Written on March 3, 2011 at 4:05 am, by Andy Denmark
Since the day we first thought about what would become TripIt, we were faced with the fundamental challenge of how to best transform your travel data into a rich and shareable itinerary to help you decrease chaos and increase the peace in your travels. As you all know, TripIt focused on the confirmation email as the source of this travel data and set out on a path of innovation that continues to this day as we announce that we now support over 3,000 travel and hospitality sites worldwide. How did we do it?
I’ve written a little bit on Quora about how what we call the Datamapper works. This is really only half the story though. The other half is about the dedicated, intelligent, and tireless team of engineers and product folks I work with who have been doggedly attacking this problem and continuously innovating and improving our core technology over the last 4+ years.
They’ve been hard at work adding support for new document types such as Microsoft Word, RTF, PDF (the original version that I wrote back in 2006 only supported text and HTML emails). They aggressively built out support for new travel suppliers and travel agencies that you often use. They’ve also been highly responsive to feedback, requests and bug reports, often fixing issues before anyone (in some cases before you) even noticed there was a problem.
They found clever ways to build support for airport parking confirms and some foreign language support although neither of these features were officially prioritized. Finally, they built out the ability to auto-magically scrape your GMail inbox and detect duplicate incoming reservations to create the truly set-it and forget-it experience that we dreamed of creating over 4 years ago.
When I look back and reflect on how far TripIt has come I can only think of a quote from one of the most complicated and important men in American history, Thomas Jefferson. He said, on the topic of luck: “I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Looking forward, we’re continuing to stay focused on future innovation as well as keeping on top of the important fundamentals that make TripIt special, so in the words of Al Jolson, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”
To celebrate our milestone of supporting 3,000+ travel and hospitality sites worldwide today we are launching “Not Just a Plane” Promotion. Create a trip plan on TripIt and get a chance to win $500! Read more.
To view press release: Count the Ways: Organizing Travel Even Easier with TripIt