Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky prides himself on thinking very differently than other CEOs, and his answers to the Decoder questions about how he structures and manages his company were almost always the opposite of what I’m used to hearing on the show. Airbnb is pretty much a single team, focused on a single product, and it all rolls up to Brian. That’s very different from most other big companies, which have lots of divisions and overlapping lines of authority.
And Airbnb’s relationship to cities is changing as tourism changes. Airbnb used to be the poster child for a tech company that showed up without permission and fought with regulators, but as the company has grown and the pandemic has changed things, it’s entered what is hopefully a more mature phase — it just came to a deal with New York City after ten years of argument. I asked Brian about that and about what it’s like to run a public company now — the transition from scrappy startup to public company engaged with regulators is a big one.
Of course, I also had to ask about cryptocurrency and the metaverse — does Brian think we’re all going to be visiting virtual NFT museums on vacations in the future? You have to listen and find out.
Okay, Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, here we go.
Decoder is a production of The Verge, and part of the Vox Media Podcast Network. Today’s episode was produced by Creighton DeSimone, and Andrew Marino, our research was done by Liz Lian. And we are edited by Callie Wright. Our music is by Breakmaster Cylinder.
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