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Chief Product Officer & Co-Founder at Airbnb, Joe Gebbia reinvented the hospitality industry, breaking down biases against strangers and skyrocketing the growth of the Shared Economy. Gebbia's entrepreneurial journey began when he took in a couple of guests for four nights to help pay his rent; over the years he and two friends grew this idea into a multi-billion dollar company that has now coordinated over 60 million home stays.

Gebbia's creativity led him to study at the Rhode Island School of Design. He supplemented his artistic schooling with business courses from Brown University and MIT. The self-proclaimed "designtrepreneur" honed his multiple skills to "connect the dots" between an unmet need and an available resource. Using the power of reputation, Gebbia engineered a solution to the biggest obstacle potential investors saw in Airbnb: a fear of strangers.

Unable to clinch funding, he and his partners took advantage of the 2008 Presidential Election by creating collectors' cereal boxes - Obama O's and Capn' McCains - and selling them at national conventions as a means of promoting and raising capital for Airbnb. The stunt gained them national press exposure as well as their first round of seed funding from Paul Graham, founder of Y Combinator.

Gebbia's gift for generating and executing creative solutions has been acknowledged globally in the business world. He has been listed among BusinessWeek’s "Top 20 Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs", Inc.’s "Thirty under Thirty", and Fortune’s "Forty-under-Forty."

Full Profile

Joe Gebbia is a multi-disciplinary designer, creative entrepreneur, and global explorer. He is the co-founder and CPO of Airbnb, which began in 2008 out of the necessity to pay his rent. What started as three airbeds, a pop-tart breakfast, welcoming hosts and an insider’s guide to the city, is now a global phenomenon of hospitality, human connectivity and economic stimulation.

Gebbia works across a variety of disciplines including industrial design, print, and digital experiences. With an eye for simplicity and an appreciation of craft, he leads the team in creating imminently marketable products. The results are cutting edge yet useful tools that impact the user’s experience from the moment of online contact to the end of their physical stay in Airbnb listings around the world.

Crafting a cohesive experience from online to offline is at the core of the Airbnb business model. Gebbia is dedicated to creating a magical and effortless user experience through sharp, intuitive design, while crafting a product roadmap that leads to such an experience. Under his leadership, Airbnb is now at the forefront of the emerging discipline of service design, a practice that improves the quality of interactions between service providers and their customers. Gebbia’s lifelong appreciation for art and design led him to the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he now sits on the Board of Trustees. There, he honed his conceptual skills while obtaining degrees in product design and graphic design.

While studying in the Northeast, Gebbia complimented his creative pursuits and studies at RISD with business coursework at Brown University and MIT. Influenced by the work of Jean Prouve, Charles and Ray Eames, and the Bauhaus movement, Gebbia has long been immersed in the art of designing for the human experience.

After moving to San Francisco from Providence, Rhode Island, Gebbia worked as a designer for Chronicle Books where he experienced first-hand how a design-led business worked, department by department. The culmination of these ideas and experiences came to fruition in 2008, when he co-founded Airbnb with Brian Chesky and Nathan Blecharczyk. What began in an apartment in San Francisco during an IDSA conference has spread to 30,000 cities in over 192 countries, creating a new economy for hundreds of thousands of people around the world.


Joe Gebbia Speaker Videos Back to top

Joe Gebbia, Entrepreneur: TED Talk


Founder of Airbnb, Joe Gebbia discusses how to design for trust. Many of us may been taught as children to be weary of strangers, but the growing shared economy indicates people are embracing others that they've just met. How did Joe's wildly successful Airbnb manage to defy a generation's paranoia and our parents' warnings of the dangers of strangers?

Gebbia shares the ups and downs he had designing a reputation system strong enough to trump "the stranger bias." From tapping into an unmet need to discovering how to prompt just the right amount of disclosure about hosts and guests, he outlines the ingredients that grew Airbnb into an international phenomenon and what its success implies for our world's future. "Design can overcome our most deeply rooted stranger-danger bias," he states. "Now, we know design won't solve all the world's problems. But if it can help out with this one...it makes me wonder, what else can we design for next?"

Joe Gebbia, Entrepreneur: Keynote, 99 U


Joe Gebbia, entrepreneur: Hosting a panel on the "Shared Economy"


Joe Gebbia, entrepreneur: Conversation with John Maeda on Creative Leadership



Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


Sharing lessons from the surprising success of Airbnb, Joe Gebbia reveals strategies and tactics for launching and growing a business while staying connected to your start-up roots. Having navigated numerous ups and downs, Gebbia is an ideal choice for addressing the various aspects of running a business, from strategic planning to aligning teams across a common vision.

The self-proclaimed "designtrepreneur" presents a five stage business formula that encompasses curiosity, interaction, the story, demonstration time, and sharing the story. Gebbia will leave attendees with actionable takeaways that make turning their ideas into realities seem much more achievable.

Suggested Speaking Topics:
  • Single Step Strategies: Launching and building a business
  • The Shared Economy
  • Design's role in Shaping Businesses and the Future
  • Designing for Trust: Lessons from Airbnb and the Shared Economy
  • Creative Leadership and Crafting an Innovative Work Culture


  • Joe Gebbia Speaker Testimonials Back to top

    Past Speaking Engagements (Partial List):

  • TED (Vancouver, Feb 2016)
  • Inc. Magazine GrowCo (Nashville, April 2015)
  • Clinton Global Initiative (New York City, Sept 2014)
  • KPCB @ Fuseproject (San Francisco, June 2014)
  • Giga OM RoadMap (San Francisco, Nov 2013)
  • Feast Conference (New York City, Oct 2013)
  • Brooklyn Beta (New York City, Oct 2013)
  • Fast Company Innovation By Design (New York City, Oct 2013)
  • Smart Cloud Show (Seoul, July 2013)
  • Dwell on Design (Los Angeles, June 2013)
  • LeWeb (London, June 2013)
  • Financial Times (London, June 2013)
  • Wired NextFest (Milan, June 2013)
  • 99% Conference (NYC, May 2013)
  • First Round Capital Design Speaker Series (San Francisco, May 2013)
  • AIGA Designer + Founders (San Francisco, May 2013)
  • Alternative Design Careers @ Harvard GSD (Cambridge, Feb 2013)
  • DLD Conference (Munich, Jan 2013)
  • Commonwealth Club (San Francisco, Jan 2013)
  • FastCompany Innovation Uncensored (San Francisco, Nov 2012)
  • GigaOm 'Design in the Connected Age' (San Francisco, Nov 2012)
  • PSFK Conference (San Francisco, Oct 2012)
  • RISD Entrepreneur Mindshare (Providence, Oct 2012)
  • The Next Web, Keynote (Amsterdam, April 2012)
  • SXSW (Austin, March 2012)
  • Pecha Kucha (Tokyo, Dec 2011)
  • Y-Combinator (NYC, Oct 2011)
  • PSFK Conference (San Francisco, Oct 2011)
  • Inman Real Estate Connect (San Francisco, July 2011)
  • GigaOm GreenNet (San Francisco, April 2011)
  • PSFK Conference (New York, April 2011)
  • Pecha Kucha (San Francisco, March 2011)




  • * Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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    SPEAKING.com Testimonials

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    Past Speaking Engagements (Partial List):

  • TED (Vancouver, Feb 2016)
  • Inc. Magazine GrowCo (Nashville, April 2015)
  • Clinton Global Initiative (New York City, Sept 2014)
  • KPCB @ Fuseproject (San Francisco, June 2014)
  • Giga OM RoadMap (San Francisco, Nov 2013)
  • Feast Conference (New York City, Oct 2013)
  • Brooklyn Beta (New York City, Oct 2013)
  • Fast Company Innovation By Design (New York City, Oct 2013)
  • Smart Cloud Show (Seoul, July 2013)
  • Dwell on Design (Los Angeles, June 2013)
  • LeWeb (London, June 2013)
  • Financial Times (London, June 2013)
  • Wired NextFest (Milan, June 2013)
  • 99% Conference (NYC, May 2013)
  • First Round Capital Design Speaker Series (San Francisco, May 2013)
  • AIGA Designer + Founders (San Francisco, May 2013)
  • Alternative Design Careers @ Harvard GSD (Cambridge, Feb 2013)
  • DLD Conference (Munich, Jan 2013)
  • Commonwealth Club (San Francisco, Jan 2013)
  • FastCompany Innovation Uncensored (San Francisco, Nov 2012)
  • GigaOm 'Design in the Connected Age' (San Francisco, Nov 2012)
  • PSFK Conference (San Francisco, Oct 2012)
  • RISD Entrepreneur Mindshare (Providence, Oct 2012)
  • The Next Web, Keynote (Amsterdam, April 2012)
  • SXSW (Austin, March 2012)
  • Pecha Kucha (Tokyo, Dec 2011)
  • Y-Combinator (NYC, Oct 2011)
  • PSFK Conference (San Francisco, Oct 2011)
  • Inman Real Estate Connect (San Francisco, July 2011)
  • GigaOm GreenNet (San Francisco, April 2011)
  • PSFK Conference (New York, April 2011)
  • Pecha Kucha (San Francisco, March 2011)


  • Suggested Speaking Topics:
  • Single Step Strategies: Launching and building a business
  • The Shared Economy
  • Design's role in Shaping Businesses and the Future
  • Designing for Trust: Lessons from Airbnb and the Shared Economy
  • Creative Leadership and Crafting an Innovative Work Culture

  • Joe Gebbia, Entrepreneur: TED Talk


    Founder of Airbnb, Joe Gebbia discusses how to design for trust. Many of us may been taught as children to be weary of strangers, but the growing shared economy indicates people are embracing others that they've just met. How did Joe's wildly successful Airbnb manage to defy a generation's paranoia and our parents' warnings of the dangers of strangers?

    Gebbia shares the ups and downs he had designing a reputation system strong enough to trump "the stranger bias." From tapping into an unmet need to discovering how to prompt just the right amount of disclosure about hosts and guests, he outlines the ingredients that grew Airbnb into an international phenomenon and what its success implies for our world's future. "Design can overcome our most deeply rooted stranger-danger bias," he states. "Now, we know design won't solve all the world's problems. But if it can help out with this one...it makes me wonder, what else can we design for next?"

    Joe Gebbia, Entrepreneur: Keynote, 99 U


    Joe Gebbia, entrepreneur: Hosting a panel on the "Shared Economy"


    Joe Gebbia, entrepreneur: Conversation with John Maeda on Creative Leadership