This is the sixth of a series of articles about ‘Purposing Companies, Communities and Brands’ that uses Airbnb as an example. It’s in two parts: Why you need Core Values. And how to get some. Why am I using Airbnb as an example? Because it’s doing it right, mostly…

These are the other articles in the series:

1. How Airbnb found its Purpose and why it’s a good one.

2. How to live your Purpose: #1. Purpose must come First.

3. How to live your Purpose: #2. Make ‘Plan-B decisions’.

4. How to live your Purpose: #3. …


Airbnb employees at the annual OneAirbnb event

This is the fifth installment in the series of articles about ‘Purposing Companies, Communities and Brands’.

This article is about Culture: what it is (it’s certainly not just ‘fun in the workplace’) and why it should demand your attention and investment. I’m using Airbnb as an example because the Founders take Culture very seriously, giving it a huge amount of their attention and investment. I’m also using it because we learned some important lessons in 2015/16 when cracks began to appear in Airbnb’s famously strong Culture.

This is a story of how we learned to identify what Culture is, and…


Nate, Joe and Brian in the meeting room at Airbnb HQ that is an exact recreation of the original hosts’ home: theirs.

This is the fourth installment in a series of articles about ‘Purposing Companies, Communities and Brands’ and the third on How to live your Purpose. Here’s a summary of all the current and imminent articles.

1. How Airbnb found its Purpose and why it’s a good one.

2. How to live your Purpose: #1. Purpose must come first.

3. How to live your Purpose: #2. Make ‘Plan-B decisions’.

4. How to live your Purpose: #3. You’re relentlessly focused on the long-term.

5. How to live your Purpose: #4. “Don’t fuck up the Culture”.

6. How to live your Purpose: #5…


Making a ‘Plan-B decisions’ about the NYAG: Darren Weingard, Brian Chesky and Belinda Johnson.

This is the third installment in a series of articles about ‘Purposing Companies, Communities and Brands’. Here’s a summary of all the current and imminent articles.

1. How Airbnb found its Purpose and why it’s a good one.

2. How to live your Purpose: #1. Purpose must come first.

3. How to live your Purpose: #2. Make ‘Plan-B decisions’.

4. How to live your Purpose: #3. You’re relentlessly focused on the long-term.

5. How to live your Purpose: #4. “Don’t fuck up the Culture”.

6. How to live your Purpose: #5. You need Core Values. …


This is the second installment in a series of articles about ‘Purposing Companies, Communities and Brands’. You can find the first here: ‘How Airbnb found its Purpose and why it’s a good one’

Hopefully, you now have your shiny new Purpose. You’ve made sure its grounded in a universally experienced truth: it’s real and it’s yours. But it reaches for the stars to inspire. It’s about ONE BIG THING so that your organization has both specific direction yet the freedom to do as yet un-imagined things to fulfil its Purpose. And you’ve made it public, so you’re accountable to it.


This is the first installment of a series that will describe how to get a purpose-driven company, community or brand, and live it. I’ve noticed there’s a ‘hunger for the how’ about this subject. A lot has been written about why companies should figure out their ‘Why’ (most recently Simon Sinek’s ‘Start with Why’) but much less has been written about how you get your Why, and how to make sure it’s a good one.

Even less has been written about how you implement it. Operationalizing your Purpose and Values is the hardest, yet most important thing to do. It’s…

Douglas John Atkin

Airbnb, Purpose, Meetup, Author of The Culting of Brands, The Glue Project, various Ad Agencies in London and NY.

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