Brian Chesky didn’t know much about tech before starting Airbnb.
The 35-year-old CEO majored in industrial design in college and dabbled in hockey and bodybuilding in his 20s. But now, he’s grown an idea that stemmed from overbooked hotels into a multibillion-dollar startup — and has become one of Silicon Valley’s key players in the process.
Here’s how the upstate New York native became one of the richest young tech founders in America.
Chesky grew up in Niskayuna, N.Y., north of Albany. He was into hockey, and he also liked to draw and design new versions Nike sneakers, which turned into an interest in art.
Chesky’s high school yearbook quote was “I’m sure I’ll amount to nothing.” He thought it was funny — his dad didn’t.
“Earlier this year, he was happy to find out I’d be speaking at both my high school and college as the commencement speaker,” Chesky wrote on Instagram. “See you soon Dad!”
In 1999, Chesky attended Rhode Island School of Design, where he served as captain of the hockey team and studied industrial design.