Guest post by David Rogers (@david_rogers), faculty at Columbia Business School and author of The Digital Transformation Playbook: Rethink Your Business for the Digital Age at the blog of Brian Solis/
This excerpt is from Chapter 3, on how businesses need to transform their strategy for competition. Download a full chapter at www.DigitalTransformationPlaybook.com
In 2007, two recent graduates of the Rhode Island School of Design, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, were struggling to pay the rent on their apartment in San Francisco. When they heard that the city’s hotels were fully booked during an upcoming design conference, they had an entrepreneurial idea: Why not rent out a bit of their space? They bought three airbeds (inflatable mattresses), put up a website, and, within six days, found three guest lodgers. Each one paid $80 a night. “As we were waving these people goodbye, Joe and I looked at each other and thought, there’s got to be a bigger idea here,” Chesky said. By the following year, they had teamed up with another friend, computer science graduate Nathan Blecharczyk, and started a business that they later named Airbnb.