🏡 HOSTS V HOTELS

Airbnb’s co founder and CEO is actually an active host on the platform. So what?

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DEEPFATE 💥 HOSTS V HOTELS

Airbnb’s co founder and CEO is actually an active host on the platform. Does that mean anything for Airbnb guests and investors?

Airbnb’s co founder and CEO (far right) is also an active host on the platform (Sheel Mohnot / LinkedIn)

In case you missed it, Airbnb’s co founder and CEO is actually an active host on the platform. Yep, according to LinkedIn user Sheel Mohnot, he spent the night in Brian Chesky’s home.

Apparently, the platform’s chief exec was the perfect host. His puppy even spent the night in the room with the guests, which was a welcome personal touch.

The next day, Chesky brought his guests to the Airbnb office for a tour of the company HQ. Mohnot and his companion were understandably blown away, as anyone would have been.

Mohnot suggests that the whole experience left him feeling $ABNB is a screaming buy. He bought $ABNB stock after the visit, and only wished he'd done so a month ago.

But. This (insanely unique) experience flies in the face of a lot of what we're seeing and reading, which is a backlash to Airbnb. The Guardian compared it to “staying with your cheap, uptight friend, and paying for the privilege.” As one observer, top marketing strategist Megan Weisenberger puts it, people are “re-delighted to check into an ice cold hotel room with a fluffy, white duvet and to have the ability to order whatever type of chaotic room service suits their fancy ...without doing the dishes afterwards.”

Nostalgia for the pleasures (strong air conditioning, crisp sheets, room service and housekeeping) that only a hotel can provide is understandable. Twitter user Jeremy Gordon shared this hot take last month:

“Decided to stay in a Holiday Inn instead of an Airbnb for an overnight trip and strongly feel, one hour after check-in, that there has never been a more luxurious experience in all of human history.”

His Tweet has been viewed 8 million times.

I see two clear take aways: (a) Brian Chesky is an amazing Airbnb host, but (b) not every Airbnb host is CEO of the company. Inconsistent properties, experiences, and host quality is what's driving nostalgia for hotels. While some hosts remain exceptional, others are inconsistent at best or even downright unpleasant.

And while Airbnb completely revolutionised the travel industry in the same way that Uber revolutionised transportation, there's a reason that hotels and even local taxis are on the rebound, and its the fatal flaw of a marketplace business like Airbnb and Uber: users find that third party hosts and drivers are simply inconsistent.

You might get Brian Chesky as a host, or you might get a stretched property manager covering 12 rental apartments, none of which they own, and none of which look like their pictures.

There is, of course, room in the market for all of these options. And consumers can be fickle. Investors will let us know if they agree with Mohnot about the future value of Airbnb.

More:

Sheel Mohot’s glowing Tweet thread describing the experience of staying with Airbnb’s CEO »»

Seth Rogen is hosting a Houseplant creative retreat in LA with Airbnb »»

Counterpoint: “Airbnb feels like staying with a cheap, uptight friend – then paying for the privilege” »»

None of the above is financial advice.

Written by Jon Kallus. Any feedback? Simply reply.

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