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The Upstarts Review: The Early Stories of Uber and Airbnb
Read the full comprehensive summary at Shortform. Read the full summary for the full timelines of each company. At Uber, Camp and Kalanick had both recently had their companies acquired. Camp was still busy at StumbleUpon, while Kalanick was enjoying his time away. From incorporation, over a year passed before they hired a CEO and invested real time. At Airbnb, Chesky and Gebbia started it as a way to pay rent.
Brad Stone. Silicon Valley journalist Brad Stone charts the story of two history-making start-ups, Airbnb and Uber.
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Right off the bat, I was impressed with the style and tone of the book. In fact, I was amazed by just how much the two companies early journeys paralleled each other. Stone also talks to a lot of early Uber investors, and it was amazing to hear how lucky these investors got. The early investors who ended up seeing the best returns on their money bet on the wrong CEO and a completely different business model. Uber and Airbnb saw exponential growth in their first few years as established companies, but many of their biggest challenges had to do with regulation. And at times where many cities were seeing housing prices skyrocket, Airbnb was an easy scapegoat for lawmakers.
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