In June 2010, I moved out of my apartment and I have been mostly homeless ever since, off and on. I just live in Airbnb apartments and I check in every week in different homes in San Francisco.
What I've been surprised by is not how different people are, but how similar they are. There are certain types of Airbnb people, and they are in every city in the world - it's just that in some cultures, there is more of a generational divide.
I'm not saying the whole world will work this way, but with Airbnb, people are sleeping in other people's homes and other people's beds. So there's a level of trust necessary to participate that's different from an eBay or Facebook.
Airbnb is different from most brands. We're a community of individuals, and yet there's a consistency holding us together through the values we share. We have a common belief in belonging, but everyone's expression of it will naturally always be a little different.
Our shared vision of belonging is the thread that weaves through every touchpoint on Airbnb.
When we started Airbnb, I had no idea about the people we would meet or the friendships I would make.
People don't use Airbnb overtly to trust people more. They use it because they want to get a better sense of the culture and to save money. A by-product was that they live in someone else's shoes.
I think the key that makes Airbnb is the fact that we're a community, not just a series of commodities.
Culture is a thousand things, a thousand times. It's living the core values when you hire; when you write an email; when you are working on a project; when you are walking in the hall.
When you start a company, it's more an art than a science because it's totally unknown. Instead of solving high-profile problems, try to solve something that's deeply personal to you. Ideally, if you're an ordinary person and you've just solved your problem, you might have solved the problem for millions of people.
Whatever the press is talking about, they want to keep talking about it. So instead of asking yourself, 'How can I get them to start talking about me?', figure out a way to get yourself involved in what they're already talking about.
Unless you have fixed costs, you don't need any capital to create a prototype. Ideally, your co-founders, with sweat equity, can create the product themselves.
I think I've always been pretty shameless about seeking out people much smarter and much more experienced than me from the very beginning.
I think the next big thing in music, and it's kind of because I come from the tech industry, is actually, I think it's the platform... Spotify is incredibly interesting. I think the platform is becoming the star.
Travel is a new experience that can transport you out of your everyday routine to create memories with the ones you love.
Our perception of time is really driven by our perception of the unfamiliar, vivid, and new.