Day 24: #airbnb

Today, we started later in the day with our final guest speaker, Stephen Dillion. He is the founder of Startup.ie which is a not for profit website that connects entrepreneurs to the resources they need to help them succeed. It is the leading resource for startups and entrepreneurs in Ireland and gives out awards annually for the most excellent startups. Before this, he worked in Paris for a year for the Irish government and kept working at places that work for other people. He had always had the dream to work for himself and that is why he built an internet cafe which died off due to the entrance of the convenience of the WiFi. He is also fairly associated with the alcohol industry in which he produces his own drinks that follow the trends of society. For example, he created a drink called “Lowkey” that is a low-calorie alcohol beverage which follows the trend of health today. Although entrepreneurship is not my strength, it was definitely a neat hour listening to how his ideas become a reality.

After the lecture, Elgin, Matt, Ryan, and I went to Noshington Cafe down the street to discuss the details of our final presentation that is happening tomorrow. I still can’t believe that this month is almost ending. It was a nice lunch with the group and honestly can not wait to finish this presentation.

Our final thing on the itinerary today was going to Airbnb. This visit was definitely my favorite out of all that we have been to. In a way, it was a mix of Google’s creative and open atmosphere with the inclusive culture of EY. I really loved the design of the building as well as their mission of making everyone feel belonged anywhere. No one has a designated desk but each department has its own neighborhood that has chairs that are not assigned so that people are encouraged to talk to different people every day.

This was the most transparent visit in which they were honest about their mistakes and how they have adapted to those unfortunate events. Odin, who spoke to us from the Trust and Safety Team informed us about the unfortunate cases he deals with. Over the years, the number of incidents significantly decreased; however, one can never fully protect or stop crimes.

On a brighter note, they have a department named ‘Love” in which they offer specific dates from the available information they are given. For example, if they see a couple who posted a picture on Instagram of their honeymoon with ‘#airbnb’ they will send them a specific gift. In a way, I thought that was a little creepy, but it is such a nice/special thing to do for their users. They also stay close to the community by using organic food from local suppliers at the office cafeteria.

I really enjoyed my visit to Airbnb and it was the first company I saw myself working in the future. Tomorrow is our last full day and hopefully, things go well!