November 24: How Airbnb validated a hypothesis

How Airbnb proved that property listings with professional photos get more business from guests.

Source: The Lean Product Playbook (page 106)
Published: May 2015

How Airbnb validated a hypothesis

During the early years of Airbnb, the product team had a hypothesis:

Property listings with professional photos would get more business from guests.

To validate this hypothesis, the team had professional photographers go to listings and take photos. They found that listings with professional photographs had two to three times more bookings than the market average. 

Airbnb mitigated risk by validating their hypothesis before investing the resources required to build an automated solution. Today, Airbnb has a dedicated Pro Photography page informing hosts that professional photos tend to earn 40% more than other hosts in their area.

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