Airbnb Co-founder Joe Gebbia’s Guide To San Francisco

Mr.porter took a look at The co-founder of Airbnb’s home and shares his local hotspots.

It’s more bachelor pad than billionaire’s palace, but Mr Joe Gebbia’s characterful home in San Francisco is an accurate reflection of who he is and the company he started.

Airbnb was launched in 2007 from the small apartment nearby that Mr Gebbia shared with his best friend and co-founder Mr Brian Chesky soon after they graduated from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). When their landlord suddenly ratcheted up the rent, the pair opportunistically advertised three airbed mattresses and breakfast for guests visiting San Francisco for an upcoming design conference. The idea gained traction and their third co-founder, Mr Nathan Blecharczyk, joined shortly afterwards.

A decade on, Airbnb is now a $31bn behemoth with more than four million listings in 65,000 cities across 191 countries – becoming, as Fast Company magazine put it, “the world’s largest hotel chain, without owning a single hotel”. As the poster child of the sharing economy, the company has completely normalised the idea of inviting people you’ve never met to stay in your home, building mutually policed trust where before there was inherent stranger-danger caution: a remarkable and rapid cultural paradigm shift.


Mr Gebbia, 36, now lives on his own with his rescue dog, Belo, in a cool and quirky loft conversion. An industrial designer and Airbnb’s chief product officer, he describes his apartment as “a big room of creative references”, from the art on the walls by celebrated local artist (and now friend) Ms Heather Day, to the pieces of iconic mid-century design furniture by Mr Gerrit Rietveld and Mr Charles and Ms Ray Eames, to the reverential museum-like display of his collection of rare NikesReebok Pumps and adidas Yeezys.


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