The Biggest Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Airbnb’s Success

Leigh Gallagher photo by Christos Karantzolas

Leigh Gallagher photo by Christos Karantzolas

How did three young guys disrupt the hotel industry and create a company that’s now worth $30 billion?

That’s the question at the heart of Leigh Gallagher just-released book, The Airbnb Story. Gallagher, a Media native and editor at Fortune (she’s appeared twice at Philly Mag’s ThinkFest), tells the behind-the-scenes story of how the company’s founders, Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk, took the germ of an idea and, in less than a decade, built a corporation that has millions of passionate fans and a valuation that’s now larger than that of Hilton and close to that of Marriott. Gallagher, whose first book was 2013’s The End of the Suburbs, chatted with me about the Airbnb phenomenon – and what entrepreneurs and business execs can learn from their success. Read more »

Squires: The Last Boys’ Club


He never said it in so many words, but here’s something I learned from my dad when I was a kid: Act like you own the joint and everything will be fine. Exhibit A from my childhood was our annual excursion to West Point to see a college football game. My father — being my father; it would take days to explain — had absolutely zero interest in parking on a giant field among the masses, preferring a more secluded spot he’d discovered on one of our previous trips. But how to get past the MPs who generally blocked the entrance? No worries: My dad would simply speed our Ford LTD past the men in uniform, offering a crisp salute and channeling his inner three-star general. We never got stopped. Not even once. Read more »

How Oblivious Elites Missed the Trump Revolution


If you’re a longtime print subscriber to Philadelphia magazine, I can probably make some assumptions about you.

These aren’t just guesses. They’re based on subscriber surveys we’ve done. I know, for instance, that many of you are in your late 40s or early 50s (hey, just like me!) and that you’re more likely than not to live in the suburbs (also just like me). Odds are, you’re well educated, possessing not only a bachelor’s degree but potentially a graduate degree, too. (You have me there; I ditched grad school after a semester). And you’re most likely affluent, with a household income many times the median Philadelphia income. (No, I’m not telling you how much I make.) Read more »

A Note About Our October Cover

Tom McGrath, Philly Mag editor, here. We just posted the online version of this month’s magazine cover story on how to choose a school for your child. Given the controversy the cover image has generated in the last 24 hours, I wanted to make a few comments.

First, simply put: We blew it with the cover photograph (which we’ve chosen not to republish here). To include not even one African-American child on the cover fails to reflect not just the diversity that exists at the Greenfield School (where the photo was taken), but also that within the city of Philadelphia. I’ll offer no excuses here about process, etc.; at the end of the day, I chose this photo for the cover, and it was without question the wrong choice. I apologize for my failings in judgment and for our insensitivity. Read more »

Pope Says Those Responsible for Sex Abuse Will Be Held Accountable

Photograph by Tom McGrath

Photograph by Tom McGrath

Saying he had just come from meeting with childhood victims of sex abuse, Pope Francis this morning spoke out strongly against the abuse by the clergy. “God weeps,” he said.

Speaking emotionally and with sympathy for the victims, the Pope said sexual abuse can no longer be covered up. “I hold the stories and the suffering and the sorry of children who were sexually abused by priests deep in my heart. I remain overwhelmed with shame that men entrusted with the tender care of children violated these little ones and caused grievous harm. I am profoundly sorry. God weeps.

“The crimes and sins of the sexual abuse of children must no longer be held in secret. I pledge the zealous vigilance of the church to protect children and the promise of accountability for all.

“You survivors of abuse have yourselves become true heralds of hope and ministers of mercy. We humbly owe each one of you and your families our gratitude for your immense courage to shine the light of Christ on the evil of the sexual abuse of children.”

The Pope made the remarks before 300 bishops and cardinals at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary on the Main Line.

At the very beginning of his remarks, the pontiff announced that he, along with Philadelphia archbishop Charles Chaput, had met with the abuse victims before this morning’s gathering of bishops and cardinals, most of whom were on hand for the World Meeting of Families.

Francis focused the remainder of his remarks on a critique of consumer culture, the reluctance of many young people to marry, and the pastoral role bishops should play.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops released the following account of the Pope’s meeting with victims this morning:

This morning between 8 and 9 a.m., at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Pope Francis received five adults —three women, two men — who experienced sexual abuse as a minor by clergy, family members or teachers. Each was accompanied by a family member or support person. The group was accompanied by Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston and chairman of the commission set up by the Pope for the protection of minors, Archbishop Charles Chaput and Bishop Fitzgerald, head of the Philadelphia Archdiocese’s commission for the protection of minors. The Pope spoke with visitors, listened to their stories, greeted them individually and prayed with them. He told them that he shared in their suffering, and he had pain and shame in particular in the case of injury caused by clergy or church workers. He renewed the commitment of the Church to the effort that all victims are heard and treated with justice, that the guilty be punished and that the crimes of abuse be combated with an effective prevention activity in the Church and in society. The Pope thanked the victims for their essential contribution to restore the truth and begin the journey of healing. The meeting lasted about half an hour and ended with the blessing of the Holy Father.

Pope Francis’s prepared remarks from the meeting with victims are below:

Follow Philadelphia magazine’s live coverage of Pope Francis’s historic visit all weekend long.

Minor Fire Hits Seminary Where Pope Francis Is Staying in Philly

Photograph by Tom McGrath

Photograph by Tom McGrath

Follow Philadelphia magazine’s live coverage of Pope Francis’s historic visit all weekend long.

A small fire broke out last night at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, where Pope Francis is staying.

According to the Inquirer, the fire started in the elevator shaft near the kitchen of the seminary, which is located in Wynnewood, around 10:47 p.m. There were no injuries and no significant damage, according to reports.

Firefighters from Lower Merion put the fire out by 11:03 p.m. No foul play is suspected.

There’s no word whether Pope Francis was even aware of the fire. The pontiff traveled to the Main Line seminary last night after watching the concert on the Parkway and speaking to the crowd about the importance of the family. He left the stage around 9:45 p.m.

8 Takeaways From Pope Francis’s Moving Mass at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul

Photograph by HughE Dillon

Pope Francis delivers the homily at a mass this morning at the Basillica of Saints Peter and Paul. | Photograph by HughE Dillon

Pope Francis just finished saying Mass for a couple thousand people at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Center City. The event was grand, moving, lousy with priests and nuns, and had its own special Francis thing going on. Here are eight things worth noting: Read more »

In Homily, Pope Francis Calls for Greater Role for Laity … and Women?

Photograph by HughE Dillon

Photograph by HughE Dillon

Follow Philadelphia magazine’s live coverage of Pope Francis’s historic visit all weekend long.

Pope Francis began the Philadelphia portion of his U.S. visit today in noteworthy fashion, noting changing times for the Church and calling for a greater role for the laity, and perhaps women, in the future.

In Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul that was attended largely by bishops, priests, nuns, and deacons, the Pope called on the Church to foster in its faithful a greater sense of “personal responsibility” for the institution’s mission. “This will require creativity in adapting to changed situations,” he said.

“We know that the future of the Church in a rapidly changing society will call, and even now calls, for much more active engagement on the part of laity.” Read more »

In Philly Deposition, Cosby Describes Seducing Women With Drugs and Fame

cosby video

In a deposition taken at Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Hotel a decade ago, Bill Cosby acknowledged pursuing young women for sex in a manipulative and calculating way, at times using drugs, money and his own fame as a way of seducing them.

According to the New York Times, which obtained a copy of Cosby’s deposition in a case brought by Andrea Constand, a young Temple employee who claimed Cosby drugged and sexually molested her in the early 2000s, the entertainer came across in his four days of testimony as “alternately annoyed, mocking, occasionally charming and sometimes boastful, often blithely describing sexual encounters in graphic detail.” Read more »

Coming Next From Philly Mag: BizPhilly


Tom McGrath, Philly Mag editor, here. Over the last few years Philly Mag has undergone tremendous growth and change — with a lot of that change originating right here on

In January we launched Citified, our politics and urban affairs channel, which people around the city have been buzzing about. Last fall we unveiled a digital Sunday edition, which has quickly become a must-read for people subscribing to it (you can sign up here). We’ve done more and more when it comes to live events, including our annual ideas conference, ThinkFest, and our annual fitness event, Be Well Philly Boot Camp (reserve your spot now for this June’s boot camp). And this is to say nothing of the other channels — from Shoppist and Ticket to Wedding and Birds 24/7 — that we’ve created to cover Philly on a daily basis. Read more »

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