I just had my first Airbnb experience, I was a virgin Airbnb’er. No longer. I’m a fan. Their technology is excellent, their coverage in a skeptical Europe surprised me.
Uber impresses me, Airbnb impresses me. These companies aren’t just technology darlings, and they don’t seem to be just ‘fads’. They’re pushing aside decade old monopolies around the world. And profiting handsomely, how can you not like that?!
The growth here in Europe seems overnight. But where’s my Starbucks which after 10 (maybe 15) years in France, still isn’t in Lille – the 4th largest city. I was surprised not to stumble on a few, and so were these fans petitioning on Facebook… The old continent takes their sweet time, but I’m happy to see success of private companies like these. Airbnb is private and valued at around $10 billion. (They were founded in 2008…)
Lille has more restaurants than inhabitants, the best beer in France, no dog excrement on the sidewalk (Parisians leave shooshoo a la maison), an endless supply of impressive architecture, and rental bikes available for about $2 a day.
This was the view from our Airbnb, a property owned by a young couple, probably inherited.