Right here is ‘the most effective recommendation I’ve ever obtained’

A single tip from an investor helped Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky develop his firm from a struggling startup to an trade big price about $70 billion.

That is in keeping with Chesky himself, who informed attendees at a current Stanford Graduate College of Enterprise occasion that it was “the most effective recommendation I’ve ever gotten.”

The recommendation: “Give attention to 100 individuals who love you, as an alternative of one million individuals liking you,” Chesky stated.

It got here courtesy of Paul Graham, co-founder of tech startup accelerator Y Combinator, who suggested the Airbnb co-founders — Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk — to give attention to a small viewers of potential prospects as they constructed their firm.

Such a advice “truly goes in opposition to nearly all the pieces that everyone is saying,” Chesky stated.

For early Airbnbs, that meant creating visitor experiences that stood out between staying in a lodge and sleeping on a sofa. The trio took their analysis severely, even hiring a Pixar storyboard artist to assist them map out what five-star stays would appear to be from check-in to check-out, Chesky stated.

It additionally meant concurrently determining what would make the hosts completely satisfied and comfy. Shortly after launching the corporate, the trio of co-founders visited an Airbnb rental group in New York to personally {photograph} the listings and higher perceive host views, Chesky informed LinkedIn co-founder Reid’s “Masters of Scale” podcast. Hoffman. in 2017.

The small quantity of people that deeply appreciated the Airbnb expertise, each friends and hosts, turned the corporate’s “advertising and marketing division,” Chesky stated on the Stanford occasion.

By his estimation, the technique labored. In its first decade, Airbnb grew bigger than Hilton, which began in 1919 and presently has a market capitalization of $36.43 billion. A lot of that early progress was on account of word-of-mouth advertising and marketing, Chesky stated.

Sadly, Graham additionally gave the Airbnb co-founders “the worst recommendation” they’ve ever obtained, Chesky added: that they must transfer to Mountain View, California, the place Y Combinator is positioned, to succeed.

“You need not transfer [to Silicon Valley]Chesky stated. “You may be anyplace.”

Airbnb continues to be headquartered in San Francisco at present, however Silicon Valley has seen an exodus of tech firms lately, with high-profile firms like Oracle and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise relocating their headquarters out of California in 2020.

That 12 months, San Francisco was solely the fifth greatest metropolis within the US to start out a enterprise, due largely to its excessive residing bills, in keeping with knowledge compiled by Inc. journal. Austin, Texas, topped the rating, adopted by from Salt Lake Metropolis and Raleigh, North Carolina.

Chesky has additionally extra broadly championed the thought of ​​working from residence — or, as you would possibly count on from the Airbnb CEO, working from another person’s residence — at the least for the reason that begin of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I assure you that a number of these CEOs who’re calling individuals again to the workplace in New York Metropolis are going to go to the Hamptons for the summer season or go to Europe in August,” Chesky informed the “Decoder” podcast. from The Verge earlier this month. .

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