How Airbnb tries to become the Amazon of travel, a one-stop shop where you can book your room, your tours, your meals, your flights, even your concerts in one place.
It’s rare to get 20 minutes of one-on-one time with Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky. He’s a little busy these days, simultaneously reinventing the hotel, home rental, and travel industry. And when you do get to face off at company HQ in San Francisco, he may spend half of that time grilling you about Airbnb. How much time do you spend writing about hotels versus online travel agents? How did you end up covering Airbnb? He may even pitch you on Airbnb Beyond, their new luxe travel agency that finds the highest caliber properties and plans experiences around them.
At 36, Chesky asks questions rapid fire, listens intently while you answer, and then bounds into the next one. He is, after all, trying to make Airbnb the Amazon of travel, a one-stop shop where you can book your room, your tours, your meals, your flights, even your concerts in one place. Doing that research - asking a litany of questions - just adds to his continuing journey to make “Airbnb for everyone,” a sentiment emblazoned behind him during the assuredly Steve Jobs–inspired announcement of Airbnb Plus in San Francisco last month.
Below is a full transcript of our conversation in late February, when Chesky talked about a business built around trusting strangers, and the most overlooked - and underrated - part of Airbnb.
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