That’s exactly how much time has passed since I an initial walked v the doors that 888 Brannan St. San Francisco because that the an initial time together a new employee. What a 2 year it has actually been for us all throughout this timespan. The last time ns stepped with those same doors was just over a year ago after the begin of the pandemic lockdowns. That not shed on me that it to be 2 years ago this day, April 1st, affectionately known as April fools Day, that I started my journey at Airbnb. Shoutout to my April fools Batch colleagues as it’s to be anything however this namesake day during this time here.

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It was during my very first day of “Check-In,” new hire onboarding training end a full week of all day training and immersion into the Airbnb culture, that i learned the Airbnb no a memorable agency name through a capital “BnB” in ~ the finish of it, which implies a capitalized uppercase “Air” | “Bed & Breakfast” however instead it"s a lowercase “bnb,” rounding out the beginning story as “Airbed” & breakfast.” It was those beneficial Air beds and a next of breakfast that started off this global social movement so plenty of years ago. My mind to be blown and what I thought I knew comes in would be challenged for the an excellent every job since.

In the Zoom meeting and also remote working human being we live in today, numerous mornings my teams and also colleagues questioning me “how space you doing?” together we start a meeting, and also I occasionally will quip ago with the phrase, “living the dream.” This response is met with some smiles and is both ‘tongue and cheek’ and also absolutely true. The previous two years have actually been fairly the rollercoaster come say the least. From our Airbnb organization dropping 80% over night when the virus became a worldwide pandemic, to few of the most complicated professional decisions and actions I had actually to be a part of, to an exciting and also unexpected IPO in a firm that has disrupted the travel market - my naturally dark hair has much more peppering the white than when I an initial started.

During the past 2 years, there have actually been many experiences and memories that concerned mind as soon as I sit earlier and reflect and every one of these memory come flooding in at once. I have actually learned many things these past 2 year at Airbnb, but the following 5 learnings (I have actually several more, however will conserve them for an additional day) have really become relevant come me and also hopefully will help you as you walk on v your day.

Lesson 1: emphasis on what we can control

One of the most straightforward and powerful learnings i have picked up throughout my career has become even more relevant newly is to truly focus on what I deserve to control. There arguably hasn’t to be a more opportune time in history than the past year to adopt this learning. What has Covid-19 taught us? the a virus that is imperceptible to the person eye can produce havoc with people’s lives and also literally adjust the people seemingly overnight. Imagine make the efforts to manage all the occasions happening about the people this previous year and taking all that stress and also anxiety ~ above yourself. You will do be a mess and you’d never have the ability to get a great night’s remainder with anxiety all the time. If you shot to focus on what you can really manage - exactly how you present up with your colleagues in meetings (on Zoom calls of course), her time monitoring throughout the day, your calendar - the world, her work and you would certainly be really different. Offer it a shot - it’s straightforward to say and also incredibly hard to do, yet you’ll feel choose something’s to be lifted off of her shoulders.

Lesson 2: intentional vs accidental strategy

I’ve been making use of this phrase more frequently in recent months. Airbnb is in ~ an incredible inflection point as a agency as a tween ready to come to be a teenager and also then one adult together a company. We are finding out to take what has actually made us successful the an initial 12+ years and figure out how we go to the next level as a company. For my Product team and I, we require to kind a point of view and define a product strategy in assistance of our company objectives. We are undergoing a significant transformation throughout people, process, and also product and during this journey it have the right to seem like we’re just moving forward without a complete plan. Plenty of times organizations, companies or people don’t define an really strategy and wonder why a couple of years later, there is also much complexity in how the company works. The procedure becomes the means things job-related vs. Understanding why we’re existentially here and also what we’re make the efforts to achieve together. If us look more broadly and also be explicit around what our intentional strategy is to accomplish the outcomes we’re trying to reach, things become much an ext clear and also significantly an ext simplified. Shot to have an knowingly strategy vs. An accidental one and also it’ll simply all make more sense.

Lesson 3: A rising tide will lift every boats

This is an additional classic phrase that i have leveraged over the past few years during my time at Airbnb. The initial example originates from a boat dock where the tide comes through and also the watercrafts ride the wave up along with everything else. In our work, this can happen when positive details or support comes to a team, it deserve to lift everyone’s the atmosphere around. This has been challenging in the remote work-related world, yet it still happens on regular basis at Airbnb. What I’ve watched that is an exciting twist on this phenomenon is once the increasing tide is an separation, personal, instance or a group of world on a team. As soon as there is alignment and clarity ~ above why we’re working on something specific or one individual who drives collaboration throughout teams outside of their immediate area - this individuals can be that increasing tide the lifts everyone else around them. I’ve checked out several examples of this with the impressive people and also teams we have actually at Airbnb. This catalysts make everyone roughly them much better and truly care about what they space doing and what affect they have the right to make for our Community. Real question - How deserve to you it is in a climbing tide on your team this week?

Lesson 4: We can do anything however we can"t execute everything

A new phrase my ceo recently common with the team and I has actually really struck a chord. It’s a refreshed take on period old an obstacle of focusing on fewer priorities. If whatever is a priority, nothing really is a priority. As Product Managers and leaders in ~ Airbnb, my team and I room asked come prioritize new work all the moment which is organic for a growing firm disrupting the industry. No it remarkable how whatever seems to be a P0 or P1 priority? when you incorporate these asks with individuals who love to aid others solve troubles you acquire an organic recipe of speak ‘yes’ to plenty of things. Not all things deserve to be excellent well together there is a limited supply of engineers and resources to do it all effectively. Sharing a mindset that we deserve to do anything yet focusing ~ above the crucial few will collection us up because that success for the much longer term. We deserve to avoid individual burnout, unneeded stress and lower high quality products but still complete fiercely in the market for a need that has increased by countless years strange enough during the an international pandemic. At Airbnb, we were forced to slow down or close up door down parts of our business when the Pandemic became an international last year. As our up and down start of the year in 2020 suddenly turned about unexpectedly last summer throughout our timeless “peak” season our organization came roaring ago with residential stays and destinations within 0-500 miles of major cities. Civilization long to travel and also we space in a an excellent position to support this new world the safe and responsible travel. To carry out this right, we need to proceed to develop the muscle to emphasis on the points that issue the most now. We are the just ones that can gain in our own way.

Lesson 5: belonging is personal

Belonging is an amazing word and also very personal to each individual and especially to me. Once I think of words “Belonging,” I obtain warm fuzzies all around and also words such together familiar, comfortable, family, or home involved mind. Belonging is that feeling you gain when you’re roughly friends or family who girlfriend care around and you recognize care about your well being. Belonging has actually been a native that has actually been challenged in current times by the plenty of events that have just occurred in the last year and most newly in the news with countless unfortunate events. Black lives Matter, AAPI dislike incidents, many other discriminatory concerns have seemingly flooded our already hurt world, only exacerbated by the an international pandemic every around. For me, as a Leader at a Silicon Valley tech disruptor who has a passion for companies and also roles that have actually the opportunity to impact an ext than people lives, however instead can bring an excellent to everyone, belong is vital part that what ns look for in a job, in a company, in founders and fellow leaders and teammates approximately me. During my 2 year at Airbnb, that no April fools Joke that I can say i feel prefer I absolutely belong here. I have the right to leverage my experiences, mine relationships, my knowledge, my skills to assist my teams and also colleagues roughly me as we every lock arms together to solve complicated problems because that our Community. To far better the Airbnb Community and also its tight ecosystem that guests and hosts who invite human being into their homes, into their cities, into their shared experiences. It’s been a wild journey these previous 2 years, and every single moment, also in the toughest that times. I feel prefer I am at home. I feel choose I Belong.

To my family. Thank you for your absolute support for me every single day. Ns love you v all mine heart.

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To Aisling, Brent, Ari, Tara, Tina, CSP, mine CS leadership peers, tremendous colleagues, friends across Airbnb. Ns looking forward to every we are are walking to accomplish together to produce a world where anyone deserve to feel prefer they Belong. Come Brian, Nate and Joe. Thank you for creating a company that is larger than any type of one separation, personal, instance and allows us all to Belong.

Thank you all for an remarkable 2 years. Here"s to the following 20.


Andy Yasutake is the an international Director of Product for Airbnb"s ar Support assets organization and business. Before Airbnb, Andy hosted executive management positions in ~, eBay and at Accenture specializing in Leadership, Product Management, Enterprise an innovation Applications & Architecture, Strategy Innovation, understand Data Management, and worldwide CRM. Andy consistently shares exciting articles, funny blog posts, and his point of view and also perspective ~ above leadership, technology, career, and also management related topics onpiersonforcongress.comand is a listed keynote speaker on Technology, Product Management, Customer endure trends and also best practices around the country and also the world (virtually and in-person pre-pandemic). If you space interested, please follow Andy onpiersonforcongress.comand on Twitter