Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions . . . and Created Plenty of Controversy” as Want to Read:
The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions . . . and Created Plenty of Controversy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions . . . and Created Plenty of Controversy

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  2,632 ratings  ·  288 reviews
This is the remarkable behind-the-scenes story of the creation and growth of Airbnb, the online lodging platform that has become, in under a decade, the largest provider of accommodations in the world. At first just the wacky idea of cofounders Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb has disrupted the $500 billion hotel industry, and its $30 billion valuat ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published February 14th 2017 by Mariner Books
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

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,632 ratings  ·  288 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions . . . and Created Plenty of Controversy
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ 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
Apr 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
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
Jan 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: travelers
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.
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
Aditya Hadi
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing

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
Swapnil Agarwal
Feb 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
By all accounts, Airbnb should not have become this big! The very idea of letting strangers into your home raises eyebrows, but the way they executed it with belongingness at the core is amazing.
What an interesting and inspiring story. Definitely have to recommend this to a few friends.
Feb 28, 2017 rated it liked it
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
Nishit Asnani
May 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Not the most unbiased version of the story, but it's well-written, fast paced and inspiring. It gives a peak into the journey of Airbnb's co-founders, delves into the issues that their model poses to the traditional hospitality businesses, and where the company is headed (as of early 2017). ...more
Franziska Nitzsche
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
it is very repetitive and not the keast a journalist's work but rather a long fan letter ...more
Josh Laird
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
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
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 20, 2018 rated it liked it
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
​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 b
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
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). ...more
Gabriella Hoffman
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book on creative disruption from start-up giant Airbnb. Well worth the read!
Sameer khan
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“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
Karin Künnapas
Aug 18, 2021 rated it liked it
This felt like a startup story that has been written too early. The founders seem like really nice people but although they made a remarkable company, the story itself is quite meh.

Also, it didn't have much personal touch and felt like most of it had been written on public records and not actual insight of people who were there from the beginning.

Most of the book wasn't even about AirBnB story, but very long chapters on some specific cases when something went wrong with a rental and what happene
Vikrama Dhiman
Dec 05, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 'right' does meet the 'left'

One of the challenges - not quite unlike the startups themselves - that books like this face - the startup story is excellent and flows like a dream. The non startup story of growing up with challenges does not have the same flow.

The book is spectacular in the first few chapters. The later chapters come alive when describing the founders or a specific project but lack the energy when describing open questions.

It is still a good book. I'd recommend this over Twitt
Benton Freeseman
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Maksim Abramchuk
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Denis Romanovsky
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting story on Airbnb. Starting with a startup story, then a story of growth, then it was about Airbnb influencing market and market influencing back Airbnb. Lots about the networking effect and its impact to business. Good stories on founders and how they grew personally with help of Silicon Valley investor advisory. The book is good, though could be a bit shorter sometimes.
Soumya Tejam
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, business
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. ...more
Brian Childs
Jun 11, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyable book about an unorthodox company founding story. I thought it was very inspirational and shows what it takes to make a business so transformational that people also love to work at. The book starts to run out of steam at the halfway point and it feels very dated being before the Me Too movement and pandemic.
Evan Clark
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Brent McCulley
Jun 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Allen Tang
Jan 22, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Pretty good narrative of the troubles AirBnb has faced over the years, albeit a little outdated now
May 09, 2021 rated it liked it
Read it for the first few chapters!
Manas Saloi
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Good read on the early days of Airbnb. Some of the notes I took:

Super hosts: If you hit a certain series of performance metrics—in the past year, if you have hosted at least ten trips, if you have maintained a 90 percent response rate or higher, if you have received a five-star review at least 80 percent of the time, and if you’ve canceled a reservation only rarely or in extenuating circumstances, you are automatically elevated to “Superhost” status. That means you get a special logo on your sit
Elías González Rogel
Oct 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
After finishing this book, I realized how little (or nothing) I knew about this company, its business model and the rationale behind the sharing economy. I've travelled and stayed on AirBNB once or twice in my life and found the experience intriguing but, overall, very pleasant.

The story of how the three founders met and started the company, despite several opposing voices, is inspiring. I was suprised to learn how tenacius they were (during a pitch presented to a Private Equity Fund, someone to
« 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 »

Readers also enjoyed

  • How to Turn Down a Billion Dollars: The Snapchat Story
  • That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea
  • Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal
  • No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram
  • Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built
  • The Cold Start Problem
  • The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World
  • Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire
  • Billion Dollar Loser: The Epic Rise and Spectacular Fall of Adam Neumann and WeWork
  • Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber
  • The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
  • Super Founders: What Data Reveals About Billion-Dollar Startups
  • The Innovation Stack: Building an Unbeatable Business One Crazy Idea at a Time
  • Built from Scratch: How a Couple of Regular Guys Grew The Home Depot from Nothing to $30 Billion
  • Invent and Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos
  • Masters of Scale: Surprising Truths from the World's Most Successful Entrepreneurs
  • No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention
  • One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon.com
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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.

Related Articles

March is Women’s History Month, dedicated to the study, observance, and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.   Some...
289 likes · 70 comments
“The founders knew this from the earliest days, when convincing people to list their spaces was one of their first struggles. But it wasn’t until late 2012, when Chesky read an issue of Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, the journal of the esteemed Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, that he started thinking more seriously about the actual experience the company was offering. He decided they needed to transform Airbnb more deeply from a tech company into a hospitality company.” 0 likes
“Chesky read the book Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow. The book’s author was Chip Conley, the founder of the Joie de Vivre boutique hotel chain, which he started in San Francisco in 1987.” 0 likes
More quotes…