AirBnB’s “Overnight Success” Took 3 Years…

Brian Chesky who’s the co-founder at AirBnB famously talked about how their overnight success took a thousand days. Well, AirBnB actually had one of the perfect examples because the way that their growth unlocked is because they had figured out where to focus the bulk of their energy and finally enough, this is just in pictures, in photographs.

So AirBnb, what they do is a website that just allows you to rent areas. So for example, if I’m moving and I’m going to go for the weekend somewhere, I can put up my apartment on AirBnB and accept somebody to come in for the weekend and I’ll be able to generate revenue from my assets. The thing is that they were trying to leverage Craigslist when it was starting and they were trying to figure out a way to get people to go on to AirBnB and to set it up and to actually have people renting AirBnB’s and whatnot and truly enough, it took them 3 years to figure out that their positioning and their focus should be on making sure that the experience on their website made it seem like it was a legitimate thing, right? Like it was nice pictures of nice pieces and those insights are things that they were able to put together over the course over 3 years.

Today, AirBnB is a huge company and they’re very, very successful but it has been the result of multiple milestones that have been themselves the result of focus in the right areas and their strategy and the way that their vision has been fulfilled. Their vision was always to democratize areas where people live great. It was just something like I want to be able to put my apartment up for rent because I’m not going to be here or somebody else’s. I’m going to go Miami and I need to find a place and I don’t feel like renting an apartment for 2 weeks, and you know, it’s just something, it’s renting on demand. So they were able to figure out the best way to go about executing on their business overtime, not just a single day. It took them 3 years.

Now AirBnB the way that they approach their growth was by segmenting different parts of the market. So they knew that a lot of different people would eventually love using AirBnB but again, like we talked about the premarket fit time, there’s a portion of your audience that will be willing to use your product when it’s broken or very early and they’ll be willing to give you feedback and things like this. So we tend to talk about that as a minimum viable segment.

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