Design Thinking: Key to Airbnb's Success

Design Thinking: Key to Airbnb's Success
Case Code: BSTR554
Case Length: 13 Pages
Period: 2007-2018
Pub Date: 2018
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.400
Organization: Airbnb, Inc.
Industry: Hospitality
Countries: US / Global
Themes: Customer Relationship Management, Service Operations
Design Thinking: Key to Airbnb's Success
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


Turnaround with Design Thinking

In 2009, Airbnb was on the verge of shutting down. The company's revenue hardly touched US$ 200 a week. Faced with a do-or-die situation, the founders began examining the pattern of their product ads. The rethinking helped them realize where the problem lay. They found that the pictures of the properties listed on the site were unattractive since the owners were using camera phones. Moreover, all the rooms of the homes were not shown and people were not booking rooms because they couldn't really see what they were paying for. Gebbia said, "It actually wasn't a surprise that people weren't booking rooms because you couldn't even really see what it is that you were paying for,"...

How Design Thinking Works at Airbnb

David M. Kelley, the founder of the design consultancy IDEO, adapted design thinking for business purposes in the early 1990s. The design thinking method was developed by IDEO and thereafter it became a very popular methodology used by top companies to generate innovative ideas focused on providing value to and satisfying users' needs. The design thinking process involved five phases: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test...

Stepping Ahead with Airbnb Cereal

Airbnb needed a font that would not only cover all its typesetting needs, from website and apps to billboards, but also make its visual identity more scalable. In 2018, it commissioned its own font named 'Cereal' seeking to "imbue a playful, open, and simple typeface with a touch of quirk"...


Exhibit I: Funds Received by Airbnb
Exhibit II: Design Thinking Process
Exhibit III: Core Values of Airbnb

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