'Homeless' Airbnb founder hails sharing economy
AUSTIN, Texas (AFP) - On any given night, up to 60,000 people stay in places they found on Airbnb. One of them is always the guy who co-founded the fast-growing online travel lodging service.
"In June 2010, I moved out of my apartment and I have been mostly homeless ever since, off and on," Mr Brian Chesky said at the South by Southwest (SXSW) interactive, film and music festival.
"I just live in Airbnb apartments and I check in every week in different homes in San Francisco," where the company is based, he said. "It's the best way to take the pulse... The key is to always use your product." Hundreds of aspiring startup entrepreneurs turned up Sunday to hear the 31-year-old discuss some of the lessons he learned with business partners Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk.
One trick, inspired by cartoons, was to to hire a storyboard artist to conceptualise, in drawings, each step in the Airbnb user experience to help fine-tune the overall product, the design school graduate said.