Brian Chesky 101: A Successful Businessman
Zatrun Published at May 01, 2023

In our article titled “Brian Chesky 101: Who is a Successful Businessman?”, we will delve into everything you need to know about Brian Chesky, a successful businessman and industrial designer that our readers at are curious about.

Who is Brian Chesky?

Brian Joseph Chesky, an American businessman and industrial designer, was born on August 29, 1981, and is the co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, a matching-based lodging service. Chesky was included in Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” list in 2015.

Chesky was born in Niskayuna, New York, to his father, Robert H. Chesky, of Polish origin, and his mother, Deborah, of Italian descent. He is the child of two parents who work in social services and has a younger sister named Allison. Chesky developed an interest in art and design at a young age and honed his talent by drawing replicas of paintings and redesigning shoes and toys. Later, he became interested in landscape architecture and design.

In 1999, Brian Chesky began attending the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in industrial design in 2004. During his time at RISD, Chesky met Joe Gebbia, one of the other co-founders of Airbnb.

Brian Chesky 101: A Successful Businessman

Career Path:

After graduating from university, Brian Chesky worked as an industrial designer and strategist at 3DID, Inc. in Los Angeles. In 2007, he moved to San Francisco and shared an apartment with Gebbia. In October 2007, the Industrial Designers Society of America was holding a conference in San Francisco, and all the hotels were booked. The duo realized they couldn’t afford rent, so they decided to rent out their apartment for money. They then purchased three air mattresses and marketed this idea as “Airbed and Breakfast”. Three guests stayed on their first night.

In February 2008, Nathan Blecharczyk, a Harvard graduate and technical architect, became Airbnb’s third co-founder. Each co-founder took on a role in the new company, and Chesky served as the leader and CEO. To raise funds, Chesky and the co-founders produced “Obama O’s” and “Cap’n McCains” cereal boxes with a special print featuring presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain. Y Combinator, impressed by the cereal boxes, accepted Airbnb into its seed financing program. In its first year, the company began to internationalize and opened many offices in Europe.

In 2011, Brian Chesky announced a 24-hour hotline, additional staff support, and guarantees for theft or vandalism in response to a tenant’s complaint about vandalism on behalf of the company. In 2015, Chesky announced that Airbnb was one of the official sponsors of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Olympics. During the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Chesky announced that over 120,000 people stayed in Airbnb homes. As of December 2020, Airbnb went public with a $100 billion valuation. Chesky revealed in an interview with Kara Swisher’s Recode Decode podcast that he has “regular phone calls” with former US President Barack Obama.

Brian Chesky 101: A Successful Businessman


On June 11, 2016, Chesky joined Warren Buffett and Bill Gates’ “The Giving Pledge” group. The group consists of billionaires who pledge to donate most of their wealth. In May 2022, The Obama Foundation announced a $100 million gift from Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of Airbnb. The gift will be used to launch a new scholarship program for students who aspire to careers in public service.

Known as the Obama-Chesky Public Service Fellowship, or the Voyager Fellowship, the scholarship aims to provide third and fourth-year university students with up to $50,000 in financial aid for a summer job-travel experience, a $10,000 allowance, and free Airbnb accommodation. In addition, a $2,000 travel credit per year for 10 years after graduation, an annual summit, and a mentor network will be provided.

Brian Chesky 101: A Successful Businessman


  • In 2015, Chesky was featured in Forbes’ America’s Richest Entrepreneurs Under 40 list. He was also recognized by Time magazine on their “100 Most Influential People” list for the year 2015.
  • In May 2015, Chesky was appointed as a Global Entrepreneurship Ambassador by President Obama of the United States.
  • He was also included in Forbes’ Youngest 400 Forbes list in 2016.
  • In 2018, Chesky was awarded the Bay Area Executive of the Year Award by the Business Times.
  • In June 2022, he was featured on the list of 100 Most Powerful Global Hospitality Businesses organized by the International Hospitality Institute.

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