time the attendee has to invest in attending it, which ultimately builds discontent towards the organization.

The town hall in the context of a DAO is the antithesis to this meeting style. Across DAOs we have found that town halls are treated as an experiment. Each program needs to be fluid in order to meet the ever-evolving needs of the community.

This article will walk you through our process for designing meaningful town halls and events for your DAO.

CabinDAO is an online and IRL community using blockchain technology to help creators make a living online. The core community resides in Discord and reaches the public through Twitter.

Cabin cofounder Jon Hillis came from a tech background. After spending his 20s building technology products in Silicon Valley, he relocated back to his childhood stomping grounds in Austin, Texas amidst the pandemic.

There, he built a container home on the property — the first “node” in the CabinDAO network. Next, he invited the Creator Co-op — a group made of internet friends he met through David Perell’s Write of Passage, including his future CabinDAO cofounder Zakk Fleischmann — for a stay at the Cabins.

Cohort 0, as they have come to be called, hatched the idea for CabinDAO.

What is the future of branding – is it decentralized? As DAOs continue to explode in popularity, the question is not often asked but should be considered. Marketers and designers working with large corporate brands, agencies, and startups alike should take notice when considering the future of branding, as next generation companies shift away from traditional centralized directives toward decentralized consensus for many operational business practices.

As the Cabin DAO continues to grow, launch new products, and bring on more contributors, understanding how to tackle branding is a critical question to answer. Should it be a centralized directive, entirely decentralized, or somewhere in between?

In this deep dive, we’ll discuss:

  1. The Current State of DAO Branding
  2. Background on Traditional Branding
  3. A Framework for Decentralized Branding
  4. Decentralized Brand Building at Cabin
January 7th, 2022

“We’re in cool times man,” Mel exclaims as we discuss the collective excitement so many of us are feeling about web3 right now.

Well before she was a core contributor for Cabin, she was a teenage artist living in North Carolina.  Seeing the upwards velocity of tech, her mom suggested she combine her talents. Mel made a career as a UI/UX designer and currently works at Sleepme, parent company to ChiliSleep.

Since joining Cabin DAO a few months ago, Mel has jumped on nearly every project related to design; she collaborated with Jon on the treasure chest, worked with Zakk on the first version of NFT passports, and is currently redesigning the existing website. Given all her hard work, Mel became a valued member of the DAO and took on the role of Pixel Mage aka Head of Product & Design.

I asked Mel what she thinks the overall aesthetic vision for Cabin DAO looks like in the future.  She expressed that branding a DAO is a much bigger challenge than a typical LLC.

January 4th, 2022

There’s only two ways to advance civilization: bundling and unbundling

Jim Barksdale, more-or-less

December 17th, 2021

In the middle of November, when America usually focuses on pumpkin spice lattes, football, and Thanksgiving, much of Twitter was focused on another topic: a group of crypto-natives were trying to buy a copy of the United States Constitution at a Sotheby’s auction.

On November 18th, ConstitutionDAO had over $40 million in its treasury via 17,000 donors. Alas, it was not enough.  Like the British victory at the Battle of Brandywine, during the American War of Independence, the traditional power player won this fight.  Citadel CEO Kenneth Griffin outbid ConstitutionDAO with $43.2 million.

The crypto-natives lost the battle for the Constitution, but they brought many wins to the greater crypto ecosystem.  Morning Brew co-founder Alex Lieberman told me why he thinks this project inspired over $40 million worth of donations in less than one week:

*“*It shows the collective power that is unlocked by Web3 for a group of people to buy an invaluable asset & I think this project is an incredible on-ramp to Web3/crypto principles in a way that's approachable for non-crypto natives.  The fact that 20% of donors are doing their first ETH transaction ever is such a cool sign for the space. ” - Alex Lieberman (@businessbarista)

December 10th, 2021

I first met Roxine after she tweeted that she could help writers break into web3.

I shot her a DM on Twitter and we soon connected in the CabinDAO Discord channel where she taught me about the Writer’s Guild procedures and gave me my first few bounties.  Although we were now working together, I knew next to nothing about her.

This relative anonymity is common in web3, hence why we’re writing these profiles of core contributors.  While it’s fun chatting with an anon account with an ape profile picture, it’s much more meaningful to talk and work with someone you know on a more personal level.

As a writer, it’s always nice to talk to another one.  So that’s where we started.

December 7th, 2021

When I saw Phil Levin’s name pop up on the CityDAO Discord, I gasped. For a moment, I thought my 64-year-old father Phil Levin who thinks Venmo is fake had hopped on to crypto. I regained my breath, looked at Phil’s profile pic, and shot him a DM on Twitter. And then I forgot about him.

A few days later, I joined the CabinDAO Discord after watching from the sidelines for four months. I hopped into the writer’s guild, offered my services, and was instructed to interview out of all people Phil. So, I did what any writer does in 2021 and sent him another Twitter DM. 

Phil called me as he drove from a communal vacation home he helped set up in Big Sur. After getting our shared last name out of the way, I asked him what the hell a Placemaker is anyways.

Phil explained that he created the term “Placemaker” to denote his goal of bringing to life the physical manifestation of Cabin’s decentralized city. Whereas the DAO was formed via bits on computers, his role is focused on bringing together atoms in the non-digital realm. 

How can capital benefit individual, environmental and community needs?

As all good stories begin, this one began at Home Depot. Jon wanted to make something, but couldn’t decide on what. So he asked Twitter, who suggested a fire pit. While we were on Zoom, Jon brought his laptop outside, so I could see it. It’s a circle of chairs, with rocks surrounding the pit and Texas Hill Country all around. 

Jon Hills is Caretaker at Cabin. He aspires to be a servant leader, emphasizing his intention to lead by doing, but conjurer of fire might be more fitting. Just as tending a good fire has many considerations, like wood type and wind (and marshmallows), as Cabin’s Caretaker, he continually cultivates ways for the community to gather together and to build great products for each other.

He had to rely on self reflection and asking himself challenging questions.

November 20th, 2021

Welcome to the ongoing series on how we are building Cabin! In this deep-dive we talk about changing leadership styles and how a shift from direction to advocacy can support DAO and other digital-first organizations at scale.

November 12th, 2021

There’s a lovely white light entering through a window on Zakk’s left when we meet over Zoom. He smiles often and seems relaxed in a plain white t-shirt. When his Australian Shepherd and Husky mix, Sadie, mosied into the room, Zakk grinned and pointed her out to me. I imagine he moves with this friendly grace as easily in a boardroom or black tie event.

What do creators need and how do we build that?

Zakk Fleischmann, @0xZakk, is co-founder and Leader of the Guilds at ₡ABIN. In his role,  he focuses on two questions:

  1. What does it take to build  a decentralized city by creators and for creators?
  2. What do creators need and how can ₡ABIN build that?
October 21st, 2021

Welcome to the third deep dive on how we are building Cabin. We’ve aggregated everything we know about reward design from discussions with multiple DAOs, and combined that with information about compensation in traditional businesses.

As a DAO contributor, you can use this guide to help understand what options you have. As a DAO community engineer, you can use this document to design general guidance for your community. There’s also benchmarks in the Appendix.

This article is for regular contributors and community engineers / builders. If you are just starting your DAO journey, take a peek over here instead!

Welcome to the second deep dive on how we are building CabinDAO. In this article we'll cover how onboarding differs from traditional corporate environments. Then we'll break down current onboarding practices and offer digital-native ideas. Finally, we’ll share how a few leading DAOs, including Cabin, are building their new member journeys.

October 9th, 2021

About a week ago, we published this tweet and received a flood of responses:

Documentation and team knowledge management is a sore spot for DAOs. There are no web3-native solutions available, so we’re stuck clobbering together tech stacks made up of the usual web2 suspects: Notion, Google Docs, Roam.

In this article, we lay out what we think DAOs need in collaboration tools to get our work done. We then evaluate the current tools on the market to see how they stack up, including our own tech stack. Finally, we present our CabinDAO dream feature set — a Frankenstein doc tool that takes the most DAO-friendly features of a number of web2 tools.

September 14th, 2021

The passports we set aside for season 2 have all sold out. If you’re interested in coming out to the cabins for a retreat or residency, follow us on Twitter: @creatorcabins for updates.

Your invitation to join us for Cabin DAO Season 2

We are excited to announce the general availability of Season 2 Passports, your ticket to participating in the next season of Cabin DAO. Our Season 2 Proposal, “Multiplayer Mode”, builds on lessons from Season 1 by opening up our cabin to DAOs, squads, and guilds for one week stays.

These Passports are NFTs that can be purchased for 1 ETH and grant four people a weeklong stay at Creator Cabins. Our modern shipping container cabin has private bedroom suites, common living spaces, sunny decks, a stock tank pool, 150 mbps of dedicated bandwidth, and access to 28 acres of nature to explore:

September 13th, 2021

Three months ago, a group of over 100 internet strangers came together to crowdfund 12 one-month residencies for independent online creators at a retreat in the Texas Hill Country. It was an experiment in universal creator income, the physical manifestation of DAOs, and decentralized cities.

We solicited open calls for applications on Twitter, held votes among DAO members, and selected twelve incredible residents to live at Creator Cabins. Our community grew around supporting these creators and paying it forward to future people jumping into independent online work.

Residents have described the experience as life changing, mind clearing, and “good vibes”. Our diverse cohorts hailed from a wide range of personal backgrounds, countries of origin, and types of creation. They painted abstract portraits, wrote a rap musical, launched an NFT community, fractionalized the Doge meme, produced oodles of TikTok and YouTube videos, and much, much more. We’ve got another incredible cohort coming to the cabins next week to round out the first Season.

The residents have been supported by our broader DAO community, which serves as sounding boards, mentors, and early project collaborators. And, just for fun, the DAO collaborated on projects like selling the first living creature as an NFT and burying a treasure chest with an ETH wallet in the Texas Hill Country.

September 10th, 2021

If you look at the social DAO landscape, you’ll see communities with different social token models. Some, like FWB, use a fungible social token to gate community access. Many emerging PFP-based communities like BAYC use NFTs as the primary community gating mechanism. Whether fungible or non-fungible, social tokens in DAOs usually represent three different but overlapping roles:

  • Economic value
  • Governance rights
  • Membership & access

Should all three of these roles be represented by a single token? Which of them are a better match for fungible and non-fungible tokens?

Economic value is the simplest to reason about. While NFTs can store tremendous economic value, they are inherently illiquid. Barter economies based on non-fungible assets inevitably get replaced by much more liquid economies denominated in a common fungible token. You don’t trade a house (illiquid, non-fungible), you sell it in your local currency (liquid, fungible) before buying a different one. Fungible tokens used by communities as a medium of exchange for goods and services represents an incredible opportunity to build new economies.

September 1st, 2021

Below are the final round applicants for Cohort 3 of the Cabin DAO Residency. If you are a member of CabinDAO, please head to Snapshot to cast your votes by September 2nd at 11:59pm CT.

August 24th, 2021

Is there a project sitting in the back of your mind, waiting for the time and space to become a reality? If you had a month to work on it surrounded by beautiful nature, creative collaborators, and blazing fast wifi, what could you accomplish?

The Creator Cabins residency is designed to help people answer these questions. The next cohort will run from September 20th - October 17th and applications are open now!

August 9th, 2021

This is a treasure chest: it contains the only copy of the private key to an ETH wallet, stamped into a sheet of metal. Over time, we will release clues about the location of this chest. Here is the first one: it's buried somewhere in the Texas Hill Country.

So what's in the wallet? To start, we've put a 1/1 NFT treasure inside, created by Cabin DAO collaborators @DugDaniels and @mel_being:

August 3rd, 2021

Below are the incredible final round applicants for Cohort 2 of the Cabin DAO Residency. If you are a member of CabinDAO, please head to Snapshot to cast your votes by August 6th at 12pm CT.

To streamline voting for Cohort 2, we used a two-step process:

1. Straw poll: All applications were posted to our token-gated discord server. Any DAO member could add a 👍 to any application to show initial support.
2. Final voting: All applications with at least 1 👍 made it to the final voting round. These applicants are shown below and are available for votes in Snapshot here. The top four winners will be offered a residency in Cohort 2.

Welcome to the first deep dive on how we are building CabinDAO, a Decentralized Autonomous Organization focused on empowering independent online creators. If you aren’t familiar with the term DAO, take a look at this excellent article first.

CabinDAO operates the Creator Cabins residency. The next cohort will run from August 23rd - September 19th and applications are open through today (August 2nd)!

We always love feedback from the community, whether or not you're a $CABIN hodler. Find us on twitter @creatorcabins or join our token-gated Discord server.

July 27th, 2021

Is there a project sitting in the back of your mind, waiting for the time and space to become a reality? If you had a month to work on it surrounded by beautiful nature, creative collaborators, and blazing fast wifi, what could you accomplish?

The Creator Cabins residency is designed to help people answer these questions. The next cohort will run from August 23rd - September 19th and applications are open now!

July 23rd, 2021

Jasmine (@jasamitchell)

My name is Jasmine Mitchell, and I'm a multi-hyphenate artist; namely as a writer and director. During my time here at Creator Cabins, I'm excited to complete Act II of my musical called RAPunzel, a coming of age, calypso rap musical following a young Black woman's journey to breaking her family's generational curses.

This musical will be about 90 minutes total, so around 90-100 pages. I already have about 50. I came with an outline, and I aim to write about 10-15 pages per week to stay on task. What I need to stay on top of that is accountability—which can be as simple as my cohort asking me for my pages each week.

July 15th, 2021

At Creator Cabins, we like to think about the intersection of crypto and physical property. In order to contribute to that conversation, we're selling a Texas Longhorn on-chain 🤠

Yes, a real live cow (well, technically a steer). His name is DH-Esteereum. You can own 1/4th of him by purchasing an NFT edition below:

Each 1/4 stake can be converted into...steaks. More precisely, ~35-38 pounds of lean grass-fed/free-range longhorn beef, in the form of steaks, roasts, and hamburger meat. Available for pickup at Creator Cabins outside of Austin, TX any time in the next year. Local purchasers only, processing included!

June 17th, 2021

Is there a project sitting in the back of your mind, waiting for the time and space to become a reality? If you had a month to work on it surrounded by beautiful nature, creative collaborators, and blazing fast wifi, what could you accomplish?

Three weeks ago, sitting around the campfire at Creator Cabins, we dreamed up a residency program to help people answer these questions. Since we first shared our proposal, we’ve raised over 16 ETH from 96 people, launched CabinDAO, and funded 12 month-long residencies for creators. We have an active discord server of new online friends and have already turned some of those connections into IRL friends.

Now we’re ready to start accepting applicants for the first cohort of the CabinDAO residency program!

June 1st, 2021

This is a proposal for structuring the creator residency program crowdfunded by CabinDAO. We will publish CabinDAO governance proposals publicly.

We'd love feedback from the community, whether or not you're a $CABIN hodler. If you do have $CABIN tokens, you can now join our Discord server to discuss this proposal. Voting is now open on Snapshot!

May 25th, 2021

🚨 Update: Wow! We have been floored by the positive response to this crowdfund. Thank you to those who have contributed and joined CabinDAO.

We have enough funds to cover our goal of one year of total time for residents at the cabins and have put together a proposal for the residency program. We have now closed the crowdfund and will reopen access to the DAO after completing our first set of residency cohorts. 🚨

May 23rd, 2021

A decentralized city is a network of distinct physical locations tied together by shared governance and culture. It allows people to maintain close social ties and norms while moving around to different places. It also creates resilience against local changes in climate, regulation, and society.

Inspired by Balaji's essay on The Location Stack for technological progressives and conversations at Creator Cabins this past week, we've been thinking through a rough sketch of the tech stack for decentralized cities:

Like a computer, a decentralized city has hardware and software. Hardware is the physical space: the land, the infrastructure, and the buildings. Software is the virtual layer: incorporation, governance, and social interaction.