TLabs Showcase – Hipmunk

TLabs Showcase focus on startups featuring US-based flight metasearch provider Hipmunk, created by the founder of Reddit.

Who and what are you (including personnel and backgrounds)?

We’re Steve Huffman and Adam Goldstein. Steve previously co-founded Reddit, one of the most popular social news sites on the Internet. Adam just graduated from MIT, and is the author of AppleScript: The Missing Manual.

What financial support did you have to launch the business?

We have angel investments from Y Combinator and SV Angel.

What problem are you trying to solve?

It can take hours to find the right flight buried deep inside one of the results pages of a metasearch site or OTA. We’re trying to help people get a feel for the reasonable options in a matter of minutes.

Describe the business, core products and services?

Our business is pretty simple: two of us working in our living room on code all day.

In our current version, our core product is our interface. We use data from Orbitz to power our search and provide booking links

Who are your key customers and users at launch?

We’re targeting sophisticated travelers and web surfers—people who are eager to try out a different site if it can help them save time

Did you have customers validate your idea before investors?

Not formally, but we showed some early prototypes to some friends and they liked it a lot.

What is the business AND revenue model, strategy for profitability?

At the moment, we’re going the commissions path—in the future, we’re going to be exploring all options.

SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?

Strengths:

  • Features you can’t find anywhere else, like instant sorting, automatically hiding terrible flights, and intuitive filtering.

Weaknesses:

  • Unknown brand, missing airlines like Southwest.

Opportunities:

  • Acquiring a large sliver of the sophisticated traveler market.

Threats:

  • Lack of brand loyalty, large and well-funded competition.

Who advised you your idea isn’t going to be successful and why didn’t you listen to them?

We didn’t get any complete rejections, but plenty of people told us, “it’ll be a lot harder than you think.”  They were right.

What is your success metric 12 months from now?

This: Have we made the experience of flight search less painful for tons of people?

tlabs logo microscopeNB: TLabs Showcase is part of the wider TLabs project from Tnooz.

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.

 

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  1. Hipmunk dismisses Google, Kayak and profits as launch anniversary approaches | Tnooz

    […] [At launch time last year, the newborn Hipmunk was featured in a TLabs Showcase.] […]

     
  2. Daniele Beccari

    Tip: don’t hide any flights.

    In one of my previous lives we had the same idea and tried to be smart. Result: daily complaints and bug reports that the system “could not find” certain flights…

     
  3. Travelfusion adds fare prediction system | Tnooz

    […] or price comparison are starting to build tools which display results and data in a different way, especially new kid on the block […]

     
  4. Patten Wood

    I’m totally digging this site. That slight heart murmur I get when searching for flights on other sites…gone.

     
  5. Tweets that mention TLabs Showcase - Hipmunk | Tnooz -- Topsy.com

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Stuart McDonald, Turisdata, Tnooz, TLabs HQ, Kevin May and others. Kevin May said: From the founder of Reddit… TLabs Showcase – Hipmunk http://bit.ly/cWfbsl [Tnooz] […]

     
  6. Steve

    It’s a valient effort at doing something different and I’m pleased to see they are targetting sophisticated travellers as the UI is going to confuse a lot of people. I really don’t think it’s any easier/better than any existing flight search interfaces though… and in fact it seems to offer less choice sometimes.

    Kudos for trying to innovate and there is definitely a space for a totally new flights UI (just I don’t think this is it). Personally I’d do a lot of user research and testing to try to make it more intuitive.

     
 
 

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