How startup, Airbnb, redefined home-sharing and what you can learn from them | Ripplestarters
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How startup, Airbnb, redefined home-sharing and what you can learn from them

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“Well this is weird, I’m not investing in this.”

When Airbnb co-founder, Joe Gebbia, decided to quit his job and start ‘entrepreneuring’, he didn’t have a real plan. But his creativity and strong work ethic are two qualities that helped him stay afloat. From artistic butt cushions to Obama-themed cereal to a whole new outlook on home-sharing, Gebbia tested boundaries and won. Here are 5 things we can learn from his endeavors.

1. You don’t need to be an expert

Before starting Airbnb, Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky didn’t even have a background in travel, hospitality or technology. But they experienced a problem and went for it.

2. Just try

When they came up with the idea to rent a room in their house during business conferences, they just built a website and tried it out. When they maxed their credit cards and needed to raise quick money, they came up with the idea of selling Obama O’s cereal and just went for it. This creative grit is what landed them a spot in Y Combinator, which was a big turning point for Airbnb.

3. Great ideas are polarizing

When Joe and Brian started pitching their concept to friends, people either thought it was the coolest or creepiest thing they’d ever heard of. Joe claims, the great ideas usually start out as polarizing. As long as there are some people who really gravitate to your idea, you’re onto something.

4. Launch fast

Joe and Brian launched the next version of Airbnb at the SXSW conference. They ended up without a single listing on it. But this taught them to rethink their target group and business model, which Airbnb still uses today.

5. Nail it before you scale it

Until they had flown out to New York and talked to their first customers they had no idea that their user interface was a complete failure. Once they stopped thinking “scale, scale, scale” and just started chatting with their passionate early adopters, they finally revealed the gap between their product and market.

Hear more about how Joe helped build the multi-billion dollar home-sharing platform on NPR's "How I Built This" podcast with Guy Raz.

Photo Credit: Nuvo Magazine

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