The young man who overturned the cliché "do not trust strangers" and became a billionaire
The fascinating story of Airbnb co-founder Brian Cesky
The example of Brian Cesky is an inspiration to many young people but also a tangible proof that one should believe in one's ideas, no matter how awful they may seem. You never know what might come out next and how life will want to reward you as you pursue your dream. And the courage or audacity shown in their carefree and more daring 20s by Brian Cesky and his roommate Joe Gembia today brought them to the list of the world's most powerful and bosses of the world's most profitable service, the airbnb.
"I planned the future I wanted to live in," Brian Cesky, the company's CEO, said in an interview. And he did it. As he managed to overthrow, as he says, the cliché "do not trust strangers". And it is for him a personal moral conquest. After all, the fear of putting a stranger in your home was the main problem they faced at the beginning of their venture.
Today, the platform is worth $ 35 billion, and Airbnb is located in more than 190 countries around the world. But beyond the warm response it has received over the past decade, it has managed to divide the world, with views on how positive it is as a service or not, being divided. And among the negatives they charge it with is the fact that more and more homeowners are renting out their homes to Airbnb. making it impossible to find houses for rent in big or small cities, while skyrocketing rents.
The journey began with an inflatable mattress
Back in the not so distant 2008, two young friends from the School of Fine Arts arrive in San Francisco to pursue their career dream, which was not very demanding, on the studies they did. After all, Brian Cesky loved to draw (he designed all his toys, even his shoes) from a young age and could not have imagined that he would do anything different from what he had studied.
However, things in San Francisco did not go as planned by the two friends, who were looking in vain for a job. Unemployed, they both had a hard time making ends meet and the arrears of rent were increasing. And the threat of being evicted and stopped somewhere there and the dream of a fresh start in San Francisco, was now visible.
But "the arts are being processed" and the two young men took advantage of the fact that many people were in the city to attend an industrial conference, but there was no accommodation for everyone. Because they were not doing well on the Internet, a third friend helped them build a makeshift website called "Air Bed and Breakfast" (hence the name Airbnb), offering people accommodation and breakfast. who had nowhere to stay for the night. In fact, that same night, they hosted three people at their home, who were the first customers of their service, paying $ 80 each for their stay. And somehow, they managed to pay the rent.
Whatever efforts the two young men made seemed opportunistic. And in the end they ran out of money. In August 2008, shortly before the Democratic convention in Denver, the organizers of the service thought that in a city of 27.000 hotel beds, the approximately 80.000 people who would visit would have to stay somewhere. So that weekend there were dozens of those who found accommodation through Airbnb service.
However, the two 25-year-old friends did not continue their efforts on this new idea, since for themselves, it probably seemed a bit strange. Possibly awful, as many called them at the time. But their debts due to their move to Denver had grown and they had to find money to pay them off. And then they implemented a daring idea, which if they thought it well they might not have realized it. But rather, in the case of the two young people, Coelho's other cliché with the universe was valid!
Desperate as they were they thought of turning to the breakfast market. So they implemented the daring but simple idea: Cesky ordered a thousand boxes of cereal with Obama O's logos Barack Obama) and Captain McCain (General McCain), using the names of the then two candidates for the US presidency. And they started selling them for the outrageous $ 40 a box of the product, promoting them as a "limited edition."
At the same time, they made sure to give them the necessary publicity, people were bitten and soon everyone wanted to buy a "collectible" box of their very expensive cereals. So they made a profit of $ 30, which allowed them to take Airbnb more seriously.
And the "Obama cereals" were the powerful weapon from their quiver, when at the beginning of the project most people viewed with disbelief the idea of hosting strangers in your home. Since they managed to persuade so many people to buy cereals, why not convince them to open the doors of their houses (for a fee) to strangers?
And that was another bet that Chersky himself made through him airbnb, which includes its philosophy: everything should end in trusting each other!
Airbnb in numbers
When they first came up with the idea 11 years ago, everyone said they were crazy. And that there is no way people will ever accept to host strangers in their own space. "Our company is based on the most personal human interaction, that is, being a visitor to someone's house, sleeping in their beds and using their bathrooms," said Ceski. And the numbers today speak for themselves.
6 million Airbnb bookings worldwide
81 thousand cities with reservations
191 countries participating in the platform network
It has 31 offices around the world
Airbnb's list includes, worldwide, 14 small apartments, more than 4.000 castles and 2.400 tree houses.
It has hosted more than 2008 million visitors since its launch in 500
By August 2018 the company had seen a total of 400 million visitor arrivals, which means that the total number of guest arrivals has increased by 100 million in the last eight months alone.
Three Airbnb guests check the list every half second.
More than 75 cities around the world hosted at least 1 million visitors, each.
Airbnb property owners have earned a total of $ 65 billion since the company was launched. The company reported that women homeowners earned nearly $ 20 billion in 2017 and 2018 alone.
The majority (56%) of Airbnb property owners are women.