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Casey speaks out, somewhat

It’s been a while I came across an interview or something related by Casey but here is an interesting interview on, a website devoted to increase sharing.

It contains a lot of general information about trust, history, the mission of CS and community democracy but Casey also speaks about the 2006 crash (“a turning point in the organization”) and how things evolved after that.

There was no infrastructure built for collaboration, but we had a lot of people who wanted to offer their help and energy. So we basically said, “If think you know what to do just get in there and do it.”

We later realized that there were problems with this approach. Specifically, we were not providing a lot of direction, and people had drastically different ideas on how they would like to see CouchSurfing grow. I was sending out the message: “Possibilities are endless and up to you. Whatever you think it can be, it is.” Unfortunately, what this created was a lot of chaos; competing interests and constant disagreement around the direction CouchSurfing should be going.

It took a couple of years to finally work it out and say, this is what our mission and vision are. I would caution people from the outset to clearly articulate what it is they do and where they are going, so that people have a shared understanding upfront. Community democracy offers a lot of opportunities to explore and experiment, but it poses a lot of challenges as well.

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