There was an intriguing announcement earlier this week that Airbnb was launching a major new initiative to design and build a new generation of millennial ready houses.
It is clear that with the intelligence they have at their finger tips on what delights their millions of guests and what makes hosts most successful they should be well placed to rethink the perfect dwelling.
Clearly enabling these new consumer spaces to be easy to list, rent, protect, clean, cohabit, etc will support the ongoing Airbnb ecosystem and their primary income stream.
But alongside this obvious synergy it seems more intriguing to see how this serves to diversify the business away from the core, fast growing, but vulnerable business of being an intermediary.
Converting some of the substantial shareholder value that has been created into a more tangible asset base may well help to both build out the ecosystem but also secure future income against the threat of future disruptors.
Fixing the roof while the sun's shining is always a smart move - perhaps redesigning the whole house at the same time is even smarter!
Airbnb launches Backyard, an innovative home design initiative Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia has just launched Backyard, an initiative investigating innovative approaches to housing. Photography: Courtesy of Samara Airbnb has already changed the world of hospitality, temporary accommodation and travel; now the innovative California-based company is throwing its hat in the ring of housing design too Using elements such as state-of-the-art techniques and smart-home technologies, the initiative will also draw on the company’s wide-ranging insights into the domestic environment and its use, from the Airbnb community. Backyard has been quietly in development for a while and its exciting results are already starting to take shape; the team is in the process of prototyping ideas and ‘is looking to offer test units as soon as autumn 2019’.