In 2008, two broke art school graduates and their coder-whiz friend set up a platform that – in less than a decade – became one of the largest provider of accommodations in the world. Now valued at $31 billion, Airbnb is in the very top tier of Silicon Valley’s ‘unicorn’ startups.
Yet the company has not been without controversy – disrupting a $500 billion hotel industry makes you a few enemies. This is also a story of regulators who want to shut it down, hotel industry leaders who want it to disappear and neighbourhoods that struggle with private homes open for public rental. But beyond the headlines and the horror stories, Airbnb has changed the terms of travel for a whole generation – where a sense of belonging has built trust between hosts and guests seeking a more original travel experience that hotels have struggled to replicate.
This is the first, definitive book to tell the remarkable story behind Airbnb in all its forms – cultural zeitgeist, hotel disruptor, enemy to regulators – and the first in-depth character study of its leader Brian Chesky, the company’s curious co-founder and CEO. It reveals what got Airbnb where it is today, why they are nothing like Uber, and where they are going next.
About the Author
Leigh Gallagher is Senior Editor at Large at Fortune magazine, where she writes and edits feature stories and is a co-chair of the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit and Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference. She is a seasoned business commentator, appearing regularly on news programmes and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
"An engrossing story of audacious entrepreneurism and big-industry disruption, The Airbnb Story is a tale for our times." * Charles Duhigg, author of bestsellers Smarter Faster Better and The Power of Habit *
"Gallagher captures the remarkable journey of Airbnb exceedingly well; she takes readers from its earliest and scrappiest days through becoming an enduring company with a brand beloved by millions around the world." * Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn *
"A fast paced, fun dive into one of the seminal firms of our time; through the tale of Airbnb, Leigh Gallagher shows us how the sharing economy can be a force for emotional connection -- as well as for social and business disruption." * Rana Foroohar, Financial Times columnist and CNN global economic analyst *
"A must-read for anyone who has wondered where Airbnb came from and where this highly popular and very disruptive company might be headed. Leigh Gallagher takes you on a journey from the idea all the way to the company's current multi-billion dollar valuation" * Bethany McLean, co-author of bestsellers The Smartest Guys in the Room and All the Devils Are Here *
"Leigh Gallagher has written a compelling history of Airbnb's journey from a crazy, it-will-never-work idea to becoming a totally disruptive force" * Tony Hsieh, bestselling author of Delivering Happiness and CEO of Zappos.com, Inc. *