In 2016 various industries are promoting this “have a true experience through connecting” way of thinking. Airbnb is a huge proponent of this. They have challenged the structure of the travel industry through how we experience new places as visitors. The original concept of Airbnb was focused on the structure of the hotel industry, however in recent months we have realized their business model actually affects the function and economic constraint of a city or town.
Airbnb was roughly founded on the premise of connecting visitors with locals. The visitor could have a true “local experience” instead of a manufactured one. This founding premise is what their latest marketing campaign “LIVE THERE” is centered around. This campaign focuses not only on staying in a local home but speaking and engaging with the local host, connecting with them and gaining an authentic experience.
Airbnb has even taken this concept a step further with a beta program in key cities which allows you to connect with “experience” hosts. You choose the desired type of “experience” you want during your visit (nightlife, arts and culture, active sports, touring, etc.) and Airbnb will pair you with a host who acts as your tour guide.
The concept is interacting with people is the best way to learn about the world. Back to my grandfather’s lesson being a curious learner and connecting with others will to want to connect more, think more, do more, be more, and invent more.
Other areas of real estate are starting to get in on Airbnb's open source platform of crowd-sharing space. We see office sharing as the next emerging craze with start-ups like SHAREDESK, LIQUIDSPACE, and VRUMI. Each of these sites allows you to rent a desk, office, or conference room for a day, week, or month. If you wanted, every day you could work in a new office with new people, in a new neighborhood or city. If you wanted to you could have a uniquely inspiring, new authentic experience every day of your life. Every day may be a little bit much... but you get the idea about how easy it is to have a unique experience in every aspect of your life by just connecting with people in person.
Wanting to move around and try new things is not a novel concept and neither is being a curious learner and challenging the status quo. It just seems we get stuck in these ruts where we think it is impossible to turn our wi-fi off and look at books, get out of the office and walk around the block a different way, work from a different location, or just try something new.
We are constantly challenged to drive sales with “new innovative ideas” but, we put “getting out of the office” as a low priority.
It is so much easier to see what is cool on Pinterest, check out online magazines, and look up some review which will tell you what a few other people think about actually experiencing the experience you are looking at.
To truly make your team, brand, company whatever the best… learn from my grandfather and go out into the world. Make your team go out into the world and actually interact with the world and people, talk about what inspires you and let those inspirations lead you to your new inventions.