This is one of the most inspiring and comical start-up stories I have heard. I sincerely recommend you to see it, just for fun and have a laugh.
Lessons learnt from this business comedy are:
You don’t have to be business smart to be a business success
The founders were design majors and they knew nothing about starting a business.
But you do need to start doing something to make that business happen and improve constantly along the way
They started their first website in just 24 hours, with some simple features as they were trying to capitalise on the opportunity of renting out beds for the attendees of a sold-out convention in San Francisco.
A sense of humour may be more important than marketing smarts
When they first started and didn’t have any money (they were living off credit card debts), and the business doesn’t seem to take off anytime soon without much traffic to their website, of all the things they could think of, they thought of selling politician-themed cereals to people because… they are Air Bed and Breakfast! The cereals not only gave them fuel for their bodies physically but for their business too (the Obama O’s cereal was a hit).
The key to success is simply to go to your users
They were able to run their business much better by meeting their users, understanding why they want to rent out their apartments and sense where the demand could come from through the interactions.
And through these meetings, they also got user loyalty
The homeowners trusted them after meeting them and they exchanged personal stories which is way more lasting than a simple buy/ sell relationship.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, because you are going to make tonnes, but you do need to go out and about to cast your nets in networking
You never know who you meet on a day that can change the course of your business.
It is way more important to have 100 who love you than a million people who sort-of love you
Many entrepreneurs worry about scaling, but in the initial phase of the business, it is really about finding the niche of people who love you so much, they are going to spread the word for you, and stay loyal to you.
And remember that, entrepreneurship is a mindset, so keep going
It is often a long road, until you make some money, there is a fine line between unemployed and being an entrepreneur. However, if you have the mind-set and persist, you are going to be a real entrepreneur someday.