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We’re Building Our Next Product Publicly

We’ve been pretty open about the success and failure of our products through this blog. However, all previous posts have been “after the fact” summaries where we post revenue numbers in nicely packaged stories.

Today we’re going to change that with two announcements.

  1. We’re building a 4th product (more on that below).
  2. We’re starting a new series where we’ll be documenting everything publicly as we go, starting from day one.

To do this we’re teaming up with our buddy, David Myers. This new product will be a joint venture between Need/Want and David.

David is currently Creative Director at Lockitron and runs design studio Fruda. He’s a talented dude.

Enter David…

* Logo TBD

So What Are We Building?

It’s called AirStar, and it’s a subscription service for Airbnb hosts. Hosts will be able to link up their Airbnb calendar data to AirStar which will allow us to automatically send out a custom “welcome package” for each Airbnb host’s guest that arrives. Welcome packages will include the following:

  • Customized welcome cards for each guest
  • Mini Shampoo / Conditioners
  • Soaps – Tooth brushes / Tooth paste
  • Pillow mints
  • + More!

The goal is to help hosts make more money — little touches make for happier guests, which means better reviews. Good reviews make or break the success of an Airbnb listing.

Note: Marshall and Jon have written a lot about their experience hosting their places on Airbnb. You can read those here and here

One thing that’s great about the hotel experience is that everything feels clean and prepared for you. You have a fresh batch of products, with a mint on your pillow to top it off. Imagine walking into an Airbnb to see a postcard with a welcome note, and fresh products laid out just for you. This is something that we want to bring to the Airbnb experience.

Why Announce This Now?

We’re announcing this early. Very early. We barely even started work on it. All we have is an idea and a landing page. We don’t even have a real logo. We’re going to build this startup completely open.

We’ll be posting detailed updates on what we’ve been working on (and learning) along the way. It’s going to be fun. We hope you’ll follow along.

What We’re Working On First

There’s a lot to be done. Here’s where we’re starting…

Logo and Branding
We’re still unsure of the direction we want to take this. High end? Low end? Somewhere in the middle? We have a few ideas on how to work out which direction will resonate with the most targeted people. More on this in the next post.

Starting to identify exactly what people want
We’ve all stayed at Airbnb’s many times before so we have a pretty good idea of where to start, but we also want to think outside the box and make sure the needs of every guest is taken care of.

Figure out how much people will pay and how much to charge
This will probably be an on-going process, but something we need to start thinking about. Is this model even viable? What are the margins like? Can we make this work as a sustainable business?

Future growth
We’re going to spend some time this week brainstorming ways of getting in front of our target market; Airbnb hosts. We need some kind of long term growth strategy.

As you can see, we’re still figuring out a lot of this stuff, and that’s why this series will be exciting. AirStar might fail spectacularly, but that’s ok. We’re going to be taking you along for the ride every step of the way.

Please fill out this questionnaire about your experience as either an Airbnb host or guest.

The data we get from this questionnaire will help shape the product, so your input is very much appreciated! Keep an eye out for our next AirStar update, and make sure to subscribe below.

If you found this post interesting you can follow me on twitter @Digit and Need/Want @NeedWantInc.

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