Co-Founder, Founding Chairman | CouchSurfing
Growing up in a small town in Maine, I came to the realization that my options were limited by my perspective and experiences. I knew that to make the best decisions in life I needed more possibilities to draw from, so I set about experiencing as much as I could. I traveled around the world in search of what could help me and other people broaden their horizons.
After a number of significant experiences, including enlightening trips to Iceland and Egypt, I came up with the idea for Couchsurfing. I programmed the original website in 2003 and 2004 while living in Alaska.
Since then, Couchsurfing has become the world’s largest travel community, enabling millions of people to explore the world and learn about each other. Thanks to my work at Couchsurfing, I was elected an Ashoka Fellow in 2010.
More recently, I founded Sovolve, a company dedicated to creating tools that accelerate social evolution. Our first product, Wonder, is an app that helps people know themselves, and others, better.
Most recently I have helped spin off Mast.ly. It’s a performance-based equity tool to help startups reach goals. Mostly integrates with a quick legal process online and then analyzes team members hours worked so that their corresponding shares can be tracked in our user-friendly dashboard. Team members earn a bonus which is captured in a performance equity pool. By giving team members an actual stake in the company they also act as investors. That money is reinvested into the company, reducing payroll costs and helps founders focus more on what matters.