The origin of Airbnb
The origin of Airbnb
Founded in October 2007 by two roommates, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, and based in San Francisco, California, Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world – online or from a mobile phone.
Whether you’re looking for an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 65,000 cities and more than 191 countries. With world-class customer service and a growing community of users, Airbnb is the easiest way for people to monetize their extra space and showcase it to an audience of millions.
Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia were having trouble affording the rent on their loft apartment in San Francisco in 2007. They came up with the idea of placing an air mattress in their living room, turning their apartment into a bed & breakfast. The following year, Nathan Blecharczyk another friend from school, joined the team which was now growing, naming it “AirBed and Breakfast”. The new company officially launched on August 11, 2008, booking their first customers during an industrial design conference, where members were having difficulty finding affordable lodging. With the US election at full force the same year, Gebbia and Chesky put their marketing chops to work by selling boxes of repackaged generic cereals they named Obama O’s and Cap’n McCain’s in reference to the two presidential candidates at the time. Marketed as ‘limited edition’, each box sold for $40, generating $30,000 which was used to fund the company’s operations.
Now, years later, they have a business with more than 3 million listings in 65 thousand cities in 191 countries. None of the lodgings are actually owned by Airbnb, which serves as an agent and receives fees. For every booking, the company charges guests a small percentage service fee and a 3% host fee. Before booking with Airbnb users must provide their name, email address, telephone number, photo, payment information and, if requested by the host, a government-issued formal ID (passport, driver’s license for example).
Airbnb requires user profiles so that members can learn about their hosts and guests ahead of booking. This information can benefit both parties. Hosts can decline booking inquiries or reservation requests if they are not comfortable with the guests based upon online correspondence. Ultimately, the best source of data may be from a guest that has stayed at an Airbnb, so Airbnb came up with a review system for both host and guest. Guests and hosts have 14 days after checkout to write a review. The reviews only show up when both parties submit their feedback or when the 14-day review period has ended, whichever comes first. This means that host reviews written by an Airbnb guest will eventually be made public, regardless of whether or not the host left a review of the guest. All in all, such a vacation rental system may provide you with a much more rewarding experience.