Chesky and Gebbia, both 39 and graduates of the Rhode Island School of Design, were roommates when they decided to inflate a few air beds and offer strangers a place to crash during a design conference in 2007. The idea, coined Air Bed and Breakfast, later became Airbnb. Blecharczyk, 37, joined the pair in 2008. The three control 43% of the company’s votes through their Class B shares.



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