Joseph Michelli “The Airbnb Way”

Joseph Michelli has authored numerous books over the last decade plus focusing on various aspects of leadership and customer service experiences in a changing world. His latest book The Airbnb Way5 Leadership Lessons for Igniting Growth Through Loyalty, Community, and Belonging uses the example of Airbnb to illustrate his ideas about how the intelligent and well considered co-existence of a personalized approach and technological advancement has fostered a brave new world in business, but it goes even further to show how tweaking those same principles can produce positive effects in the lives of individuals. Though Michelli’s work has an academic bent with its rigorous dissection of the subject and frequent citation of outside sources, it is an intensely human-centric work rather than a wooden though informative examination of those ideas.


His structure for the book reflects the topic in an unique yet understated fashion. Michelli gives equal weight and time to looking at focus Airbnb placed on technology and personalizing their customer experiences. Readers will feel or detect little, if any, bias in the way he tackles the comparisons he makes between traditional business models and Airbnb’s trailblazing initiatives and he never divides proponents of these methods and those still unconvinced into separate warring camps. Much of The Airbnb Way focuses on providing readers with objective data and well reasoned theories  showing where and how these new models displaced older approaches and acknowledges societal changes occurring in the last quarter century that have made such transformations inevitable.

Many books of this type rely on a host of illustrations, tables, graphs, and other visual materials to reinforce its thesis, but Michelli uses such tools in a sparing way. The Airbnb Way, instead, relies for the most part on making its point through a lucid presentation of facts and sturdy arguments. His academic skills shine through without ever dragging the book down. The writing style defining this book as a whole never drags and Michelli does an excellent job keeping readers connected with its ideas and never loses them in tangled jargon or overwrought description. He keeps his arguments on point and concise throughout the entirety of the book.


The recurring use of examples to hammer home his points is another of the book’s core strengths. Michelli understands his subject well enough that he chooses all the right examples to reinforce the book’s central tenets. These are drawn from an impressive cross section of Airbnb hosts, customers, executives, and numerous figures outside the company. He leads off each new chapter with a brief epigram that further elaborates on the theme of individual sections of the text without ever slipping into pretentiousness. In the end, you can divorce all of the business discussion from this book – The Airbnb Way, at its heart, is about a philosophy for living adaptable to any paradigm. Joseph Michelli has written a seminal work for one of the most transformative eras in modern history that readers will return to again and again to discover new insights for years to come.

Michael Rand

About Author /

Start typing and press Enter to search