364: The $100B Cereal Entrepreneur: Joe Gebbia of Airbnb


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By Nathan Chan and Foundr Media. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

How do you raise capital for your startup? Well, if you ask the co-founder of Airbnb Joe Gebbia, he’ll tell you what worked for him:


That’s right, the company that started with a single air mattress and grew to a $100 billion empire was kept afloat by selling custom cereal boxes.

It was bizarre but it worked. Gebbia muses in this episode of the Foundr podcast:

“We made $20,000 in breakfast cereal, and we're able to basically pay off our credit card debt...The cereal, funnily enough, was how we were able to help keep the options open for us until eventually, the invitation came for Y Combinator.”

In undoubtedly one of our most riveting episodes, Gebbia recounts his incredible journey from struggling to pay rent, to Airbnb’s first angel investor, to one of the biggest brands in the world and Gebbia’s incredible charity work.

Gebbia is candid about how he overcame countless rejections and problems. Listen in as he shares specific advice for entrepreneurs looking to create the next industry disrupter:

“You can see what’s hot. You can go after an emerging industry... Or you can solve a problem. Your own problem. Airbnb was our own problem. We had a rent check that we couldn’t pay. And it forced us to come up with a new way of making ends meet.” Get FREE, actionable advice from legitimate founders on starting and growing ANY Business… https://www.foundr.com/freetraining And… If you are enjoying the Foundr Podcast,, please leave us a 5-star review and let us know who you want to see next.

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376 episodes