What Airbnb’s journey from inception to IPO has meant for Skift and me – Skift

This morning, with the Airbnb IPO, the first book on this now iconic brand that Skift has been following since our own founding in 2012 comes to an end.

It has been an incredible journey to follow, as a skeptical journalist, as an entrepreneur, and as a personal fan and heavy user of the service. Airbnb’s travel also informed / influenced our trip, in ways big and small, and I recorded a short audio essay on what this day means to us as a business and personally – this photo above is that Airbnb “secret” high in the mountains of Puerto Rico that my family loves to stay in every time we go and where our five year old son keeps asking to come back to this whole pandemic year.

The first skeptical story, asking the tough questions about Airbnb was ours, by Skift co-founder Jason Clampet in 2013, his PR and founders cringed and avoided us for a few years every time we came. ask the tough questions that flattery the tech press was not. We followed up with an even bigger in-depth data analysis in Airbnb that led to New York City taking legal action against the company and even trying to subpoena us in the fight. We refused as a neutral media company.

Airbnb has now established itself as a defining company of our time, not just in travel, but in all business. The way he did it was not to worry about being known as a travel startup, the best thing he did for his business and his brand. We are closely monitoring the follow-up book being written starting today.

Skift will be there for the next part of Airbnb’s journey, still with all the tough questions.

My audio essay below:

Photo credit: The Airbnb in Puerto Rico where Skift founder Rafat Ali regularly stays with his family. Rafat Ali / Skift


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