Career Crashers 56: James Kawas on Founding a Company and pitching AirBnB before 18

Corné van Straten
October 2020

James Kawas is Co-Founder and CEO of The Selling Company, where he is working to change the way people sell their things.

From a young age, James has thought outside the box about the way he works and creates. When he was 17, after already starting his first company, James wanted to meet Brian Chesky from AirBnB.

“There is no way you can get his attention easily. So, I just decided to come up with a feature. (…) And I just mocked it up, I did the designs and I even made a logo for it and I even made a pitch for it, just like a PM would do inside the company really, what I learned later on.”

James then went ahead and found emails for dozens of key employees at the company on LinkedIN, and pitched them on it.

They liked it so much they invited him to come to present it in person in San Francisco.

In this episode, James shares the story of his Airbnb pitch and a lot more about how to hustle and create opportunities for yourself.

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Show notes

  • How James at age 17 cold pitched Airbnb on an idea and ended up meeting and pitching Airbnb leadership in-person
  • Applying the same strategy to Facebook
  • Starting a company at age 15 to help people buy and sell used goods
  • Why James didn’t go to college and getting the Thiel Fellowship
  • What the transition from being a founder to employee was like when his company was acquired
  • What is The Selling Company and why there is incredible potential in re-selling goods
  • Why getting any job is a sales process

Connect with James

If you’ve got a story you’d like to share, don’t hesitate! Email Isaac at Isaac [at] Crash [dot] co.

You can stay up-to-date on every Career Crasher episode as it launches here.