Brian Chesky, CEO
Joe Gebbia, Chief Product Officer
Gebbia: Brian and I started Airbnb by solving a problem through design. We couldn’t afford the rent, so we opened up our home for guests to stay with us.
Chesky: From conference rooms modeled after listings to storyboarding the user experience, design has a voice in everything—even in how a new employee starts their first day.
Gebbia: We encourage employees to ship new features on day one, which immediately encourages them to come up with something creative and different. One new designer decided to change the icon you used to favorite a listing from a star to a heart. This little change increased engagement by over 30% and inspired a new product: Wish Lists.
Chesky: At RISD [the Rhode Island School of Design] they asked us, "How do you get design in the boardroom?" And I always thought, "What if design ran the boardroom?"
Read more about Airbnb
- Airbnb Takes Aim At An Industry That Once Dismissed It
- Most Innovative Companies 2013: Airbnb
- Even More On Airbnb
Read more pairings from Fast Company's 10th Annual Innovation By Design issue:
- Michael Bloomberg and Janette Sadik-Khan On The Future Of Walking, Biking, Driving
- J. Crew's Libby Wadle And Jenna Lyons On Tension
- Burberry's Angela Ahrendts And Christopher Bailey On Trust
- Flipboard's Mike McCue and Marcos Weskamp On Spiraling Toward Solutions
- Jawbone's Hosain Rahman And Yves Béhar On The Power Of Trust
- 5 Ways Nike Factors Design Into Its Innovation Equation
- PepsiCo's Indra Nooyi And Mauro Porcini On Design-Led Innovation
- The Role Of Design At Pinterest
- Samsung On Global Design Influences
- 5 Brilliant Business Lessons From Warby Parker's CEOs
[Photo by Aya Brackett]
A version of this article appeared in the October 2013 issue of Fast Company magazine.