The online company, which connects vacationers with temporary hosts across 192 countries, may be creating a sustainable sharing economic structure—by accident.
Although Airbnb is the one of the most visible examples of the access economy, it’s easy to forget how much impact this global business has on local economies. At Sustainable Brands 2012, Christopher Lukesic talked about Airbnb’s love for the individual, community and face-to-face relationships. For a company that provides booking services for unique spaces, that fits. Lukesic explained, “It’s not about companies and it’s not about brands – it’s about people.”
When Airbnb’s founders came up with the money-making idea of sharing space in August 2008, they didn’t realize that they would be building a global community, one dwelling at a time. An early investor, Paul Graham, advised them to get out of their chairs and “go and get to know your users. You can’t do that sitting here.” Little did they realize how important that would become to their venture going forward.
Currently, Airbnb has listings in 19,000 cities in 192 countries, and they have opened 11 new offices worldwide in the past six months. Simple expansion? Lukesic says no.
Originally published on Triple Pundit, republished with kind permission.