Education: Bachelor of Fine Art, Industrial Design
College: Rhode Island School of Design
Previous Career: Brian Chesky worked for an industrial design shop in Los Angeles
2. Origin Story
The genesis of the modern-day share economy is best traced to San Francisco in 2008, where Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, recent Rhode Island School of Design graduates who had fled west, thought they could make some pocket cash by housing attendees at an industrial design conference on air beds in their apartment.
A Potential Business
Chesky and Gebbia put up a site, Airbedandbreakfast.com, to advertise their floor space. After three people bunked with them that week, they decided to max out their credit cards and build a bigger site with more listings. "We never considered the notion we were participating in a new economy," Chesky says. "We were just trying to solve our own problem. After we solved our own problem, we realized many other people want this."
3. Other interesting points
- Brian Chesky felt that working with entrepreneurs on small projects in the design shop made him realise that he would be willing to take the risk of entrepreneurship
- Till 2014 (last available public confirmation), Brian Chesky used to live in Airbnbs for part of the year and continued to rent out his own couch to guests
- Chesky is a former hockey player and bodybuilder with 16-inch biceps
- To pay off the credit card debt that they had racked up trying to fund Airbnb, they started selling Cereal boxes named 'Obama O's' and 'Cap'n McCain's' during the presidential elections. The boxes sold out and they were able to raise $30K to keep Airbnb going.
- Brian Chesky's net worth took a sizable hit in 2020, decreasing by ~ $1 billion, due to Airbnb's valuation taking a nosedive amid the global Covid-19 pandemic.
"We had a saying that you would do everything by hand until it was painful. So Joe and I would photograph homes until it was painful, then we get other photographers. Then we'd manage them with spreadsheets until it was painful. Then we got an intern." - Brian Chesky