In the span of eight years, Brian Chesky has taken an air mattress in San Francisco and blown it up into a multi-billion dollar business—only with much nicer beds.
Chesky, the CEO of Airbnb, has rapidly disrupted the powerful and highly regulated hotel industry while empowering millions of people to open their apartments, homes and tree houses to guests they’ve never met. In less than a decade since its founding in 2008, Airbnb has become one of the most valuable private companies in the world, and with $1 billion more raised this month and a potential IPO in sight for next year, it seems Airbnb has every intention of increasing its curb appeal.
“Brian and the management team have done an extraordinary job of on the one hand being this incredible brand and this vision of the global accommodation community of trust among private individuals,” says Douglas Quinby, vp of research at Phocuswright, a travel research firm. “But on the flip side they’ve also done an incredible job of growing this business at an incredible rate.”
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