Traditionally, many style guides define components as atomic components, which are then used to build more complex molecules. In theory, this works well to create coherent and flexible systems. In practice, however, what often happens is that these re-usable atoms are used many different ways, allowing all kinds of molecules to be created. Again, this opens the door for all kinds of disjointed experiences and makes the system harder to maintain.
Airbnb is an American home rental platform based in San Francisco that lets people list, find, and rent short-term lodging in 65,000 cities and more than 191 countries across the globe. Founded in 2008 by Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk, it has done more than any other company to change the way people find places to stay away from home. In recent years, Airbnb has evolved its peer-to-peer model to give hosts the tech tools they need to run a seamless, sophisticated operation. More than 40% of Airbnb listings are now available via Instant Book, allowing guests to make reservations much as they would a hotel booking, and a new check-in tool automatically feeds arrival instructions to them via the app. The company has also expanded into Business Travel Ready listings, which offer travelers a designated work space, guaranteed Wi-Fi, and more. Now valued at $31 billion, the company is also helping travelers explore the world outside their rentals. In 2016, Airbnb launched Trips, a service that lures travelers out of their rentals for local tours and adventures in 20 countries and 30 cities around the globe. And in an effort to address humanitarian issues, Airbnb launched an Open Homes program in 2017 that allows hosts to offer housing to refugees, displaced travelers, and those seeking shelter after disasters.
Since joining HomeAway in 2011, I have had exposure to a diverse range of exciting and challenging projects, working alongside the local and European senior leadership teams. HomeAway is truly a global organization, offering me the opportunity to recently relocate to London from Madrid, and transition my career path to align with my Masters in Behavioral Science.
In February 2011, Airbnb announced its millionth night booked. In January 2012, the company announced its five millionth night booked. In June 2012, Airbnb announced 10 million nights booked, doubling business in the previous five months. Of these bookings, 75% of the business came from markets outside of the continental United States.
Working in software development and design, we are often required to ship one-off solutions. Sometimes we’re working within time constraints and sometimes we just haven’t yet agreed upon a path forward. These one-off solutions aren’t inherently bad, but if they aren’t built upon a solid foundation, we eventually find ourselves having to pay back accrued technical and design debts.