Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky was practically a noob in the tech industry before starting the company.
The 35-year old secured a college degree in Industrial Design and loved engaging in hockey and bodybuilding in his 20s.
The “man with 16-inch biceps” is now one of the most successful people in Silicon Valley. Here’s a look at Brian Chesky’s fabulous life:
The Rich and the Restless – A look at Chesky’s Road to Success
Chesky is a Niskayuna, NY native and grew up playing hockey and doing bodybuilding. He also enjoyed designing Nike sneakers which led to an interest in art.
Chesky went to Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) where he studied Industrial Design and was named the school’s hockey team captain. Here, he rubbed shoulders with future Airbnb co-founder, Joe Gebbia.
Chesky had always been very passionate about bodybuilding – in his 20s, he took up competitive bodybuilding and is still referred to as the “16-inch bicep guy”. He moved to LA after graduation to work in the Industrial Design sector.
His stay in LA was short-lived as he moved with his buddy Gebbia to San Francisco. A design conference that was in town in 2007 led to all hotels being sold out. It was then that Gebbia pitched the idea of renting out space to help people find a place to stay.
The duo soon became a trio when Nathan Blecharczyk joined the club as a second co-founder and officially named their business idea “Airbedandbreakfast.com”.
Chesky met Elissa Patel in 2013, an artist he met on Tinder.
Even though Chesky is still Airbnb CEO, he handed daily operations over to Blecharcyzk in 2014. At the moment, Chesky has plans to turn the company into a full-fledged travel company.
Owing to Airbnb’s success, Chesky had the privilege of being indicted in Time 100 as one of the most influential figures alive, in 2015.
The business’s name was eventually shortened to just Airbnb for convenience’s sake, and transformed into a successful business, spanning over 34, 000 cities and as recently as 2016, having well over 60 million guests. Airbnb is ranked the second-highest valued US start-up – a cool $31 billion.
All of Airbnb’s founders are signees on Bill and Melinda Gates’ and Warren Buffet’s Giving Pledge; a commitment to donate over half their wealth within their respective lifetimes.
Today 35, Chesky has a 13% stake in the company and boasts a net work of $3.8 billion. In fact, according to Forbes, he is ranked at #8 as the world’s wealthiest under-40 entrepreneurs.
Chesky may have plans to take the company public perhaps after a year, as Airbnb is a privately run start-up at the moment.