Seize the Moment, Get Mentored, and Don’t Stop! In 2007, two designers Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia were struggling to make ends meet in San Francisco. They couldn’t afford their rent, and an upcoming design conference in the city meant that hotels were fully booked. In a stroke of creative thinking, they decided to rent out three air mattresses on their living room floor, provide breakfast, and call it the “Air Bed & Breakfast.” They set up a basic website and marketed their unique offering to conference attendees.
To their surprise, they received an overwhelming response, not just for the air mattresses but for the concept itself. This unexpected demand prompted them to realize that there was a broader opportunity to connect travelers with people who had spare rooms or entire homes to share. They teamed up with Nathan Blecharczyk, an engineer, to develop a platform that would later become Airbnb.
They had their initial early-day struggles. One of the biggest issues was people welcoming strangers into their homes or even hosts taking in strangers. They tried different ways of verifying peoples’ profiles and doing reviews to build this trust.
Where things began to pick up for them however was when In 2008, Paul Graham of Y Combinator recognized Airbnb’s potential and accepted them into the startup accelerator program. This investment not only provided them with funding but also valuable mentorship and support. The founders refined their business model and expanded their reach, evolving from a quirky idea to a scalable business. By 2011 they were already international.
Today, Airbnb is a global marketplace that connects millions of hosts and guests in over 220 countries and regions and is worth $84.25 Billion.
It doesn’t take very long for someone’s life to turn around, you only need to seize the moment, get a mentor, and don’t quit!