You know Airbnb, but you might not know Lapka. The tiny product design company founded by Vadik Marmeladov (referred to as a bizarro Russian gadget company by Wired.com) — won our hearts a few years back with their Personal Environment Monitor, and have just been bought out by the tech-travel giant — which means if you didn’t know them, you probably soon will.
Silicon Valley’s mega-bucks buyouts have a tendency to hint towards a company’s future direction — Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus VR, for example — but this is a funny one. A company who, along with Uber, has cornered the hands-off, making money from distance market, Airbnb really have no conceivable need for product design. But when you’re worth over $25 billion, conceivable needs can easily be thrown out the window — especially when your three young, design-minded founders have a personal net worth of something like $7 billion between them. Beautifully designed and crafted ‘bizarro’ gadgets could quickly become something ubiquitous to the Airbnb experience … necessary or not.
— Lapka (@myLapka) September 29, 2015