All one percenters are not created equal

Not a spokesman.001Bud Konheim, CEO and co-founder of fashion label Nicole Miller was recently vilified for his stupid comments. He was the latest percenter putting his foot where it doesn’t belong. Of course the 99 percent went crazy, calling Konheim insensitive, out of touch, and of course much worse.

While it’s common these days to decry some one percent members the Konheims and the Kochs aren’t one percent spokespeople. There one percenters living quiet lives of modesty and propriety while at the same time creating huge value for society. Case in point: The three co-founders of AirBnB.

AirBnB allows travelers to trade staying in run-of-the-mill hotels for staying in unique spaces all over the world. Millions of people use AirBnB in their travels.

Forbes covered news of the company’s valuation as it approaches $10 Billion. The article got a little personal about lives the three founders live, founders who will soon be worth billions each.


Don’t expect Chesky, 32, Gebbia, 32, and Blecharczyk, 30, to go buy their own Necker Island anytime soon—those riches are still largely tied to Airbnb’s future in stock, and the founders prefer to live simply. Chesky and Gebbia, who first came up with the idea for Airbnb in 2008 as Rhode Island School of Design grads transplanted to San Francisco, still live in the same apartment in the South of Market neighborhood where they started the company. Blecharczyk, who joined early that year as cofounder and CTO of what was then called, still bikes to work, according to an Airbnb insider. And much like Uber cofounder Travis Kalanick has been known to drive cabs around town, Chesky will still list his apartment on Airbnb once in a while to personally test out the local listings.

There is a lot of talk about the evils the one percent levels on the 99 percent. Yet, the one percent, like the 99 percent is far from a homogenous group. What’s more, this group is a living, changing group of people. By definition its demographics are changing too. AirBnB cofounders Chesky, Gebbia and Blecharczyk soon will join their ranks. I’m sure they’re not the only ones whose lives contradict perceptions some of the 99 percent hold about people, people who, no matter how wealthy they are, still belong to the human race.

Great job keeping is real guys.

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