Shaking it up
After almost five years, I will be leaving Couchsurfing.
In August of 2007 I started an incredible, and what some called crazy journey. That journey is continuing at the end of the month, but on a different path.
That summer of 2007, I turned down a management position at BB&T bank in Washington DC. I had gotten the offer by flying to DC, and informing the hiring manager that I was there to interview HER about the position – to see if I really wanted it. When she got back to me a week later, I already had other plans.
My roommate and I flew to California, and rode our bikes from San Francisco to LA down the coastal highway, PCH 1. I then took a bus directly to Burningman. Two weeks later, I flew to South Korea to start a seven month journey around Asia. While there, I got my LSAT scores back. I had nailed it. Time to decide what law school to go to… only – law school didn’t hold so much appeal to me any more.
While traveling, I came into contact with the then small crew who was holding Couchsurfing together. There were something like 160,000 members using the site at that time. In May, I flew to Alaska to help them continue building the site. I have spent the last five years living and working for Couchsurfing in Alaska, Berkeley, Costa Rica, San Francisco, Istanbul, Atlanta, Mexico, New Zealand, Italy, and Oakland. I met my girlfriend during this time and my experiences in these locations with the close group of friends and family who were the CS staff have quite literally shaped my life.
Couchsurfing changes the lives of the members who use it. The site now has almost 6 million members, and is growing rapidly. We have taken $22 million in venture funding. Of the original employees from that summer in Alaska, only one remains after I leave. It has been an incredible learning experience watching the company move from nomadic non-profit to a high profile tech company in San Francisco, and I will love watching it continue to evolve.
However, I am not built to live in an office staring at a computer all day every day. My recent adventure rafting 220 miles of the Colorado river in the Grand Canyon has only emphasized this.
I am going to focus on creating an outdoor education company, one that fosters learning and new experiences for children and adults. I am looking forward to forging new connections, and having more face to face interactions with the people who’s lives I am changing.
If you are interested in what I am up to – shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you like the outdoors, and want to pass some of your knowledge on to children, hit me up!
January 16, 2013