Face to Face with Success

Meet Brian Chesky: The sharing-economy hero

A simple idea borne in late 2007 out of three broke guys’ need to make rent started a global revolution in the travel industry, and introduced the world to the idea of a “sharing economy”.

Brian Chesky is the co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, the online community marketplace for unique accommodation across the globe. He is just 35 years old, and has an estimated net worth of around $3-billion.

But he started out on a very different path as a designer (with one of his more memorable projects being a new and improved toilet seat), and along with his Airbnb partners, faced resistance and “perpetual” rejection from Silicon Valley on what they knew was a game-changer.

So many people, including investors, thought we were crazy.

Brian Chesky - Airbnb CEO

"They said ‘Strangers will never sleep in the beds of strangers. This will never work’."

Clearly, it did. Airbnb has now serviced over 150 million guests in over 65 000 cities across the world – a goal that far exceeded their original hope of getting “a few thousand” people to use their service.

As long as you know where you’re trying to get to … you’ll find a path.

Brian Chesky - Airbnb CEO

In a South African radio exclusive, Charlotte Kilbane discusses sleepless nights, rejection and “the worst idea that ever worked” with Chesky.

Take a listen to this incredible story of a global leviathan in this week’s episode of Face to Face With Success, brought to you by Nashua. <span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:107%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif; mso-fareast-font-family:Arial;mso-ansi-language:EN-US">


702 welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the 702 community a safe and welcoming space for all.

702 reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

702 is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
To play the (success) game well, get your game plan from the experts

To play the (success) game well, get your game plan from the experts

Ever wondered what the man who started Sorbet and a mathematical genius have in common?

Meet Kopano Matlwa Mabaso: Best-selling author and dedicated doctor

Meet Kopano Matlwa Mabaso: Best-selling author and dedicated doctor

At 21, she wrote a best-selling novel while studying medicine. Today, she's a doctor, a mother, and has three novels to her name.

Meet Helen Rees: Champion of public health

Meet Helen Rees: Champion of public health

Meet a champion fighting for the health of our nation!

Meet Maggie and Malebo Mokotedi: Queens of holistic healthcare

Meet Maggie and Malebo Mokotedi: Queens of holistic healthcare

Mother and daughter team Maggie and Malebo Mokotedi are making a difference with state-of-the-art healthcare in South Africa.

Meet Adri Williams: Changing lives, one cookie at a time

Meet Adri Williams: Changing lives, one cookie at a time

Khayelitsha Cookies is more than just a biscuit brand - it's the product of an inspiring journey of social entrepreneurship.

Meet multi-skilled rugby star Siya Kolisi

Meet multi-skilled rugby star Siya Kolisi

Growing up disadvantaged in the Eastern Cape, becoming an international rugby star was the furthest thing from Siya Kolisi’s mind.

Popular articles
So what exactly is radical economic transformation?

So what exactly is radical economic transformation?

Wits associate professor of economics Christopher Malikane speaks to Azania Mosaka about the term that is being bandied about.

Shop 'til you drop: The top 'Black Friday' deals this week

Shop 'til you drop: The top 'Black Friday' deals this week

Start your Christmas shopping off with a bang at these major retailers offering some impressive discounted sales for Black Friday.

Pamela Nomvete on her downfalls as actress, and 'climbing back'

Pamela Nomvete on her downfalls as actress, and 'climbing back'

This week Xolani Gwala's speaks to former Generations actor Pamela Nomvete for #WhatInTheWorldHappenedTo feature.

How Naspers paid peanuts for Tencent (China’s most valuable company)

How Naspers paid peanuts for Tencent (China’s most valuable company)

In 2001 Naspers invested $32 million in (then tiny) Tencent. Learn more about the wildly profitable Chinese behemoth...

Police hunt man who doled out drug-laced sweets to school kids

Police hunt man who doled out drug-laced sweets to school kids

60 children from three schools in south of Johannesburg were rushed to hospital after eating sweets handed out by a stranger.

'The university degree is dead'

'The university degree is dead'

Flux Trends founder Dion Chang gives five reasons why he believes getting a degree is past its sell by date.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Is social trend Blesserfinder, where girls are allegedly matching up with rich 'benefactors' in exchange for sex, a real thing?