5 years ago

The world (kind of) according to Steve Hafner of Kayak

Buoyed no doubt after trousering a hefty sum as a result of selling the company he co-founded to Priceline, Steve Hafner of Kayak was in waspish/humorous (take your pick) form this week.

After outlining a little bit (the deal hasn’t actually closed yet) about how the metasearch engine will fit in with the new mothership and the all-important plans for international expansion (including an admission to being “crappy” so far), Hafner played the classic word association game with the PhoCusWright moderator at the end of the session.

The answers, inevitably, were also classic Hafner:

  • PhoCusWright’s Carroll Rheem: “Groupon?”
  • Hafner: “Trainwreck.”
  • Rheem: “Google Flight Search?”
  • Hafner: “Delightful product.”
  • Rheem: “Orbitz?”
  • Hafner: “Alma mater.”
  • Rheem: “Hipmunk?”
  • Hafner: “Irrelevant.”
  • Rheem: “What happened to roadkill? It was so much more creative.”
  • Hafner: “There’s no explaining what VCs will invest in.”
  • Rheem: “Pinterest?”
  • Hafner: “Interesting.”
  • Rheem: “Big Data?”
  • Hafner: “Over-hyped.”
  • Rheem: “Jeff Boyd?”
  • Hafner: “Stellar boss.”
  • Rheem: “Pivot?
  • Hafner: “Over-hyped.”
  • Rheem: “Philip Wolf?”
  • Hafner: “Adios!!” [it was Wolf’s last year overseeing the conference]
  • Hafner: “No, no, sorry. I love Philip! Philip does great job! I am going to miss him with his conferences!”

NB: Here is the full session (scroll down to Executive Interview: Kayak).

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin is senior editor and a co-founder at Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.

He has worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology, a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism and publishes his first book - a biography about Depeche Mode - in 2017.



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