UBER AND AIRBNB haven’t just changed the world. They’ve made it better.
At least, that was the starry-eyed view that Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia pushed during their talks during the second day of TED this morning. The two tech leaders, whose companies have faced frequent criticism and relentless opposition from regulators, reminded TED attendees not just how monstrously successful their respective businesses have been, but made the case that their success is actually good for the world.
Gebbia argued that Airbnb has compelled people to overcome their “stranger danger” bias and fear each other less. To demonstrate just how deep that fear can be, Gebbia asked everyone in the audience to unlock their phones and pass them to the person to their left. As the sound of the crowd grew to a nervous rumble, Gebbia said, “That tiny sense of panic you’re feeling right now? That’s exactly what hosts feel the first time they open their home.”
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