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The other day I was reading a story that shook me, made me sit and ponder. The story is of Airbnb.

” It Took Us 12 Years to Build, and We Lost Almost Everything in 6 Weeks “

Brian Chesky, CEO, Airbnb

This is what Brian Chesky said in an interview with CNBC. The interview is here:

You hit upon an idea, sweat over it, believe in it, dream of making it big, build a team, work together tirelessly for decades, and create large-company worth billions of dollars. And suddenly lose everything in a matter of a few weeks. This is heartbreaking, unacceptable, and this has happened to Airbnb. I reckon it is a telling commentary on how things go awry in a matter of weeks due to unforeseen circumstances.

Now the question we can ask ourselves is — What Airbnb could have done differently they’ve not done to save their business – if at all they good – or perhaps, what alternate options they could have explored to fall back on, which they didn’t.

  • The best-case scenario usually is —- avoid venturing into too many business lines, stay focused on one business idea, domain, niche and grow it
  • The other alternative advocated is —- By staying focused on a business line, look for alternative opportunities that potentially could help you stay afloat if in the event core business collapses

There have been numerous success stories we can think of how great entrepreneurs, after having successfully set up a profit-making business, had the vision and sagacity to explore options and proliferate into other domains and succeed. Whether it is to focus on a business line (product/service) to multiple industries to balance the risk or it is to focus on multiple business lines (product/service) to multiple industries to balance the risk.

Some of the great names who were smart enough to diversify and create multiple revenue streams are Warren Buffet,William James Adams, Sara Blakely, Steve Chou, Limor Fried, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson.

They all had this entrepreneur streak, street smartness and uncanny knack of market pulse, identifying a growth area, carrying out in-depth study, and venturing into it. This perhaps makes them stand apart from the crowd.

Coming back, according to Airbnb CEO, Brian Chesky, they were planning to go public this year and now that is up in the air. Their dream journey may not be over, but the future of the travel industry looks bleak at least in the immediate future .

The lessons to be learned for all of us from the rise and fall of Airbnb is that we never know what tomorrow will bring. And we all have to plan and prepare for tomorrow. This is paramount for the sake of all stakeholders – our families, employees, customers, and partners.

I wish Brian and his team the very best and hope they come back strong, for they’ve been a great inspirational story of our generation.

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