About Boardroom

Boardroom is a media network that covers the business of sports, entertainment. From the ways that athletes, executives, musicians and creators are moving the business world forward to new technologies, emerging leagues, and industry trends, Boardroom brings you all the news and insights you need to know...

At the forefront of industry change, Boardroom is committed to unique perspectives on and access to the news, trending topics and key players you need to know.

All Rights Reserved. 2022.

Joe Gebbia’s New Venture: Bringing Tiny Homes to your Backyard

The Airbnb co-founder’s creation, Backyard, is available in California and aims to bring tiny, net-zero homes to homeowners’ backyards.

Ever feel like you need a little separation from your live-in in-laws, or just some extra space to work on that passion project?

Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia is launching Backyard — a project that will build tiny houses in homeowners’ backyards — to address exactly that problem.

It all started through an innovation studio called Samara, which was built within Airbnb to find new ways to create social change. Soon, the venture grew to something bigger than Gebbia had imagined.

“As the product progressed, it got to the stage where it just made more sense to be an independent company,” Gebbia said.

Sign up for our newsletter

Get on our list for weekly sports business, industry trends, interviews, and more.

Listing prices for Backyard houses start at $289,000 for a studio, with one-bedroom units going for $329,000. For those who have family members with adequate backyard space, these houses could provide an affordable alternative to traditional homeownership.

Overall, home sales are down nationwide. September saw 503,812 homes sold in the United States this September, compared to 646,184 the same time last year — a 22% decrease.

As families around the country look for affordable housing, it’s important to note that the percentage of households with multiple generations has more than doubled since the 1970s. Gebbia hopes these houses can provide separation for in-laws, or, to just be a home office, project space, or rental property.

The houses come in two sizes: a 430-square-foot studio and a 550-square-foot one-bedroom with a choice of studio or one-bedroom floor plans, five colors, two roofs, and customizable windows, doors, and patios.

The houses are also energy efficient, using half the energy of an equivalently sized standard house. They have solar panels on the roofs with an additional option to use the energy created from the tiny houses in the main house. The result? A lower energy bill for the owners.

“Our first step toward sustainable energy production is not to use very much,” cofounder and CEO Mike McNamara told Fast Company. “So, first, we made it really tight, really well engineered, and really efficient. We were really, really focused on trying to eliminate that friction through the design of the entire customer experience, and we think that in itself can create a lot more demand.”

The project was originally born in 2018, with Airbnb defining it as “an endeavor to design and prototype new ways of building and sharing homes.” In 2019, Airbnb hired Apple’s industrial design group member Miklu Silvanto to lead the Samara design studio project.

Now in 2022, it’s coming to life. And if you’re in the Los Angeles region, you can reserve a tiny house for $250. Just saying.

Read More:

Sign up for our newsletter

Get on our list for weekly sports business, industry trends, interviews, and more.