A Brisk Walk Through The History of Airbnb

Here’s some background on the world renown startup, Airbnb:

It started back in 2007, two San Francisco roommates, Brian & Joe, offered air-mattress lodging with a promise of a home-cooked morning meal; they did this to make money to cover the month’s rent. They created a website and found their first guests. Next they brought in engineer/friend, Nathan, to help develop the product.


Today Airbnb has over 60 million users in 191 countries. On any given night around the world, 500,000 people are staying in an Airbnb accommodation. Chances are one of your neighbours might be one of the 640,000 hosts on Airbnb (source). An incredible success for a start-up in the share economy, but how did they get so huge?


Some, like Bill Gross in his iconic TED talk, say it was all because of the company’s timing and how industry conditions stood in their favour when they were starting out. However, there were many instances of failure the small company suffered before it broke out–which begs the question of what else might have led to such global success?

The next article looks at Airbnb’s dynamism and its ability to move/restructure very quickly as the answers to the question above.

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