Connect with us

Inspiration

Brian Chesky, Billionaire CEO & Co-founder of AirBnB

Published

on

brian chesky airbnb

In order to go ahead with you Startup dream, you just need 1) a great idea, 2) money, 3) marketing, right?

Just ask Brian Chesky, Billionaire CEO & Co-founder of AirBnB, who will tell you… err… the exact opposite.

According to Brian “It wasn’t supposed to be the big idea – it was supposed to be a way to pay the rent while we thought up the big idea.”

That was back in 2007, when Brian and AirBnB co-founder, Joe Gebbia, were broke and trying to figure out how to make rent. They decided to try and cash in on an upcoming design show in town, by renting space in their house. “We didn’t have any beds, so we pulled three airbeds out of the closet, inflated them, and called it the Air Bed & Breakfast.”

That’s where the idea began. They got three takers and made rent. But Brian still didn’t think it was a business until he went home: “When I went home for Christmas, my parents asked what I was doing . I didn’t want to say I was unemployed so I said I was an entrepreneur.”

“When they asked what I was working on I told them about the Air bed and breakfast idea. After thinking about the idea more and talking about it more I decided that we should go back to the drawing board and do this idea.”

#1: To get started, you Don’ need a great idea. You just need customers who are happy to pay you to solve their problem.

In 2008, Brian and Joe tried to raise funding, but no one was interested. So they decided the best way to raise money was through their customers – and if their customers weren’t buying what they were selling, they’d just change the product.

As Brian recalls: “We got 80 bookings during the Democratic National Congress. The downside was, after the DNC we had no bookings, we were a year into the business, we were in debt, every investor said no… We were at rock bottom.”

2008 was the year of the U.S. presidential election. “In debt and desperate one midnight, we had the idea if the “air beds” in air bed and breakfast wasn’t working , maybe we can sell “breakfast” instead. We started thinking about president themed cereal and we convinced a producer to make cereal for us (called “Obama O’s and Cap’n McCain’s) and since we couldn’t pay them he would get a portion of the sales.”

“We hand folded 1,000 boxes of cereal, numbered each one, and sold them at $40 a box . We sold $30,000 worth of cereal and this is how we funded the company and came up with the phrase “be a ‘cereal’ entrepreneur”.

#2: To get going, you DON’T need money from investors. You need cash generating products to keep you going.

Brian and Joe then joined the incubator, Y Combinator. There, they met their mentor, Paul Graham, who gave them the key to viral growth. Brian explains:

“Paul Graham gave us a series of advice that changed our trajectory. The most important of this advice was that it was better to have 100 people who loved us vs. 1M people who liked us. All movements grow this way.”

“The problem with Silicon Valley is when you build an app you are expected to make the app go viral and reach millions of people. This is the worst way to think about it — it’s much better to get 100 people to love you.”

“During YC, we would commute from Mountain View to New York City and we would meet with every single host. We would live with each of the hosts and write the very first reviews.”

“We asked the host “what if we had a button you pushed and a photographer showed up to take pictures of your home?” The hosts loved this idea and I went out and borrowed a camera from a friend. The hosts were shocked that the founder was also the photographer — in fact we would also hand deliver the rent checks to our first hosts too.”

Once they had their first 100 raving fans, AirBnB grew rapidly through word-of-mouth, and from those first 100, they multiplied by x100 to 10,000, and again by x100 to 1,000,000.

Today, AirBnB has over 1,500,000 listings in 34,000 cities, and as of this month (when they just raised $1.5 billion), AirBnB is worth $25.5 billion, and Brian is worth over $3 billion.

#3: To grow, you DON’T need clever marketing. You need customers who love you, and who happily recommend their friends, who then love you too.

What can you do to un-learn the lessons we’ve been taught to build an industrial age business where the factory is king, and re-learn the new lessons to grow an information age business where the customer is king and queen?

Focusing 100% on the customer also keeps you from getting distracted from the wrong thing.

Following these three steps won’t necessarily make you a serial (or cereal) billionaire, but they will definitely help you get started faster, get going smarter, with less stress and more fun.

 

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Inspiration

20 Motivational Books & Essays Startup Leaders Should Read in 2020

Published

on

top 20 Motivational Books for startups

If you read about start-ups and their success rate, you’ll find that the failure rate is higher than 90%. Some research suggests how these rates are even higher than 95%.

For this very reason, it’s really important to have strong willpower to endure even the biggest obstacles in your journey.

Below we list out the best motivational books and essays available for you online.

1. The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris

While this book might even be considered outdated in our fast-paced online world, the principles shared in it will never go away.

The most important thing you’re going to learn is how to manage your schedule and how to delegate your tasks.

2. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Even though this book was published back in 1937, its core values and principles will never go away. This book is focused on the power of your mind and explores how you can better use your desires, ideas, and plans.

When you steer all these factors into a focused direction and add a massive amount of action to it, your success will be inevitable.

3. Rework by David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried

This is another modern age book that shares a similar type of content and ideas as The 4-Hour Workweek.

The new-age work culture is not only focused on money, but on life quality and time management.

4. Be Obsessed Or Be Average by Grant Cardone

You might question the authenticity or even the legitimacy of many things and claims shared by Grant Cardone. One thing is for sure – he will get you fired up, especially if you’re reading his content for the first time.

5. Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence – and How You Can, Too by Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary is another author and businessman who is highly focused on taking massive action in order to reach success.

He’s also highly active on social media, and if you’re in the same boat, you might learn a lot. On top of that, he’ll give you a huge boost of energy and motivation.

6. The Dip by Seth Godin

When you start your start-up journey, there will be so many moments where you just want to quit.

Well, this book is highly focused on quitting. To be precise, it will teach you when to quit and when to stick!

7. 10 Success-Boosting Motivation Tips From Millionaire Entrepreneurs by John Rampton

In this great essay, the author analyses great ideas and business guidelines shared by the richest people in the world.

It’s great content to expand your views and gain more of the business-oriented wisdom.

8. How to Stay Motivated to Start a Business by Simone Johnson

This essay is focused on explaining why motivation is so important when starting your business. You’ll find out more about different types of motivation and how to sustain it in the long run.

9. Famous Entrepreneurs Who Started Late and Founded Multi-Million Dollar Empires

As an entrepreneur, you might ask yourself: Am I too old for this? Well, in this essay, you’ll learn about 8 famous people who started their start-up journey when they were older.

You have to remember to never quit and that it’s never too late to start!

10.  Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

This is another great book by Tim in which he analyses the habits and beliefs of 101 highly successful people. It’s a great way to expand your views and gain wisdom. 

11. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

If you want to learn more about two different systems running inside of your head, you’ll find great value in this book. This is another great book for NPL enthusiasts.

12. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Jean Greaves and Travis Bradberry

The overall success of your start-up will not depend on your skills or the amount of capital you pour into it. One extremely important factor is teamwork. This book will teach you how to recognize and better react to your own emotions and the emotions of others.

13. The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill

In this all-time classic work, you’ll learn extremely valuable lessons that are being taught across sixteen lessons.

14. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Every entrepreneur has a list of people influencing their startup, starting with employees all the way to investors. This book will improve your skills when it comes to influencing the behavior of others.

15. Awaken The Giant Within by Tony Robbins

What would be a motivational list without Tony Robbins? All jokes aside, if you need motivation and energy, you’ll find them in his books and videos.

He’s creating this type of content for decades, and he knows every bit of detail when it comes to motivation.

16. Unlimited Power by Tony Robbins

If you want to dive deeper into the journey of finding your purpose in life and to learn how to get rid of fear, this book is a must-read!

You’ll find great tips on not only how to set your goals but how to achieve them as well.

17. Business Adventures by John Brooks

This book is recommended both by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. These two know what they’re talking about when it comes to business.

Bill Gates has not only recommended this book, but he also regards it as his favorite book of all time.

In this book, you’ll find 12 different stories based on which you can learn 12 different key ideas about the business.

18. The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success by William N. Thorndike

In this book, the author is analyzing eight different CEO’s and their approach to management. Each one of them had a quite unique approach, which is extremely useful for a reader to learn more about thinking out of the box.

In the worst case, you’re going to expand your own box.

19. 15 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Write by MasterClass

Being a writer myself, I had to share this extremely useful content with all of my fellow colleagues around the world. Writing is frightening but never give up! Here are some other resources you can use to master the skill of writing, which is essential in any startup: ordering research papers online (when you need a case study or a business report), Grammarly (for checking the grammatical accuracy of your texts), Canva (to add a visual flair to your writing).

20. See You At The Top By Zig Ziglar

We had to add another sales author to our list. Somehow, sales authors have extremely valuable insight when it comes to motivation. This book will teach you not only that but how to live a more balanced and fulfilling life as well.

Conclusion

On the one hand, it’s harder to succeed as a start-up now that there is so much competition. On the other, these and millions of other resources enable you to learn faster and better than ever before! Be it for team leadership, soft skills, or business-running, you can learn anything from these great books and essays.

Continue Reading

Inspiration

Creative Advice from 11 World Famous Architects

Published

on

Creative advice from 11 world-famous architects

As a creative entrepreneur, you’re probably no stranger to the ups and downs of inspiration. Motivation can come in waves, and when it’s gone, productivity can take a pretty major hit.

It’s impossible to stay constantly inspired all of the time. However, when we notice our creative spark fade, it’s important to engage in activities that rekindle the fire. Often, this means unplugging, pursuing a hobby, or talking with a friend or mentor.

Another great way to boost motivation is to look to other successful creatives. Architects, in particular, make great creative role models because of their ability to juggle multiple tasks and oversee projects like a pro. Check out the visual below for creative inspiration from 11 world-famous architects.

 

creative-advice

Continue Reading

Inspiration

Is your daily routine mindful or mindless?

Published

on

Is your daily routine mindful or mindless?

Do you serve a customer to make money? Or do you serve a customer to serve a customer? Do you wash dishes to get them clean? Or do you wash the dishes to wash the dishes?

Here’s a story from Buddhist Monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, about ‘washing the dishes to wash the dishes’ and the difference between mindful and mindless:

“In the United States, I have a close friend named Jim Forest… Last winter, Jim came to visit. I usually wash the dishes after we’ve finished the evening meal, before sitting down and drinking tea with everyone else.

One night, Jim asked if he might do the dishes. I said, “Go ahead, but
if you wash the dishes you must know the way to wash them.” Jim replied, “Come on, you think I don’t know how to wash the dishes?” I answered, “There are two ways to wash the dishes. The first is to wash the dishes in order to have clean dishes and the second is to wash the dishes
in order to wash the dishes.”

Jim was delighted and said, “I choose the second way-to wash the dishes to wash the dishes.” From then on, Jim knew how to wash the dishes. I transferred the “responsibility” to him for an entire week.

If while washing dishes, we think only of the cup of tea that awaits us, thus hurrying to get the dishes out of the way as if they were a nuisance, then we are not “washing the dishes to wash the dishes.”

What’s more, we are not alive during the time we are washing the dishes.
In fact we are completely incapable of realizing the miracle of life while standing at the sink.

If we can’t wash the dishes, the chances are we won’t be able to drink our tea either. While drinking the cup of tea, we will only be thinking of other things, barely aware of the cup in our hands. Thus we are sucked away into the future
– and we are incapable of actually living one minute of life.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Are you focusing more at being successful, or being mindful? It is a conscious choice that shows up in your daily routine – Being present in every moment shows up in the quality of your products, your service, your communication.

Being aware leads to care. It’s the contrast of being careful and being careless. This care becomes quality, and that’s why greater mindfulness leads to greater success.

Your daily routine isn’t a means to an end. It’s an opportunity to experience the miracle of life every day.

“Be here now.”
~ Ram Dass

Continue Reading

Trending

Subscribe to our Free Newsletter

Get Business and Marketing Insights from Experts, only onTimes of Startups!

Your Information will never be shared with any third party