The Future of Work? There's an app for that!

People associate Airbnb with vacation travel. But Airbnb was founded as a service for business travelers.

The company began in 2007. Then called AirBed & Breakfast, its founders' business model was simple: Buy three air mattresses, and build a website at Then, invite attendees of the city's 2008 Industrial Design Conference who couldn't find a hotel room to crash at their house.

They quickly realized there was demand in the world for this idea.

So they cobbled together investments, ditched the air mattresses, and shortened the name to Airbnb (I'm, of course, oversimplifying here).

Specifically, the original business model was to create accommodation supply out of nothing in a world with overwhelming demand created by business professionals.

And now the company has just done it again.

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