How Airbed & Breakfast became Airbnb ?

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“Creativity is the solution to all problems”- Brian Chesky , co Founder and CEO at Airbnb

For those who don’t know, Airbnb is an online marketplace where people can lease or rent short term lodging. The $31 billion company does not own any lodging but is merely a broker.

So how did two unemployed friends(3 founder joining a little later) became the founders of a billion dollar company.

 

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Nathan Blecharczyk , Joe Gebbia , Brian Chesky (from left to right)

 

The story starts at Rhode Island School of Design where Brian Chesky met Joe Gebbia. On the day of graduation Joe says to him ‘Brian, one day we are going to be entrepreneurs’. A few years passed and one day in 2007 both of them quit their jobs and decide to start a company together. With absolutely no business idea and a $1000 in bank account and a sleeping bag Brian drove to San Francisco. Turned out the rent for Joe’s apartment was $1150. Strangled with debt they thought of an idea to provide accommodation in their apartment to people coming for a IDSA( Industrial Designers Society Of America )conference in town at the rates that were far less than an hotel. In 24 hours they built a website called Airbedandbreakfast.com and mailed the top design bloggers and in overnight Airbed and breakfast was at the top of the blogger’s page.

An idea that came 48 hours ago to save them from cash crunch was now live on the internet. To their surprise people from all over the world were writing to them. Finally 3 people who came to attend the conference , one of whom was an Indian slept on the airbeds in their living room and became their first guest.

It was then that it struck Brian what if you could book someone’s home the way you book a hotel anywhere in the world.

In 2008 they incorporated the company as Airbed and breakfast. They even called upon their “former roommate ” and “brilliant engineer” Nathan Blecharczyk, to join as the third co-founder of the new venture.  To fund the site they created special edition breakfast cereals with presidential candidates Obama and John McCain as the box designs. At $40 a box they generated $30,000 for company’s incubation. All of this created a buzz and in 2009 Y Combinator invested a whooping $20000 in the company as an initial investment ( they had joined Y Combinator’s 2009 Winter Class) . They were further funded by SEQUOIA CAPITAL . The name was now changed to Airbnb and it offered not only rooms and apartments but also castles, manors, boats, tree houses, private island and even an IGLOO, yes you heard it right.

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Today Airbnb is the No.1 lodging website in UK. Many people who were on the brink of losing their homes through foreclosure due to financial hardship, have come to depend on Airbnb for additional income. It can be said that it has been a blessing in disguise to various people out there , just as it was one for the founders who got to live their “one day” dream by solving an intricate  problem .

but you need to know that the story was not as rosy as it seems and many a days they had to live on cereals only


This is a GUEST BLOG written by my best friend Umang Mittal who like me is a huge startup enthusiast . And edited by me! I hope you enjoyed reading it and came to know the story that you might have wondered about  !

Waiting for your views and comments!

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1 Mega Year of Blogging !

Hello there everyone ,

As companies write a review letter every year for their shareholders  , I am going to try my hand at one too for my viewers . Have to say that this one year has felt extremely productive due to this piece of 21 st centaury Diary Writing Model. I have got to learn so much about myself , the writing skills I possess and have also learned so much from the fellow bloggers whose blogs I have read. So here are some of the things I have learned , and would love to share with the new bloggers out there and the ones who are secretly trying to push oneself to start one –

  1. Write about what you love ( as I love both the business ups and downs , and books which make me a more complete person . I keep on juggling between both of them. just don’t make it Chandni Chowk )
  2. Don’t write for the views , but because those topics and words bring a life in you .
  3. Go and read other blogs , follow them , like their posts . ( they will definitely come and view yours too)
  4. Don’t ever forget to edit the categories and tags ( I didn’t know about it for the first 6 months )
  5. Share as much as you can ( never write “please read” , just let the link come in front of their eyes)

and here are few of my stats –

  1. followers –  114( as of this post)
  2. Number of blogs posted- this will be the 34 th post

And here is this proposal for everyone out there , if you want to write a guest blog (on my blog) or maybe write one with me , feel free to contact , focusing mainly on the business world ( finance , investment , startups , companies . their models), and books which will always be a part of who we are .

Thank You VIEWERS for your TIME & PATIENCE ,

From intactawesomeness

 

The McDonald’s Delhi story !

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So just a few days back I was with my cousins , as we were celebrating Rakhi and the youngest of the lot my two brothers of 6 and 7 repeatedly kept on saying that they wanted to go to McDonalds , and we had to repeatedly answer them that they were closed and they would have to try a different place.

This stance got everyone to ask that why exactly is McDonalds closed in India . So here is the answer .

In India McDonald’s is a 50:50 joint venture between McDonald’s India Pvt Ltd (MIPL) and Westlife Development in south and west India (261 McDonalds and 121 McCafes ) and Connaught Plaza Restaurants Ltd in north and east India.  But there are issues revolving around CPRL which have eventually led to this closure which date back to 2013 .

In 2013, McDonald’s had voted against the re-election of Mr.Bakshi as managing director of Connaught Plaza ( due to their own internal tussle as per which the US brand believes that Bakshi was cheating them), following which Bakshi challenged his removal in the Company Law Board (now the National Company Law Tribunal ), accusing McDonald’s of mismanagement and oppression.

The same year, McDonald’s revoked its joint venture with Connaught Plaza and invoked arbitration against Bakshi. It has been pursuing arbitration against Bakshi in the London Court of International Arbitration. This was challenged before the Delhi high court.
On 23 December 2016, Justice V.K. Shali prohibited any change in the shareholding of the Indian arm of the company. This order was lifted by the two-judge bench in July.

Separately, under an order passed by the Company Law Board on 16 September 2013, McDonald’s was directed to maintain status quo over the shareholding pattern and right of call option, which is still in operation.

In June this year , McDonald’s shut 41 of its 55 restaurants in Delhi following its failure to renew their health and eating licenses. which resultantly happened due to a unstable management .The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in second week of July reinstated Vikram Bakshi as managing director of CPRL. Leaving a unclear picture for the spectators on whos right and whos wrong.

So now the BIG question remains how McDonalds will revive itself in India , with competition everywhere , with Indian brands also joining the fight( Haldiram and Nirulas ) . Because at the end of the day its your presence that matters because if your shutters are down , customers would eventually go and try the next best thing , which might topple your brand eventually  .

So do these tussles actually help anyone ? Does a management fiasco really satisfy the end goal for which a company is made ?

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THE ACCIDENTAL BILLIONARES BY BEN MEZRICH BOOK REVIEW 

“Information is meant to be shared. Pictures are meant to be looked at “

We all have heard the name of the movie THE SOCIAL NETWORK, and as far as I remember I loved it and till date have watched it a gazillion times (partial blame on Andrew Garfield).So this is the book on which the movie was based and it’s better with a garrulous description of the Silicon Valley and none other than the Harvard University.

What amazed me was Mark Zuckerberg’s brilliance and idea which surpassed all the ideas for social networking in the early 2000’s. How he eliminated all the faults present in Orkut, Friendster and gave us all something amazing to connect with our friends (because after all they are the most important).

Mr. Ben Mezrich has written the book brilliantly. He has kept the characters out there and left it on us who to judge and who to not. Capturing Mark Zuckerberg’s and Eduardo Saverins friendship , its ups and down, how friendship and business muddled together is though easy on the look but tough to maintain , entrance of Sean Parker( the guy who started the hacking battle for free music streaming) , the amazing Peter Thiel ( and Facebooks early investor) and last but not the least the Winklevoss twins.

So it’s a must read for those who want a glimpse of this billion dollar company, its founding, its bumpy ride, battle between cofounders, every investor wanting a part of this new found baby and last but not the least Mark Zuckerberg who did everything to keep Facebook for what it stands .

SNAPCHAT: REAL TRUTH BEHIND THE NEWS THAT GOT INDIANS TOGETHER

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We all know that person who was once a friend of ours (that too for a short period of time) who when left us spilled our secrets too along the way. The same is the case with Snapchat and its ex-employee Anthony Pompliano who worked with them only for a short time span of 3 weeks. Prior to this stunt he had worked with Facebook. And after snapchat had worked with Brighten Labs Inc. from which he was fired to due to poor performance! Against which also he had filed a case of fraud.

Maybe Evan Spiegel said it maybe not, but there is no constructive evidence to prove it. And the funny part is that the person behind these allegation is someone not worthy to be trusted of his statement.

So all those who are backlashing snapchat should step back a min and Google the actual facts.

These were allegations made when snapchat was a private company. Now it’s a public company listed on the NYSE. That’s why they guarded the allegation back then in 2015 but now they have nothing to hide.

P.S.: personal view point!

THE BANSALS OF THE INDIAN STARTUP STORY!

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So just a few days back in the newspaper I saw an article talking about IIT educated Jyoti Bansal selling his startup (AppDynamics) to Cisco for $3.7billion. And then I realized that there needs to be a blog for the Bansal’s of the startup world. Bansal is a gotra under Aggarwal’s. So business did run in their DNA. And along with their mighty brains which were further molded in the IIT’s & IIM’s they succeeded in living their dreams. Because they always knew that they were meant for something different.

to the uninterrupted souls!

Sachin Bansal OF FLIPKART

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He is presently the Executive Chairman of Flipkart. Was a nerdy student all his life. Is an IIT-Delhi graduate. He worked at Amazon where he and his Co-founder had the daredevil idea of starting the Indian Amazon in 2007. Though in the beginning they were thinking about starting a comparison shopping engine, but realized that wasn’t what India required. Persistence helped them to build up.

 “You should always know what you don’t know”

Binny Bansal of FLIPKART

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He is presently the CEO – Flipkart Group (a change made in the current year). He is too an IIT Delhi alumnus. And worked before with Amazon. The day to day software worked bored him and something new had to be done. And well than rest is history.

Mukesh Bansal of MYNTRA

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He is currently working on a new start up idea that’s “Cure-Fit”. He’s an alumnus of IIT-Kanpur. Before Myntra he worked with 4-different startups in the bay area where he learned the do’s, don’ts and the never ending tectonic waves of the startup culture. Myntra was founded in 2007 as a niche website for customized candles, t-shirts, mugs etc. Due to internet boom in 2010 it shifted towards its fashion platform. He was bitten by the start-up bug when he was in the 3year of his college.

“Get your team right at every stage of development if you want to scale up”

   Rohit Bansal of SNAPDEAL

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He’s again an IIT-Delhi alumnus. And became best friends with CO-Founder Kunal Bahl when joined school at DPS R.K.Puram in 11std. And have been best friends since then and always knew that were meant to do something big, that too with each other. In the beginning i.e. 2007 Snapdeal was a Coupon book business and then in 2010 with inspiration from Alibaba they started their own little venture of a daily deals platform and in2011 as an online marketplace, which isn’t little any more.

 Peyush Bansal of LENSKART

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“Log on, play on”

The most searched businessmen of the year in 2014 and Alumni of IIM-B and right now the CEO of Lenskart. In June 2008, he founded Valyoo Technologies and launched ‘searchmycampus.com’ which closed due to certain reasons. Lenskart was started in November 2010 as a team of 3. It was initiated with a vision to change the footing of eyewear in India and make it “fashionable”. They believe that half of India – 530 million Indians need vision correction but only 170 million have access to it. The logo of their brand symbolizes infinity.

“Entrepreneurship is passion for solving problems. Getting a bunch of people who sleep, breath, and eat your dreams.”

   Jyoti Bansal of AppDynamics

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So here’s another alumnus of IIT-Delhi. He had always been fascinated by the startup culture of the Silicon Valley in U.S. and wanted to be a part of it. A dream which he could only manage to fulfill after staying there for 7 years due to visa issues of an immigrant starting their own business. AppDynamics started in 2008.  It’s a 24/7 MRI for an organization’s website, picking up small problems before they debilitate a business and anger consumers. As of now he is its Chairman.

“Be flexible, and let go your ego”

 

THE GREATEST TRADE EVER BY GREGORY ZUCKERMAN BOOK REVIEW

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“There is no intoxicant more dangerous than cheap money and excessive credit “- Benjamin.M.Anderson

So as you might have guessed from the cover above this book is about someone who ended up making huge bucks. Well to clear the mystery, Greg Paulson made $4billion in 2007 by betting against the housing marketing (his bet was that housing market would collapse like chunks of dominoes). It was the largest one-year payout in the history of financial markets.

This book overviews those who ended up making money when everyone around the world was losing it. Famously called as the 2008 FINANCIAL CRISIS”.  It revolves around GREG PAULSON, MICHEAL BURRY, PAOLO PELLIGRINI, GREG LIPPMAN, ANDREW LAHDE and JEFFREY GREENE. The ones who understood that something was wrong when everyone else was throwing bonus parties. That the financial industry was growing at a faster pace than the economy itself (a kind of financial alchemy being at work).

To me it cleared the landscape of the 2008 downturn and the years preceding it. How these few people could see and ascertain what others were oblivious about. It relays a time in the western financial world where even a kid in 4th grade qualified as a borrower. After the dotcom bubble in early 2000’s interest rates were reduced which led to excessive borrowing giving way to the housing bubble. There was a casino active at the world stage.
The book goes deep into numbers. Explaining thoroughly. The inside story of Bear Sterns, Deutsche bank, Morgan Stanley and many more are veiled out. It reveals how one side believed that the economy would grow to great lengths and another small group feared a dangerous downturn.
This books a must read for the ones who breathe and taste finance, who would love to understand the history of finance a bit better and for the ones who believe you can always be amateur and scale great mountains. And the book doesn’t bore at all.

$$$


SO WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE REVIEW ?

DO YOU PLAN TO READ IT ?

DO SHARE YOUR VIEWS.!

PAYTM KARO! PAY THROUGH MOBILE!

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Right now my favorite pass time is going and asking and seeing whether shop vendors have paytm or not. Last week when we went for shopping, all our payment were through the one and only “paytm wallet”.

So a brief intro. of this game changer is that it was formed by Vijay shekhar sharma (Vjs), alumnus of DTU .He joined college at the age of 15 .Hailing from Aligarh the biggest drawback he faced was adapting to the alien language English. Always being a kitabi keeda (in his own words) he ended up making a company in 1997 (last years of college which he later sold).Being a true patriot he wanted to do something for India and didn’t choose a job in the land of immigrants (U.S.A)

So basically Paytm’s parent company is One97 Communications in which Jack Ma (founder of Alibaba) has 40% share, the largest shareholding and Vjs has 21%. Their business is divided into e-commerce, online recharge and payment wallet (the leader of the three).

Just a few days back they got RBI’s final approval to start with the operations of India first payment bank (which would start in a month). In which Vjs would have 51% share (making it purely Indian).

Paytm is the story of struggle to make accessibility of money easier and a pathway towards a cashless society. What was beautiful was that the day after the announcement of demonitisation Paytm had a two page advertisement in the newspaper (for which they had to make the printing press wait till 12:30 at night) .It tells there will always be people out there to challenge the status quo (SBI being so scared by it that its persuading its customers to download SBI-buddy)

Paytm got what we call in the business world “THE FIRST MOVER ADVANTAGE”

 

A payments bank in simple words,  can carry out most banking operations but can’t advance loans or issue credit cards. It can accept demand deposits (up to Rs 1 lakh), offer remittance services, mobile payments/transfers/purchases and other banking services like ATM/debit cards, net banking and third party fund transfers.

A Collection Of Quotes Mentioned In MR.Basu’s Book

AN ECONOMIST IN THE REAL WORLD: THE ART OF POLICYMAKING IN INDIA

BY KAUSHIK BASU

QUOTES AND ADAGES MENTIONED IN THE BOOK

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  1. For a system resistant to change, nothing is as good as a crisis.
  2. Totalitarian control is seldom as total and controlled as appears to outsiders.
  3. History makes suggestion but rarely gives a roadmap.
  4. “Don’t live beyond your means” – arthashastra.
  5. For Manmohan Singh “he was a politician without a taste for politics”.
  6. Politics many well be the only profession in which not being good is a virtue.
  7. Contrary to what many laypersons believe, there is no one who understands “the economy” of a nation. The big challenge of economic policy is that it entails coordination among experts, each of whom understand just a sliver of this enormously complex machine.
  8. Money was not discovered one day in a moment of scientific triumph.it emerged gradually, in small measures and through little innovation. But in terms of human achievement it must stand right there at the pinnacle of inventions. Without it we would have very little of what we know today as civilized life.
  9. Knowledge generated anywhere is knowledge.
  10. The free market has many strengths , but fairness and equity do not figure prominently among them
  11. One well known feature of finance is that crisis often come in a flash. This is caused by imitative or herd behavior.
  12. If others in your society are punctual, it is worth your effort to be punctual; if others are not it may not be worthwhile for you to expand the effort to be punctual.
  13. “The ideas of economists and political philosophers both when they are right and when they are wrong are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical man who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribblers of a few years back.” – John Maynard Keynes{one of the most famous passage in his book The General Theory Of Employment}
  14. For laypersons there is something threatening about inflation because they cannot see where it comes from, and a closely guarded secret among experts is that the understanding of experts is also incomplete.
  15. One troubling feature of the exchange rate is that it is partly determined by expectations.
  16. Good policy consists of exploiting the laws of the market, not denying that they exist.
  17. When it comes to hoarding, it is the government of India that leads the pack.
  18. In an economy, finance is the classic analogue of plumbing in a house –something we remain unaware of until something goes wrong with it.
  19. Saving the company should not be equated with saving the people who head the company.
  20. [arthashastra}- “ Just as it is impossible to know when a fish moving in water is drinking it, so it is impossible to find out when the government servants in charge of undertakings misappropriate money ‘
  21. The common complaint in India ,repeated to the point of boredom in umpteen parlors and coffee houses is that “India problem is not the laws but in their implementation”
  22. There is nothing quite as concrete about the law as the traditional view supposes.
  23. In books on economic policy and economic development, we generally tend to ignore the role of norms and political institutions. But they are crucial determinants of growth and efficiency, getting these right is as important as getting our trade and monetary policies right.
  24. India has one of the most talented and most obstructive bureaucracies in the world.
  25. Much of India’s rules of administration are inherited from Britain .India’s problem is that it has held on to those rules more steadfastly than Britain and other commonwealth nations.
  26. The hustle and bustle of India today hopefully is the sound of its engine revving up.♦

AN ECONOMIST IN THE REAL WORLD: THE ART OF POLICYMAKING IN INDIA BY KAUSHIK BASU BOOK REVIEW

 

First published September 1 2015 (MIT PRESS and then Penguin Books)

A few words

For a system resistant to change, nothing is as good as a crisis.”

(Feels like an apt saying for how demonitisation has struck us making us realize that this crisis was necessary to lead us  in the direction of being a predominated digitalized economy , which otherwise would have been a long bet)

So first when my dad told me about this book and that it’s one of the necessaries for a good economics student I persona

lly felt that it would be nothing special. I stumbled on it purely by chance (chances being next to none) in the library. After giving it a thorough read I would say that dads are always right.

Written by Ex-Chief Economic Advisor of India and World Bank, alumni of Stephens, who was also professor at Delhi school of economics. The book has tried explaining Indian politics and ideologies of our leaders; which ultimately shaped our economic policy. How India adopted Nehruvian policies with Gandhian policies entwined in them (making several of our policies contradictory as both these school of thoughts were the opposites of a magnet).Explaining in brief each period of our independence and its correlated growth (and reasons behind it).

It contains of the right mixture of anecdotes, adages, facts, figures, and even good stories behind words (why Ponzi schemes are called so).it’s a book must for someone who always had a thing for economics (a teeny-weeny crush)

The book was a peaceful boat ride stopping on shores of inflation (Hungary has had the worst episode of inflation in 1946 where prices rose by 3.8*10^27.  : worse than Germany before WWII), exchange rate, flaws and improvement in PDS, policymaking, and giving us a hope that ideologies of nations can always be changed for better (Japan and South Korea were slackers a century back).And a few ideas which the author believes can be implemented in the future.

An interesting fact mentioned in the book – The wealth of the ten richest people in the world is equal to the GDP of Nigeria.

Mr. Basu has mentioned in the book that economic policies effect one and all hence it’s a must to have a mediocre society in the verses of economics. I wholeheartedly believe that this book should be part of our education curriculum. Because after reading I felt so happy and my brain felt so heavy with so many points to hold on.

So stay tuned on my blog for a mini boat ride of interesting facts and overwhelming adages mentioned in the book.