Solving a personal problem

Yesterday, while waiting in a doctor’s office, I picked up a copy of Fortune magazine. This issue contained a feature on Ben Chesky, founder of airbnb. I’d heard the company mentioned several times recently in books and podcasts, but I didn’t know how it started until picking up the magazine.

In 2007, Ben and a roommate were unemployed graduates of the Rhode Island School of Design. Facing an upcoming rent payment with a conference coming to town, they pulled out some air mattresses and posted these makeshift sleeping quarters online. Several visitors accepted the offer, and they proceeded to start a company. Currently, airbnb has worldwide operations and a $24B valuation.

Often, I rack my brain thinking of the next big idea, but Ben showed me that it’s often right under your feet as Russell Conwell put it so many years ago in his hit Acres of Diamonds.


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