“A well designed reputation system is key for building trust,” Gebbia said.

Some principles and studies guided Airbnb through the process. Research showed that people tend to put more trust in people who are like them, who share their approximate age, geography and other similarities. And they tend to mistrust those who are different. But recommendations from others can help break through those correlations. “If there are less than three reviews, nothing changes,” Gebbia said. But when there are more than 10 reviews, “high reputation beats high similarity.” He added: “The right design helps us overcome biases.”

Click here for Forbes article.

My two cents:  This is a report of a TED Talk given by Airbnb Co-founder, Joe Gebbia.

I’ve always maintained that one of the most innovative and under-appreciated aspect of the Sharing Economy is the concurrent creation of the Trust Economy.  Guest and Host reviews created a commercial incentive (and therefore value) for good behavior.  Market forces meet ethical behavior.  If you think about it, it’s also very American.