Airbnb and the Unintended Consequences of ‘Disruption’

A woman talks on the phone at the Airbnb office headquarters in the SOMA district of San Francisco

Like some of the most exciting start-ups of this century, Airbnb is a new kind of “aggregation” platform. It’s a portal that connects producers and consumers in the marketplace for accommodations—like Facebook does for content, or Amazon for commerce, or Uber for driving.

Five years ago, the Disrupt Story went that Airbnb was going to challenge hoteliers and maybe even make their business obsolete, as young people ditched Marriotts and Hiltons for the empty beds of strangers. Since then, Airbnb has enjoyed one of the more magical runs of any company founded in the 21st century… But most people failed to predict the thing it would transform—for good and bad.

Story length: 1,176 words

Read the full story here.

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