Tech Humans Of Dublin #32: Sarah Murphy, Airbnb

Mapping Dublin’s tech ecosystem, one human at a time.

I look after the health of the Irish market. I work to make sure that Airbnb in Ireland is reaching as many new users and new hosts as we can, while keeping our existing community of hosts happy. I’ll be here a year next month. We now have over 3,800 hosts in Dublin, and are growing at 129% a year. That’s 129%, not 130% (laughs). I like to be specific about these things.

Ireland has taken to the concept of Airbnb incredibly well, Dublin in particular. We are growing very quickly, and it’s a constantly evolving process. In the beginning, I was spending a lot more of my time on smaller events, now we’re looking at bigger, more expansive ones – developing partnerships for maximum exposure, and making sure that our hosts are beneftting from the work that we’re doing with different brands… And just riding the wave. It’s a very exciting time to be working in the market here.

It’s really easy for me to talk to Irish people about hosting. There’s a culture here of people welcoming people into their homes, from the whole Bean an Tí tradition to your quintessential Irish B&B experience, so many touchpoints that make Ireland a perfect fit for what we do. A boss once described to me that working at Airbnb is like being the prettiest girl at the dance, and you don’t have time to dance with everybody who wants to dance with you. It’s a pretty unique job. And we’ve pretty much got the world’s attention right now.

When I’m putting my plans together for the next year, front and center in my mind is making sure that I have a positive connection with the thousands of tech employees who are now living in Dublin. They’re young, vibrant and mobile, both geographically and professionally, they bring the culture, experience and languages of so many different countries… You’re talking the best and the brightest from so many places around the world, all gathered in Dublin.

I’ve been living here for twelve years now, I’ve always loved Dublin, because of its energy, and its uniqueness, and its Dublin-ness, but there’s a whole other layer now, from these huge companies being here, and all the startups, too. I’ve left twice, and have been pulled back both times by opportunities in the tech sector. I had assumed that I would have to leave Ireland to get my dream job. Now I’m not allowed to have any more farewell parties, because everyone’s starting to think I’m a liar.

Something I love about Dublin? A pint of plain. (laughs) Is that okay? Should I say something that isn’t alcohol?

@sarahrmurphy

NB: If you’d like to become an Airbnb host in Ireland, there’s a ‘Silicon Docks Introduction To Hosting’ event at Airbnb’s Dublin offices next Wednesday, 12th August – RSVP here.