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Brian Chesky didn’t know much about tech before starting Airbnb.
The now 39-year-old CEO majored in industrial design in college, and dabbled in hockey and bodybuilding in his 20s. But now, he’s grown an idea that stemmed from overbooked hotels into a multi-billion-dollar startup, and has become one of Silicon Valley’s key players.
On Monday, Airbnb publicly revealed its paperwork for an initial public offering, slated to be one of the most highly anticipated IPOs of the year.
Here’s how the Brian Chesky, an upstate New York native, became one of the richest young tech founders in America.
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Chesky grew up in Niskayuna, New York, north of Albany. He was into hockey, and he also liked to draw and design new versions Nike sneakers, which turned into an interest in art.
Chesky’s high school yearbook quote was “I’m sure I’ll amount to nothing.” He thought it was funny — his dad didn’t.
“Earlier this year, he was happy to find out I’d be speaking at both my high school and college as the commencement speaker,” Chesky wrote on Instagram in 2017. “See you soon Dad!”
In 1999, Chesky attended Rhode Island School of Design, where he served as captain of the hockey team and studied industrial design.
At RISD, Chesky met Joe Gebbia, with whom he would eventually cofound Airbnb. Right before graduation, Gebbia reportedly pulled Chesky aside and said: “Before you get on the plane, there’s something I need to tell you. We’re going to start a company one day, and they’re going to write a book about it.”
In his early 20s, Chesky was a competitive bodybuilder. He was described in a 2014 profile as still having “16-inch biceps.”
In a 2014 Fast Company profile, Chesky is described as an imposing figure: “A former hockey player and bodybuilder with 16-inch biceps, the CEO commands attention. His boomerang grin and slant nose work to sharply focus his attention on you. Rather than turn his head toward me, he physically picks up his chair and pivots it directly so we’re eye to eye.”
After graduating from RISD, Chesky moved to Los Angeles to work as an industrial designer, for which he made $40,000 a year.
But shortly thereafter, he moved to San Francisco and in with Gebbia. The two unemployed grads soon ran out of cash. When a design conference came to town in October 2007 and caused all the hotels to sell out, Gebbia pitched Chesky the idea of renting out their space to those who couldn’t find a place to stay — a “designers bed and breakfast.”
Here is the email that started Airbnb. Shown onstage at #TED #TED2016 pic.twitter.com/A2ZF9Epcxj
The roommates ended up housing three people that weekend, offering up air mattresses and floor space, as well as Pop-Tarts for breakfast.
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Source:: Businessinsider – Tech