Airbnb: A Disruptive Innovation-Based Business


“Live there.” “Welcome home.” “Belong Anywhere.” These taglines indicate and represent Airbnb, which is considered a disruptive innovation-based Customer-to-Customer (C2C) business model. The concept of disruptive innovation was first introduced into academia and business-focused publications by Dr. Clayton M. Christensen, a professor at the Harvard Business School, through his widely popular publications and presentation on the subject. Christensen explains, “An innovation that is disruptive allows a whole new population of consumers at the bottom of a market access to a product or service that was historically only accessible to consumers with a lot of money or a lot of skill” (Christensen, 2012). In the case of Airbnb, it has enabled hosts—those individuals who lacked the resources to compete with hotel organizations’ vast distribution channels and hefty marketing budgets—to collectively reach out to a global market of consumers who were seeking alternative accommodations to traditional lodging facilities such as hotels and motels.

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