Test According to Brian, this org structure provides the easiest route to a clear company mission that all can align to. For example, as the pandemic reshaped travel over the last nine months, this organizational technique allowed Airbnb to remain flexible and attuned to its customer needs. It helped them understand that one of the first things the organization needed to do when COVID-19 began sweeping the globe was focus on designing for safety and trust. This led them to hire a former U.S. Surgeon General to help guide new cleaning protocols for hosts on the rental platform,

This organizational structure also helped the company pinpoint that there was a newly emerging segment of travelers who, able to work from anywhere, are looking to live somewhere new for a month or two. This allowed Airbnb to quickly pivot towards designing for people who aren’t just visitors, but also short-term residents. They also increased support for people seeking out smaller cities and lesser-known destinations as opposed to known tourist districts.

“The best way to design for something is to deeply understand it and look at all the moments of interaction,” Brain says. “What are all the moments where you’re able to facilitate a sense of connection?”