1. What are the challenges in the sharing economy for airbnb?
In general we have a firm belief that access will trump ownership in the coming years. That’s what the sharing economy is all about. The ongoing urbanisation will speed up and more and more people will be working in cities, hence we need to be working with these cities as there exist very different home sharing laws.
Old rules should be modernised and replaced with new models. In the past months there were 12 countries that passed new laws, eg. in the UK, France or in Los Angeles on home sharing. We have to be able to cater for these problems cities or their inhabitants have with regulations, eg. tourist taxes. Recently we partnered with 20 cities to make it easy for users and government to get taxes. Regulatory changes will happen over time for the general good of its inhabitants.
2. How do you make sure airbnb’s offering stays of such high quality?
Trust or mismatch of expectations is key to the sharing economy, so this is key for us as well. We as a company need to stand up when something goes wrong. We have a customer service in currently 20 languages and we manage a lot of data including data about trust scores. At the end Airbnb offers a guarantee and we have a track record to provide safe solutions for overnight stays that we want to continue to run and even improve when possible.
3. How did you work out the founding team?
We were three friends that lived in the same flat, two of us designers and myself as an engineer. We carefully checked us out when we decided to found the business as we were already doing projects together. However founding a business is really a different thing, it is like a business ‘marriage’. So in our case it was a conscious decision because we had complementary profiles and to our advantage we were able to move many things really quickly. We are the combination of art and science and we take extra time to think holisticly. We have a mission: every frame matters and whatever we do: we stay close to our clients.