While we were talking with Joe Zadeh, the Director of Product at Airbnb, at SXSW this year he told us that the idea for Airbnb came when the co-founders realized they needed more rent money. There happened to be a design conference coming through town, and they decided to rent their place out.
To date, with Zadeh’s expertise and help, Airbnb has grown from that simple listing to 60,000 listings and then further to over 600,000. Additionally, they have reached 11 million guests with 6 million using the platform in 2013 alone.
The challenges were present for Zadeh and the team as they climbed, and there will always be challenges in the online to offline market. However, Zadeh thinks beyond the code and into what’s happening in the world; after all, being in 192 countries means you have to facilitate a strong cultural exchange.
The world of mobile is an appealing one for Zadeh as he continually marches forward with Airbnb. Giving their hosts an easier and faster way to update their calendars, list their home, and talk with potential guests, will help Airbnb ensure that the end to end travel experience will be as meaningful as possible.