The social MVP – Go try it out!

http://bit.ly/wcmVQx

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Summary of Customer Insights

1) People do not want to be nudged > 1/week
-Most people only want a nudge ~ 1/month
2) What prevents people from traveling is TIME, not imagination or laziness
3) Younger customers more active in all forms of social media. Easier to test.
4) Referrals from close friends more valuable than referrals from strangers.

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Partners opportunities Expedia – Confirmed !

Partner contact: John Nelson
Business Development Manager
Expedia Affiliate Network

Key insights:
– happy to partner with us
– revenue share agreement
– Use CPA (Cost per Acquisition)
– but don’t use cookies.
– 5pc
– also build our own brand
– so bookings don’t have to be done via Expedia
– use our own UI.

Parnter through Expedia Affiliated Network platform:

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Key customers insight and empathy map

Some of the interviews that we conducted over the long weekend were quite extraordinary. We were faced with a range of different individuals – from bored husbands walking the dogs to the connected youth who were updating the LOL statuses on Facebook. We accosted a few, heard “No comprendos” to a few more and eventually when we sat down and spoke to the willing, it gave us a very vivid understanding of what the customer wants. It also allowed us a chance to escape the Stanford bubble and talk to people who were not students (alright, just one student but law school shouldnt count). We are not posting verbatim transcripts but giving a sense of what the customer asked us to get out of the dry runs that we gave with our thesis.

The usual method of interviews was fairly simple – we looked at the people who seemed receptive, tallied them up with the archetype that we had in mind and asked the questions that we pivoted around our thesis. We also showed them the mockups that we put up on the slide last week and focused on areas that we thought would be helpful to the prospective user. Some of the quotes we got were amazingly helpful, some were outliers who traveled only ou

The demographic that we targeted was mostly between the ages of 25 to 35. A majority of them were married and enjoyed traveling. The feature that someone pointed out that people use would use not just friends recommendations but would also have a helpful database or even a pointer to useful links available on the place being visited. There was strong traction on the social aspect of travel

“Obviously, if my friends have been there and put up cool pictures, I would be much more inclined to go there than go to some random place that I read about”

“I feel strongly about the use of friends recommendations. There is an envy factor in going to cool places and putting up pictures that people can like and comment on. That makes me think, what a cool place, I can go there”

There was also a rather odd insight about having connectors with Places of Interest/People of interest. Sort of a benefit or an add-on would help people decide on a trip or an itinerary.

Another thing that we found out was the use of Yelp for getting recommendations. People used Yelp for their places recommendations in case of short-term travel and travel on the fly. Most people were impressed by the apps available for Yelp on the web and the iPhone but seemed to think that a tighter integration with FB would make checking for updates easier.

Seasoned travelers also loved the idea of pictorially promoting travels and places. We actually had the good luck to run in with the Senior Vice President of an Australian Investment firm who spoke about how important it was to pictorially promote Australia as a destination and that they used pictures to strike the right chord with customers.

“You can write a paragraph but really who would care about reading all that? A picture sends across a clear crisp point and gets the message across really quickly”

“An application for detecting where friends and family have gone is also an excellent prospect. There is also a seasonal component to it with people almost always wanting to go from cold to warm weather. So there is always going to be flux”

“I travel a lot and what I pay attention to is a lot of the Visa issues. Having a line in there about the practical aspect of having a vacation would be pretty interesting and give an indicator”

“I also always look for unique cultural experiences”

There was also a lot of good feedback on the mockups that we had designed. The mockups were very helpful in getting people to open up and give their own suggestions on what should be better what should be improved. The overall sentiment was to create this travel reminder and diary which would learn and make informed recommendations.

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Interview day at Stanford Shopping Mall

So today was a long productive afternoon at Stanford Shopping Center. We interviewed 33 people and gained some really good insight for moving forward.

Some Interviews Transcript:

Asian female 23 yo
– Facebook integration.
– Recently moved to CA, don’t know when to travel next
– Last travel to Napa Valley with friends
– More interested in friend’s travel picture
– Like the timeline. Like the recommendation. Email is okay. Once a month

American 25  white male
– Last travel for winter break to Paris with family
– Next trip is summer (because of weather)
– Prefer on top of Facebook. If it is a standalone site would probably visit less
– Once a week email is fine

American white female 24
– Last travel was Boston in September to visit friends there
– Next trip in June (already bought the ticket)
– As long as it can pull the photos from Facebook. Standalone or integrate is fine
– Reminder could be mixed. Some people don’t want to be reminded
– Once a month is enough. She can’t travel more often than that.
– Sharing is important

American while male 27
– Last travel to visit family in Texas
– No nudging email, already have enough spam
– Private type of person
– Next trip in June (seasonal)

Ayoush-  SFSU – Student. Age: 21
1) People want to see their travel history and have reminders communicated to them for future travel – YES / awesome /
2) Do pictures of past travel, or friends and family travel, inspire people to travel? (show pictures)
– Closeness of relationships dictates level of inspiration
– yes – more connected – yes continues /
3) Do pictures of fantasy travel inspire people to travel
A little; not at the extreme
4) Which frequency of nudges and forms of nudge (notifications), do people see as optimal
once every 3 months!!!!

5) Do you think these nudges are applicable to other aspects of your life?
Yes!!!! INSPIRED BY PHOTOS. Loved the BETA.

Tony. Age: 38. Originally from Israel
1) People want to see their travel history and have reminders communicated to them for future travel
– Depends – family vacations
2) Do pictures of past travel, or friends and family travel, inspire people to travel? (show pictures)
If I have never been yes
-Closeness of relationships dictates level of inspiration
Yes
3) Do pictures of fantasy travel inspire people to travel
Yes
4) Which frequency of nudges and forms of nudge (notifications), do people see as optimal
NON – interruptive – I am super busy.
unique – Israel Russia – some where
5) Do you think these nudges are applicable to other aspects of your life?
YES
-INSPIRED BY PHOTOS – But needs verification by reviews from friends etc
-LOVED THE BETA!

ERIN. Age 28. From the US
1) People want to see their travel history and have reminders communicated to them for future travel –
No – I am forward looking, if integrated with deals – it would be good – MAYBE
2) Do pictures of past travel, or friends and family travel, inspire people to travel? (show pictures)
Yes
-) Closeness of relationships dictates level of inspiration
Yes – more inspiration
3) Do pictures of fantasy travel inspire people to travel
Yes, but friends more important
4) Which frequency of nudges and forms of nudge (notifications), do people see as optimal
– ONLY IF RELEVANT! –
Deals are hugely important.
-INSPIRED BY PHOTOS
-LOVED THE BETA.

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Interview with Jim Hornthal !

There was a call with Jim Hornthal on 17th February. We were all very excited about his thoughts on travel inspiration. There was a lot of excitement about what we would hear from Jim on our idea of lead generation for the big players like Expedia and Travelocity. The call was very fruitful in terms of all the useful information that we got about how the current model of partnerships works. We took away a couple of key takeaways

1. Current model (with Travelocity) – The commission on the leads is on a cost per acquisition basis and not on a cost per customer basis. This leads a very low percentage of commission and is not sustainable as the lone source of revenue.
2. Cookie cutters – The cookies stored by browsers have an expiry time limit of 30 days. There is also an attribution trouble in that the last cookie stored before actual booking is attributed with the sale. These would seem to suggest that cookies are not very friendly as the current source of revenue.
3. Experts and Friends – Jim was of a very firm opinion that people rely more on experts (whose job it is to write and review places) than they do on their own friends circle. Jim feels that we are limited by our friends and that experts are the way to go.
4. Travel History – Jim also told us that there was very little pre-emptive work that we can do on future travels by basing it on our past travel history.

He also suggested and hinted towards a dark side pivot that we had been considering a week back (To connect the travel agents who Google cannot find). He pointed us towards http://www.viaworld.in/bdo

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Bottom-up market sizing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sensitivity Analysis on Assumptions

Excel sheets

Nudge market sizing

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Week 5 Presentation

2012-02-14 Week 5.21

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US Online Travel Market

Some of the most valuable insight can be found here

http://www.ustravel.org/news/press-kit/travel-facts-and-statistics

http://www.ustravel.org/sites/default/files/page/2009/11/USTravelAnswerSheet.pdf

A snippet of the market that we are going after

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Initial screens

Something new for you to look at!

We came up with what the UI should be for this Nudge application, its still very rough but you get the picture (pun intended)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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