Dear Couch Surfers,
Thirteen years ago, CouchSurfing was nothing but an idea and a project that I worked on from home in the evenings and on weekends. Now CouchSurfing is woven into the lives of millions of people and we have a full-time staff of nearly 30 employees. I have actually been able to witness a dream become reality and grow into a movement that has changed my life, and the lives of many. I feel so very lucky and grateful to share this experience with you all.
I’m proud to see how much momentum this idea has gained, and I feel confident in the team that has been built to support it. Some of our staff members have been around since the earliest days of our community. Others are new to us and bring with them decades of experience in their fields. All of them are talented, committed people who have the expertise and the heart that the CouchSurfing community needs behind it. I see great things in store for the community.
With such a great team in place, from here on out Dan and I are stepping back from the day-to-day tasks involved in operating the company. We’ll still be very much involved, on a strategic level, in our roles as members of the Board of Directors. But it’s time for us to get some new ideas out into the world. For many years, we’ve put in countless hours of overtime building CouchSurfing. Now that it’s launched, we’re both looking forward to being creative once again. There are many ways to change the world, and we each have more projects that we’d like to see come to life.
One of those projects is CERI, the CouchSurfing Cultural Exchange Research Institute. The CouchSurfing community has demonstrated so much about the nature of trust, generosity, and friendship. There are lessons there that can have a huge amount of positive impact on the world. CERI will focus on concrete research that can help spread intercultural understanding and appreciation of diversity, based on those lessons. I’m very excited to get this new endeavor off the ground.
Dan and I are overflowing with love for this truly inspirational community and we’ll continue to do everything we can to ensure a great future for all of us. Naturally, there will be opportunities and challenges as we chart our course towards CS’s vision of a better world. That’s where we will always be involved: in making the best strategic decisions to support our community. I am proud that, as a socially-responsible B corp, we have a responsibility to our mission and values that goes beyond the scope of most companies. The magic that defines CouchSurfing is something that I believe in and will always champion.
I am grateful to each and every one of you for being part of this incredible movement, and I’m excited to keep adventuring with you. Thanks for dreaming with me!
Chairman, Board of Directors