In 2012, shortly after Airbnb acquired our startup, I overheard one of the co-founders (Joe Gebbia) giving guidance to a designer tasked with redesigning the home page. He said, “Build something the internet has never seen before.” I vividly remember thinking “What does that even mean? And is this the bar for everything around here?” Looking back, I’ve come to recognize that this mindset, along with six other key lessons I’ve attempted to distill below, have been key ingredients in Airbnb’s historic growth.

I first joined Airbnb as an engineer, and then as one of the first members of the budding PM team. Back then there were a couple dozen engineers, a few designers, and two very cute dogs. Over the next seven years as the company scaled to thousands of global employees, countless cute dogs 🐶, and over $30b in value, I took on a lot of interesting problems and worked with many incredible people. Since leaving a few weeks ago, before I get too deep into starting my own thing again, I‘ve been jotting down my biggest lessons from these experiences.

I quickly realized I should share these lessons with anyone else working to build their own company. I can’t promise these will apply to your situation but I will say these have been core to Airbnb’s success over of the years.

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