Written on December 29, 2008 at 11:11 am, by Gregg Brockway
When 2008 began, TripIt was a pioneering new travel company in an emerging space–itinerary management–without an established recipe for success. We knew that there was a demand for a better way to collect, organize and share travel information, but we had a number of questions about what services travelers really want, how to acquire members and, importantly, how to make money.
Over the course of this year, we’ve had fun applying one of management guru Tom Peters’ principles of success – S.A.V. (For those of you who don’t read Tom’s great blog, this stands for "Screw Around Vigorously") In the process, we’ve produced some great new stuff, and also some ideas that just didn’t work. It has all helped us shape our plans for the coming year.
We have to say "thank you" to our team here at TripIt. We entered the year with the belief that building a small team of superstars is the best way to make good things happen fast. Since then, we’ve doubled in size, and each new hire has brought something new and exciting to the company.
We’re also very grateful for all the media coverage and recognition we’ve received, including great reviews by the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Entrepreneur, Joel Spolsky, TechCrunch, DailyCandy and CNET, as well as blogs, posts and tweets by thousands of you! We won some nice awards from the likes of Industry Standard, PhoCusWright, and Mashable, and were even nominated for a Webby. Cool!
Most importantly, we are indebted to our members, who send us incredible feedback on a daily basis. Your ideas help TripIt continuously evolve.
Some of our favorite new features from 2008 include:
April saw the launch of our first mobile app at m.tripit.com. We’re big believers in the potential for mobile devices to empower travelers and help them solve problems from the road.
We’ve recognized from the beginning that sharing travel information was important to travelers, and we worked hard to make TripIt a more social application. Our "Who’s Close" feature monitors where your travel plans intersect with your friends and colleagues. We also launched the Traveler Profile, complete with personal travel statistics.
The Itinerator’s email reading skills are critical to making the TripIt experience smooth and easy. This year the Itinerator learned how to read events, restaurants, cruises and emails from hundreds of new travel sites. We currently support over 300 different sites, including regional airlines like Mexicana, event organizers like Evite, and hotels like The Bellagio in Las Vegas. We’ve more than doubled the number of supported sites since June. Today, you can throw just about anything travel-related at the Itinerator with confidence.
This year we were fortunate to add some important partners to our roster, including LinkedIn and Microsoft Windows Live. Both of these partnerships demonstrate the power of an open platform that shares travel information. Our LinkedIn partnership is especially noteworthy given their fast-growing business traveler audience. TripIt’s My Travel was the first (and is still the only) travel application selected by LinkedIn.
TripIt raised over $5 million from three other outstanding partners in 2008-O’Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures, Sabre Holdings and European Founders Fund. We have begun to generate some revenue, and launched our sponsorship program at the end of 2008.
All in all, it was a heck of a year for our little TripIt. We’ve learned a tremendous amount about what travelers want, how to reach them, and how to make money at it. After we re-charge our batteries with a short break, we’ll be back and hard at work to apply these lessons to our exciting roadmap for 2009.
Happy New Year everyone! May you enjoy peace and safe travels.
Gregg, Scott and Andy, TripIt co-founders