David Bowie once said that the the Internet’s potential for “the wonderful and the terrible” was “unimaginable.”

Back in the 90s, even his cautious point of view sounded like skepticism. Everyone was so optimistic about what the Internet could do!

Fast-forward to today, and we’re not so sure anymore.

Look at social media, for example. It’s a mess! It’s a 24/7 outrage machine, swarming with trolls and bots – and impossibly addictive despite all this. Like many things about our modern world, it’s broken.

But you know what? That’s exactly why we need optimists now, more than ever.

That’s why today we are sitting down with Christos Shepherd – a man on a mission to reclaim social media, and the online conversation at large, as a force for good.

Christos’ life story spans multiple cultures, continents, and industries. Born in Jamaica and given a Greek name, he grew up in London. Now Christos is married to a Nigerian, lives in New York, and is (slowly) learning Chinese.

But that’s not the main reason he’s awesome!

We wanted Christos on the show because he is a brilliant entrepreneur. Straight out of college, he started and later sold an airline. Then he spent time in Africa, helping governments and entrepreneurs to set up their own airlines.

After that Christos went to work for JetBlue. Even there, he flexed his entrepreneurial muscle! For example, Christos invented and launched the award-winning JetBlue Mint – at the time, it was the first lie-flat experience on any American airline.

(Oh, and he also fronted his own TV show in China, wrote for The Economist, and got an MBA from Stanford after starting several successful businesses.)

These days, Christos is the Co-Founder of Campfire. This unique app lets you ask your most burning questions to thought leaders, experts, and celebrities. They provide answers in the form of intimate, personal audio messages – and everyone gets paid for it.

But Campfire is a lot more than just a platform for connecting influential people with the curious public. All users – average Joes and big names alike – can choose to donate their earnings to their favorite charities. And, as Christos will share in the interview, many do exactly that!

As a result, Campfire not only elevates the conversation to a more thoughtful, intimate level… it also encourages people to give back and contribute to the world. That’s what makes it truly remarkable.

And now, please enjoy today’s episode with the one and only Christos Shepherd!

Click here for the full transcription

Here’s what you will learn:

[00:15] Introducing Christos

[03:54] Christos’ entrepreneurial journey

[06:12] How Christos started his own airline

[08:41] What is Campfire and why it matters

[11:23] Marketing tactics and strategies Christos used to grow Campfire

[12:47] The best – and worst – things about social media, and how Christos is working to change it for the better

[17:10] How do you know if a business venture is worth it?

[19:48] Campfire’s early days

[21:48] Raising money for an app? Christos recommends you do this

[26:50] How company culture made a difference for Campfire

[31:29] How many Campfire users actually donate to charity – and how many keep the earnings

[34:24] Why Christos decided to get an MBA after starting his business

[36:06] What are the most interesting questions asked by Campfire users?

[38:48] Using Silicon Valley innovations to improve people’s lives worldwide