The best update ever from Hitlist (#10)

Many of you have told me that you enjoy getting these updates. I’m humbled to hear that you read them. I know you get a lot of email every day. It means a lot that you take time to read this one and in many cases respond.

And man are you guys powerful. We’ve asked for help with hiring, fundraising, housing, getting an App Store feature, translating our app, and getting press, and you’ve come through EverySingleTime. If you’re curious, you can see the archive on blog.hitlistapp.com.

So again, and always, thanks. Keep being awesome.

Focus for November: PRODUCT

Can you help with any of the following?

1. Testing: if you have an iPhone, could you please take 30 seconds and open Hitlist, navigate to the Flights tab, and see if you can find a trip you might be interested in taking. Is this straightforward enough? What do you expect to find? Any feedback please send my way!

2. Housing: Luka and Tomislav will be in town November 17thDecember 1st and the prices of places on AirBnb are making my head spin. Does anyone have a spare room or place (not a couch – I’d like them to have their own places so they can be as comfortable as possible) during that time period? Fwiw, Luka lived with my parents for a bit last fall and they think he’s awesome, but I don’t want to subject him to the suburbs once again

And as always: if you think we’re nice, please one click tweet about Hitlist, Like us on Facebook, and follow us on Angellist!

UPDATES

– Hitlist won the Women 2.0 pitch competition’s audience choice award in SF at the beginning of the month. It was an excellent conference with a mix of top tier VCs and women (and men!) working on some real problems… less of the fluff than you see at a lot of events. If you’ve raised under $1m and have two x chromosomes, I encourage you to apply to pitch at their next conference.

– Max Izmaylov and I won some $$ at the Tnooz SFO hackathon with Placeholder, a fun Chrome extension that shows you a bookable trip to a beautiful place every time you open a new tab. We’re thinking of adapting this for use in Hitlist’s web app, due out in the next month.

– we released v2.2 on iOS, which updates the number of flights we’re tracking from the hundreds to the millions. This is the most significant upgrade since the bump to v2 in July, and we still have some kinks to work out, but engagement numbers are climbing. We plan to release a polished 2.3 in time for the holidays. We also refuse to believe that the holidays start in less than a month.

– I gave the keynote speech at the Social Travel & Tourism Masterclass in New York last week and got an offer of investment immediately afterward. This implies that speaking engagements might be a good use of my time, in moderation. If you know of people who are looking for speakers / presenters, I’m happy to have alternative platforms to spread the word about Hitlist

– Our DAU/MAU is around 7% and we’re looking at ways to increase it (for those not familiar with startup speak, DAU/MAU is the ratio of daily to monthly active users, and is usually considered a strong indicator of a product’s engagement. 20% is ok – 7% is better than nothing but it’s something we need to work on). Expect a lot more in the way of notifications over the next month!

MOVEMENTS

I’ll be in London November 4-6th speaking on the innovation stage at World Travel Market, Boston 7-10th for the Amadeus Hackathon, LA 10th-13th for PhoCusWright, and San Francisco 14th-17th for M1Summit and meetings. If any of you who aren’t normally in those towns will be in one of those towns in those windows, please let me know.

The whole Hitlist team will be in New York November 17thDecember 1st, plotting world domination. We always love visitors at Grand Central Tech, 335 Madison Ave.

WHY ARE WE DOING THIS? 

You’re thinking of escaping holiday madness for a weekend in December. Choose your own adventure:

  1. You search for a few potential destinations on a few dates on Kayak or Google Flights and they all seem too expensive. You search a bit more and decide that one of the first ones wasn’t too overpriced. You go back and try and book it and the price has changed. You give up and order Indian from that place down the street.
  2. Open up Hitlist and filter the flights tab to weekends in December. You book ticket.

We’re glad that second option exists.

GIF OF THE MONTH

batman dancing

You stay classy, Hitlist friends,

G

PS Diego Saez-Gil, who won our hearts building the mobile hostel booking app WeHostels, has just given us another reason to think he’s the bomb: Bluesmart, the world’s first smart, connected carry-on. I’ve seen the prototype in person and can’t wait till they ship. You may want to get your hands on one of those bad boys before the prices double at retail…

PPS Gaza Sky Geeks, an incredible program dedicated to building the tech community in Gaza, is going to kick off a crowdfunding campaign soon. It’s an incredibly worthy cause and I’ve been very impressed with the leadership there. If you’d like to pledge to contribute, it would mean a lot to me and to the team there! http://bit.ly/gazastartspledgeform2014

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