AIRBNB HAS EXPERIENCED METEORIC GROWTH OVER THE LAST YEAR, FUELED BY GLOBAL EXPANSION. AND THEY'RE GOOD AT TELLING THE STORY.
A company’s annual report is a go-to reference when sizing up a company’s health and prospects. All those facts and figures arranged in black-and-white tables also make up the perfect cure for insomnia. Why do corporate documents have to be so boring? They don’t, as the info-data genius Nick Felton revealed in 2005, when he began issuing his own highly personalized form of annual reports chock full of biographical details presented with design gusto. (You may recall that Felton is also responsible for inspiring Facebook’s new Timeline format.) It took a few years, but companies are finally catching on to the idea of leavening snooze-inducing data with exciting colorful graphics and easy-to-read figures.
The latest to jump on the Felton bandwagon: Airbnb, which comprises a global network of local renters providing alternates to pricey hotel rooms. The big news here--rendered in eye-catching red--is that the three-year-old company is celebrating its 5 millionth nightly booking (4 million of which were made in the last year alone). That meteoric growth has a lot to do with its global expansion: 75% of its business now involves an international guest, host, or both--a fine argument for opening six new offices in major international cities by March 2012.
COMMENTARY: I must admit that I have not covered Airbnb in my blog, although it has been hailed as a huge financial success. I just looked at the Airbnb website, and did a search for apartments and studios in the Cidade Maravilhosa a.k.a. Rio de Janeiro, and there are some nice pads in there. Check out the Very new and beautiful 2Br Leblon and the Photographer's Loft at the beach in Leblon, the best neighborhood in RJ. I enjoy cooking and being close to the Rio nightlife and excitement. The apartments and studios listed in Airbnb are definitely head and shoulders above the accommodations at a top RJ hotel. Now is a great time to visit, but keep in mind it is the high season so prices are much higher. If you haven't made your reservations for Rio's Carnaval, it's probably already too late, in which case I would highly recommend Buzios, R.J. It's a wonderful Brazilian resort about 115 miles south of Rio, and they have some great BnB's or Posada's there. Check it out. If you've been to Rio, let us know what you thought.
Check this neat How To Airbnb video on YouTube:
Courtesy of an article dated January 27, 2012 appearing in Fast Company