Lapka. It’s one of those names you’re likely to remember. Which is why a few weeks, it rang some vague bell in my memory while I was catching up on the latest tech news. The context just didn’t seem right, though, because the reason people were talking about Lapka was that Airbnb had just purchased it.
But, it was the Lapka I thought it might be.
Back in December of 2012, I had written a short article about Lapka. I don’t know how many people were exposed to the beauty of Lapka’s products as a result – especially when an editor somehow managed to change the spelling of the company’s name – but I do know that I was impressed enough to share my discovery.
Airbnb’s Lapka acquisition had a lot of people scratching their heads. What did the largest accommodations company on the planet (which, ironically doesn’t even own a single hotel room) want with a Russian company that makes luxury Geiger counters? If you’re familiar with the news of this purchase, you know that Joe Gebbia, Airbnb’s co-founder and chief product explained it this way via an email: “Since the moment Lapka launched their first product,”—that’s the Personal Environment Monitor—“I have been inspired by their impressive design sensibilities—a combination of beauty, form, and story. These guys have tenacity and drive towards creating the future, and I’m thrilled to get to work alongside them at Airbnb to create a world where people can belong anywhere.”
I can speculate with the best of them, but in this case I don’t care to guess why Airbnb purchased Lapka. I’m too busy basking in the warm and fuzzy afterglow of having it brought to my attention that I had discovered Lapka long before it came to the public eye as a bauble for a unicorn. If only I had been able to do the same with Airbnb. I might have bought some stock.
So sayeth the StickMonkey.