Co-founder and CEO of Airbnb had an interesting way of stumbling into his big dream. Most successful businesses become profitable because they are of great service and value to they’re respective demographic customers, and Airbnb is no exception. Brian Chesky, who helped create a massive Uber type business in the field of accommodations through an online platform, was completely solution orientated and problem solving in his creation of Airbnb, which led him to billionaire status. How he found the inspiration behind it is truly intriguing.
As the story goes, it all began when Brian Chesky became roommates with Joe Gebbia in the technologically advanced San Francisco back in 2008. Like many online pioneers, both of them happened to be unemployed and the idea was ironically accidently created. In fact, the two of them were around $40,000 in debt. They were also very hungry for money. During a specific busy weekend when the Industrial Design Society of America conference was taking place, the two of them decided to put their apartment up for rent since everything in the city was completely booked, hotel wise. They decided to buy a few air mattresses and began marketing their idea on a simple website they decided to call Air Bed And Breakfast. They even gave pop tarts to the fist few guests. And boom – simplicity and a solution driven model at its finest. Initially, they only had a few customers, and one of them was Brian Chesky, the co-founder. They had a pretty tough start-up phase because firstly, they were both heavily in debt and secondly, they needed some massive capital to get the business off the ground. Apparently the company did not come across as appealing neither. When the populated Democratic National Convention was held in Denver, they decided to capitalized on providing accommodations and began a marketing strategy. They contacted some rookie type bloggers to write about their concept, which enabled some bigger publications to join in, such as NBC and CBS, which gave them decent exposure. However, once the weekend event was over, they were pretty much back to square on – in search for capital. To get properly out of debt, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia (graduates of Rhode Island School Of Design) decided to create fictitious themed cereals called “Obama O’s, the Cereal of Change,” and “Cap’n McCain’s, a Maverick in Every Box” in which they designed the boxes themselves with uniquely crafted art work. They sold the boxes at a staggering $40 and managed to get out of debt by selling $30,000 worth of cereal. The game plan was to give the cereal to bloggers who could potentially tell their story. All in all, they eventually pitched to an investor named Paul Graham who initially declined but was sold by the story of them getting out of debt by selling cereal. According to Pando.com, Paul’s exact words were ”If you can convince people to pay $40 for a box of cereal, you can probably convince them to pay to sleep on each other’s air mattresses. You guys are in.” The rest was history.
Brian is such a firm believer in his product, company and vision, that although he has reached billionaire status, he still does not own a home. Yupp, he continuously uses his Airbnb website. All this talk about the company, its fitting to give a brief description of why their purple cow (being remarkably different) worked so well. The Airbnb business concept is about cutting out the hotel concept in your travel plans, and booking accommodations directly with someone who owns an apartment or property. You’ll generally save cash while making a new friend and experiencing your destination from the standpoint of a local. Airbnb is currently in over well over 34,000 cities and more than 190 countries.