08/02/2012 02:27 pm ET Updated Oct 02, 2012

Where the Streets Have No Name: Mapping Uncharted Territory at HopStop

Columbus did not anticipate hitting Costa Rica. Hell, we didn't expect that mariachi band on the A train this morning. Most journeys involve the unexpected -- some more welcome than others.

Even the team at HopStop, the appmaker and online source for door-to-door transit, walking directions and pin-to-pin travel plans, is not immune to a few forks in the road. As the seven-year-old startup adds products and utilities (city guides and CO2 impact counters now complement the core trip planner) the HopStop staff has had to do its own on-the-move rerouting.

Alexandra Goodstone, the longest tenured employee, said her role has been evolving from day one, often the result of sudden opportunities. "When I started, I did data management," she told us. "Then I moved into ad ops, ad sales, then partner development. Our community manager left, so I took over Facebook and Twitter updates. Now I'm morphing into a marketing and social-media brand management role."

"When you hire talented people earlier in their career, it's rare that they know exactly what they want to do for the rest of their lives," Joe Meyer, HopStop's CEO explained. "If you don't create an environment that creates the opportunity to take on new responsibilities, you're going to lose people."

They're hiring -- details here.

Now go forth (and pack some earplugs).

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