Why did Microsoft invest in Apple? When did Airbnb sell cereal? How did Tesla/SpaceX contract with NASA? How to use creative thinking? Apple Microsoft investment

How Apple, AirBnB and Tesla/SpaceX Were Saved by Creative Thinking

Whilst many know companies like Apple, AirBnB and Tesla/SpaceX as successes, most do not realize that these companies were once at the brink of extinction. AirBnB is a personal favorite, so we'll double click on that later. 

In the mean time, here's a quick summary of how Apple, AirBnB and Tesla/SpaceX, used creative thinking to ensure they stayed afloat. In all these case, the decision were the turning point for each company to get where they are today.

1. Apple is one of the greatest comeback stories in tech history. Founder Steve Jobs was fired from the company in 1985. In the 12 years that followed, Apple found itself operating at a loss as it inched towards bankruptcy. Needing a refresh, Apple hired back Jobs in 1997 and he orchestrated a partnership with Microsoft to invest $150 million into the company. A year later, the company introduced the iMac and for the first time since 1995, returned to profitability.

Read: Full Report: 5 Reasons How Apple Came Back from Verge of Bankruptcy

2. Airbnb was founded in 2008 by three guys who had an idea to rent out air mattresses on living room floors. To founder Brian Chesky’s dismay, though, investors weren’t as enthused with the home sharing business as they are now. Chesky received seven rejections from VCs and subsisted on cereal until the company finally was accepted into Y Combinator. That air mattress on the floor startup is now worth a whopping $25.5 billion.

3. Tesla and SpaceX both hit cash shortages just as the economy was tanking in 2008. Elon Musk could either pick SpaceX or Tesla or split the money he had left between them. SpaceX applied for a contract with NASA as its last hope to bail itself out — and it won. The $1.6 billion contract has kept Musk’s space dream afloat.

Watch - Elon Musk Telling this story while holding back tears :

Whilst Apple and Tesla/SpaceX were equal grit and luck, AirBnB story is really one of creative thinking - one that used a political event (of the time) to help it survive. Here's a double click on the AirBnB story:

In 2008, the founders of Airbnb, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia found themselves in dire need need of funding for their startup. They had maxed out their credit cards and were struggling to keep their company afloat. In an effort to raise money, they came up with a creative solution: they designed their own cereal boxes, purchased existing cereals from grocery stores, and put those bags of cereal in their political-themed boxes. They made them limited edition items by creating only 500 of each box and sold them for $40 each. This idea helped them raise $30,000 in funding for their company.

The cereal boxes were themed after the 2008 US Presidential election and featured caricatures of Barack Obama and John McCain. The boxes were called "Obama O's" and "Cap'n McCains" and were marketed as "the breakfast of change" and "a maverick in every box," respectively. The founders handcrafted and numbered each box, which helped create a wave of demand and limited supply as a collector's item.

This creative solution not only helped the founders raise much-needed funds for their startup but also gained them national press attention. It was a turning point for the company and helped them keep their business going during a difficult time. After raising the money from the cereal box idea, the founders of Airbnb were able to keep their business going. They continued to work on their startup and eventually gained traction with users. In 2009, they were accepted into the prestigious startup accelerator program Y Combinator, which provided them with additional funding and mentorship. From there, the company continued to grow and expand, eventually becoming the successful global business it is today.

The cereal box idea was just one example of the creativity and perseverance of the Airbnb founders. They faced many challenges and setbacks in the early days of their startup but were able to overcome them through their determination and innovative thinking.

Read: How Intuit went from a failing venture to a multibillion dollar success story

AirBnB has been one of our favorite stories to share and tell with our founders. Sometimes, it's not the feature or product that save the company, it's the grit to make stupid decisions that can could become the turning point.