Last week, AirBnB proposed granting their most valuable hosts shares in the company, much like employees. This requires a change in securities law. It’s a novel idea that has a history, promise and some risks.
In 1998, an online travel agency, TravelZoo, tried this. They granted free shares to 700,000 people who signed up to use the service. Administration of these shares proved a headache for the company. Many of those who received the shares were unaware of conversion deadlines.