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The Story of Airbnb #2 Cereals

Welcome back to the Airbnb series Part 2 — Cereals,

In this Airbnb series, we are going to see the following

  1. Birth of Airbnb — Unemployment which brings the innovation
  2. Cereals for the feed — The hope
  3. Momentum — The rise of Airbnb
  4. Crisis — The fall of Airbnb
  5. Pandemic — The unexpected turn 🔻

In the previous post, we were talking about the birth of Airbnb, So in this post, we will look at how cereals have helped Airbnb.

Title of Post #2

Days passed by when Joe and Brian were looking at other ideas rather than airbeds and breakfast though airbeds weren’t working why can’t we go by selling breakfast was their decision.

And to capitalize on the upcoming elections Joe and Brian created two limited edition cereals brands named Obama O’s and Captain McCains

Limited edition cereals of Airbnb

Brian found a fellow college alumnus who had a printing shop and agreed to print 1000 cereal boxes for free if they gave him a cut of the sales. Joe and Brian then went to every local store to find the cheapest cereals that they could find and bought around 1000 cereals so that they could put that in the new design packaging.

Back in the kitchen Brian and Joe were packing and gluing the new cereal box where brian thought that Zuckerberg was not burning his hands to glue the box to sell his product.

But this weird cereal gimmick has worked they sent a few cereal boxes to the journalist who could write about their product and soon it catches the fire 🔥 people ridiculously bought these cereal boxes for a high price because they branded them as Rare collectible items.

As a result, they got attention in the National media.

Obama O’s got sold off within 3 days and people start reselling them on eBay for around $350 per box. It was a short-term huge success for Brian and Joe. They have made around $20K-$30K which helped them to pay their credit card bills.

Now they were back to zero because they can’t sell the Cereals anymore because it was a limited edition and there were few unsold boxes that were their food for a few days. Because literally, they had no money to buy other foods.

Still, they believed that Airbnb would be successful all they need was money and that’s where they heard about Y Combinator which was accepting applications.

Quick read about Y Combinator

Brian and Joe eagerly applied and went in for the interview unfortunately unlike other meetings with the investors it was a disaster.

The interviewer asked, “Why would anyone want to stay in some stranger’s house?” and “Why would someone would invite a stranger to their house in the first place

Brian and Joe got up to leave the meeting in the first place because they knew it is not going to work and Y Combinator was their last hope.

The game is over

Before leaving Brian pulled a cereal box out of the bag and handed it over to the interviewer who was understandably confused with that. But Joe helped him by explaining that they did it to raise money and get out of debt.

The interviewer was amused and amazed after hearing this cereal story.

You guys are like Cockroaches. You won’t die

After they leave the meeting they got a call from the Y Combinator team stating they are going to take a chance on them. They would invest in Airbnb and try to make their business work.

Brian was shocked because the Interview doesn’t go well but it was the Cereals that had changed the Y Combinator's minds. Once of the Y Combinator’s guy has told

If you could convince the people to buy the cheap cereals for $40 then you can convince the people to sleep in other’s airbeds.

Business Lesson #2

It was the turning point for their business where other investors started pouring money and they got experts who could help them run the business. The founders were ecstatic that finally the airbed and breakfast had a chance of succeeding a little.

Airbnb got the funding and let us see how the momentum was created in the next post

Let’s see in Momentum :)



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Nidhin kumar

Nidhin kumar


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