Sometimes you don't need an itinerary.
Rome, as we all know, wasn't built in a day. But nor was it built after a lengthy discovery process, endless rounds of designs, and a series of permit applications. Sometimes it's best to just build the damn thing.
Consider the success of Wanderfly, a Greenpoint-based travel recommendation site that grew from idea to business in somewhere around a week. The site allows users to discover and share travel tips through photos, text, and tags.
"We conceived of Wanderfly in late 2008. It was just a Post-It note idea at that point," company co-founder Christy Liu told us. "Let's do a travel discovery site." And so, at the last minute, Wanderfly's founders entered a Wharton business plan competition. "We crammed over the course of six days to come up with a 50-page business plan," Liu said. "We ended up getting second place, so we realized we've got something that might be viable here."
After raising funds from angel investors, Liu and her co-founders took the next nine months to build the site. "None of us had ever worked in travel before this, and that was a blessing," she said. "The site was built purely from a user and consumer point of view - what do people want?"
And as the company learns more about what their users want, they have continued to reinvent their product. Since releasing version 2 in March of this year (with a focus on local and social engagement), page views have tripled and average time-on-site has gone from four minutes to 20-plus.
Not bad for a Post-It note. Check our Wanderfly for yourself here.
Now go forth (and start cramming).
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