I’ve crashed contentedly at Airbnb apartments in New York, Paris, San Francisco and Prague. (And I almost snagged an Airbnb Telluride pad a few weeks ago.) Totally down with it. Hotels and motels can go suck it. Ditto Craigslist, which used to be my #1 go-to for temporary sublets. So I was naturally interested in this interview piece with Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky by writes N.Y. Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman.
In October 2007 Chesky and his San Francisco roommate Joe Gebbia couldn’t quite make their rent, but the Industrial Designers Society of America were having a convention that week “and all the hotel rooms on the conference website were sold out,” Friedman writes. “So Chesky and Gebbia decided, why not turn their house into a bed and breakfast for attendees?
“The problem was ‘we had no beds,’ but Gebbia did have three air mattresses. ‘So we inflated them and called ourselves Airbed and Breakfast. Three people stayed with us, and we charged them $80 a night. We also made breakfast for them and became their local guides.” In the process, they made enough money to cover the rent. More important, though, it spawned a bigger idea that has since blossomed into a multimillion-dollar company and a whole new way for people to make money.”