Web of Questions

If you have any thoughts on any of these questions, I'd be so glad to hear from you! DM me on Twitter.

Near term: blockers to execution mode

What are the questions that must have preliminary answers before I shift into execution mode?

  • Location. What is the physical format of the community? Do people split time between multiple locations, is it a distributed neighborhood or something else, etc.
    • s sWhat's the strategy for building out the physical infrastructure?
    • What aspects of SF culture would we miss in NYC? Can these be goal factored?
      • What is best about SF?
  • Parenting. What is an approximate shared parenting philosophy that reassures prospective members that members are approximately aligned? The goal is to mitigate any fears that potential differences might be dealbreakers or ruin friendships.
    • Certain differences in parenting style are irreconcilable. What are these? Can they be resolved up front so that people know before they opt in to the community?
      • What are the dimensions of parenting policy that are most likely to cause friction?
        • What are the dimensions of parenting policies in general?
    • Kids don't always get along and this is an additional source of compatibility to consider in a community member - but if they're raised together from a very young age (when?) they'll probably be fine.
  • Purpose. What is the reason, if any, for the community's existence?
  • Culture. What is the culture of the community?
    • What are the norms? What kinds of behavior are encouraged and discouraged?
  • Expectations. What is the cost/benefit of joining relative to the alternatives?
    • How were Archive members lives' impacted? What explains success vs failure?
    • Who should not join?
  • Recruiting. How should the community recruit new members? How should it filter and select candidates?
    • Should there be an inbound application?
    • What questions should be asked on an application form?
    • How are member removed?
      • When should members be removed?
  • Size. Approximately how many people will be involved, and at what levels of engagement?
  • Engagement. How much should a community ask of its members? What about for an initial phase vs at steady state?
  • Governance. How are decisions made? Which decisions are made collectively vs by a small group vs by an individual?
  • Ownership and finances. How will the project be financed? Who pays for common spaces? Who pays for renovations, repairs, and services? How are expenses agreed upon?
  • Chores. How are common spaces maintained? Who organizes recurring events and meals?

Medium term: keys to a flourishing village

What are my Turtle Questions about my community? What are the questions that must be done well, that nobody has done before, that can wait until the unconference or later? What questions will I gather information, design experiments to test, and deliberate for months or years? (Includes community-approved answers to all of the short-term questions.)

  • Founders. Who are the 2-6 burning souls that will make this happen? (Besides myself)
    • How, and how much, can they help?
  • Founding Group. Who are the people that should be courted? How many will be needed?
  • Enabling environments. What kinds of enabling environments (band room, makerspace, bio lab, hosting space, childcare, etc) best support the culture and purpose?
  • Vision. What is the idealized day in the life of this community?
  • Engagement.
    • How will engagement change for each member? Is engagement a function of phase of life, tenure, career stage, something else, or some combination of these?
    • When, if at all, should members graduate?
  • Recruiting.
    • Should this be a broader network of communities? Should there be multiple layers of community?
      • What are the pros and cons of maintaining a wider network? Can we achieve any benefits through other means (like by partnering with other platforms)?
    • What's the top of funnel? How might we keep it fresh?
  • Progress. What does success look like, and how will we know we're doing well?
    • What are the failure modes, and how might we detect them early?
  • Coordination. How are projects completed? What is the cadence of shared projects? How many projects is too many?
  • Antifragility. How might the community become stronger when people live elsewhere in the world for weeks or months, instead of weaker?
    • How empowered are members to recruit notable strangers? Why might they do so?
    • How might these people be introduced to future travelers?

Long term: broader impact

What are the Turtle Questions of my life? What kinds of questions light me up and make me excited? What questions am I likely to be interested in for years or decades?

  • Homeschooling. Can we ensure a great education even if we build outside of a good school district?
    • How do kids meet and socialize with hundreds of other kids?
  • Finding yourself. How can community help people figure out their path in life?
    • How do people figure out their path in life at all?
  • Specialization. What kinds of projects are uniquely well-suited for community?
    • What types of value creation? (Social, professional, creative.)
  • TAM. Who should live in community? What types of people, and at what life stages, benefit most from communal living
  • Affordability. How can people with ordinary means organize community? What's the financial 80/20? What structures would help surmount financial hurdles?
  • Proselytizing. How might populations that would benefit most from these ideas be engaged or supported?