October 10–11, 2016  •  San Francisco, CA
Brian Chesky

Brian Chesky
CEO, Airbnb

Website | @bchesky

I’ve been thinking a lot about how it is creativity and uniqueness that makes a city great and how it’s tied to the creative premium that will characterize the future economy when more and more jobs are taken away by machines. It seems to me that Airbnb is an important player in this creative economy because it emphasizes uniqueness over scale, locality over centrality, and lets ordinary individuals put their own assets in play.

— Tim O’Reilly

Quotes from Brian

People say you can’t trust strangers, but I think we disproved that. I think we’ve shown that people are fundamentally good.

Investors should remember that the next great entrepreneurs might not look anything like the last great entrepreneurs. They may not look [or] feel the same at all. . .and that’s actually OK, because many of the great entrepreneurs of the last generation were the first of their kind. They may not be men, they may not be from the United States, and I think we need to be very open-minded about that and know that the next generation is mostly not going to be from the United States, because most customers are not from the United States.

We do want to be regulated. We do want to play by the rules. But we also think some of the rules that were written were written for the 20th century, and now we’re in a 21st-century economy where people aren’t the same thing as corporations.

If you stay in a local neighborhood, you’re more likely to visit the local coffee shop and visit local restaurants, and that has a profound impact on small businesses.

Discrimination for most companies is an adjacency to their business. Our mission is to bring people together, so this is an obstacle to our mission.

Outside of Silicon Valley, to be disruptive means you’re changing the way I live my life, and I actually kind of like my life. I don’t think it’s a zero-sum game. I think for us to win, people don’t have to lose. And I think if we’re labeled as “disruptors” outside of the Valley where the term really matters, I think we are viewed as a company where suddenly the old guard has to lose.


Brian Chesky is the cofounder and CEO at Airbnb, where he drives the company’s vision, strategy, and growth as it provides interesting and unique ways for people to travel and changes the lives of its community. Under Brian’s leadership, Airbnb stands at the forefront of the sharing economy and has expanded to over 2,000,000 listings in 191 countries. Brian met Airbnb cofounder Joe Gebbia at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), from which he received a BFA in industrial design.