Casey Fenton is the founder of the largest trust experiment of all time—CouchSurfing. CouchSurfing is a hospitality and social networking service that gives its 15 million members access to offer hospitality and lodging, arrange homestays, and join events like the “Couch Crashes.”
CouchSurfing was first conceived in 1999, when Casey was just 21 years old. On April 2, 2003, CouchSurfing International Inc. was formed and was listed as a New Hampshire nonprofit organisation. The CouchSurfing site was launched on June 12, 2004 with the help of Sebastien Le Tuan, Leonardo Silveira, and CouchSurfing co-founder, Dan Hoffer. Casey was also the executive director of CouchSurfing until 2012. He also served as founding chairman of the board.
Casey, who has dedicated his life to understanding how to build cooperative trust systems is also the CEO and founder of Upstock, a privately held company which he founded in 2015. Based in San Francisco, California, the company helps businesses accomplish big goals by helping employees believe and think like entrepreneurs. The company also combines true and vetted elements of $1M+ Fortune 1000 equity plans.
The keynote and TEDx speaker has also worked as director of Internet strategy for Tony Knowles, the governor of Alaska. From 2002 to 2004, he also worked as legislative aide for the Alaska State House Minority Leader. After exiting as CEO of CouchSurfing, Casey became part of multiple startups like Wonder App and Upstock.
This week’s episode talks about the reason Casey chose the term couch surfing and how the whole idea for the project came about, what led him to the path of hacking his ego, and what diversity mindset is.
Casey also shares why he thinks diversity is important to survival, his take on trust, and how to do self-talk right.
As far as the biggest ego hack there is, Casey has this to say, “For social cohesion, people become what you tell them they are.”