I love these kinds of articles, they're always reliably interesting. And always kick up decent debate as well, given that people often have different opinions about what works, and no-one has access to the actual data proving anything.
In a previous job (life?) I was put onto a project to (effectively) clone AirBnb, and spent a lot of time staring at the home page. While it's nice to see it again, boy am I glad to have moved on.
An aside: airbnb.com takes 4-5 seconds to load for me, compared to near instantaneous load on other sites. You could spend days tweaking your home page, but if people get frustrated waiting for it to load then you're handicapping yourself.