The Best Update Ever from Hitlist (#22)

Some news to start off this update:  Hitlist competed at TechCrunch’s pitch-off in Brooklyn in March and we won the audience choice award – more validation for our user-friendly approach that makes arranging travel not only cheaper and easier, but social and fun.

Onwards. A quarter of all apps are abandoned after a single use: so reports the Economist, the only magazine my father subscribes me to.

Retaining users is one of the hardest things for new apps and brands to pull off. It’s especially difficult for travel booking apps, since people travel so infrequently (the average American takes fewer than 3 flights/year). Considering that, it’s pretty remarkable that nearly 50% of people who sign up for Hitlist in a given month use it the next month and rolling retention doesn’t fall below 10%, even after a year.

We’ve been able to do this by building a differentiated, high quality app, and by building a community with awesome people like you. Hitlist users have connected offline, sent us pictures of their adventures, and convinced their friends to sign up.

This month’s focus: community. We’re looking for people/brands to partner with to help get the rest of the world on Hitlist.

  1. If you know anyone with a social following who already uses Hitlist, let me know.
  2. Please fill out this quick survey to help us better target potential strategic partners.
  3. Does anyone have connections to DJ Khaled? We hear he doesn’t fly and we think he should get off the ground with Hitlist. (better idea than jet skiing at night)


– Last month’s focus was hiring and we’re excited to announce that Ludovico Sutto has joined the team on the engineering side to work on our personalization and recommendation engine. Ludo joins us after ten years of cancer research and various startups/side projects. My favorite is, from which I learned that Falco’s ‘Rock Me Amadeus’ was the hit song the week I was born. Those who know me well will agree this is perfect on many levels.

– Hitlist is a finalist for something cool and we had to submit a short film introducing Hitlist and me. The very talented Alexander Tarrant helped put this video together in a day.

– On April Fool’s day, we turned Wandertab into Wandertabby, showcasing a new destination, how much it costs to get there, and an adorable cat with every new tab. Paste javascript:WT.debugDeal = { today: ‘2016-04-01 10:00’ };into the search bar of a new Chrome tab and refresh twice to relive the magic.

– We’ve revamped our email strategy with the help of Dozen Digital, an agency in NYC (one of the respondents to November’s RFA). We’re pleased with their work and recommend them highly!


– I’ll be speaking at the New York Travel Festival this Saturday, April 16th on trends and innovations in travel. Tickets here, use ‘HITLISTWEEKEND’ for a discount on the weekend travel pass.

– Next week, I’ll be speaking on distribution technology at the Airline Information event in Barcelona.

Why are we doing this?

US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker put it nicely in tweet length:

Travel builds bridges.

It strengthens economies.

It creates deeper ties between nations.

It gives all citizens a new perspective.  

GIF of the month

ferris at museum low res

There have been really cheap flights to Chicago – who’s up for a visit to the Art Institute?


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