How did Airbnb conquer its first 1000 customers?

How did Airbnb conquer its first 1000 customers?


The Birth of an Idea

In 2007, unable to afford their San Francisco apartment's rent, designers Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia decided to transform their loft into a lodging space, creating a simple website with images of their space.


Their first renters paved the way to international inquiries for listings in places like Buenos Aires, London, and Japan. This led to the international expansion of Airbnb.


Despite initial resistance and funding struggles, Airbnb managed to secure funding from Y Combinator and Sequoia Capital among others. The founders also ran a special edition cereal campaign to raise funds.


Airbnb cleverly integrated Craigslist platform to attract a large user base and also adopted "black hat" techniques like email harvesting for rapid expansion.


Airbnb’s international growth comprised sending teams physically into new markets and utilizing Facebook ads. This helped them tap into new regions, receive valuable real-time market feedback, and gain accelerated growth.