Major thanks for the blog post. Really Great.
I started my own business when I was much younger and was taken in by the adventures I had building new products and becoming an entrepreneur. I was able to express my creativity and develop a wide range of different skills. The amazing thing about software is that you can create something from effectively nothing—the only factors are time, effort, and imagination.
I like simple metrics that are easy to capture; complex metrics can be distracting. The right metric is only part of the puzzle. Ample time should be spent mapping the metric to operations—how does tracking this metric truly help the business?
For example, we have a model for predicting the LTV (lifetime value) of a cohort. It enables us to try different initiatives and quickly ascertain the long-term effect of that effort. Our end-goal is to get people to buy travel, which is highly aspirational and is rarely acted on immediately. With an ad campaign, it takes 90 days until all bookings are made and return of investment can be definitively measured. With our model, we can use the initial data captured within the first 10 days and predict the final outcome. What used to take 90 days, can now be done in 10 days. This lets us iterate more quickly.
To improve our product and reduce our customer support cost, we developed a system for automatically bucketing customer service issues. This has become a real-time dashboard of high-level issues with the product and has helped us improve the product.
First, we are able to see when a certain issue spikes, which serves as a visual alert system for detecting problems with the product. The dashboard enables us to prioritize parts of the product that need the most help. For any given part of the product we can then do a manual review of those tickets to identify specific problems. Once a solution is implemented, we can quantify the improvement and cost savings.
Successful leaders need to be data-driven and be able to map that data into actions or operations.
I have a couple of aspirations for Airbnb. First, I think we can be a catalyst for a deeper, global understanding between individuals. I think, through bringing cultures together we can break down walls and allow people to have more meaningful interactions, develop a stronger level of cultural appreciation, and live richer lives.
I am also glad to see more people taking part in the Sharing Economy through companies like Airbnb, Getaround, TaskRabbit and Vayable. I think that this could be an important step in how we think about capitalism, ownership and the production of goods. It seems that traditional models are leaving a lot of people out—the global recession and high unemployment demonstrate that. This new Sharing Economy model is more fluid and technology will help it to scale large enough to have a real impact.
Airbnb uses technology to participate in the new “Sharing Economy,” which is changing traditional business models. What impact do you want to see through these new sharing models?
Major thanks for the blog post. Really Great.
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I want to see this save the economy. That would not only be ridiculously awesome, but it would be a statement about a key component to societal success.
There's something about the "Sharing Economy" model that has awesome emotional appeal. Companies like Airbnb, I believe, are incrementally restoring the concept of trust between strangers. I see it in other businesses like SideCar, where your neighbor can be your taxi driver in their own vehicle. It's an interesting way to watch a community become more cooperative and friendly.
Of course, we're still somewhat weary of the shiftiness associated with Craigslist exchanges and the like. And I think a lot of that comes from insecurity, inexperience or ambivalence in interacting with others during a makeshift buyer/seller meetup. I'd like to see this sharing model grow on society. I'd like to see it consequently make people happier and friendlier. It's a cheesy concept, but seriously, it's ridiculous how shootings, murders and the like have created a network of strangers to be afraid of.
I see a ton of benefits:
- Saving/making money. They say the average power drill owner uses it for only 14 minutes. So rather than everyone buying one, neighbors should just share one -- saving money
- Strengthening community bonds. See above -- people actually sharing and co-investing into things together
- Environmental benefit. People will buy less and/or waste less if they are sharing products/services that they don't always need
- Income generation. While "Sharing Economy" often applies to tangible products, I think it should also apply to people "sharing" their time/extra time to barter for services back or for money. Check out www.taskrabbit.com as an example
The greatest impact will hopefully be on our economy. By implementing a "Sharing Economy" across many industries, we will have a stronger reliance on one another, while making more money by sharing our own goods. The reliance falls less on our current, failing economy. The responsibility becomes our own and by sharing our own material possessions, we feel good about what we're doing while driving a profit at the same time.
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