Co-founder and CEO
The story is famous: As starving students, Brian Chesky and his Rhode Island School of Design roommates thought they might make extra cash by charging guests to sleep on air mattresses in their apartment. From those humble beginnings Airbnb was born and is now rumored to be in talks to raise up to $500 million at a $10 billion valuation. With hosts in almost every country of the world, Airbnb’s reach is greater than any hotel chain.
For 2014, Chesky remains focused on hospitality and on improving his company’s mobile usability. The Airbnb app was redesigned late in 2013 and now boasts a dashboard that allows hosts to manage bookings, update their calendar, and communicate with guests via just one screen. Chesky explains, “If a seller has a mobile device, it could simulate the responsive and up-to-dateness of a hotel… It means a seller can act like a company, in the best possible way.”