Here’s the incredibly simple email that started Airbnb

Airbnb - how it all got started

During this week’s TED conference in Vancouver, Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia revealed the email that helped launch his multi-billion dollar company.

In 2007, Gebbia and co-founder Brian Chesky learned about a design conference that was coming to San Francisco. Hotels in the area were completely sold out because of the conference.

Gebbia pitched Chesky, his roommate at the time, on renting out a space for these people to stay in. 

Here’s the email he sent:

The text reads:

“Brian, I thought of a way to make a few bucks — turning our place into “designers bed and breakfast” — offering young designers who come into town a place to crash during the 4 day event, complete with wireless internet, a small desk space, sleeping mat, and breakfast each morning. Ha!”

And from that simplistic email was spawned a revolutionary economy-sharing platform.

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Time to head over to my email and see which friends have sent me emails that don’t contain GIFs of cats.