This week, a group of internet friends tried an experiment: what happens when you meet online and then come together IRL to build something? What ideas emerge when you create the open-ended space to explore them collectively?
I've spent the past nine months building remote co-living cabins with high-speed internet outside of Austin, TX. Now that construction is complete, a group of indie hackers, online course creators, solopreneurs, and crypto-hippies came together to live and work in the cabins for a week and see what happened.
The result: great conversations, deepened friendships, and exciting new ideas. We've spent the past week dreaming about decentralized cities, crypto-creator funding mechanisms, and internet-enabled collaboration.
After a year of pandemic, we had forgotten some of the magical energy of open-ended living and working with other people. You don't need to schedule a Zoom call with an agenda and a hard-stop after 30 minutes. As you're drinking your morning coffee, you can end up down a rabbit hole, swapping book recommendations, productivity tools, and podcast episodes. Before long, we were asking each other questions:
- What would it look like to find like-minded collaborators online and then come together IRL to build?
- How could we support each other with the time and space to try new things?
- How do we make physical space and creative resources accessible to anyone with a good idea?
Our answer to these questions is crowdfunding collaborative creator residencies. The idea is to allow anyone to propose a project, recruit collaborators, crowdfund a stay at Creator Cabins, and get together in-person to build it.
We have a sketch of what this could look like, and would love your feedback.
$CABIN is a token tied to a one-night stay in a room at Creator Cabins. If you have an idea, you can raise $CABIN, find collaborators, and then get together IRL to build it. Here's how it could work:
- Submit a proposal
- Recruit collaborators (optional)
- Get funded
- Come build it
Submit a proposal
The first step is to describe what you want to build. It could be a project you're already working on, a new idea, or an open-ended R&D plan. It could be a piece of digital art, or a physical installation you'd like to build on the Creator Cabins property.
Recruit collaborators (optional)
Who else do you need to bring this idea into reality?
Maybe you're an engineer and you want to recruit a designer and a product manager to build software. You're an online course creator who wants to collaborate with a course manager. You have a podcast and want to bring out a few guests to do a deep-dive series. Or you just want to build something independently.
As part of your proposal, you can write role descriptions for each collaborator you want to recruit, evaluate applications, and add them to your project.
Let's say you want to bring together a team of four people for a one week stay to build your project. You set your crowdfunding goal at 28 nights worth of $CABIN. Once you raise enough for the project, you and your collaborators can schedule a stay at Creator Cabins.
Come build it
The cabins are turn-key spaces designed from the ground up for co-working and co-living in a beautiful natural environment. You show up, meet the team, and start building.
Like other crowdfunding platforms, you can offer rewards to the people who made your stay possible. Perhaps you're producing a piece of open source software people are interested in funding. Or you are going to mint an NFT at the end of your stay and share a split of the proceeds with your backers.
As a proof of concept for a collaborative residency, we are using Creator Cabins this week to work on this idea. We're building a roadmap and would love your thoughts, feedback, ideas, and involvement. If you're reading this, you're part of the community we want to meet and collaborate with. Reach out online, and hopefully we'll see you out here in the Texas Hill Country.