Couch surfing – or whatever else you’d call the hitchhiking equivalent to sleeping – might work for a few nights, but can you make a career of it? The founder and CEO of a spare room rental service is about to find out.
Brian Chesky, one of the minds behind Airbnb, which helps people rent out their spare rooms to strangers, is going to spend the rest of this year using Airbnb to find places to lay his weary head. Chesky’s a victim of his own success: the company has effectively taken over his office, according to a post on the company’s blog, leaving him with the choice of getting a new place or proving the Airbnb concept in a most unusual and effective manner.
Anyone else would have started the hunt for a new place to live. However, that’s when the idea struck me. Why not just live on Airbnb? Instead of getting a new apartment, I decided that I will live the remainder of 2010 on Airbnb. I will stay 2-3 nights in homes and apartments on our website, across San Francisco. Originally I wanted to stay in every place available in SF on Airbnb. But, with 650 listings, that would take me a couple years. Still, by Christmas, I will likely break a record for living in the most homes in a single city. The benefit is clear; the best way to make a great product is to design something for yourself. By using Airbnb everyday, I will get to know the product and the people like never before.
In all fairness, this is the sort of eviction every entrepreneur hopes for! Aggressive growth and successful execution are the reasons for Chesky’s unique homelessness.