Did You Hear About "Airbnb"?
The New York Times (11/13/11) reported "Airbnb's Lodging Gets Tested, and a Mixed Bag Is The Result":
Since its debut in 2008, the company, based in San Francisco has booked more than two million nights of lodging all over the world. But it's not a hotel. Instead it allows people to rent out their entire home or apartment- or just a room or a bed- to others who find Marriott boring or want to see life in a area as a local would.
In three years, Airbnb (whose name refers to bed-and-breakfast establishments) claims to have about 100,000 listings in 19,000 cities and towns in 192 countries.
Wikipedia reports that Brian Chesky and Joe Gabbia founded the site and that listings include private homes, entire apartments, castles, boats, manors, tree houses, tipis, igloos, private islands and other properties. The company is well known for its freewheeling company culture, which has been praised by Business Insider and the Wall St. Journal. For instance, Airbnb employees wear hoodies to press conferences and business meetings.
New York's state legislature passed a law in 2010 making it illegal to rent out Class A residential space for less than 30 days. It remains to be seen how this will affect Airbnb's business.