Aug 13, 2021

Airbnb: Welcoming the World, Transforming Travel

In September 2007, Joe Gebbia emailed his roommate Brian Chesky with an idea to “make a few bucks”. There was a design conference in town and hotel rates were prohibitively high, so why couldn’t they rent out some space at their apartment for a small fee? It wouldn’t be as flashy as a hotel, but they could offer the basic essentials to conference attendees at a fair price. 

That idea - which became the Airbnb platform - has gone on to make Gebbia and Chesky quite a few bucks, with Airbnb’s market cap sitting at $89 billion today. 

Airbnb: Welcoming the World, Transforming Travel

Their simple slogan, "belong anywhere", has redefined our idea of accommodation. Where once we expected to need a hotel for our travels, for business or for pleasure, we now have the option of “living like a local” at an Airbnb. 

How did such a simple idea have such far-reaching effects? And what can we learn from this company’s undoubted marketing success?

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Clark Boyd
Clark Boyd

Clark Boyd is CEO and founder of marketing simulations company Novela. He is also a digital strategy consultant, author, and trainer. Over the last 12 years, he has devised and implemented international marketing strategies for brands including American Express, Adidas, and General Motors.

Today, Clark works with business schools at the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, and Columbia University to design and deliver their executive-education courses on data analytics and digital marketing. 

Clark is a certified Google trainer and runs Google workshops across Europe and the Middle East. This year, he has delivered keynote speeches at leadership events in Latin America, Europe, and the US. You can find him on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Slideshare. He writes regularly on Medium and you can subscribe to his email newsletter, hi, tech.

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