Airbnb Engineering » Tech Talks http://nerds.airbnb.com Nerds Fri, 26 Sep 2014 05:38:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.4 How to Drive Growth: Lessons from Facebook, Dropbox, and More http://nerds.airbnb.com/drive-growth-lessons-facebook-dropbox/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=drive-growth-lessons-facebook-dropbox http://nerds.airbnb.com/drive-growth-lessons-facebook-dropbox/#comments Tue, 01 Jul 2014 16:00:03 +0000 http://nerds.airbnb.com/?p=176594450 You’re inundated with tactics about how to grow your company. This talk will help you refine a framework for how to think about growth, and arm you with some tools to help hack through the bullshit. We’ll fly through a 50,000 foot view of the product development process used at Dropbox and Facebook to drive […]

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You’re inundated with tactics about how to grow your company. This talk will help you refine a framework for how to think about growth, and arm you with some tools to help hack through the bullshit.

We’ll fly through a 50,000 foot view of the product development process used at Dropbox and Facebook to drive growth.

We’ll dive into the nitty gritty: dozens of real examples of tests that worked and didn’t work.

Ivan Kirigin is an engineer and founder at YesGraph, a young startup focused on referral recruiting. Previous he lead growth at Dropbox, helping drive 12X growth in 2 years, and helped build Facebook Credits, and co-founded Tipjoy YC W08.

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How to Search http://nerds.airbnb.com/search/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=search http://nerds.airbnb.com/search/#comments Sat, 28 Jun 2014 18:45:54 +0000 http://nerds.airbnb.com/?p=176594446 I have worked on search projects for around 7 years now in 3 companies and have had the privilege of working with smart search engineers from many other companies.Solving search problems together, we’ve found there are many ways to skin a cat. And we’ve formed opinions on the best ways among them. In this talk, […]

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I have worked on search projects for around 7 years now in 3 companies and have had the privilege of working with smart search engineers from many other companies.Solving search problems together, we’ve found there are many ways to skin a cat. And we’ve formed opinions on the best ways among them.

In this talk, I’ll share some of these experiences and cover different approaches to deliver the best search results for our user. I’ll cover infrastructure (indexing strategies, sharding, efficient retrieval, etc.) as well as relevance (query rewriting, scoring, etc.). Finally, I’ll spend some time of frontend/product issues and ways to measure search quality.

Sriram Sankar is a Principal Staff Engineer at LinkedIn, where he is leading the development of their next-generation search infrastructure and search quality frameworks. Before that, he led Facebook’s search quality efforts for Graph Search, and was a key contributor to Unicorn, the index powering Graph Search. He previously worked at Google on search quality and ads infrastructure and has held senior technical roles at VMware, WebGain, and Sun. He is the author of JavaCC, one of the leading parser generators for Java. Sriram obtained his PhD from Stanford University, and a BS from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur.

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Referrals at Airbnb: Driving Sustainable & Scalable Growth http://nerds.airbnb.com/referrals-airbnb-driving-sustainable-scalable-growth/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=referrals-airbnb-driving-sustainable-scalable-growth http://nerds.airbnb.com/referrals-airbnb-driving-sustainable-scalable-growth/#comments Sat, 28 Jun 2014 18:43:13 +0000 http://nerds.airbnb.com/?p=176594442 Word of mouth is the largest source of growth for Airbnb, in part because Airbnb experiences are so personal. People use Airbnb to unlock incredible experiences–anything from weekend getaways with friends, cultural exchanges, and once in a lifetime events like honeymoons. The Growth team builds products that helps users tell their stories. Our most successful […]

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Word of mouth is the largest source of growth for Airbnb, in part because Airbnb experiences are so personal. People use Airbnb to unlock incredible experiences–anything from weekend getaways with friends, cultural exchanges, and once in a lifetime events like honeymoons.

The Growth team builds products that helps users tell their stories. Our most successful program is Referrals which accounts for up to 30% of growth in certain markets. We launched Referrals in January on all three of our platforms: our website, our Android app, and our iOS app allowing users both to send and redeem referrals.

In this talk we will dive into the details of why we decided to build out Referrals, how we built it and the effect it have had on our growth trajectory. We’ll walk you through in-depth learnings and tips that we’ve acquired along the way. Finally, we’ll share what we’re working on now.

Jimmy Tang is an engineer on the Airbnb Growth team and built referrals for iOS. He works on all things growth from product, tools, and tracking. Previously, he cofounded Yozio, a platform for organic mobile growth.

Gustaf Alstromer is a product manager on the Airbnb Growth team and helped launched Referrals. Gustaf was previously Head of Growth at Voxer before he joined Airbnb in the end of 2012.

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OpenAir: Paul Graham in Conversation with Nathan Blecharczyk http://nerds.airbnb.com/openair-paul-graham-conversation-nathan-blecharczyk/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=openair-paul-graham-conversation-nathan-blecharczyk http://nerds.airbnb.com/openair-paul-graham-conversation-nathan-blecharczyk/#comments Tue, 13 May 2014 22:57:56 +0000 http://nerds.airbnb.com/?p=176594303 Paul Graham told the founders of Airbnb to “Do things that don’t scale” and it became an early mantra that informed many important moves for the company. Nathan and PG will discuss how companies from Vayable to HomeJoy can build businesses that cross the chasm by doing things that aren’t built to scale… and then […]

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Paul Graham told the founders of Airbnb to “Do things that don’t scale” and it became an early mantra that informed many important moves for the company. Nathan and PG will discuss how companies from Vayable to HomeJoy can build businesses that cross the chasm by doing things that aren’t built to scale… and then scaling them.

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OpenAir: Ben Horowitz in Conversation with Airbnb’s Mike Curtis http://nerds.airbnb.com/openair-ben-horowitz-conversation-airbnbs-mike-curtis/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=openair-ben-horowitz-conversation-airbnbs-mike-curtis http://nerds.airbnb.com/openair-ben-horowitz-conversation-airbnbs-mike-curtis/#comments Wed, 07 May 2014 23:59:10 +0000 http://nerds.airbnb.com/?p=176594280 From Lyft to DogVacay to Airbnb, Andreessen Horowitz has had its eye (and money) on the sharing economy movement and how it is dramatically changing the way people exchange goods and services. In conversation with Airbnb’s VP of Engineering Mike Curtis, Ben will share advice for technical entrepreneurs and his thoughts on why the sharing […]

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From Lyft to DogVacay to Airbnb, Andreessen Horowitz has had its eye (and money) on the sharing economy movement and how it is dramatically changing the way people exchange goods and services. In conversation with Airbnb’s VP of Engineering Mike Curtis, Ben will share advice for technical entrepreneurs and his thoughts on why the sharing economy is emerging as a major force in the future.

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OpenAir: Driving Sustainable & Scalable Growth http://nerds.airbnb.com/openair-driving-sustainable-scalable-growth/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=openair-driving-sustainable-scalable-growth http://nerds.airbnb.com/openair-driving-sustainable-scalable-growth/#comments Wed, 07 May 2014 23:57:28 +0000 http://nerds.airbnb.com/?p=176594277 Building an online business takes more than a great product, especially when your customers’ primary experiences ultimately happen offline. Creative strategists explain not only how to grow your user base but also how to measure, repeat, and create effective levers for success offline. Featuring Gustaf Alstromer, Growth Product Manager, Airbnb; Annie Chang, Head of Product, […]

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Building an online business takes more than a great product, especially when your customers’ primary experiences ultimately happen offline. Creative strategists explain not only how to grow your user base but also how to measure, repeat, and create effective levers for success offline.

Featuring
Gustaf Alstromer, Growth Product Manager, Airbnb; Annie Chang, Head of Product, HomeJoy; Sam Schillace, SVP of Engineering, Box

Moderator
Ryan Lawler, TechCrunch

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OpenAir: Algorithmic Pricing http://nerds.airbnb.com/openair-algorithmic-pricing/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=openair-algorithmic-pricing http://nerds.airbnb.com/openair-algorithmic-pricing/#comments Wed, 07 May 2014 23:55:44 +0000 http://nerds.airbnb.com/?p=176594274 It was a pleasure to welcome Henry Lin and Drake Baer for a conversation around how Airbnb and Uber predict prices. One of the hardest questions for anyone selling a product is: “How much should I charge?” Today’s Internet companies are charged with putting a price tag on products and services in a people marketplace, […]

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It was a pleasure to welcome Henry Lin and Drake Baer for a conversation around how Airbnb and Uber predict prices.

One of the hardest questions for anyone selling a product is: “How much should I charge?” Today’s Internet companies are charged with putting a price tag on products and services in a people marketplace, with minimal historical data or comparative models to lean on. Leading companies explain the magic behind why their dynamic pricing models work.

Featuring
Dan Hill, Product Lead, Airbnb; Henry Lin, Senior Data Scientist, Uber

Moderator
Drake Baer, Business Insider

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OpenAir: Marketplace Matchmaking http://nerds.airbnb.com/openair-marketplace-matchmaking/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=openair-marketplace-matchmaking http://nerds.airbnb.com/openair-marketplace-matchmaking/#comments Wed, 07 May 2014 23:52:37 +0000 http://nerds.airbnb.com/?p=176594271 With traditional search over the vast web of tens of billions of documents, any number of people can consume the content. Marketplace search is different. There is fixed supply, but if something is available you can buy it. The sharing economy adds a layer of complexity to this. You aren’t guaranteed to get what is […]

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With traditional search over the vast web of tens of billions of documents, any number of people can consume the content. Marketplace search is different. There is fixed supply, but if something is available you can buy it. The sharing economy adds a layer of complexity to this. You aren’t guaranteed to get what is available. In this talk, we use Airbnb as an example and show you what makes marketplace search hard.

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OpenAir: Payments on a Global Scale http://nerds.airbnb.com/openair-payments-global-scale/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=openair-payments-global-scale http://nerds.airbnb.com/openair-payments-global-scale/#comments Wed, 07 May 2014 23:49:08 +0000 http://nerds.airbnb.com/?p=176594267 It was a pleasure hosting John Collison of Stripe and Gilad Horev of Eventbrite where we discussed payments on a global scale. Some highlights of the discussion were focusing on minimum viable products (MVPs) to deliver value to customers, building versus buying, foreign exchange (FX) implications, Bitcoin in the marketplace, fraudulent transactions, online and offline […]

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It was a pleasure hosting John Collison of Stripe and Gilad Horev of Eventbrite where we discussed payments on a global scale. Some highlights of the discussion were focusing on minimum viable products (MVPs) to deliver value to customers, building versus buying, foreign exchange (FX) implications, Bitcoin in the marketplace, fraudulent transactions, online and offline risks, and optimizing payment processes. Check out the full video below.

As we increasingly build for the online-to-offline world on a global basis, payments in the marketplace become more complex with hundreds of foreign currencies needing to change hands via a variety of methods. This panel will explore how to build and maintain an application that manages financial transactions at scale. Hear from marketplace experts on how to best develop the right application for your business: core payments processing, currency exchange, reconciliation, financial reporting, and more.

Featuring:
John Collison, Founder and President, Stripe Gilad Horev, Head of Payments & Fraud, Eventbrite Ian Logan, Engineering Manager, Airbnb

Moderator:
Owen Thomas, ReadWrite

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Search at Airbnb http://nerds.airbnb.com/search-airbnb/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=search-airbnb http://nerds.airbnb.com/search-airbnb/#comments Mon, 05 May 2014 01:13:50 +0000 http://nerds.airbnb.com/?p=176594263 A successful e-commerce platform requires an outstanding search engine – it is a major conversion driver that must be designed to balance a diverse set of user needs. The new generation of two-sided marketplaces, like Airbnb, presents a unique set of challenges that go far beyond the requirements of traditional search engines. We’re building technology […]

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A successful e-commerce platform requires an outstanding search engine – it is a major conversion driver that must be designed to balance a diverse set of user needs. The new generation of two-sided marketplaces, like Airbnb, presents a unique set of challenges that go far beyond the requirements of traditional search engines. We’re building technology that bridges the gap between online and offline worlds by serving as the matchmaker between over 600,000 properties and millions of guests, all with complex underlying marketplace dynamics.

Our algorithms work with uncertain and incomplete information to routinely understand the specifics of local markets and geography in order to estimate the quality of the platform’s inventory and answer users’ queries with relevant results, while keeping in mind the hosts’ preferences.

Through a series of experiments we are going to explore how changes to ranking algorithms and search functionality influence the way Airbnb users find matches on the site and how those choices ultimately affect the entire ecosystem of Airbnb.

Maxim Charkov is an Engineering Manager at Airbnb.

Maxim joined Airbnb 2 years ago as the first search engineer, bringing his experience working in the Web Search field at Google and Yandex to a new problem of search in the world of sharing economy. During his time at Airbnb, Maxim worked on all aspects of search technology, ranging from indexing and retrieval infrastructure to data mining and search ranking. Currently Maxim leads the team responsible for Search and Guest Experience at Airbnb.

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