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Today's Birthday 29/8

por Merissa Sisco (2019-12-21)


Today's birthday: Airbnb co-founder and chief executive Brian Chesky (1981 - ).

Brian Chesky's high school yearbook quote said, "I'm sure I'll amount to nothing", but just under a decade later he and his flatmates had an idea that meant he couldn't have been more wrong.

Born on August 29 1981, the future CEO of hospitality exchange service Airbnb was the son of social workers and one of two children.

Growing up in Niskayuna, New York, it was obvious early on that a young Chesky was not like other children. While other kids asked for toys so they could play with them, he was more focused on redesigning his toys to make them better.

That focus on redesigning the world around him saw Chesky graduate high school bound for the Rhode Island School of Design.

After a stint in Los Angeles, the former bodybuilder moved to San Francisco and into an apartment with college buddy Joe Gebbia.

It was 2008 and a design conference in San Francisco had filled every hotel in the city to capacity. Seeing an opening and feeling the financial pinch, Chesky and Gebbia decided to rent out their home to conference attendees.

Pulling out some airbeds from their cupboards, the pair called their venture "Air bed and breakfast" and the rest, as they say, is history.

"Once we started hosting, we didn't want to stop. We instantly felt more connected to the world," Chesky told the New York Times. "And we thought, if other people could feel like we did that very first weekend, then this idea would catch on."

Forbes now estimates Airbnb to be used by more than 160 million people in 65,000 cities in 190 countries across the world.

At the helm is the now 37-year-old Chesky, with none of the traditional experience of other businessmen and women in his position. But he hasn't let his inexperience slow him down, using his reported insatiable sense of curiosity to learn everything possible from everyone possible about leadership.

Among his list of role models are former CIA Director George Tenet and Berkshire Hathaway chief executive Warren Buffett.

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