Brian Chesky

Thursday, March 8th, 7:00 – 9:30pm



The Airbnb Way: How The History of Our Company Shapes Everything We Do

In the Duncan Anderson Design Department Gallery at California State University, Long Beach

Brian Chesky credits his experience at the Rhode Island School of Design for much of his success because “they teach you that creativity can solve problems. If you are creative, and you can identify an everyday problem you deal with, you can solve that problem”.

It took a couple years working in the “real world.” for Brian to realize that each day was another missed opportunity to do something important. After enough days like that, he decided that “We are all natural entrepreneurs, and being manacled to a desk job is not for us.”

Brian and his friend, Joe Gebbia, were living in San Francisco, where they had just quit their jobs as designers, with the romantic notion of becoming entrepreneurs. The problem was they didn’t have much money. The Industrial Design Society of America was holding its yearly design conference at that time, and hotels were sold out. The two, who were unable to pay their rent, offered part of their loft as accommodations.

Airbnb was born — an online service that matches people seeking vacation rentals and other short-term accommodations with those with rooms to rent. “Nice folks, folks like you, list their guest rooms, futons, and even couches on the site and set a price per night. Adventurous travelers looking for a place to stay can search the listings for an accommodation that’s just right. When they find a match, guests can book your room via credit card. You receive a notification to check out their profile, and decide if the guest is appropriate for your pad. When you accept a guest, contact information is exchanged, itineraries emailed, and the transaction is completed confirming the reservation.”

Since Co-Founding the company in August 2008 it has grown to over 100,000 listings in 16,000 cities and 186 countries. Listings include private rooms, entire apartments, castles, boats, manors, tree houses, tipis, igloos, private islands and other properties.

Brian gauges his success through personal stories of how they helped a host in Manhattan start their own business with the money they made; or how a host in Los Angeles was able to save their home. Success is learning about all the friendships that are created through their site, and their ability to give travelers a more authentic experience.