The Best Update Ever from Hitlist (#21)

It’s been too long since our last update from Hitlist-land. The holidays lend themselves to introspection, and we’ve been thinking: is what we’re doing working? Yes, we concluded, but only after taking a hard look at how the competitive landscape is evolving.

We’ve never wavered in our mission, outlined in the very first of these updates: to help people travel more (and help suppliers/marketers sell more travel) by providing consumers with the information most relevant to creating easier, cheaper, and more fulfilling travel experiences.

We believe our vision for the future of travel will win out, but there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Investors seem obsessed with the idea of chat apps in this space. Google’s latest mobile search offering incorporates parts of what we do at Hitlist. Meanwhile, there was a lively discussion on Hacker News on why you should never try building a travel startup. (Not all startups are created equal).

At the end of the day, we come back to the numbers: our revenue in the first month of 2016 was higher than what we made in the first ten months of 2015 combined. We have more traction per dollar invested than any travel app in the last five years save one (bonus if you know which one). Many mountains left to climb but we’re proud of where we are and excited about where it’s going.

Our current priority is hiring. We’re looking for smart motivated people for the following positions:

If you know anyone who fits the bill please send them our way.

UPCOMING

– Monday, 7 March: we’re co-hosting a happy hour with Party With A Local at a venue TBD in San Francisco, RSVP here

– We’ve been convening high-level travel ‘think tanks’ with some of the most interesting/influential people in new travel media over the last few months, from the head of Snapchat Discover to Instagram stars with 1m followers, as we incubate a new Hitlist product. Next one will be in Los Angeles at the end of this month. Know any travel-media-founder-influencer types we should invite?

– I’ll be at the Launch conference in San Francisco March 2-4th, please let me know if you’ll be there and/or if there’s anything I should know about

– Julia, our marketing lead, will be in Berlin for ITB March 7-10th talking with destination marketers. Please let us know if there’s anyone she should meet!

UPDATES

– We’ve shipped v3.4 to Apple, an unsexy update: lots of substantial changes, but mostly under-the-hood things to lay the groundwork for the launch of our referral program and a stealthy new content development. Should be live in the next week.

– I’m honored to have been named a New York Venture Fellow, following in some pretty amazing footsteps, such as the founders of Foursquare, Etsy, Rent the Runway, Makerbot, Warby Parker, etc.

– You know you have good fans when a developer/designer completely redesigns your website for free. Thanks Andrew Nater for inspiring us to take this off the back burner – new version will be out soon.

– I spoke about ‘Getting the most out of Partnerships’ at the San Francisco Travel Startups meetup in January.  Slides here. Shares appreciated! Click to tweet.

– Great press/love from blogosphere continues: posts from Skift, Tnooz,LifeHack, The Surge, Dreamers // Doers, Brian Harniman, Konrad of World Venture Project, Anthony Marnell, and the borderline NSFW Instagram starMewsha.

– Our favorite non-Hitlist thing on the internet recently: NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory released a set of gorgeous retro space travel posters (download high-res versions to print yourself)

WHY WE’RE DOING THIS: because the upcoming generations are spending on experiences, not things, and that’s a trend we want to accelerate.

GIF OF THE MONTH: in honor of the fact that my parents inadvertently went to a showing of Boogie Nights at their local art house cinema

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