Design Better
Design Better
Bonus: Hiroki Asai, Global Head of Marketing at Airbnb

Bonus: Hiroki Asai, Global Head of Marketing at Airbnb

Airbnb and Apple have a few things in common: They’re both design-centric companies, they sell products through best-in-class marketing, and they’ve achieved incredible success by focusing on the customer. There’s one more thing they have in common—Hiroki Asai who currently leads marketing at Airbnb and formerly led marketing at Apple during their most historic product launches.

We spoke with Hiroki about his time at Apple and the key elements of their marketing playbook, as well as how he reinterpreted Apple’s values in Airbnb’s culture. We also spoke about the importance of dogfooding, or as John Maeda calls it, “wine tasting,” your own products. And we learn how Airbnb shifted away from traditional product managers, and how that affected their marketing and design processes.


Hiroki Asai oversees all of Airbnb’s marketing efforts, as well as Airbnb's in-house creative teams. Hiroki is responsible for maintaining Airbnb's strong global brand and sharing the story of our millions of hosts who offer unique homes and experiences to guests around the world.

Hiroki spent 18 years at Apple and served as Vice President of Global Marketing Communications and Executive Creative Director where he was responsible for a variety of iconic marketing campaigns for a range of products, including the iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.

Hiroki lives in San Francisco with his family and holds a BA in Graphic Design from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.


Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro
Airbnb and the end of product managers

Design Better “Office Hours” with Automattic: Matías Ventura

This episode is sponsored in part by Automattic, the people behind, Woo, Pocket Casts, Jetpack, and more. Stay tuned after the interview (or hear the segment in the embedded player below) where we chat with Matías Ventura, Lead Architect for Gutenberg at Automattic.

Automattic is a fully distributed company with the goal of democratizing publishing and commerce so that anyone with a story can tell it. Matias talks about the importance of community to the Wordpress project, and why one of Automattic’s  principles is that the end user always comes first.


To learn more about working at Automattic, including current job opportunities, visit

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Design Better
Design Better
Design Better co-hosts Eli Woolery and Aarron Walter explore the intersection of design, technology, and the creative process through conversations with inspiring guests across many creative fields. Whether you’re design curious or a design pro, Design Better is guaranteed to inspire and inform. Episodes are released semi-weekly for free subscribers, weekly for premium subscribers. Vanity Fair calls Design Better, “sharp, to the point, and full of incredibly valuable information for anyone looking to better understand how to build a more innovative world.”