Innovation Study Case
Samantha Chu, Aristides Milos, Ahmed Milleti and Jingwei Zhou
April 17th, 2020
Sam 1. How did Design Thinking practices fundamentally change Airbnb’s product?
Identify two Design Thinking practices (of the six noted in the Figure at the end of the assignment) that occur at Airbnb and discuss why each one was effective in fostering innovation at the company. 500 words
（thats my part) 2. In Tim Brown’s article Design Thinking the author talks about a Design Thinker’s Personality Profile (or their mindset) on page 87.
Identify two parts of the profile that are demonstrated by the staff at Airbnb. Discuss why they were important to the company’s pursuit of innovation. 500 words
Aristides: 3. Compare how Airbnb fosters a culture of innovation with Pixar’s efforts.
Identify two practices or approaches to innovation that are similar between the two organizations. Why is that practice valued within the organization? What challenges might be associated with the practice? 500 words
4. The IdeoU Design Kit (https://www.designkit.org/methods) will introduce you to many different methods. Take a look at some of the methods that can support the Inspiration stage of Design Thinking (https://www.designkit.org/methods#filter).
Identify two methods that 500 words
As Tim Brown said in his Design Thinking article, “there is no one definition of design thinking” (Brown). Design thinking is more of an abstract, human centred, and a creative method or strategy of thinking. Every person and organization who uses a design thinking strategy will define it differently and use it in their own unique way (Brown). Many of the most successful and innovative organizations use design thinking, including Airbnb and Pixar.
Brian Chesky, Nathan Blecharczyk, and Joe Gebbia are the three founders of Airbnb (Aydin, 2019). Their start-up company started as many do, an idea to help them make a few bucks, in their shared apartment, and being continuously turned down by investors. Though many of these start-up companies fail to get off the ground, Airbnb was one of the lucky ones. Several months after they launched, Y-Combinator noticed them and invited them to spend the next 3 months at the start-up accelerator organization to learn and perfect their product (Aydin, 2019). This is where their first experience with Design Thinking came from.
There is 6-steps in the design thinking innovation process. ￼
Airbnb follows all of these practices, however two that they are particularly good at is Framing a Question and Generating Ideas. As stated earlier, their first experience was during the three month accelerator program in which they learned to Frame a Question, which is learning to identify the right problems to solve. When practicing “being the patient” or empathizing with the user, they realized that all the photos on the website weren’t appealing. Empathizing is also a core-value for a design thinking mindset (Innovation Training, 2018). So, they hopped on the next plane and visited all the Airbnb listings in New York and updated all the photos (First Round Review). By doing this within a week their weekly revenues had doubled, from $200 to $400 (First Round Review). This was a big moment for the team as they realized they were asking the wrong questions, they were asking questions and looking for solutions that could be answered by lines of code that would solve multiple issues for any number of customers. When in reality, experimenting with non-scalable solutions and “going out to meet customers in the real world”, is just as important to the success of the business (First Round Review).
Airbnb is now a billion dollar company(Aydin, 2019). Airbnb now has over 12 thousand employees, over 7 million listings in over 220 countries, and over 2 million people staying at an airbnb every night (airbnb). Though they have come such a long way, their core innovation values still align with design thinking methods that they learned so long ago. Generating ideas, the second design thinking practice they excel in, is creating breakthrough solution solving ideas. Today, new employees are put to the test on their first day, being told to create and “ship” a new feature, showing them that new ideas can come from anywhere (First Round Review). Being creative and prototyping are also two important core-values of a design thinking mindset (Innovation Training). For example, Airbnb’s “heart” rating system was desgined by a newly employed designer, the switch from “stars” to “hearts” increased engagement by over 30% (First Round Review)!
Today, Airbnb is seen as an incredibly innovative, disruptive and unique company, having changed the Hospitality sector forever. Airbnb’s success is built on a history and its core-values of design thinking and an innovative mindset, and on your next trip just stay at an Airbnb to see for yourself!
thats the group work that been finished so far, my part is to finish part 2, and there is no more instructions