55 Influential Brian Chesky Quotes [Founder of Airbnb]

Updated: July 27th, 2021

Brian Chesky is an American billionaire businessman and industrial designer.

He is the co-founder and CEO of the peer-to-peer lodging service Airbnb, offering vacation rentals, cabins, beach houses, unique homes, and experiences worldwide.

Brian Chesky was named one of Time's "100 Most Influential People of 2015".

We've put together an incredible collection of Brian Chesky quotes to read.

Here they are:

55 Influential Brian Chesky Quotes [Founder of Airbnb]

List of Inspiring Brian Chesky Quotes

“Never assume you can’t do something. Push yourself to redefine the boundaries.” – Brian Chesky

“I think we go through our lives limiting our potential, and when times are tough, it’s easy to convince ourselves that something isn’t possible, but if you start there, then you limit yourself and the possibilities of what you can create.” – Brian Chesky

“As children, we have vivid imaginations. We stay up late waiting for Santa Claus, dream of becoming president, and have ideas that defy physics. Then something happens. As we grow older, we start editing our imagination.” – Brian Chesky

“Think of the imagination as a giant stone from which we carve out new ideas. As we chip away, our new ideas become more polished and refined. But if you start by editing your imagination, you start with a tiny stone.” – Brian Chesky

“In June 2010, I moved out of my apartment and I have been mostly homeless ever since, off and on. I just live in Airbnb apartments and I check in every week in different homes in San Francisco.” – Brian Chesky

“The American dream, what we were taught was, grow up, own a car, own a house. I think that dream’s completely changing. We were taught to keep up with the Joneses. Now we’re sharing with the Joneses.” – Brian Chesky

“Belonging has always been a fundamental driver of humankind.” – Brian Chesky

“Our perception of time is really driven by our perception of the unfamiliar, vivid, and new.” – Brian Chesky

“The people with the passports, the people who travel more, tend to be the most understanding. And it’s ironic that the people who travel the least have the strongest opinions about the people they’ve never met.” – Brian Chesky

“The stuff that matters in life is no longer stuff. It’s other people. It’s relationships. It’s experience.” – Brian Chesky

“Repetition doesn’t create memories. New experiences do.” – Brian Chesky

“Travel is a new experience that can transport you out of your everyday routine to create memories with the ones you love.” – Brian Chesky

“Every day I would wake up and think, ‘Today is another missed opportunity to do something important.’ After enough days like this, you start feeling like you are getting old, even when you are relatively young. We are all natural entrepreneurs, and being manacled to a desk job is not for us.” – Brian Chesky

“Everyone’s got a moment or two in their life where something happens and you make a decision and then your entire life changes.” – Brian Chesky

“My life is longer because of the journeys I have taken.” – Brian Chesky

“AirBnB was never meant to be the big idea. It was meant to be the thing that paid the rent so we could think of the big idea.” – Brian Chesky

“In summer of 2008, I meet a guy named Michael Seibel. And Michael Seibel says, ‘There are these people called angels, and they’ll give you money.’ The first thing I thought is, ‘I can’t believe this guy believes in angels.’ That’s how naive I was.” – Brian Chesky

“AirBnB launched and a year after we launched, I think we had 100 people/day visiting our website and we had like 2 bookings.” – Brian Chesky

“In the year 2008, we made $5K from our website and we made $40K selling breakfast cereal.” – Brian Chesky

“Our overnight success took 1,000 days.” – Brian Chesky

“We believe constraints bring out creativity. When you raise like $800M, suddenly all that scrappiness… it’s easy to lose.” – Brian Chesky

“Build something 100 people love, not something 1 million people kind of like.”- Brian Chesky

“When you start a company, it’s more an art than a science because it’s totally unknown. Instead of solving high-profile problems, try to solve something that’s deeply personal to you. Ideally, if you’re an ordinary person and you’ve just solved your problem, you might have solved the problem for millions of people.” – Brian Chesky

“Whatever the press is talking about, they want to keep talking about it. So instead of asking yourself, ‘How can I get them to start talking about me?’, figure out a way to get yourself involved in what they’re already talking about.” – Brian Chesky

“Customers are willing to try new things, and if you can survive, you will have fewer competitors. It’s like entering the eye of the storm. As long as you are strong enough to survive, you can end up in still water by yourself.” – Brian Chesky

“If you want to create a great product, just focus on one person. Make that one person have the most amazing experience ever.” – Brian Chesky

“Unless you have fixed costs, you don’t need any capital to create a prototype. Ideally, your co-founders, with sweat equity, can create the product themselves.” – Brian Chesky

“At some point you go from building the product, to phase 2, which is building the company, that builds the product.” – Brian Chesky

“It doesn’t matter how great your original product or idea is, if you can’t build a great company, then your product will not endure.” – Brian Chesky

“The best way to become an entrepreneur is to just to become an entrepreneur…just start…the best preparation for creating a company is creating a company. If you can’t create a company create a club or create a product or create something.” – Brian Chesky

“We start with the perfect experience and then work backward. That’s how we’re going to continue to be successful.” – Brian Chesky

“It’s better to have 100 people love you than to have 1,000,000 people like you.” – Brian Chesky

“Do things that won’t scale; it will teach you.” – Brian Chesky

“Whatever career you’re in, assume it’s going to be a massive failure. That way, you’re not making decisions based on success, money and career. You’re only making it based on doing what you love.” – Brian Chesky

“Designers and artists see potential in things where others do not. I think artists in many ways are the original entrepreneurs.” – Brian Chesky

“We need to have mentors. I think I’ve always been pretty shameless about seeking out people much smarter and much more experienced than me from the very beginning. The more successful I got, the more leaders I started seeking out, whether it was investors, or Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook, or I got the opportunity to spend time with Warren Buffett and he became a close mentor of mine. Somebody once said, ‘You’re the average of the five people you surround yourself with.’ So the question is, how mature are the people you surround yourself with? If you surround yourself with the right people, you can grow up pretty quickly.” – Brian Chesky

“Culture is a thousand things, a thousand times. It’s living the core values when you hire; when you write an email; when you are working on a project; when you are walking in the hall.” – Brian Chesky

“Culture is simply a shared way of doing something with passion.” – Brian Chesky

“The culture is what creates the foundation for all future innovation. If you break the culture, you break the machine that creates your products.” – Brian Chesky

“No matter how certain I am about some culture or some group of people, my opinions are only as accurate as the amount of time I’ve spent with them.” – Brian Chesky

“I interviewed the first 300 employees at AirBnB.” – Brian Chesky

“There is a job and then there is a calling. We want to hire people that aren’t just looking for jobs, they’re looking for a calling.” – Brian Chesky

“Culture makes you hire people slowly and makes you deliberate about decisions that in the near term, can slow progress.” – Brian Chesky

“This is a functional question. If you could hire anybody in the world, would you hire the person sitting across from you.” – Brian Chesky

“Every single person is meant to hire a person better than the previous people. You’re constantly raising the bar.” – Brian Chesky

“You gotta build a team that is so talented that they almost make you slightly uncomfortable… because they know by being with them you’re going to have to raise your game to be with them.” – Brian Chesky

“Companies that hire employees..that are deeply passionate create companies that customers are really really passionate about, and those are the companies that have strong brands.” – Brian Chesky

“The biggest problem with culture is that it doesn’t pay off in the short term.” – Brian Chesky

“Somebody asked me ‘what’s the job of a CEO’, and there’s a number of things a CEO does. What you mostly do is articulate the vision, develop the strategy, and you gotta hire people to fit the culture. If you do those three things, you basically have a company. And that company will hopefully be successful, if you have the right vision, the right strategy, and good people.” – Brian Chesky

“Your brand evangelists are your employees.” – Brian Chesky

“Brand is really the connection between you and your customers. If you have a very strong culture, then the brand will come through.” – Brian Chesky

“Culture is so incredibly important because it is the foundation for all future innovation. People with passion can change the world.” – Brian Chesky

“A company’s culture is the foundation for future innovation. An entrepreneurs job is to build the foundation.” – Brian Chesky

“People went to Dell for the computers, but they go to Apple for everything… That’s the difference between a transactional company and a transformational one.” – Brian Chesky

“Having a clear mission and making sure you know that mission and making sure that mission comes through the company is probably the most important thing you can do for both culture and values.” – Brian Chesky

meet the author
Pat Walls

I'm Pat Walls and I created Starter Story - a website dedicated to helping people start businesses. We interview entrepreneurs from around the world about how they started and grew their businesses.