“One of my biggest strengths was precisely how little I knew – which motivated me to learn more .” — Brian Chesky, CEO
Success Topics: Need, Missionary, Curious, Hustle & be Scrappy, Launching X3, Consensus, Persistence.
The AirBnB Story is the remarkable book of behind-the-scenes story of the creation and growth of this Online Travel platform that has become — in less than a decade — the largest provider of accommodations in the world. It’s the first book solely dedicated to the extraordinary successful phenomenon of AirBnB – Air Bed & Breakfast . This is also the first in-depth study of its leader, Brian Chesky, the quirky & ‘pathologically’ curious young CEO, and his co-founders, as they steer the ship into markets well beyond lodging and into uncharted new territory. Below are 7 lessons on Starting-up I learned from the book. But before we jump onto the lessons, let’s have a look at some numbers.
AirBnB by the numbers
- AirBnB’s revenue in 2016 was $1.6 billion, and the company
- AirBnB turned Cash Flow (+) in 2016
- AirBnB has >70 million Guests in 2016
- As of November 2016, AirBnB was adding 1.4 million guests a week.
- AirBnB has roughly 3 million listings in 34,000 cities across 192 countries. 80% of them are outside North America.
“World’s First “Community” Super Brand”
Their #WeAccept Superbowl Ad campaign justifies the company’s commitment towards its mission of “Belong Everywhere”.
1. Make something People Want/Need.
Rich & Poor People Love AirBnB: Gweneth Paltrow. Rihanna, Emma Stone, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Wiz4biz. They all use & love AirBnB.
Belong Anywhere — the company’s Mission — isn’t just a single moment; it is a transformation people experience when they travel – on AirBnB. “If we share our homes with one another, we can get to know each other and bring each other together in a peaceful unity that doesn’t have borders! This company is about bringing people together and about loving one another” — Ashton Kutcher. If you’re an entrepreneur working on your startup or have a ‘world changing’ idea, ask yourself — “Will 100 people love to use this product?”
2. Be a Missionary.
A high-profile VC has a simple strategy. Find Silicon Valley successes, copy them, then launch “clones” in markets like Western Europe and Africa before the originals arrive. So they did the same with AirBnB by launching the knockoff site ‘Wimdu’ in the European market. It used aggressive tactics like poaching listings from AirBnB’s emerging business in Europe and soliciting hosts to switch. AirBnB was at a serious dis-advantage. Soon enough, the Samwer brothers made a proposition to AirBnB to sell it Wimdu. Mark Zuckerberg advised not to buy, saying : “Whoever has the best product will win.” “The difference between AirBnB and Wimdu is that AirBnB owners are missionaries, and Wimdu owners are mercenaries. Missionaires usually win. AirBnB, revenue is expected to grow to $2.8 billion in 2017 and $8.5 billion by 2020. When you’re building something, make sure you’re not driven by the notion of killing someone – to be the last man standing. There’s plenty of space, time, money, resources for your product/company/idea to co-exist in the world – while making this world a better place. Adopt a missionary mindset instead. Start with why. Lead with a purpose.
3. Be Pathologically Curious.
During their Y-Combinator residency program, the co-founders went to the early adopters of AirBnB – to learn everything they could about their users. At Y-Combinator, we just showed up before everyone else and stayed after everyone else. We just were more curious about the process. Instead of looking at the world through the lenses of certainty, look at it through the lenses of “possibility”. Curiosity helps to un-think and let go of all societal beliefs & assumptions + experience the world child-like – who sees infinite possibilities.
4. Hustle & be Scrappy.
Co-Founders Brian Chesky & Joe Gebbia first launched in October 2007 because their rent for the next month was due soon. The co-founders dodged Registration fee by posing as Bloggers. Chesky had a camera slung up around his neck so as to best resemble a Blogger, and excitedly talked up their new service. He pitched anyone and everyone. One of the most creative hustles the co-founders showed was during the DNC in Denver during the 2008 election. When in hustle mode, don’t shoot for perfection – focus on execution. Draw conclusions, learn your lessons, & move to your next target. It’s easy to get stuck in analysis paralysis when you’re trying to launch your big idea or ship that project close to your heart. When in Hustle mode, focus on maintaining your inertia of motion instead. There’s always going to be time for you to make it better.
5. Just Keep Launching.
AirBnB launched 3X before they took off. The co-founders used each launch as an opportunity to get more & more press. The reasonable man adapts himself to the environment. The unreasonable man adapts the environment to him. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. So, don’t get too caught up in ‘imagine-eering’ things. Just keep launching.
6. Stop making Decisions by Consensus.
A consensus decision in a moment of crisis is very often going to be the middle of the road and they’re usually the worst decision. Often, people give advice based on their own personal experiences and references. Don’t follow people’s advise if you wouldn’t switch places with them. Do what’s right – according to your Core Values & Mission.
7. Persistence, Persistence, Persistence.
Next time you face a rejection, learn what you could have done better. And then keep moving forward. The biggest enemy of a startup is your own confidence and your own resolve.Living conscientiously and using fore-thought, planning, & perseverance in all aspects of one’s life.
Comments: Share what has impressed you with AirBnB.
from Thrive Global.com 16 Feb 16 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz