In November, you might remember I asked you what questions you would like the Airbnb Founders, Brian, Joe and Nate to answer in their Q&A live from the Airbnb Open in Los Angeles. You posted a wide range here in the Q&A thread, however it was clear that there were many key themes you were keen to hear more on.
I know many of you have been eagerly awaiting to receive this video and I am very pleased to share this with you, along with subtitles in English.
A huge thank you to all of you for taking the time to submit your questions and I hope you enjoy watching.
Just watched it.
They do know about the issue, mentioned in India and China they do list the contact details, never actually said why not elsewhere. Just that it an issue they know they need to address. I assume they expect an increase in volume and are not set up to deal with it.
Going forward they see that as a default, which does not surprise me or bother me personally, might others... Mention about need for matching, I can see difficulties, matching and non discrimination tend not to be good bedfellows.
Seems that they have taken into account some of the comments, I have not been there for a long time and just went and had a look and seems I am not the only one. If it feels like it just goes into a black hole people will tend to ignore it, needs to feed back and be better categorised
I would have liked to hear about the Security Deposit, Host Guarantee, issues that are common on here.
Wow, they actually asked my question and then dodged answering it! I couldn't be more disappointed.
And how did they get where we are from wrong? #facepalm
@Alice-and-Jeff0.....Oh, seriously Alice, what were you expecting!
Look, I haven't watched it yet, I may get around to it, I have a fair idea there will be a lot of chest beating in it....and I am fairly confident I can find something better to do with 20 minutes of my time.
But the main reason for my hesitation is I have this predominant thought that I will get to the end of that 20 minutes and a little voice in the recesses of my brain will say with a chuckle...."There, I told you so"!
And to possibly get around that, what I have done is download it into my downloads folder where it is much easier to grab snippets out of it where ever I want, rather than having to wade through a lot of waffle!
Interesting. Unfortunately I am not convinced about the spin around Instant Book. It is obviously simply a commercial decision to better compete with booking.com and agoda etc. On another note they seem to have a vision for the company. I just wish they were more prompt in keeping us in the loop. The newsletters aren’t cutting it (rolling out stuff and THEN telling us) and consider the fact that this video was shot in November and we see it in march 5 months later. Also who knew about the other Q&A takes I stumbled across on google and the https://www.airbnbcitizen.com/ which was mentioned on the video.
@David-and-Fiona0 - it's pretty ironic that it took 5 months to tell us about the things that they say they are doing.... pretty much sums up how much they actually care about the hosts in real life despite all the warm and fuzzy "we need to be hosts for the hosts". Hogwash. Again, so very disappointed.
Alice, their body language summed up the whole thing. That slouch in the chairs, that totally disinterested look on their faces when they answered a question. If you are trying to impress someone with what you are saying you will hold their gaze, you will look somewhat intense, somewhat involved.
These guys were told it would be in the best interest of the company to take an hour out of their time and wave a swizzle stick or two....and that is what they did. I have not looked at much of it yet, but I bet on not one occasion over that 20 minutes did one of them look at a camera and make a positive future statement!
These guys are not businessmen, they are just someone who stumbled on an irresisteble idea and ran with it. I built up my business the hard way...I went out and sold it! Do I have any respect for these guys......no way!
I’m honored they chose part of my question about Instant Book. While I’m not thrilled with the idea that the future holds instant book as the new way of booking (or as they said instant booking would just be considered booking) I think they have a point of where the future is headed. So much of the world is all about instant gratification. While I prefer not to use Instant Book, at the same time many in my community and the world would prefer we didn’t use Airbnb and the whole home sharing concept. We tell others to be more open-minded about it so perhaps going forward I should be more open to ideas such as Instant Book. Not saying I’m planning to go Instant Book any time soon but rather watch as others do, learn from their experiences, and be more open to the newer concept in the future.
There is nothing new concept about Instant Book, whenver I have booked accomodation through whatever means I just booked, no discussion.
The new concept was having some back and fore and reviews etc.
Just watched it - Thank you @Lizzie for posting it.
I came away feeling that the founders are on one hand hanging on to the old idea of us hosts being at the center of the Airbnb concept, yet are simply overwhelmed to effectively deal with the dramatic growth of the company, so they are more or less trying to soothe some ruffled feathers and to simply placate us hosts by promising to be better in their communication with us:
Joe says that "staying connected to our hosts is one of our most importants tasks". Nate suggests that through the Host Voice ( nobody really goes there, or feels paid attention to) or the newsletter (where is it?) they are reaching out to hosts to stay connected and to work together. Brian says that it is "always about the hosts" and he acknowledges that they are playing catch up, grew too fast, and are - right now - not as accessible as they should be...
But instead of working on these flaws by slowing down , by fixing the existing problems and working out the kinks, they are investing their energies into the future, they are talking about the new experiences concept, and they also mention adding services and flights to their offering in the future. Did you all catch that?? (What services, what flight?)
The bottom line is: I am inclined to be conciliatory, as I personally benefit from being an Airbnb host, I don't have to worry about anything but providing a nice offering to my guests, I get paid for it, and I meet some nice people along the way! That is good enough for me. From my own experience of first dreaming up a business, then actually making it reality by working 24/7, then growing it until I successfully sold it a few years ago, I know that most people simply don't understand or realize how complex and difficult it is to stay on top of a business, let alone a phenomenon like Airbnb.
To constantly change and innovate a company (instead of working out some minor details that may soon be obsolete anyways) seems to be the successful concept these days. Whoever doesn't go with the flow or embrace new ideas and changes gets left in the dust. That also means us hosts - and we all are better off getting used to it, I dare say. Hanging on to "old" ideas or getting riled up about certain minor things, like the ratings system or IB, is so miniscule in the grand scheme of things that they will inevitably fall to the wayside.
I came to the conclusion that we hosts are the product which the company shapes and changes as they please. I don't believe we have any significant leverage in the game. We are an exchangeable commodity. But it is my choice to accept that and be happy with what I get out of it - or to get upset and want things to be different. So I'd like to suggest to my fellow hosts here to just "go with the flow" , or borrowing from the serenity prayer: "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference."
See, these guys are worth Billions and it takes Annette to come up with that. I would have a lot more faith if there was someone like you at the helm.....sort of brings to mind another saying...'There but for the grace of God go I'!
awwww, thanx @Robin4 . while I'd like to have a tiny, tiny slice of their profits, I have no desire whatsoever anymore to run a company. Also brings to mind that we are the old guard, the young ones have taken over - and things are run and handled very differently now. That in itself is not a bad thing. I try to be open and am willing to learn. I really don't see anything bad in the founders mannerism when they were interviewed. Maybe it's also a cultural thing, that you expect a different demeanor from them.
Look at snap chat, now there you have another company that makes billions, and I have no clue really what they are based on, or why they are so successful. their CEO is about 26 years old.
Thanks for the heads up about this.
And @Annette33 you've formulated that sum up very well.
In the end the founders are in it mainly for the money, and despite their repeated insistance of how important hosts are it feels selective. Of course the hosts with whole homes and IB will be more important to them, and pesky little hosts with only a room who generating much less income and who on top of that don't believe in IB but insist on doing their own matches (like me) will be tolerated.
Matching and IB - sounds like matching and compulsory Instadate - yeah, what can go wrong with that. Sure, it won't all be terrible, but it's also very generic, and anybody who ever tried dating according to a matching technique will probably be able to vouch for the fact that you still need an exchange and voluntary decision from that if you want to 'book' the date.
On the whole I still believe it will still be a mixed bundle of guests and hosts - those wanting and open to IB and those not. And in the end it will come down to whether or not non-IB users are pushed so far to the bottom of the barrel that it's not interesting for them to continue on this platform or whether they are treated with the same chances as IB hosts.
Maybe the experiences will be the next big thing for many inventive hosts to jump onto if IB isn't working well for them..
I too agree with going with the flow until it doesn't work for oneself anymore.
Oh, and @Robin4 your slouching comment made me take a closer look at those chairs! Blame the chairs - that style is actually awful to sit on without one's body sliding down into an automatic slouch...
I think it is unreasonable to expect the system to change due to issues discussed here, it is what it is.
More important to know how to best operate within the system. Of course knowing what it says and how it is operated is crucial.
Surely the concept of a ‘sharing economy’ includes sharing ideas, feedback and discussing the business environment. I for one don’t intend to just give up and will continue to offer feedback on this platform and others. I don’t see it as unreasonable at all.