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Airbnb is engineering itself into a data-driven company.

Stashed in: Airbnb, Awesome, You are the product., Big Data

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Internally, the company wants to take on the characteristics of Curtis’s previous employer, Facebook, which is renowned for how it has built tools that make Hadoop consumable by nearly everybody in the company. Facebook is great at letting employees “really get deeply in touch with the data and [figure] out what questions need to be asked,” Curtis said. “… That’s a thing I’d love to apply as we build thing out at Airbnb.”

When I read that what I hear is, "We'd like to follow in Facebook's footsteps of our users are the product."

Facebook with their recent stock recovery is once again the fair-haired child. 

And suddenly startups steer in the direction of using user data for profit. Not good.

That really needs to stop.

"Data is the voice of your customer. Data is effectively a record of an action someone in your community performed, which represents a decision they made about what to do (or not) with your product. Data scientists can translate those decisions to stories that others can understand."

Haven't all companies used data to gain competitive advantage? Only now companies are cultivating user data woven deep into the fabric of the product or service. Google is the best example - where our search terms and clicks provide the fuel for their revenue engine. Uber is leveraging who needs a cab to give us more prompt and reliable cabs. Airbnb is doing something that the traditional hospitality never bothered to do. 

Where is the content from Pandawhale coming from? Admittedly, Adam and Joyce do generate a fair amount, but so does the userbase. Maybe not for profit, but our data is part and parcel of the value that we are able to gain from it. 

That is an excellent point, Mo.

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