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A simple idea borne in late 2007 out of three broke guys’ need to make rent started a global revolution in the travel industry, and introduced the world to the idea of a “sharing economy”.

Brian Chesky is the co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, the online community marketplace for unique accommodation across the globe. He is just 35 years old, and has an estimated net worth of around $3-billion.

But he started out on a very different path as a designer (with one of his more memorable projects being a new and improved toilet seat), and along with his Airbnb partners, faced resistance and “perpetual” rejection from
Silicon Valley on what they knew was a game-changer.

So many people, including investors, thought we were crazy.

Brian Chesky - Airbnb CEO

"They said ‘Strangers will never sleep in the beds of strangers. This will never work’."

Clearly, it did. Airbnb has now serviced over 150 million guests in over 65 000 cities across the world – a goal that far exceeded their original hope of getting “a few thousand” people to use their service.

As long as you know where you’re trying to get to … you’ll find a path.

Brian Chesky - Airbnb CEO

In a South African radio exclusive, Charlotte Kilbane discusses sleepless nights, rejection and “the worst idea that ever worked” with Chesky.

Take a listen to this incredible story of a global leviathan in this week’s episode of Face to Face With Success, brought to you by Nashua.
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This article first appeared on 702 : Meet Brian Chesky: The sharing-economy hero

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