“Bad companies are destroyed by a crisis, good companies survive a crisis, but great companies are defined by a crisis.” – Andy Grover, one of the founders of Intel.
This is what Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, emphasized during his interview with Simon Sinek.
Even Airbnb, one of the world’s valuable startups, wasn’t exempted from the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, Airbnb lost 80% of its sales in a span of eight weeks.
However, instead of preserving their way on how they do business, Chesky and his team chose to pivot in order to adapt and thrive in the new normal.
Here are things we can learn from Airbnb’s pivot during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. It starts with your mindset
No matter how difficult the situation is, Chesky underlined the importance of harnessing positivity to lead your company amid unprecedented times.
“(You should have) a mindset of hope, optimism, and resiliency that we’re gonna get through this,” he shared.
You have to believe that this crisis will lead to another point of innovation where your business can survive and thrive.
In the case of Airbnb, what they’ve learned from the pandemic is to listen to their customers and that’s the next point that we can learn from the pivot of Airbnb.
While you could have a lot of ideas running through your mind to save your business from shuttering, the 38-year-old founder of Airbnb recommended to receive ideas from your customers or other people around you.
“It’s important to listen and to be curious. We have to be receivers (of ideas),” he shares.
You have to keep your mind and heart open for suggestions and feedback which can help your company pivot and adapt to the new normal just like what Airbnb did. They had their listening sessions with their hosts in order to come up with a new service that still speaks with their brand promise – belongingness anywhere.
With that, within 14 days, Airbnb pivoted their entire product line from offering offline and cool experiences and activities to now offering online experiences.
3. Don’t just focus on survival
Although the COVID-19 pandemic is a matter of survival for all businesses, Chesky encouraged entrepreneurs to never be afraid of trying.
“Be concerned but not so concerned that you are afraid to lose so many things and that you are afraid of trying.”
There can be many things that are at stake for your business at this moment, but don’t let the fear of losing your business stop you from trying to spot opportunities.
Take this time to turn the difficult time into a golden opportunity where you can learn something and can make you even stronger.
Remember, it starts with having a positive mindset.
Let these unprecedented times define you in a positive way!