What follows is an investment thesis for $ABNB, backed by three different arguments which we think will come true in the next 2 decades:
1. full remote work is inevitable given the popularity of English and the advantages for both employees and employers of working remotely
2. transportation will get better and better
3. the rise of web3 will make salaries paid in crypto the norm
Ask anyone what the internet’s language is, and they will answer you that it’s English.
Most of the activity on the internet is done using English, and it’s becoming more and more a necessity to speak English if your job requires even just a slight use of the internet.
And not just your job, also online education which is a very strong incentive to learn a language.
This is already something which happened in the past with the arrival of the printing press.
People were strongly incentivized to learn the most popular national language at that time as all the books were published in that language.
This is because it was more profitable for publishers (as opposed to publishing books in all the dialects which existed at the time) to do so.
This led to the rise of French, Spanish, Italian…
And the same is now happening with English where eventually most of the education available online will be in English, which will form a very strong incentive to learn it.
For employees, remote work enables way more freedom and not having to commute every day to work.
On top of that, it enables employees to work for any company in the world, without being limited to the local opportunities.
For employers, remote work means they can hire the best of the best anywhere on the planet, without being limited by the local pool of “talent”.
Remote work will also kill worker unions as it’s very difficult to unite against someone if you don’t know the other people you have to unite with.
It is possible using a DAO, but it will be very difficult.
Especially when the employer can just hire someone else anywhere on Earth, and there will always be someone to hire.
On top of enabling the ability to hire top talent and marking the death of worker unions, remote work enables cheaper employment (as you can hire a software engineer without having them to be in an expensive place like San Francisco).
Finally, employers don’t have to pay for office buildings, car leasing and maintenance employees anymore as everyone works in remote.
And this is without mentioning how easier remote work makes it for companies to be based in tax heavens.
Some will say that employers won’t go full remote in order to preserve the company’s culture.
While this is a fair point, given going full-remote makes having a strong internal culture difficult, it’s possible to circumvent this problem by organizing yearly company gatherings in exotic places around the world, and by adapting the management to better fit a full-remote working style.
Not much has changed for transport in the past 4 decades, we are probably even slower than we were before 2001.
Some like Peter Thiel even talk about stagnation.
You have to arrive 2 - 3 hours before taking a plane for security checks, trains and cars aren’t really faster than they were before…
Companies like Uber and Lyft make going somewhere without owning a car incredibly easy, others like VanMoof or Cowboy make cycling much easier, Lime and Felyx make micromobility easier and Tesla, Cruise, Waymo and Coma AI make autonomous driving finally possible.
Given the above examples, it’s a fact that transportation services are getting better.
It will however take multiple years, probably even a decade, before these innovations really start to pay off and become the norm.
Now we have established that transportation systems will soon get infinitely better, let’s talk about crypto.
The most basic use case for crypto is payments. It’s so simple, and it works incredibly well.
The thing about crypto payments is that unlike banks which tend to be very national, crypto is international (and may eventually become interplanetary!).
Where you live or who you are really doesn’t matter, making crypto ideal for cross-border payments.
A consequence of that is the fact that it will become incredibly easy for employers to pay you no matter where you are.
In fact, it’s likely that some employers will even adopt crypto just to be able to handle the payroll of their international workforce.
This is without mentioning the speed of blockchain transactions, the lack of third parties these require, and the possible use companies can make of their funds in the DeFi ecosystem.
Cross-border wire transfers are also notoriously expensive, something which won’t be the case with a scalable crypto payroll solution.
Finally, on-chain payroll gives everyones a timeless proof that the payment did in fact take place without requiring any kind of administration.
where the world is going
OK, so let’s recap:
1. we know the world will eventually go full remote for internet workers
2. we know transportation systems will eventually significantly improve
3. we know salaries will eventually be fully paid in crypto
Notice the word “eventually”: we are speaking here of a 10+ year timescale. These things won’t happen immediately.
The consequence caused by the above three points are that eventually internet worker will work remotely, and will be able to do so from pretty much anywhere in the world.
There won’t be any barriers for remote work anymore.
Let’s assume we are in 2030 and you are an internet worker, why wouldn’t you work in remote from the best places to live in on Earth?
How will all these new nomads have a home to sleep in when enjoying their life working in remote from all these places on our planet?
You guessed it, Brian Chesky’s Airbnb will help them.
Airbnb will not only become the platform (which it already is) you use when going on vacation somewhere, it will also become the platform you use when deciding where you go next in your nomad life.
It will maybe eventually even become the platform you use to actually travel to that place.
The future is made of full-remote async nomad workers traveling around the world, and this is where Airbnb’s product/market-fit is.