I recently had the pleasure of reading a case study of AirBnB entitled “AirBnB: The Growth Story You Didn’t Know” by Morgan Brown, which helps to illustrate how a company’s key component can and does change as it matures.
In reading this article, you can see how the founders’ individual key components, who they are, gained in value by attending the Rhode Island School of Design. Their design talents became their new key component, used in building and improving successive versions of the AirBnB website. The website thus became its own key component. And finally, in its most recent iteration the brand became the key component allowing the company to branch out into any number of complementary businesses.
What is fascinating to see here is how in the space of 4 or 5 years the business has reached a level of maturity that in the past required decades.