How We Dao: Cabin Build Weeks As Internal Team Retreats

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.

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Do-ocracy: organizational structure in which individuals choose roles and tasks for themselves and execute them - Patrick Santana

From the moment I arrived at Neighborhood Zero with Charlie, our Builder in Chief for the week, who had drawn the plans for and oversaw the construction of the pergola, the principles of do-ocracy guided our experience. We knew the rest of our build week team would arrive in the early evening, likely hungry. So we decided to rustle together an impromptu meal of shrimp tacos and welcome everyone to the property.

Most of the work throughout the week occurred in a similar fashion: people identified tasks that needed to be done and completed what they were particularly interested in or suited for. Despite a lack of stringent roles and duties, everything got done, we were able to use our unique skills and interests without any conflict, and most importantly, everyone got to drive the skidsteer.


Our primary objective for the week was to erect a pergola, an outdoor structure to center future cabin activities around. We almost pulled out our backs removing tree roots; nearly went mad leveling the area; and fought off wet, brisk weather. Despite all the hiccups and pitfalls, we built both the pergola and a close-knit community in just a few days.

We never had a set start time, yet somehow everyone managed to get up about by the time breakfast was ready; we were always outside working before the sun rose too high in the sky. As one of the earlier risers in the group, I started my day around 6:30 or 7 am. I spent the first hour or so either reading in my private room, or walking across the arid, tranquil property, before helping to start breakfast. Everyone rose at their leisure, but no one slept in.

We tended to have a staggered start to the day’s work. Those who cooked or ate first tended to be the first out the door, while others finished their meal and cleaned the kitchen. Throughout the course of the day, people would take breaks for an online meeting or some snacking, yet there were always plenty of hands working at any given time. Everyone worked on their schedule, but no one slacked off.

Breaking ground on the Pergola
Breaking ground on the Pergola

Everyone had their own typical schedules and personal or professional obligations, yet we were able to come together for the sake of a shared interest and consistently work alongside each other to create a structure that will be standing long after each of us take our final rest. Everyone came for their own reasons, but we worked together toward a singular goal.

Our team varied widely in interests, primary occupation, and participation within Cabin, but we were all happy to be there working together. Julie, who documented the week across Cabin social media, had only heard of Cabin a week before taking the leap and flying out to help us build. Étienne, one of the hosts for the week, first came to the property as a member of one of the first cohorts and has since become a crucial member of the team. Charlie, our Builder in Chief, had been to a meetup in Toronto and was eager to contribute. Julie works in the music industry, Étienne is a software developer (to keep it simple), and Charlie is an architectural engineering student but they were all excited to come out and build together.

Build Week #1 Crew #PergolaDAO
Build Week #1 Crew #PergolaDAO

“The weirdest part was how weird it wasn’t” -Catherine Woodiwiss, a local from Austin who joined and co-hosted

If you’ve spent any time in the corporate world, the idea of a team retreat may send a shiver down your spine with the thought of overly scheduled, organized fun. Our time at Cabin wasn’t like that whatsoever; the only scheduling we did was to make the day go smoother, not just fill it.

The Cabin experience allows the booking party to curate their own experience, according to their unique goals and objectives for the retreat. Whether you want to explore the sprawling property and witness the local flora and fauna or get lost in discussion while taking in the view from the terrace, the retreat is what you decide to make it.

The space encourages collaboration and shared experience while providing individual spaces for residents to work and rest. The container home has four private bedrooms; with their own entrance, office space, and shower; connected by a shared area with a full kitchen, large dining space, and cozy living area. With plenty of room for everyone to work together, or in their own space, the container home allows everyone to work however is most comfortable and productive.

The Crew taking a break from building for a Community Call
The Crew taking a break from building for a Community Call

While the Cabin property has plenty of fun and useful amenities, the primary benefit of a Cabin retreat is the intangible benefit of face-to-face meetups. Though technology allows us to connect with individuals from across the globe, a crucial component of social communication is lost in the ethers of the internet. Conferences offer teams the opportunity to meet in person,  but since the atmosphere is typically so enthusiastic and hectic, it can be difficult to truly connect. Cabin provides a relaxed, welcoming setting for teams to meet more intimately so they may forge more lasting bonds.

From gazing at bright stars, unshrouded by urban light pollution, and sunbathing on the rocks by the creek to relaxing in the Cabin container or exploring the nearby small towns, there are countless ways for teams to connect and find inspiration that could never be achieved virtually or at an overcrowded conference. Perhaps most importantly, Cabin allows teams to gather around a campfire, under the newly constructed pergola, to share deep, mind-expanding conversations. Something about the flickering light of the campfire drives everything home a little deeper than the unwavering blue light of a computer screen.

All the wood and lights we arranged
All the wood and lights we arranged

You can read all of our posts, look at all the beautiful pictures of the property, and even watch Charlie’s video about build week but you’ll never fully grasp the value proposition Cabin offers until you experience it for yourself.

Time at Neighborhood Zero is a wholly unique experience that needs to be experienced to be fully appreciated. Book your retreat today to foster stronger bonds between your team and get inspired for your project!


Article Writer: Funkyculley.eth

Article Editor: Etiennefd.eth

Header image by: Oceanova.eth

About Cabin

Cabin is a decentralized city built by creators, for creators. Cabin believes in the power of bringing people together IRL, especially for decentralized and distributed teams. We are the DAO to help other DAOs accelerate their work by getting together IRL.

Our mission is to build a decentralized city with nodes all over the world, empower creators to pursue an independent career online, and build the products for creators and DAOs to achieve the first two goals. Our decentralized city is made up of various nodes around the world, starting with Node 0 outside of Austin, Texas.

For more information, please visit

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