Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Airbnb Story: Inside the company disrupting the world” as Want to Read:
The Airbnb Story: Inside the company disrupting the world
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Airbnb Story: Inside the company disrupting the world

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  1,235 ratings  ·  174 reviews
This is the inside, behind-the-scenes story of airbnb -- the company reshaping how we travel. Two broke art school graduates set up a platform that – in six short years – became the largest provider of accommodation in the world. Now valued at $25.5 billion, it is in the very top tier of Silicon Valley ‘unicorn’ startups.

Yet Airbnb has been controversial – disrupting a $50
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 28th 2017 by Virgin Books (first published 2017)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Airbnb Story, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Airbnb Story

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,235 ratings  ·  174 reviews

Sort order
Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

I love stories about these plucky little start-ups that make it big - it's like a modern-day version of the Horatio Alger myth or the Cinderella fairy tale. In the age of information, everyone's out to create the next big website or app, trying to find that niche that everyone has miraculously ignored and yet desperately needs.

AirBnb is one of those businesses that started out in someone's apartment and ended up becoming a booming global en
Apr 01, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Nothing new. Absolutely insincere. IPO advertising book. Short version of book: AirBNB is friendly and disruptive, hotel lobby is eval, founders are genius, everybody loves Airbnb, nothing bad should happen.
I don't hate the company, no bad feelings about it. But the book has nothing intereating.
If you'd love to read really engaging story about tech in travel company, read "Truck full of money" about Kayak's founder Paul English
Having just stayed at a Airbnb and running a Airbnb home, I was very curious how the American business model got started. Interesting book mixed with some dry statistics. Obviously a lot of research went it to it! The three men who started it, Joe Gebbia, Nathan Blecharczyk and Brian Chesky, have changed the travel and hotel business forever.
Oleksandr Golovatyi
A wonderful story about three guys who just blew up the tourism industry with their start-up Airbnb. They had a very difficult path, but their passion for their work was stronger. Now it is a multi-billion dollar business. An interesting story about one of the most successful "unicorns" of Silicon Valley.
Замечательная история о трех парнях, которые просто взорвали туристическую индустрию своим стартапом Airbnb. У них был путь очень сложным, но их страсть к своему делу была сил
Val Robson
May 13, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
There's an incredible amount of research gone into this book with plenty of data, statistics, quotes, details of local laws, etc. Personally I found it all made for a dull story wtih too much minutia. I enjoyed the chapters about people's personal experience of renting out their homes but most were dramatically bad so it made me wonder why people do it.

There was a lot of detail about the company's conflict in big cities like New York where renting out your home, or part if it, seems to be in co
Dec 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, unhaul
What an interesting and inspiring story. Definitely have to recommend this to a few friends.
Aditya Hadi
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The story started from a room where two design school graduates, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, lived. They pursue an idea to connect room and house owners to random travelers or ordinary people. The idea sounds weird and crazy, but nowadays the startup has a US$31 billion valuation.

However, it's not an easy way to crossed for Airbnb's founders. They have to asked their mate Nathan Blecharczyk to leave his fiancee and join them
Feb 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating story of how Airbnb began incidentally by two art majors and a computer person and grew so fast. The company was brought to my attention by a daughter several years ago and now in 2017, I will soon stay at one of these online booked BnBs. This perhaps repeats their corporate beliefs more often than I would like to hear them, but a corporate entity with beliefs seems unusual in today's crass commercial world.

What is fascinating is how each potential setback was dealt with to improve
Franziska Nitzsche
it is very repetitive and not the keast a journalist's work but rather a long fan letter
(English version below)

"The Airbnb Story" pretende contar a fascinante história de como uma ideia simples se tornou num enorme fenómeno mundial. Toda a gente sabe o que é o Airbnb e toda a gente já teve alguma experiência, directa ou indirecta, com a plataforma. E foi por isso que decidi ler este livro e saber mais sobre o seu passado.
A jornalista Leigh Gallagher mostrou ser uma excelente narradora, tentando mostrar tanto as falhas como os sucessos da plataforma e dos seus fundadores. Para além
Юра Мельник
Не дочитав! Книга дуже банальна. Краплинка цікавої інформації і відро води. Написано для тих хто любить читати заради читання.
Josh Laird
Super interesting when going through the Founders' struggles to get traction; classic case of startup hustling and insightful info that they had no money so had to eat cereal but couldn't afford milk #commitment

Struggled to hold my attention after that.
Sonya Dutta Choudhury
Last year at this time , we were living in Nicholas's flat. A living room full of books, with Victor Hugo in French. Pencil sketches of cats and horses on the walls. A kitchen and dining room with a polished mahogany table. Even our hard- to- please three teenage daughters were totally charmed. And this sprawling apartment , next to the Jardin Trocadero, for much less than the price of two Parisian hotel rooms . Such is the power of the famous 6 letter word in today's holiday and hospitality wor ...more
Lucille Zimmerman
Many people have heard the story about Brian Chesky and those rented out air mattresses that lead to a company now worth 30 Billion dollars, but most people don't know how millennials changed the hotel industry.

My history with Airbnb went like this:

*My husband and I were trying to find a hotel in Munich. I had the filter set wrong so it was searching during Oktoberfest and prices were outrageous.

*I started searching on something called Airbnb because my grown kids had told me about it.

*I daydr
Jan 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book about how Airbnb got started. The author also delves into the reasons the company is successful as well as a broad discussion of the evolving travel industry. Recommended reading!
Toyin A
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leigh does a fantastic job of telling the story of the sheer innovation and resilience Joe Gebbia, Brian Chesky and Nathan Blecharczyk had when airbnb was in seed form.

She doesn't tell this story as a fairytale with a happy ending. She goes the extra mile by fishing out details otherwise not known and expressing struggles that are either relatable or hard to fathom.

One key lesson that stood out for me was that a broad vision does not come in one sitting. Iterations are required to capture and br
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very well-told account of the Airbnb story. It's more personal than what's discussed in Upstarts. There's a portion in the middle related to the regulation that's a bit dry (but necessary, I suppose, given all of Airbnb's controversy there).
Gabriella Hoffman
Excellent book on creative disruption from start-up giant Airbnb. Well worth the read!
Sameer khan
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Does a disruption has more chance of becoming more successful if it is accidental rather than strategic”
This book narrates the story of a company born out of a small inconvenience, founded by people who had little knowledge of running the company and with only one out of the three founders having technical expertise to make and run a website. It takes you on a rollercoster ride which is funny, inspiring and unconventional. It is the story of two “design” who take on the hotel industry in the mo
Maxim Abramchuck
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4/5: I think that nine years is still a relatively small amount of time to be put into a book. The book does have plenty of exciting details, but I felt that about half of it is more about "hotels vs. home-sharing" discussion than about the Airbnb as a company itself. I mean, the book is cool, but I feel that it will be much more to the story in 5-10 years. Worth reading though.
Benton Freeseman
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leigh Gallagher tells the sweat-driven story of the founders of the billion dollar company, Airbnb. Themes taken away from the novel are: never giving up, always refining, and always be the hardest working man in the room. Gallagher uses Pathos to appeal to the emotions of the reader throughout the novel. The Airbnb story is truly inspiring, as we learn of the founders struggle to succeed. Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk show that no matter how significant the odds against them ...more
Soumya Tejam
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, non-fiction
Leigh Gallagher in The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions . . . and Created Plenty of Controversy takes you on a rollercoaster journey which is unconventional, funny and inspiring. My favourite aspect was that she doesn't paint it as a perfect fairytale. Instead, she goes the extra mile by fishing out details otherwise not known and expressing struggles that are either relatable or hard to fathom.
Evan Clark
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very inspiring and well researched account of Airbnb's creation and growth. Books notes (at back of the book) include links to some very interesting articles for those interested in delving deeper.
Henk-Jan van der Klis
Success stories are always appealing. What we now know as Airbnb started in 2004 with Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, two broke industrial and graphic design school graduates. Later their befriended programmer Nathan Blecharczyk joined. The three worked out an idea to rent out air beds and breakfast to make some money. This was the conception of what became Airbnb, now valued at $30 billion and on the eve of entering China.

The boys had the luck of a perfect timing to meet investors. The unique sell
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It is not so long ago that a couple of friends sowed the seeds for what would become a major disruptive element and force within the global accommodations industry – Airbnb. Less than one decade later this start-up has won a lot of friends and plaudits, whilst attracting a fair-few enemies and detractors too.

This is a fascinating look at a company that has, like it or not, changed travel for a large section of the travelling public. Even if Airbnb was no more, it is unlikely that the genie could
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Pessimists are usually right, but it's the optimists who change the world".

This book provided a super in-depth story about how the founders of Airbnb unexpectedly came upon the idea and utilized their little to none business experience to scale the company at an unprecedented rate. It doesn't just go into the founders' stories, but also the nuances of the Airbnb community and its impact on society. Leigh goes into extreme detail about the diehard hosts who live by the platform, the legal battl
Alex Devero
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Very well-written story of three guys who started one of the biggest companies in the world today. The Airbnb Story offers unique look into the history of one of the biggest and most successful companies today. Leigh Gallagher covers a wide range of topics from business to politics with personal comments from Airbnb founders and people involved in history of the company. It is important to point out that the whole story is well-researched. Leigh Gallagher did great job as a journalist and provid ...more
Sana Vasli
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story, but such a young company so there is so little to tell. This would be a groundbreaking book in another 5-10 years.

The author clearly loves Airbnb and probably cringed at the idea of saying anything critical about them.

You learn about how they hustled to take off with clever PR strategies, risky market entry and desperate fund raising. If you are a fan of Airbnb, you'll enjoy the read as I did.
Jackie Brady
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This book is more or less propaganda, but I've been drinking the Kool-Aid for a while now, so I found it interesting. Airbnb sent us a copy of the book for being superhosts. I learned a few things I didn't know about the early days of the startup, but most of the info was expected.

I love Airbnb. It has been great for me as a traveler and a host. It has its challenges, but I hope the platform continues to grow and do well.
Mary Ellen
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an incredibly interesting narrative outline of the stand-up of Airbnb and as important the leadership maturation of its funding and business. Of particular value to the reader is the Airbnb vision that shapes the company direction and rationale in legal challenges. I found the "What's next chapter" (chapter 8) and City Host venture fascinating. In a way, I felt that the author bought in a little too much to the Airbnb vision to probe deeper into its appeal as a disruptive innovation.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • eBoys: The First Inside Account of Venture Capitalists at Work
  • Angel: How to Invest in Technology Startups—Timeless Advice from an Angel Investor Who Turned $100,000 into $100,000,000
  • The Fixer: My Adventures Saving Startups from Death by Politics
  • Netflixed: The Epic Battle for America's Eyeballs
  • Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure
  • No Exit: Struggling to Survive a Modern Gold Rush
  • The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World
  • The Messy Middle: Finding Your Way Through the Hardest and Most Crucial Part of Any Bold Venture
  • Writing the Cozy Mystery
  • We Are The Nerds: The Birth and Tumultuous Life of Reddit, the Internet's Culture Laboratory
  • Elsewhere, U.S.A.: How We Got from the Company Man, Family Dinners, and the Affluent Society to the Home Office, BlackBerry Moms, and Economic Anxiety
  • The Schmuck in My Office: How to Deal Effectively with Difficult People at Work
  • Troublemakers: Silicon Valley's Coming of Age
  • Who Are You, Really?: The Surprising Puzzle of Personality (TED Books)
  • Naked, Drunk and Writing
  • High Growth Handbook
  • Am I Being Too Subtle?: Straight Talk From a Business Rebel
  • Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success
Leigh Gallagher is an assistant managing editor at Fortune and cochair of the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit. She is a frequent guest on MSNBC's Morning Joe and public radio's Marketplace; appears frequently on CNN, CNBC, and other outlets; and speaks regularly on business and economic issues. The End of the Suburbs is her first book.

(Biographical blurb from the back of The End of the Suburbs.
“Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow.” 0 likes
“If you are successful, it will be the hardest thing you ever do,” 0 likes
More quotes…