This site was archived on 24 April 2012. No new content can be posted. The mailing list remains online and the site will stay in this archived state for the forseeable future. If you find any technical errors on the site, please contact Callum.

CS becoming a for-profit business: A message from Hospitality Club Founder Veit

After the shocking news of Couchsurfing accepting a $7.6 million investment and becoming a for-profit company, I just wrote a message to the hospitality exchange community. Most important: Hospitality Club will never be a for-profit business, we are currently developing an open-source site for HC and some behind-the-scenes info on CS. Please read the statement here:

Oh, and a special shoutout to my haters here :-D

21 Responses to “CS becoming a for-profit business: A message from Hospitality Club Founder Veit”

  • show the financial overview. how much did you make in the past years?

  • with this amount of google ads, with this travel keen localized traffic on the site: >200.000 usd at least per year. pure profit for veit.

  • lol. Would be awesome. I could have put the money on the side and bought CS myself.

  • Veit, good to see you post here :) I’d really love to see BeWelcome and Hospitality Club come together somehow. We all seem to have very similar ideas. And it’s not unrealistic, we just have to demand the impossible:
    1. undelete some profiles that have been blocked for linking to BeWelcome
    2. set up a legal non-profit framework for Hospitality Club

    I’m sure steps 3 and so on will follow. It won’t be easy but I’m confident we can work this out. Happy to hear your response.

  • Feel free to commit code once HC is open source, or use it for BW or whatever. Interesting to see that you are the one who puts out “demands” for BW though – did you vote on those or something? Also, I don’t think that you are honest here, maybe you did work for Casey too long – otherwise you wouldn’t post shit about me and HC any chance you get. Anyway, those who want to know more about bewelcome can just check :-) And have a look at your stats page to see that you’re absolutely dead and irrelevant.

  • Veit, let’s try to build bridges! I didn’t put demands for BW, when I wrote the first “we” I also meant to include you!

    I will be extremely happy to remove the shit I posted if you take the aforementioned steps!

    Edit: And with the second “we” is more the general community of people who care about hospitality exchange within a non-profit transparent convivial environment, which includes the BW crowd and many more people.

  • Yeah Kasper, you are the master of building bridges. I’ve seen you do it time and again, first in HC and then in CS. Actually, for you I’m quite happy if you have your BW-toy to play with, since we actually want to improve HC and most things you get involved in seem to end in big drama :-D

  • And what a twisted tongue you speak in…you posted this about the same time you posted here:

    Yeah, I really believe you spent too much time around Casey.

  • Please let’s not revert to ad hominem attacks…

    Many people would love to see a legal non-profit framework for Hospitality Club. What about that?

  • Well, Veit: One reason BW exist is because there are people who don’t believe in deleting profiles for linking to other networks / censorship. And who think a legal non-profit framework under public control is essential. A lot of BW/BV needs to be improved, but probably this won’t result from your shitstorm and lies under your page (at least the last time I cared to look).

    Anyway, I couldn’t care less as I never was a HC member (nor do I know you in person). As far as I can see HC is a single man company and with fincances even more closed than CS. So sellout is possible anytime. Hopefully you don’t run the HC webpage in/from Germany as the page doesn’t fullfill basic legal requirements. This is simply no option for me, no matter how irrelevant or dead I am.

    Open source (code) for hospex networks is in my eyes useless, if the legal structure doesn’t suit it. CS is also using open source code for servers, that’s just not the point. It’s not about free beer, it’s about freedom. This is probably also part of the diffuse “we” here.

    Nevertheless: If you’re able to reread Kasper’s suggestion, see something in it and act accordingly, than you’re even smarter than I thought. To add another impossible thing to Kasper’s: Maybe than I’ll become a HC member one day as well …

    PS: “Copyright © 2000-2004 The Hospitality Club. All rights reserved.” – BW seems to be not the only undead walking around;)

  • Oh, Kasper is getting touchy. Wow. Maybe read some of the nonsense I have had to read here about myself over the years, often posted by you.

    Yes, we do have big problems in HC, I know and agree. I do not agree with many of the pseudo-solutions you guys offer – BW being completely dead although you mention and link it in EVERY post here and elsewhere just showed this again.

    Anyway, fun hanging out here a bit, will see if we can get the big work done on HC in the next months.

  • Hi guys. I came here looking for alternatives because of the CS “capitalization”. It’s very enligthening to read your discussion, it seems other hospitality websites or not so snow white innocent either.

  • Veit, once again, let’s forget about all the personal issues.
    Why don’t you agree with setting up a legal non-profit organization for Hospitality Club?

  • “Why don’t you agree with setting up a legal non-profit organization for Hospitality Club?”

    Funny how Veit just keeps ignoring that suggestion. I don’t like autocrats, and have heard numerous horror stories about HC and Veit over the years. Seems like a genuine pr*ck in this thread, too.

  • Wow. I have the same sentiments as Michal.

    One thing that struck me from veits original long rant and the HC website, is that it goes on and on about being non profit, but never says where the profit actually goes – don’t think I don’t see those google ads over there – if you’re not making a profit from them, that doesn’t make you non-profit, that makes you a non-viable business. If you are making a profit, where the hell does it go?

  • Reading this thread I have come to mostly agree with Michal and Josh

    I don’t know you and have never been a member of HC, although i have considered signing up, but found the registration process less than simple.

    I’ve heard a lot of the history of HC, but have never really formed an opinion about it or you as i have no experience of either. Your posts here seem to chime with what i have heard though and and whilst the OS code sounds interesting and somewhat positive, it gets out weighed by A. how you have been posting in this thread and the lack of an apparent open, accountable, etc organisation. From my understanding CS was partly setup to get away from the issue of having a king of the community, although Casey Gaddafi seem to have just recreated the same or worse in CS.

    I don’t like to judge people, because you can’t really without all the info and you never have all the info. Also I’m not going to draw anything from a few posts. We all have bad days and weeks.

    If you are serious about doing some big work on HC ‘for the benefit of hospitality exchange’ then i’d be interested to at least find out more. Can you link me to any discussions, blogs or pages, where you and presumable others are talking about it, so that i can have more understanding?


  • Dear Veit,
    what legal structure did you create for HC? Have you founded a ‘Verein’? Did you manage to get the charity / ‘gemeinnütziger’ status to be tax exempt? How can one become a member of your ‘Verein’?
    Unfortunately the impressum and contact info on your site didn’t contain this information.
    lG, Claudia

  • My favorite parts of Veit’s story:

    “Even though I studied at Germany’s best business school with a very strong history of doing startups and making money with them”

    “I met Casey when he showed up at one of our Hospitality Club Camps. We had some nice chats, smoked a clove cigarette or two together. He is a smooth talker.”

    “…it showed that they didn’t give a rat’s ass about the idea of hospitality exchange.”

    “(the database drop most likely happened, and Casey then saw it as a golden opportunity to bring attention and money to the site). CS’ marketing has always been better than ours.”

    [there was an article about the "big crash" and subsequent rebuild featured on Wired Magazine, online, which is where I first heard about CS]

    “I also had a chat with Casey a few days later after they started to regroup, which I’d love to publish because it’s rather disgusting. After that I had not much interest in talking to him anymore – I had learned my lesson. Casey Fenton is not an honest person.”

    “What pisses me off personally is that they still put “1999-2011” in the footer of every page, so on an almost constant basis I have to answer the question who is older – CS (which actually went live in 2004) or HC (2000)”

    “There is so much wrong with the decision CS took. They essentially did not have the moral right to sell (part of) the site to venture capitalists. It was built on many volunteer shoulders, who rightfully feel deceived now. I might not be the best leader of a volunteer project, but this is something that would not have occured to me in my dreams. It’s disgusting. Venture capitalists don’t invest into something because they are nice people – they want to get this money back, from you, the community! CS already made millions with the verification scam, what is next?”

  • les claypool

    Blabalblalbalbalbablalbala too, capitalism, a love story and C.S won t dodge it.

  • Veit

    honestly, you´ve kicked out members who even referred to CS on their profiles or gave any critics in the past so it lead to mass exit from HC in some cities, now site has been like dead for ages just because there was no any interest to develop the site

    and your fellow follower in my city has ONLY interest in hospitality under concept HC, he has begged people to join his events sending messages

    you have done nothing for users for the site since 4 years so you just must be jealous that Casey succeeded to popularize his site and get some revenue from it now, it´s much easier to keep satisfied customers than get dissappointed back, CS has delete profile button, if 2-3 % will use it, new members still join at growing pace as people are only interested, if site works for their needs, is no fee and gives them what they expect, in my case CS functionality was like step from 50s to 90s compared to HC.

  • OH my god, I did not know anything about bewelcome so I just read the and I must say it just make you look like a maniac, Veit, not at all a harmful thing to bewelcome.

Comments are currently closed.