I’ve been told I need to vary my subject line. So no more ‘best update ever from Hitlist’ – despite the fact that things do seem to get better every month. This one, we’ve been happiest to see some anecdotal proof (here, here, here, here) that we are getting people to take trips they didn’t necessarily plan, and are working on being able to prove this at scale.
Two quick requests:
FOCUS FOR THIS MONTH: People. We’d like to secure 1-2 key hires before raising a round later this spring/summer. Worth noting: since the company has not yet had a 409A valuation, there is opportunity for significant equity that won’t carry a huge tax penalty before exercise – a nice perk for potential hires.
- Senior Marketing lead, COO/CFO, designer, dev – Job listings here. Please share them with those you think might be interested, or tweet them out. Any hiring tips would be gratefully accepted as well.
- Board: anyone have suggestions for crafting a formal advisory board and/or board of directors? What types of people to seek out, best practices for reporting & communication? We’ve never really had one, though our mentors/investors have been great resources. In some ways I think of you all as our informal advisory board, since so many of you have chimed in with great advice. Nevertheless, I’m looking to solidify this into a body that can hold us accountable and share useful connections/advice.
- Tnooz, the main industry insider’s rage, published a TLabs piece last week that is the latest, greatest summary of what we’re building.
- We released v2.4 on iOS (optimized for 6/6+, improved search, simplified customer support, perf improvements), but the really exciting stuff is coming in v2.5, currently in QA (=‘quality assurance’, or the testing phase immediately before release). Preview of our latest ‘trips’ feature here.
- We released Wandertab, a chrome extension inspired by the hack Max Izmaylov and I built in October. Download at hitlistapp.com/wandertab. It’s had a tremendous reception, for example: http://cl.ly/image/2X29003Q3h07
- Rahul, our head of product, wrote an interesting piece on keeping users engaged even if you don’t have an obvious daily use case.
- I won Primary VC’s ‘pitch bucks’ competition at their annual Peak Pitch. Thanks Brad Svrluga and team for the opportunity to pitch a roomful of investors in sweaty ski clothes!
- The focus for last month was BD. Thanks to Matt, Noah, Katharine, Kate and Chris for offering/facilitating introductions to the IFTTT team. And thanks to Jagmeet, Phil, Divya, Chris, Sheikh, Ritesh, Erik, Rahul, Chetan, Vekrum, Dom, Heba, Tony and likely some people I’m ungratefully forgetting for making invaluable introductions in India. I enjoyed getting to know a place that doesn’t constantly compare itself to Silicon Valley, but has built a robust entrepreneurial climate that dances to the beat of its own drum. Its own drum, and $2.7bn in financing in Q4 of last year.
- I’ll be at ITB in Berlin the 3-7th, SXSW the 12th-16th, Bay Area 17th-21st or so. Please let me know if you’ll be around!
- we’ve had the privilege of working out of Grand Central Tech as part of the accelerator’s first class. If you know any startups who might be interested in $100k of free office space with no equity taken, please encourage them to apply.
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
My belief – and one that is not necessarily right, and not applicable to everyone – is that travel is the best way to spend your money. Done right it’s educational, emotionally fulfilling, and beneficial for the places you visit. At Hitlist, we try to inspire and enable everyone to travel more, by creating a better exchange of information between the supply and demand sides of the market so that there is less waste.
GIF OF THE MONTH:
Shockingly, after sending twelve of these updates, there’s never been a cat GIF. That changes now.