What healthcare can learn from AirBnb's story

Sombit Mishra

This is a great infographic on AirBnb from Funders and Founders.  

Every time I travel for leisure nowadays, I book with AirBnb. It's cost-effective, the reviews have reached critical mass where you can trust the hosts, reciprocal reviews reinforce the quality of matches, and the hosts typically give you a much more personal (aka concierge) experience than a hotel can give you.

What's interesting about the infographic above though is that the catalyst to AirBnb's initial growth seems to be its recognition that high-quality photos of each Bnb would matter to word-of-mouth growth. In contrast to Craigslist, where trust is still sketchy and photos are usually taken by the posters themselves, AirBnb invested in delivering high-quality, intimate photos to create awe-inspiring first impressions for prospective guests. Some residences look way better than 5-star hotels.

Importantly, while reviews and careful host screenings have added fuel to AirBnb's fire, the company's growth story came alive because the founders realized that first impressions matter and focused their resources on this key go-to-market barrier. In healthcare innovation, this realization about creating strong first impressions is sorely needed, for entrepreneurs as well as caregivers across the spectrum. Before you can deliver the goods, you need to deliver the perception.