Brian Chesky email

Any one read into this what I think I am seeing…

One area we are focused on is making sure that, in markets that are significantly housing constrained, the Airbnb community is helping people stay in their homes and share their communities and not negatively impacting housing.

That entire homes that are exclusively STR may not be welcomed any more?

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Maybe in a few markets but I can guarantee they aren’t going to take money making listings off the platform unless they have to. I can see them doing a variety of things people with entire homes won’t like (like requiring instant book) but not eliminating them.

BTW, I didn’t get an email. Was this today?

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Yes - want me to post the complete thing?

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Hi Deborah,
I am absurdly lucky even to be writing this email. Ten years ago we started Airbnb. Joe and I couldn’t pay rent, so we created the first AirBed & Breakfast and invited three people we’d never met to stay in our home. People said our idea would never work - “Strangers will never trust one another!” A decade later, people have checked into an Airbnb nearly 300 million times.

I was thinking about the next ten years of Airbnb when I received a phone call I’ll never forget. A close advisor told me that now was the time to “institutionalize your intentions so that even as you grow, you can minimize what conflicts with your vision.” It made me realize that we should write down what we want to institutionalize before it’s too late. So I asked myself, if Joe, Nate and I were gone tomorrow, what would we want the world to know about Airbnb’s intentions?

Airbnb is still young, and the cement hasn’t hardened. We are now big enough where anything is possible, but not so big that change would be nearly insurmountable. We can still be radical, and it couldn’t come at a more perfect time in the world. People are increasingly living in digital bubbles, trust in institutions is at a record low, and companies realize they have a greater responsibility to society.

It’s clear that our responsibility isn’t just to our employees, our shareholders, or even to our community - it’s also to the next generation. Companies have a responsibility to improve society, and the problems Airbnb can have a role in solving are so vast that we need to operate on a longer time horizon.

Technology has changed a lot in my lifetime, but how companies run has not. Companies face pressures based on legacies from the 20th-century, and the convention is to focus on increasingly short-term financial interests, often at the expense of a company’s vision, long-term value, and its impact on society. You could say that these are 20th-century companies living in a 21st-century world.

We want to design a company to meet the unique needs of the 21st-century. We want Airbnb to be a 21st-century company with two defining characteristics:

  1. We will have an infinite time horizon.
  2. We will serve all of our stakeholders.

Infinite time horizon
I know that a lot of companies are thinking about being long-term oriented, but an alternative way of thinking about it is being infinite. Being an infinite company is an idea that my friend, author Simon Sinek, has been discussing with me. Simon explained that a company’s purpose is to advance its vision, and since a vision is a mountaintop you never quite get to, you should have an infinite time horizon. But many companies are designed to be finite. Finite companies are focused on beating their competitors and appeasing short-term interests. But business is not finite. Unlike sports, there is no time clock, so there can be no winning or losing - there is merely surviving and innovating to endure. This doesn’t mean that meeting clear goals isn’t important or that you should lose your sense of urgency and avoid tough decisions. Short term success is still important so long as it advances your vision. As Simon put it, it means that your focus should be on getting to the mountaintop, not the rest stop on the way up the mountain.

We think that a company should survive to see the next century, not just the next quarter. A 21st-century company should eventually become a 22nd-century company. By having an infinite time horizon, a company can be more audacious, take more responsibility for what they make, and create more lasting change.

• We are instituting many actions to begin to put this ideal into practice, starting on February 22, where we’ll be announcing the next chapter to empower a host-led world with some substantial improvements to our service that set us up for an infinite time horizon.
Serving all stakeholders
What is the purpose of a company? I would say its purpose is to realize its vision. But even this is no longer enough. We must realize our vision and ensure our vision is good for society. This means that we must have the best interest of three stakeholders in mind: Airbnb the company (employees and shareholders), Airbnb the community (guests and hosts) and the world outside of Airbnb.

To be a 21st-century company, we must find harmony between these stakeholders. For example, Airbnb the company must remain values-led, leading with boldness and compassion, while also building a highly valuable business. Airbnb must treat hosts in our community as partners and make guests feel like they belong. All the while, Airbnb must serve and strengthen local communities, while expanding diversity and acceptance in the world. Serving stakeholders means being honest about where we need to improve because we know we are far from perfect. One area we are focused on is making sure that, in markets that are significantly housing constrained, the Airbnb community is helping people stay in their homes and share their communities and not negatively impacting housing.

• To begin measuring how well we are serving all stakeholders, in March, we’ll release Airbnb’s first Annual Stakeholder Report. This report will explicitly identify the criteria by which we want to hold ourselves accountable to our stakeholders. In the same way that a company’s annual report facilitates the evaluation of its financial performance for shareholders, what we measure and talk about must indicate progress towards our effort to become a 21st-century company.
New board member
Part of designing a 21st-century company is designing a Board of Directors that can help us implement our 21st-century vision and institutionalize our intentions. I am proud to announce that we will be adding Ken Chenault to our Board of Directors as our first non-affiliated independent director. Airbnb is built on trust. As the CEO of American Express, Ken has built one of the most successful trust-based companies in the world. It is a company that has endured and innovated for nearly 168 years. Ken and I spent time talking about the 21st-century model and in particular the role of trust as the infrastructure for such a model. Ken also believes deeply that, now more than ever, companies need to stand for values, character, and competence. As he says, “I think corporations exist because society allows us to exist. Corporations are not entitled to exist. So I think we have a responsibility and an obligation to help improve society.”

The next ten years, and beyond
Ten years after we started Airbnb, I have often thought, how could an idea like millions of strangers sleeping in each other’s homes ever work? The truth is that we, Airbnb the company, did not do most of this. Our hosts, and the broader Airbnb community, created most of this. And they have taught me two things: people are fundamentally good, and we are 99% the same.

If people are good and mostly the same, then we should be able to offer more than people sleeping in one another’s homes. We imagine a world where every one of us can belong anywhere. A world where you can go to any community and someone says, “Welcome home.” Where home isn’t just a house, but anywhere you belong. Where every city is a village, every block a community, and every kitchen table a conversation. In this world, we can be anything we want. This is the magical world of Airbnb. We will probably never fully realize this vision, but we will die trying.
Brian Chesky
Brian Chesky
Co-Founder, CEO and Head of Community
Sent with :heart: from
Airbnb Ireland
The Watermarque Building, South Lotts Road,
Ringsend, Dublin 4, VAT:9827384L
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Thanks for posting. It will probably arrive here on Friday…in a few hours.

As for all the new age corporate bs, I had to skim quickly. (Vision? As my mama used to say “why don’t you vision in one had and s*** in the other and see which fills up fastest?” Ok, that’s not what she said but somehow my version seems applicable.)

I think it’s a waste of my time to speculate about what is going to happen starting Feb 22. I’ll have to wait and see.


I was just about to create a topic on this and ask if someone can translate it for me. I loathe this kind of writing, It’s sneaky and deceptive. If you can’t bring yourself to say outright what you mean and have to hide it in all kind of nonsense speak, you’re not to be trusted.

“Infinite time horizon”. There are not enough eyes in the world to roll at this. Does he think he’s Captain Kirk or something?


LOL!!! I’m going to have to use my best practices skill set to onboard myself to drill down and extrapolate the synergistic meaning here :laughing::laughing::laughing:


Bahahaha—and here I thought I was a dolt when I asked my husband what the heck an “infinite time horizon” was when I saw his tweet this afternoon. We both had a good laugh at your Captain Kirk remark! I think we’re too old to appreciate this kinda crap…err…messaging.


In my town they aren’t. City council just passed an ordinance banning them. Existing ones can stay until the home sells then that’s it. You can have STR as long as the owner lives on premises.

He could have come and stayed with me in Dublin, bet ya he went to a hotel

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There’s some rumors running around that this February 22 thing is in reference to the launch of their new airline. Will all be digital, just like booking rooms.


Basically, they say that AirBnB has reached the peak of it’s life cycle, and from this point on it will go down unless they invest in other products.

Infinite Time Horizon is a financial theory, where you move the end of life to an infinite point by in vesting in new things and go for a maximum average profit between them instead of trying to maximize them all.

It is all a bit fuzzy, but it makes sure AirBnB does not end up like Yahoo, Kodak and many other companies from the last century.


Well, if he gives Ryanair a run for their money (sorry Cassid…), all to the good.

But really, what a lot of tired old, mashed up bollox.

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I read it, Corporate PR crap.

Dear Karma

Here at we want to reach out to you so that you can join us in envisioning a dynamic community where everyone matters. We see our responsibility here as not only towards the present but into the future and as such we feel a duty of care to those who will build that empowered future. And I was thinking about just how to do this when I received a phone call that changed my world. An MBA professor told me that now was the time “to collaboratively optimize parallel experiences of all stakeholders in order to seamlessly actualise communication parameters.”

So I asked myself “How can I generate optimal cross-platform communication fungibility in a finite time-horizon”?

And the answer came: log onto The Corporate Bullshit Generator . I may never get to entirely harness the richness of non-communication strategies there, but I will probably die trying,


I was disappointed that this isn’t a real site.

This post is absolute gold. It should be a pinned post. I was going to say something about curating and paradigm shifts but I can’t top this.

Five stars!


Actually that makes sense, but how can anyone predict that? If you were Kodak, you’d have to know digital cameras were coming. If you were yahoo, you’d have to know that Google was coming.

It’s nice in theory but seems impossible to predict.

Now I think on February 22 they will announce their IPO.

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Which is what it all boils down to…The most important stakeholders are always the shareholders and the initial investors. They can say the purpose of a company is to realize it’s vision and be good for society and all that but it’s has to become profitable in order to do anything else.

It will be interesting to see what’s coming up.

My feeling as well. I had read the email yesterday and was going to post the same thing. He writes this long email and says nothing. It was like the Q & A he did. Never answers the questions directly. He’d make a good politician.