TL;DR - membership in the first network city-state


  1. Background
  2. Problem space
  3. Product
  4. Long term: Software for network states


The obvious business model for an online community is subscription: direct monthly payments from community members. Balaji also believes this will be the business model of network states. The problem is that, while subscription memberships (eg citizenship) seem like the natural business model for a network state, they may not be that good of a business:

  1. At a palatable price point for consumers (eg $12 / month), the consumer comparisons are things like Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Prime, Instacart Plus, etc that create a lot of value for people in their day-to-day lives
  2. At this price point, you can’t generate that much revenue from a small to medium network. We would need ~7000 members to hit $1M ARR at a $12 / month network membership, and most of that would have to go back into COGS in one form or another
  3. The value you can provide at this cost, especially for an abstract thing like a network state, is not a burning pain point that people are looking to solve. Even if the community would be extremely valuable to them, they don’t know that yet and don’t know how to look for it
  4. Consumer subscriptions have some structural product issues that make them hard to grow:

Problem space


Cost: $144 / year (could we charge more?)