What’s On My Desk: Airbnb Co-Founder Joe Gebbia

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DESK1Ever wonder what the most powerful leaders, business execs and celebrities keep on their desks? Well, we’re about to tell you. Our biweekly “What’s on My Desk” feature will take a look inside the offices and at the desks of the world’s most influential power players.

This week we’ve featured Joe Gebbia, the co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Airbnb, an online service that provides a platform for individuals referred to as “hosts”, generally private parties, to rent unoccupied living space and other short-term lodging to guests. Prior to Airbnb, Joe was employed by Chronicle Books, co-founded a green design website, and developed several consumer products. An alumni of the Rhode Island School of Design, Joe earned dual degrees in Graphic Design and Industrial Design. He also founded the school’s basketball team and led as student body president. Joe fantasizes about an Airbnb getaway to this Fijian private island, though his ultimate dream is to one day book a night at The Eames Case Study House No. 8 in Pacific Palisades, CA citing it as “a living artifact of good design”. Here are the items on Joe’s desk:

1. CritBuns: One of my first forays into entrepreneurial projects – taking an idea all the way from my sketchbook to the shelf of a store. It reminds me to be scrappy, and makes a pretty comfortable seat.

2. Ping pong paddle from Japan: I’ve always loved to play ping pong. Games in our office bring people together for quick work breaks throughout the day.

3.RISD Balls mug: The Balls are our school’s first basketball team in 40 years. Founding the team was like a mini startup in itself, and I learned many valuable lessons. I also met my co-founder Brian while playing sports at RISD.

4. Muji pens: The brand embodies the perfect balance of pure and ordinary. I don’t write with anything else; great ideas are vividly brought to life on paper and a good pen can help you with that!

5. Eames photo and Eames chair tattoos: Ray and Charles Eames are my design inspiration. They democratized design the same way we democratize travel. The Airbnb design team spent an incredible day in a creative workshop at the Eames case study house no. 8 this spring. It was a dream come true.

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