NZ Business - - BRIEFCASE -

IT TOOK LESS than a decade for Airbnb to be­come the world’s largest provider of ac­com­mo­da­tion. To­day val­ued at $30 bil­lion, it’s one of the hottest ever ‘uni­corn’ start-ups in Sil­i­con Val­ley.

Not sur­pris­ingly the com­pany has not been with­out con­tro­versy. Dis­rupt­ing the world’s ho­tel in­dus­try un­der­stand­ably pro­duces quite a few en­e­mies. There are the reg­u­la­tors who want to shut it down, ho­tel in­dus­try lead­ers who want it to dis­ap­pear, and neigh­bour­hoods that strug­gle with pri­vate homes open for pub­lic rental.

But beyond the head­lines and hor­ror sto­ries, Airbnb has changed the terms of travel for a whole gen­er­a­tion – where a sense of be­long­ing has built trust be­tween hosts and guests seek­ing a more orig­i­nal travel ex­pe­ri­ence.

Now Leigh Gal­lagher, as­sis­tant manag­ing editor at For­tune mag­a­zine, has writ­ten the first, de­fin­i­tive book that tells the re­mark­able story be­hind Airbnb and pro­vides the first in-depth char­ac­ter study of its leader Brian Ch­esky – the com­pany’s some­what cu­ri­ous co­founder and CEO. The book, pub­lished by Vir­gin Books, re­veals what got Airbnb where it is to­day, why they are noth­ing like Uber, and where they are go­ing next.

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