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Couchsurfing International – A Story of Startup, Growth, and Transformation.

Read the Case on Pg. 657 “Couchsurfing International – A Story of Startup, Growth, and Transformation” then answer the questions at the end. Submit all questions and answers together. Include any comments, suggestions, or experience you may have related to the case.

Courseware: Small Business Management 17e, Launching and Growing Entrepreneurial Ventures, by Longenecker, Petty, Palich, and Hoy, Chapters 6-9, Page 657-659

1. How would you describe the founding team of Fenton, Hoffer, and Le Tuan? Is it a balanced team? What does each member bring to the business? Can you see gaps in their skill sets and capabilities that should be adjusted for in some way?

2. What is the form of organization that Fenton, Hoffer, and Le Tuan first chose for Couchsurfing International? Assess the advantages and disadvantages of the major organizational forms mentioned in Chapter 8. Which of these would have been best for the company when it was founded? Why?

3. Identify and describe the organizational form to which the team most recently transitioned the firm. Was it a good decision to make this change? In your opinion, how well was the transition handled? In what ways might it have been managed better?

4. Assess the fit of the board of directors with Couchsurfing based on the profits of those members mentioned in the case (the company has additional directors). What are the strengths and weaknesses of these board members, including potential gaps in their knowledge? Do you see any ways in which their advice to the entrepreneurial team may not have been in the best interests of the company?
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