Uber vs Airbnb for Product Management (IC)

Walmart.com golden18
Mar 29 29 Comments

Considering joining one of these.

UBER
PROS: Fast moving, was impressed by team’s expertise and ability to GSD, would learn a ton of best practices, problems are technically challenging, diversified
CONS: Drivers seem perpetually unhappy (unclear if I want my career to contribute to underpaid jobs), mixed signals on work culture in media

AIRBNB
PROS: Positive impact on society (hosts are happy and paid well), nice culture, pays well, some parts of product are very technically challenging
CONS: sometimes slow moving, unsure if I would learn as many best practices as uber seems to win tech challenge wise (but I guess that means I get more of the startup experience), unsure what the diversification for product is

MY GOAL:
Learn a ton, build a lot (move fast), work with nice people, and ideally have a positive impact on society. Don’t mind working overtime when need be but am protective of work life balance on average (that said I love to work as hard as I can when I *am* working and take work seriously/fun)

Ultimately both have created opportunity and jobs. Both are top companies. I’m inclined to believe uber moves faster and I’d learn more there but Airbnb is more of a black box to me (don’t know many people there) so could be information bias. Would love to hear more.

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TOP 29 Comments
  • Cadence / Product luna.
    Do you have offers from both? If not, instead of the theoretical discussion, i suggest to get first and revisit the thinking and decision making. If you end up with one offer or less the choice will be trivial...
    Mar 29 3
    • Walmart.com golden18
      OP
      I have an offer from one of them and will know soon on the other I guess
      Mar 29
    • Cadence / Product luna.
      Way to go.. keep it up. Once you have both the dilemma will start for now hold that thought..
      Mar 29
    • Walmart.com golden18
      OP
      Yeah but I wanted to get the discussion started early just in case! Either way this will be helpful for future job seekers. Personally it’ll either help or give me acute fomo for the one I don’t get hahah but I’m so curious to hear thoughts. Esp for Airbnb because I pretty much don’t know anyone there
      Mar 29
  • Uber konatbone
    as for positive society impact, consider their impact on available housing stock in dense urban areas like sf. i think it’ll come out neutral to driver pay in expensive urban areas.
    Mar 29 8
    • Walmart.com golden18
      OP
      Hmm that’s a fair point - thank you!
      Mar 29
    • Airbnb jobsteven
      I think studies show the impact is negligible
      Mar 29
    • Yelp / Product merryxmas
      with the caveat that hosts follow vacation rental laws
      Mar 30
    • Airbnb jobsteven
      We actively remove the ones that don’t
      Mar 30
    • Uber konatbone
      sure. tell that to my ex neighbors
      Apr 2
    • Airbnb jobsteven
      Yeah we have 100% coverage and everything works immediately and perfectly. You know how technology companies work. Just like that
      Apr 3
    • To be fair, the lack of technology to combat a problem a product exacerbates doesn't absolve that product of its share of responsibility. Maybe the tradeoff is worth it for vacation rental products, idk I'm not taking a side here, but to dismiss it out of hand is callous imo.
      Apr 3
    • Airbnb jobsteven
      The point is not ira dismissal it’s that having 100% coverage is unreasonable. The real world works by businesses and things trying and improving.
      Apr 3
  • Microsoft UMbR31
    Sorry, what's a "GSD"?
    Mar 29 3
    • F5 Networks / Eng etcd
      Get Shit Done
      Mar 29
    • Microsoft UMbR31
      Oh... Kinda like the acronym
      Mar 29
    • Walmart.com golden18
      OP
      That’s right - thanks etcd!
      Mar 29
  • Airbnb jobsteven
    What do you mean product diversification? There’s a lot of business diversification here. Airbnb needs to move faster to be competitive / public though I don’t know what basis of comparison you’re making
    Mar 29 3
    • Walmart.com golden18
      OP
      Thanks for asking and for responding! I meant terms of different product offerings- Airbnb has homestay (incl Airbnb plus as part of this) and experiences, while uber has rideshare, eats, freight, other forms of travel, etc
      Mar 29
    • Walmart.com golden18
      OP
      Do you think Airbnb is starting to act upon what you are referring to when you say “they need to move faster to be competitive”? I’m also curious how that culture manifests- Airbnb must have moved fast to get where it’s at - it started off as a startup and is still only 1200 people?
      Mar 29
    • Airbnb jobsteven
      Airbnb is 5k+ people excluding contractors. We announced a transportation business recently on top of experiences, homes, China, and luxury retreats. We are expanding into boutique hotels. Things are gang busters:)
      Mar 29
  • FactSet / Product rkld
    Don’t kid yourself - AirBNB is not necessarily a net positive for the world. They’re skirting lots of local laws and regulations to keep visitors safe.
    Mar 29 2
    • Yelp Rsqx75
      Tell me one company worth working for that doesn’t/didn’t do this.

      Google basically get slapped with billions of dollars worth of fines by the EU. They too skirt laws. But they are a net positive to the users nevertheless. Same with Facebook, Uber, Apple etc.
      Mar 29
    • Their positivity is not necessarily predicated on rule bending though. Just because they both improve our lives and sometimes operate in ethically questionable areas doesn't mean the two cannot be separated.
      Apr 3
  • Intel / Product purpose
    Congratulations! Curious if the offers you got are for the general PM roles or the data PM roles as you seem to be concerned about the "tech difficulty" piece.
    Mar 29 1
    • Amazon / Product
      .🦔...

      Amazon Product

      BIO
      🤐
      .🦔...more
      Good Q. OP can you respond? Also TC?
      Mar 30
  • Microsoft / Product
    Brazuka

    Microsoft Product

    PRE
    Bain & Company
    Brazukamore
    Airbnb
    Mar 29 0
  • Yelp Rsqx75
    Airbnb. I don’t understand this argument of “tech not being great”. Not all tech challenges have to do with scale. As a PM, does the scale of the backend infra really matter to you. I’m pretty sure the PM challenges and problems to solve st Airbnb >> Uber. Take the effort in diversifying their income streams as an example.
    Mar 29 0
  • Google founder2
    what does your offer set look like,
    Mar 29 0

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