July 24, 2021

Who is Brian Chesky, the boss of Airbnb?

Who is Brian Chesky, the boss of Airbnb? (Photo credits: Adobe Stock)

Where will Airbnb stop? After revolutionizing the world of leisure accommodation by creating a rental site between individuals, its creators aim to make it the travel agency of the future. Although Brian Chesky is not the sole founder of Airbnb, it is indeed he who leads the boat, at least in the face of the media. Who is behind this 35-year-old billionaire who looks like a golden boy?

From bodybuilding to inflatable mattresses

You might find it hard to believe, but Brian Chesky followed in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s footsteps in bodybuilding when he was just over twenty years old. He also liked ice hockey, art, and pursued studies in industrial design, but showed no particular interest in new technologies. One day, his friend Joe Gebbia, co-founder of Airbnb, had a premonition. Before getting on a plane, he told Brian Chesky that they would start a business and someone would write a book about their success. In 2007, the two friends who live under the same roof in San Francisco learned that all the hotels in the city were sold out due to a design conference. They then have the good idea to buy inflatable mattresses to accommodate participants in their apartment, breakfast included. This is the starting point of the Airbnb adventure, baptized at the time AirBed & Breakfast (“air mattress and breakfast” in French).

A ship captain inspired by the CIA and Warren Buffett

Despite his air of mister-everyone, Brian Chesky has the charisma necessary to run a company like Airbnb. When asked about his vision for society, he compares himself to a captain who has an obligation to lead his ship to port. It was a former director of the CIA, George Tenet, who inspired him with this philosophy. Brian Chesky is also modeled on billionaire Warren Buffett, the third richest man in the world in 2016 according to Forbes magazine. Are you interested in start-ups that started from nothing and are doing well today? Discover the incredible history of the French company BlaBlaCar.