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Embracing the disruptive spirit

Excuse me, Mr President

Hannover Messe is a big deal. I've only been here for half a day, but already everything has been brought to a halt by President Obama and his motorcade. There's a serious amount of security on the go (as you'd expect) and there's actually quite a tense atmosphere. Well, a lot of serious faces at the very least.

However, whilst 'The Prez' enjoys his 6-star accommodation somewhere, I'm taking my first Airbnb experience here in Hannover. There are a couple of reasons for this. One is that when I jumped online to book a hotel for this week, the level of extortion for a single bed in the local Best Western was too hard to swallow. This presented a couple of options, either stay out of town and commute, or try another approach. Step in Airbnb, and your network of willing hosts. For a fraction of the price of the Best Western, I'm spending a few nights with a nice couple in their apartment dead in the centre of town.

Disruption that works

Who can fault the thinking behind the likes of Airbnb? In fact considering the enormous success and their 6-12 percent fee for every transaction, you can't but wish you'd thought of it first. A fair night's accommodation for a fair price. To all those hotels that take the opportunity to gouge when you can, there are other options for the consumer. And they tend have a bit more personality than a hotel room. So this impressive business model that doesn't own any hotels, but provides accommodation pushes the right buttons.

It's never going to be a perfect experience, but you get to meet different people, find out where the good places are to eat and it's fun. Yes, I said fun.

Published: 26 Apr 2016