Long before Airbnb persuaded strangers to sleep in one another’s homes and became a $25 billion company, it was just an idea to make extra bucks and make rent.
After their first guests, Airbnb’s founders realized they were on to something bigger than a stopgap for rent. They faced rejection plenty of times — and created their own version of Obama O’s cereal — but the three founders of Airbnb have built a big business in the past nine years.
Here’s how they turned their idea to rent out an air mattress into a business that has the hotel industry running scared.
It started with an email. Joe Gebbia sent his roommate, Brian Chesky, an idea: What if they made a designer’s bed and breakfast, complete with a sleeping mat and breakfast? It was a way to “make a few bucks.” Almost nine years later that idea is worth $25 billion.
— Bill Gross (@Bill_Gross) February 16, 2016