My First Year at Airbnb

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Airbnb HQ in San Francisco. Photo by the Author

When I left the Army four years ago, I was given this final piece of advice, “just remember Andrew, you don’t have to wear a uniform to give back and make a difference.”

That advice really stuck with me and led me to Team Red, White, and Blue, — and ultimately — to Airbnb a few years later.

Serving in the Army and helping veterans at Team RWB gave me a real sense of purpose and identity and allowed me to give back in real and meaningful ways.

When I was looking to transition into tech, I wanted to find a company that would allow me to continue to serve and give back like I had in the Army and at Team RWB.

I spent a lot of time listening to TED talks and podcasts and watching videos of the leaders at Airbnb. I was struck by the way the leaders talked about the company and their values and the difference they wanted to make.

You can tell a lot about an organization by what the leaders at the very top are saying.

When General Stanley McChrystal interviewed our CEO Brian on stage early in 2017, he asked him what he wanted to do better as a leader. “To be more caring and to have more compassion,” was the response.

That’s not something you’ll hear too many Silicon Valley CEOs say — or something that many tech CEO icons have said in the past.

In my first year here, I’ve seen the company do some amazing things and take a stand on important social issues. From the #weaccept campaign, to combating family homelessness, to key partnerships to support economic empowerment in developing countries, Airbnb is working to make everyone belong.

No company is without flaws, and Airbnb has a lot to work on. But we’re all working towards a common goal of creating belonging and making communities and society better.

Amidst a national and global environment that can feel hostile to our mission it’s more important now than ever.

I’m proud of this company and the opportunity to be a part of it, and I’m looking forward to what the next year holds.

Written by

Dad. Husband. Army vet. Work @Airbnb. Enjoy running, cycling, cooking, & guitar. Always looking for new ideas for a humor piece, email me at: hutch07@gmail.com

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