What Entrepreneurs Can Learn from the Founders of Airbnb

Be bulletproof to failures and rejections.

Derick David
Dec 13, 2020 · 6 min read

Then, Airbed & Breakfast was born.

In the beginning, it was just an experiment. They thought the idea of ​​renting a room in their own house from a complete stranger was too crazy. Sooner or later, they started thinking about the idea’s potential. What comes after is history.

1. Meet your people (customers & users)

At the time, most of the early Airbnb customers were in New York City. During their three months at the Y Combinator, Joe and Brian traveled to New York City almost every weekend. They contacted their first users and in doing so, they were able to overcome major setbacks in their business model and provide Nathan with important feedback from their users.

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Image: Business Insider

2. Get used to rejections

Brian Chesky wrote a story listing the remarkable 7 rejections they received in the early days of Airbnb. You can read more here.

So, get used to failures and rejections if you want to become successful.

3. Design is everything

Airbnb designs for trust. What this means is that due to the nature of its business, they have to find a way through design to build trust and credibility between users. People nowadays are still scared to open up their homes to strangers, let alone 10 years ago.

4. Build a cult-like movement

Airbnb is both a movement and a business. The Airbnb movement is made up of millions of people around the world who have booked accommodation.
Allowing people to rent cheap accommodation instead of an expensive hotel room is one of the main reasons Airbnb has been so successful.

Final thoughts

Back in 2008, Joe Gebbia, Brian Chesky, and Nathan Blecharczyk started Airbnb without much experience. Today, more than 10 years later, they are still running the business with more than 100 billion in valuation. Their difficult journey was filled with obstacles, roadblocks, and challenges. However, they learned to overcome them altogether.

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Thanks to The Startup

Derick David

Written by

400K+ at The Startup. Ex-Apple. World-class designer with work recognized in Paris, Stanford University, and Italy. drckangelo.substack.com

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +771K people. Follow to join our community.

Derick David

Written by

400K+ at The Startup. Ex-Apple. World-class designer with work recognized in Paris, Stanford University, and Italy. drckangelo.substack.com

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +771K people. Follow to join our community.

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