Joe Gebbia

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Joe Gebbia
Joe Gebbia and Go Hasegawa.png
Joe Gebbia and Go Hasegawa, 2015
Born Joseph Gebbia Jr.
(1981-08-21) August 21, 1981 (age 36)
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Residence San Francisco, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Other names Joseph Gebbia
Alma mater Rhode Island School of Design, B.F.A
Occupation Designer, Entrepreneur
Employer Airbnb
Known for Co-founder of Airbnb
Net worth US $3.8 billion
Title CPO of Airbnb
Parent(s) Eileen and Joe Gebbia
Relatives Kimberly Gebbia {sister}

Joseph "Joe" Gebbia Jr. (born August 21, 1981) is an American designer and Internet entrepreneur. He is the co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Airbnb. In 2009, Gebbia was listed in BusinessWeek's Top 20 Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs.[1] In 2010, he was named in Inc. Magazine's Thirty under Thirty, and 2013, he was named in Fortune Magazine's Forty-under-Forty.[2]

Early life[edit]

Joe Gebbia was born August 21, 1981 in Atlanta, Georgia,[3][4] the son of Eileen and Joe Gebbia.[5] He has one sister, Kimberly.[5] He attended Brookwood High School in Snellville, Gwinnett County, Georgia. He graduated in 2005 from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island, where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design and Industrial Design.[6][7] It was at RISD that he met Brian Chesky, who would later become his roommate and co-founder of Airbnb. While studying in the Northeast, Gebbia complemented his creative pursuits and studies at RISD with business coursework at Brown University and MIT.[8]


After graduating from RISD, he stayed at a friend's place in San Francisco for many months. [9] Gebbia got a job at Chronicle Books in San Francisco,[10] while Chesky moved to Los Angeles. Gebbia convinced Chesky to move to San Francisco in 2007 to start a business together. When they both quit their jobs, their landlord raised their rent and so they were in need of money.[11] Knowing the Industrial Design Society of America conference was coming to San Francisco and many hotels were booked.[12] Gebbia believed they could rent out airbeds in their apartment to conference goers. They marketed this idea by creating a website called "AirBed & Breakfast."[11] This was the foundation of Airbnb. Another of Gebbia's roommates, Harvard graduate and technical architect Nathan Blecharczyk, became the third co-founder in February 2008.[13]

After failing to get the funding for the new company, the team designed cereal boxes, "Obama O's" and "Cap'n McCains," based on the 2008 presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain and sold them at the conventions.[14] When Gebbia shared their work with Paul Graham, founder of Y Combinator, he was impressed with the tenacity involved in the endeavor, admitting them to the program as a result. He gave them their first round of seed funding in 2009.[15]

In May 2017, Gebbia launched a modular office furniture business called Neighborhood. The furniture was created for Bernhardt Design, a furniture company that has worked with emerging designers.[16]


Gebbia serves on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).[17] In 2014, he donated US$300,000 to RISD to establish a US$50,000 term scholarship and an endowed fund.[18] On June 1, 2016, Gebbia joined Warren Buffett and Bill Gates' 'The Giving Pledge', a select group of billionaires who have committed to give the majority of their wealth away.[19]

Personal life[edit]

He resides in San Francisco, California.[18]


  1. ^ "Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs 2009: AirBnB - BusinessWeek". Retrieved 2016-02-11. 
  2. ^ "Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk, Founders of AirBnB". 2010-07-19. Retrieved 2016-02-11. 
  3. ^ Forbes Corporate Communications (2 March 2015). "Forbes' 29th Annual World's Billionaires Issue". Forbes. 
  4. ^ "Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia". CNBC. 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2016-05-07. 
  5. ^ a b Joe Gebbia - Brookhaven City Councilman retrieved May 8, 2016
  6. ^ "Founders - Airbnb". 
  7. ^ "Gebbia Thinks Big". RISD. Archived from the original on 2017-01-30. Retrieved 2016-05-07. 
  8. ^ "RISD". Archived from the original on 2017-01-30. Retrieved 2016-02-11. 
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-01-30. Retrieved 2016-05-07. 
  10. ^ "Joe Gebbia". Fast Company. Retrieved 2016-02-11. 
  11. ^ a b "Starred: The Email That Launched Airbnb". Fast Company. Retrieved 2016-02-11. 
  12. ^ "AirBed & Breakfast for Connecting '07". Core77. Retrieved 2016-02-11. 
  13. ^ "Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs 2009: AirBnB - BusinessWeek". Retrieved 2016-02-11. 
  14. ^ "19_Airbnb". Fast Company. Retrieved 2016-02-11. 
  15. ^ Fairweather, Alistair. "Brian Chesky: The homeless entrepreneur". The M&G Online. Retrieved 2016-02-11. 
  16. ^ "Airbnb Cofounder Joe Gebbia's Next Project? Furniture Design". Co.Design. 2017-05-22. Retrieved 2017-05-23. 
  17. ^ "Board of Trustees - Leadership - About - RISD". 
  18. ^ a b "Airbnb Cofounder Supports RISD Scholarships - News - About - RISD". 
  19. ^ "Airbnb Cofounders Join Buffett and Gates' 'Giving Pledge'". Fortune. June 1, 2016. Retrieved October 10, 2016.