Hot off a victory in San Francisco’s elections, home-sharing startup Airbnb isn’t taking a break.
San Francisco residents voted Tuesday not to pass Prop F, a ballot initiative that would put a cap on how much home owners could rent their homes.
During an election debrief turned victory speech, Airbnb’s head of global policy, Chris Lehane, issued a thinly veiled threat to other cities.
In sum, Airbnb says it has figured out how to mobilize its home-sharing network, and its membership numbers are almost totaling the NRA. Now that it successfully rallied its San Francisco user group, it’s going to do the same in 100 cities across the US in the form of “clubs.”
Here’s the playbook of how Airbnb beat the San Francisco ballot initiative, and how it plans to make sure that never happens again:
The presentation kicks off by suggesting that the local ballot initiative wasn't just a one time thing, but part of a larger movement.
The three countries it is not in: Syria, Iran, and North Korea.
Message #3: Airbnb hosts and renters are good neighbours. (As opposed to always partying, for instance.)
San Francisco's governing city council, called the Board of Supervisors, is elected by geographic districts, rather than city-wide. Prop F was important to each district.
One post on Medium went viral. Airbnb ended up picking up some of the points it made for its own campaign, Lehane said.
Other hosts just wrote their own editorials. Here's one that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, the main daily paper.
Airbnb wants to take advantage of the city of tomorrow -- a diverse collection of aligned and locally involved groups. Basically, in this view, cities are returning to become a collection of villages.
So Airbnb wants to create its own political force of like-minded people. The company plans to set up 100 clubs in 2016.
Again: There will be 100 cities that have a grassroots Airbnb lobby in their backyard. San Francisco was just the start.
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