Monopoly on Airbeds

With more guest speakers and company visits, our lesson today was centered around peer-to-peer entrepreneurship. With a strong, growing desire to work for yourself, it is no surprise that more people are taking side hustles and entrepreneurs.

We first heard from our guest speaker, Stephen Dillion, about how he created his business to help other entrepreneurs. With his own personal passion to make a startup, he wanted help and guidance from others who have been in his shoes. Finding no service out there suited for him, he decided to make his own. Creating Startups.ie was originally intended as a blog for entrepreneurs, but evolved into so much more. He now helps hundreds of entrepreneurs in Ireland, as well as hosting his own awards banquets for new and rising entrepreneurs who would not get recognized otherwise. It was clear to see peer-to-peer work within his business, seeing as he pairs individuals with certain knowledge with others looking for assistance.

The other business we encountered today was the European headquarters of Airbnb (as peer-to-peer as you can get with a business). Airbnb was definitely a favorite among the group for future work environments, who wouldn’t want to send love baskets to people traveling abroad? But on a serious note, the company’s focus on “magical” travel and reactive safety response was an interesting business combination. I really enjoyed that the company had many set goals and company related projects to be a part of, but at the same time, it was still very structured.

It was very easy and apparent to see the authentic nature of the company. I never felt as though they were disclosing select information to our group, all of the employees we talked to were very open. As a company that has a high potential for problems to occur (with house sharing and such), they are open to addressing the issue and not hiding it. We spoke with an individual working in the trust and safety department who spoke on this specifically. It was wild to imagine that a group who sends creative and unique love baskets works alongside a group that assists harassment and assault problems. With a company growing as fast as Airbnb is, I wonder whether or not the cost of problem control will be their downfall or will subside as they grow. I hope the latter, seeing as Airbnb seems to be the truly authentic experience company they seem to be. After our visit today, I would not be surprised if they monopolized on “travel” entirely within the next few decades.