We’re putting the last batch of tickets for our PandoMonthly with Brian Chesky on sale now. We’ve only got about 100 left so get them while you can.
I couldn’t be more excited with the trio of CEOs who are opening our series in January, starting with Chesky.
In 2009, everyone thought Airbnb was a dumb idea. “Why would you open up your home to people?” Well not everyone, it was granted entry into Y Combinator and took in seed investment from Sequoia Capital.
By 2011, it had become one of the most buzzed about startups in the Valley. It opened the year announcing some 800% growth in 2010, joined the $1 billion club, thumbed its nose at hotel laws, and even offered whole villages for sale on its site. With everyone hopping onto companies like Getaround that seemed to be the Airbnb of fill-in-the-blank. No one wanted to make the same mistake twice.
Airbnb hit its first scandal in 2011 as well, and got humbled hard. After that the company seemed to shift, focusing less on speaking gigs and press and more on building its business. It shifted strategies from an Uber-like bratty, libertarian disruptor to a Spotify-like partner to regulators and the hospitality industry. Airbnb showed how far it had come when it offered free housing to Sandy victims while Uber gouged them. Even Paul Carr was converted as a fan.
The focus seems to have worked: The Wall Street Journal reported last October that Airbnb was raising money from Peter Thiel at a whopping $2.5 billion. More than that: Chesky in particular has earned serious respect among other players in the Valley. In talking to other entrepreneurs and CEOs I respect in the Valley over the last few months, I was surprised to hear people as varied as Stripe’s Patrick Collison and Chegg’s Dan Rosensweig single out Chesky as one of the most impressive and underrated entrepreneurs of his generation.
I haven’t interviewed Chesky since the last time I was very, very pregnant: At TechCrunch Disrupt in May 2011. Clearly a lot has changed since then. I can’t wait to hear about his journey behind the scandals, fundings and headlines.
[Note: While the early bird tickets are sold out for our New York and LA PandoMonthlies with Etsy’s Chad Dickerson and NastyGal’s Sophia Amoruso, we’ll put a final batch on sale one week before each event. Mark your calendars!]
[Image courtesy Fortune Live Media]