How Uber, Airbnb, and Etsy Attracted Their First 1,000 Customers
"founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia thought like customers themselves, trying to figure out where they would go if Airbnb didn’t exist. It didn’t take them long to figure out the answer: Craigslist. The entrepreneurs figured they could do a better job of making apartments appealing than the online classified site, but first they had to siphon away its customers. To do that, Chesky and Gebbia created software to hack Craigslist to extract the contact info of property owners, then sent them a pitch to list on Airbnb as well.
The strategy worked. With nothing to lose, property owners doubled their chances of finding a potential renter, and Airbnb had a ready supply of homes with which it could attract customers."