7 Stories to Start Your Work Week
To be honest, sometimes we don't know how to start this note. But today we were rushing to the laptop to scream: Read the Willie Walsh interview! It's just so good.
Also good? Editor Deanna Ting's stories from Airbnb's annual kumbaya "Open" gathering, where this year they announced ambitions beyond the short-term rental, launched a magazine, and talked to celebrities.
Speaking of celebrities, the Guardian profiled Skift's CEO this weekend. Read that, too. — Jason Clampet, Editor-in-Chief
Skift Take: Willie Walsh is not afraid to make decisions that anger employee unions and disappoint some passengers. That may seem like poor strategy, but it's a big part of the reason that International Airlines Group is in better shape than most of Europe's other airlines. Sometimes, an executive must make unpopular decisions to ensure the long-term success of a business.
Skift Take: Like Hipmunk, Room 77 had an innovative product and talented team but ran into a buzz saw: the marketing clout of Google preferencing its own products, and Expedia, Booking.com and Kayak. Don't feel sorry for the venture capital firms receiving just 53 cents on the dollar. That's the game they play. The real losers are the angel investor and employees, although we're sure for many it was quite a ride nonetheless.
Skift Take: Goodbye, Pineapple. Hello, Airbnbmag.
Skift Take: It's really rather simple: Treat your guests well and offer them a great product.
Skift Take: While Kutcher played defense, Paltrow gushed — and revealed similar plans for her own newly launched travel app.
Skift Take: Rail and local connections usually get the short shrift in discussions of travel. Unless you're talking to SilverRail's Gowell, that is.
Skift Take: Travelers are increasingly demanding control for their leisure trips, so why not for their business trips too? It will not be long before this becomes the norm.