100 Million Strangers Sleeping In Other People’s Homes


A conversation with Nathan Blecharczyk, co-founder and CTO, Airbnb

Airbnb co-founders Joe Gebbia, Nathan Blecharczk (center), and Brian Chesky.

If Nathan Blecharczyk hadn’t moved out of the apartment he shared with co-founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, Airbnb might have never existed. But when rent was increased on the friends’ San Francisco flat, Blecharczyk decided it was time to find cheaper digs. To cover the gap, Chesky and Gebbia rented out his vacant bedroom to several visitors, and a multi-billion dollar brand — which has served 100 million travelers and counting — was born. In this episode of Shift Dialogs, Blecharczyk shares his views on Airbnb’s rise, its frequent tangles with local, state, and national governments, and its mission of helping “anyone feel like they belong anywhere.” Below is a full transcript, edited for clarity, and the video interview, edited for length.

John Battelle: I like to start with founding mythologies. How did Airbnb come about?

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