airbnb's co-founder joe gebbia discusses the impact of creative industries on the platform
 

airbnb's co-founder joe gebbia discusses the impact of creative industries on the platform

ever since computer scientist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist and author paul graham told airbnb’s co-founders joe gebbia, brian chesky and nathan blecharczyk to go to their users, the company does qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods research at every stage of the product cycle. today, airbnb is releasing their latest research which examines the impact of the creative industries on their business and results in the company wanting to encourage governments and other business to step up their efforts in support of these industries, funding of the arts and arts education.

airbnb's co-founder joe gebbia discusses the impact of creative industries on the platform designboom

 

 

overall, the research found that airbnb is highly linked to the creative communities. some interesting findings include the fact that 1 in 10 airbnb hosts are a member of the global creative community, as well as 1 in every 3 airbnb experiences hosts. in new york, for example, 7 out of 10 creatives hosts rely on home sharing income to make ends meet. and globally, 75% of airbnb hosts recommend cultural institutions to their guests and 72% of airbnb guests visited such institutions according to the latest airbnb surveys.

airbnb's co-founder joe gebbia discusses the impact of creative industries on the platform designboom

 

 

designboom had the chance to discuss the project with airbnb’s co-founder joe gebbia who told us about the motivation behind the research, how the creative industries have impacted airbnb and how airbnb designs trust.

 

 

designboom:  what was the motivation behind this research?

 

joe gebbia: airbnb provides reliable and inexpensive ways for the creative community to connect with other creatives to get inspired in different places in the world. and airbnb was initially founded for creatives as well. back in 2007, we rented airbeds in our apartment to three designers who were in town for a conference. we invited them to design events and had them meet our designer friends. one of our guests ended up moving to san francisco after her trip with us! with design so central to our founding story, and now ten years into our journey as a company, we wanted to see how airbnb is helping creatives around the world. each year, we field an airbnb community compact survey to learn about our hosts and guests. in 2017, more than 110,000 hosts and guests from around the world who used the airbnb platform responded. what we learned is that one in every 10 airbnb home hosts is a member of the global creative community. and as of september 2018, more than one in four—28 percent—of all airbnb experiences are creative-based, rooted in the arts, entertainment, fashion or music.

 

 

designboom: being a creative yourself, why do you think the arts and art education are so important?

 

joe gebbia: creativity has played such a huge role in my development both personally and professionally, and the idea that some kids wouldn’t have access to that part of themselves due to lack of funding for arts or creative programs is hard to stomach. my design training has informed so much of my life and was key in the development and growth of airbnb, so I would love to find a way to ensure everyone has access to some type of creative outlet.

 

because both brian and I are trained designers, creativity has been at the core of airbnb since the beginning; we have created a company and service that puts our users and community at the center. design is a natural extension of who we are as a company. people who work in film, visual arts and architecture, entertainment, photography, music, and fashion are also the soul of airbnb.

 

the economic benefits of hosting on airbnb have resonated for creatives around the world. as cities become increasingly expensive places to live, airbnb gives creatives and artist communities a way to remain in the homes and neighborhoods they love. hosting provides creatives with a reliable, stable source of income that can help them afford to pursue their professions and passions. globally, 60 percent of creative home hosts say airbnb has helped them afford to stay in their homes. also, the average annual earnings for a creative experience host who hosts twice a week is $9,000, while the average annual earnings for creative experience hosts who host more frequently, at 15 times per month, is upwards of $25,000.

airbnb's co-founder joe gebbia discusses the impact of creative industries on the platform designboom

 

 

designboom: how have the creative industries impacted airbnb?

 

joe gebbia: airbnb not only provides an important means of supplement income for creatives who might be facing reduced funding for their work, but also through experiences is also helping create new programs and opportunities for travelers who want to explore the creative side of the city they are visiting. again, we’ve found that one in every 10 airbnb home hosts is a member of the global creative community. and as of september 2018, more than one in four—28 percent—of all airbnb experiences are creative-based, rooted in the arts, entertainment, fashion or music. creatives have been a driving force behind how we’ve built our community, and helped us to become the hospitality company we are today.

 

 

designboom: what is your opinion on creative hosts relying on home sharing to make ends meet?

 

joe gebbia: I love that we have created a platform where creatives can make ends meet while still pursuing their dreams. often in need of ways to stabilize their income between projects, away from home working for extended periods, and living in cities that are getting more and more expensive, creatives find two solutions through our platform. they can share their extra living space through airbnb homes, setting their own listing prices and keeping 97 percent. they also can share their talents and their work by hosting airbnb experiences, setting their own listing prices and keeping 80 percent.

 

an example of this is how superhost alfredo’s stellar reviews describe his buenos aires home as “sparkling clean” and the “perfect base” to explore. but what his guests may not know is that their kind words and $45 per night allow alfredo—a tango dancer—to pay his mortgage and pursue his passion for dancing.

airbnb's co-founder joe gebbia discusses the impact of creative industries on the platform designboom

 

 

designboom: airbnb is known for designing trust. how were you able to achieve this?

 

joe gebbia: by putting the needs of our community first, and approaching the issue as a design problem. in our minds, trust is the central facet of airbnb and we’ve been designing for it since the beginning. designing for disclosure, for accountability. designing a friendly, trustworthy interface. design has helped us overcome the “stranger danger” bias in a way we never expected. the sharing economy is an economy, but we’ve discovered that we aren’t just in the business of accommodations; our most important product is trust.

 

 

designboom: how can design help expand business?

 

joe gebbia: design is a natural extension of who we are as a company. it’s easier to understand this when one thinks of design as a tool – a lens. as with design, to lead is to be in a state of inquiry, to ask and understand. I have learned to ask questions of my team, to accept bad news and admit my own mistakes, and listen when colleagues speak. to design is to look at the world and say, “why is it like that? how would I make it different?”. when leaders embrace design, they’re able not only to ask how things can be different, but to empower others to ask the same question.

  • Creative types would be less likely to need to supplement their income by hosting if so much of the formerly available low cost housing was not being converted into Airbnb rentals.

    lm l says:

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