• Kalle Noble

Airbnb, Etsy, and Uber: Overcoming the Chasm

A response on how Airbnb, Etsy, and Uber all overcame the early market chasm.

All three companies, Airbnb, Etsy, and Uber were very successful with their growth and grew very fast even when facing particular challenges that could have very easily ended the careers for other companies. The first, Airbnb, started facing an issue of growth in New York, when those running the company noticed the growth in this geographical location was much less successful than other areas that they had ruled out services to based on demand. To overcome this obstacle they realized they needed to help those posting listings with the Airbnb service. The issue was the quality of images, so Airbnb decided to simply photograph the listings with hired photographers themselves. Because this worked out so successfully in New York, they quickly began introducing this as a feature to all their locations where the service was available. Another feature that allowed Airbnb to grow was the further implementation of curating wishlists for vacations. This allowed users to browse the website for reasons other than making purchases, and made finding great places to stay easier for those who were looking to make purchases. Another feature that gave Airbnb an upper hand was simply that on average, rooms would be much cheaper than hotels and allowed users to get to know the hosts in certain circumstances.

Part of what allowed Etsy to grow so fast was the user generated advertising. Because sellers would advertise their own products with the help of social media integration, it allowed Etsy to spend very little on actual advertising of the site itself. On top of this, the seller’s handbook that Etsy supplied to its users would help guide those using the website to create these very promotions and keep using the website.

Uber found it’s success its growth through having different plans for each city that the service was introduced to. They had people personally go to each city that it was introduced to in order to perfect its own role out. They used events, holidays, and local hotspots in order market the service to new users and harness the power of word of mouth. Offering an all in one brand of delivery also gave Uber and edge over other services.