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Airbnb has ushered in the concept of “home optimization,” offering homeowners the same opportunity to boost cash flow the major airlines have enjoyed for years, a disruptive innovation.

The option of staying in someone’s private dwelling as an alternative to hotels can be truly liberating. Many times it’s cheaper too. Airbnb already claims an inventory of 2.3 million rooms, which makes it larger than the three biggest hotel chains — Hilton, Marriott and InterContinental — combined.

Airbnb is already sending shockwaves through the $550 billion global hotel industry. On July 11, 2016, the company announced that it had hosted its 100 millionth guest. It will be fascinating to see what happens when more people catch on that they can use their real estate inventory to generate cash while meeting some charming people.

That trend is well under way. In May 2017, SimilarWeb reported that the Airbnb site now draws more traffic than any other hotel brand or metasearch site — 107 million visits in first quarter 2017.

Airbnb Inc.

Year established: 2008
Innovation: Home optimization
Innovation Types: Product, Supply Chain

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