Brian Chesky and His Unconventional Strategies Towards His Success

Brian Chesky and His Unconventional Strategies Towards His Success
Brian Chesky, Co-founder and CEO, Airbnb
“The hardest thing to manage in a crisis is your own psychology…The optimistic mentality is the mentality you need to be creative. And you need to be creative because, in a crisis, you often have no good solutions”– Brian Chesky

This is how Brian Chesky, an American businessman, the Co-founder and CEO of Airbnb overcame the challenges he faced in building this international business.

Today, if we have the luxury of traveling and hassle-free vacationing anywhere & anytime without worrying about the factor of accommodation in an unknown new place, then we have a few innovations & their founders to thank for. One of them being, Airbnb & its founder Brian Chesky.

He brought unconventional changes to the established travel market through his innovative thinking, tenacity, and enthusiasm.

This article is precisely the biography of Brian Chesky where we will discuss his success story beyond all hurdles.

Brian Chesky - Biography

Name Brian Chesky
Birthplace Niskayuna, Newyork
Born August 29, 1981
Nationality American
Education Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design
Position Co-founder and CEO
Net worth $8.6 billion

Brian Chesky - Early Life
Brian Chesky - Career and Conception of Airbnb
Brian Chesky - Hurdles and Challenges
Brian Chesky - Achieving Success Beyond the Hurdles
Brian Chesky - Investments
Brian Chesky - Philanthropy
Brian Chesky - Awards and Recognitions
Brian Chesky - Fun Fact
Brian Chesky - Famous Quotes

Brian Chesky - Early Life

Brian Chesky was born in Niskayuna, New York, on August 29, 1981, and both of his parents were social workers. Raised in a middle-class family, he showed an early interest in art and design. Chesky's childhood laid the foundation for his future entrepreneurial endeavors.

Chesky attended the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design. His time at RISD exposed him to the intersection of art, design, and business, sparking his creative and entrepreneurial spirit.

An interesting fact about Chesky is that before getting into his entrepreneurial activities, Chesky was a hockey player and was also into bodybuilding.

Brian Chesky - Career and Conception of Airbnb

Brian Chesky was employed as an industrial designer and strategist at 3DID in Los Angeles after graduating from college.

After moving to San Francisco, Chesky got a roommate, Joe Gebbia. Later on, this encounter was the one that paved way for the development of Airbnb.

To accommodate guests of a design conference, Chesky and Gebbia made the decision to rent out air mattresses in their San Francisco residence. This original trial served as the foundation for one of the most innovative and prosperous businesses of the twenty-first century. Thus, Airbnb was conceived in 2007 as a result of its financial challenges.

Later on, Chesky got the company of an engineer, Nathan Blecharczyk, along with whom, Chesky officially co-founded Airbnb.

The platform aimed to connect travelers with spare rooms in private homes, offering a more personalized and affordable alternative to traditional hotels. This practice was a new innovation in the travel & lodging industry.

Airbnb Success Story | Founders | Logo | Business Model
Airbnb is a market leader in the hospitality industry. Know when Airbnb started, Airbnb company history, Airbnb founders, mission statement, and more in this Airbnb success story!

Brian Chesky - Hurdles and Challenges

The trio faced numerous challenges in the early days. Convincing people to open their homes to strangers and further building a critical mass of both hosts and guests was a significant challenge.

Above this was the safety concern. Building trust was crucial for the success of Airbnb. Users needed to feel safe renting or hosting through the platform.

Also, as the base grew, the platform faced technological challenges in terms of scalability and ensuring a seamless user experience.

Over and above all these there were other challenges like financial hurdles, educating the market about this new way of traveling & accommodating, international expansion, regulatory hurdles, and much more.

Brian Chesky - Achieving Success Beyond the Hurdles

But all these hurdles didn’t put them down from the success that Airbnb saw in the following years.

That said, the path to success was definitely not a bed of roses. Chesky and his team had to come up with many critical & strategic ideas like implementing policies and procedures to manage crises, employing creative marketing strategies, establishing features such as host and guest reviews, secure payment systems, enhanced identity verification, accommodating different cultural expectations and many more to overcome those challenges.

One fine example of overcoming the financial crisis in the early stages would be their innovative idea.

To fund the young company, Chesky and his co-founders resorted to their brilliant unconventional methods. They made use of the elections in 2008 presidential elections and created limited-edition cereal boxes called "Obama O's" and "Cap'n McCain's", raising around $30,000 to keep Airbnb afloat.

This creative and resourceful approach demonstrated Chesky and his team's ability to think outside the box, a trait that would serve him well in the years to come.

Under Chesky's leadership, Airbnb expanded globally, reaching over 220 countries and regions. His emphasis on community, trust, and design contributed to Airbnb's distinctive brand identity.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky: Hotel prices will 'probably rise' next year

Brian Chesky - Investments

Here are some prominent investments made by Brian Chesky:

Announced Date Organization Name Funding Round Money Raised
November 22, 2022 Capitol Seed Round $10 million
April 16, 2013 Flight Car Series A $5.6 million
April 03, 2013 Balanced Seed Round $2 million
November 16, 2012 Balanced Seed Round $1.4 million
October 01, 2012 Summly Venture Round $1.2 million
April 30, 2012 SocialCam Angel Round -

Brian Chesky - Philanthropy

Apart from being a successful businessman, Chesky has been an active philanthropist. Here is a list of his philanthropic activities:

  • Chesky joined Warren Buffett and Bill Gates 'The Giving Pledge' on June 11, 2016, a group of billionaires who have promised to give away the majority of their wealth
  • In 2020, amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, Chesky and his partners pledged $100 million to support COVID-19 relief efforts
  • Chesky gave $100 million to the Obama Foundation in May 2022 to establish a scholarship program for students seeking careers in public service
  • In 2020, Chesky announced the launch of, a separate nonprofit organization within Airbnb with the aim to provide temporary housing to people in times of crisis.
To quote Chesky, “There is a saying that a great trip can set you down a path that doesn’t end when you return. With this pledge, I want to help more kids realize the kind of journey I have had. I want to show them that their dreams are not bounded by what they can see in front of them….”

Brian Chesky - Awards and Recognitions

Brian Chesky has received many prestigious awards in his life. Here's a compilation of the awards he has received:

  • Brian Chesky was named in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in the Consumer Technology category in 2011
  • In 2015, Chesky was named to the TIME’s 100 list, which identifies the most influential people in the world
  • Chesky was recognized by Glassdoor as one of the highest-rated CEOs in 2016
  • Forbes 100 richest tech billionaires in the world - 2017
  • He was listed in the Forbes Global game changer list - 2017
  • He was named under Forbes's wealthiest Americans in 2023
  • Boston University School of Hospitality Administration’s third annual ICON Award 2023

Brian Chesky - Fun Fact


Chesky in his yearbook wrote - "I'm sure I'll amount to nothing." Though he found it funny, his father didn't.

Brian Chesky - Famous Quotes

“If you want to create a great product, just focus on one person. Make that one person have the most amazing experience ever.”

“Founders are like parents and the company’s the child.”


Who is Brian Chesky?

Brian Chesky is an American businessman and the Co-founder and CEO of Airbnb.

When was Airbnb founded?

Airbnb was founded in the year 2008.

Who are the founders of Airbnb?

Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk are the co-founders of Airbnb.

What is Airbnb?

Airbnb is an online marketplace in need of accommodation with the people (hosts) who are willing to rent their home or space in a particular locality.

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