- Many AirBnB listings are shared spaces so you're getting a spare bedroom or a couch/futon so the privacy factor is not there.
- You have a traceable identity on AirBnB so if it was illegal, you would be leaving a trail of evidence pointing to you.
- Your host would most likely ask you to leave and then you would get banned from the site or get a really negative review which would prevent you from using the service again.
Mostly, it's just not something that is going to be common enough to be a big problem and like I mentioned, there are built in feedback mechanisms to discourage bad behavior.
Assumption made here is people will report and provide review comments. if they (who want to do illigal stuff) select places to get one room and behave normally and decently in public, nobody will ever report anything. I am not saying it will be a widespread practice, but all it takes is one dead fish to dirt the pond.
And nobody answered the first part of my question. ie the factors that promted or inspired PG to make that remark when he visited them.
Additionally, expansion in the U.S. is going to come at a higher cost as they battle for the lucrative vacation rental market with other well-funded companies like VRBO.
Airbnb is really interesting because their relatively agnostic platform can hit a huge market - couches, single rooms, apartments, houses, boats, independent hotels, etc., along with a lot of international markets to play in, whereas competition has generally been more focused on satisfying a specific segment.
I'll be very curious to see how this company's next series of strategic decisions play out, given this very nice Series B.
Execution in this realm is key. It has both users and hosts motivated and engaged. The recommendation system allows for visible feedback both on the places and the people looking for places, and for me, this is key.
I won't book a place that doesn't have existing good feedback. In my last international trip, I skipped a more convenient venue that had no comments and the host indicated "if anyone asks, you are a friend" for a couple that had an established good track record a bit farther away. The additional information is very helpful.
I hope the guys prosper.