Living on Airbnb: Day 1
I am either a homeless entrepreneur, or a guy with 650 homes in San Francisco. Depends on your perspective.
Last week, I moved out of our 3 bedroom apartment. The same apartment that served as the impetus for starting Airbnb back in 2007. As a co-founder of Airbnb, moving out of the very apartment where it all started is bittersweet. From those first few airbeds on the living room floor, which we rented for a design conference, to watching the company grow internationally over the last two years, I have seen the apartment slowly transform into what is now our office. Today we have 17 people working out of the same space. Since we need all the space we can get, my bedroom became the perfect short-term solution until our new office is ready.
Anyone else would have started the hunt for a new place to live. However, that’s when the idea struck me. Why not just live on Airbnb? Instead of getting a new apartment, I decided that I will live the remainder of 2010 on Airbnb. I will stay 2-3 nights in homes and apartments on our website, across San Francisco. Originally I wanted to stay in every place available in SF on Airbnb. But, with 650 listings, that would take me a couple years. Still, by Christmas, I will likely break a record for living in the most homes in a single city (will be chronicling on Twitter here). The benefit is clear; the best way to make a great product is to design something for yourself. By using Airbnb everyday, I will get to know the product and the people like never before.
My room before
Bedroom becomes meeting room
Not to mention, I think this may actually be a better way to live in San Francisco. If I need a lot of space for a week, I can rent a spacious apartment. If I want to have a dinner party, I can rent a chic loft to host guests. If I plan to work late, I can rent a minimal space close to the office. I do not need to lug around 10,000 pounds of furniture with me everywhere I go.
Some people are speculating that I will tire of the constant “checking in” process. They may be right. They may be wrong. Only time will tell. This very skepticism reminds me of another crazy idea back in 2007…
I think its safe to say that the first experiment worked out pretty well.
The journey begins
I will be chronicling my travels here on Airbnb’s blog. Also, be sure to follow me on twitter here. Stay tuned for my next post in the series about my first week living on Airbnb.
To read about the history of our apartment, click here.
- Brian Chesky, co-founder of Airbnb
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