Last weekend was quite a momentous one for the Travelindicator crew. It was the first time that the two co-founders (Nik and Jaap) of Travelindicator actually met up in person.
Of course we have had our fair share of Skype sessions in addition to being in almost daily contact as we worked on the project, but we felt the time was right to bring our Singapore-based and Germany-based founders together for a weekend of brainstorming in sunny Singapore.
We concluded that in order to get the message of Travelindicator across better, going forward we will focus on 3 key themes: clarity, simplification and social. Here's what we talked about in more detail.
Recap: what is Travelindicator?
First, we spent a few moments brainstorming about summing up Travelindicator as succinctly as we could:
- Keywords: Travel. Social. Discovery. Explore.
- Tag: Travelindicator: Explore further.
- Story: Travelindicator is a destination discovery tool that helps you discover and explore your world
Nik and I have always felt that there is a very natural location for Travelindicator on the travel services spectrum.
You have your booking websites that you use to arrange your flights and hotels, and you have your Lonely Planets, Rick Steves and Rough Guides for getting in-depth information for destinations. What does not exist however, outside of Travelindicator, are services that let you discover new places.
Sure enough you can find plenty of "top 10" lists once you start Googling, but a service that actually really maps the travel profile (location, themes, weather, cost) of hundreds if not thousands of destinations, and lets you search through them? We have not come across any good ones, and that's why have built one.
What will we do differently? Expect more emphasis on the core idea of Travelindicator ("a destination discovery tool that helps you discover and explore your world") going forward.
As part of clarifying our product and explaining where we sit on the travel spectrum, we also realised we are going to have to get rid of some clutter. Feedback we received from users once they started browsing a destination page was often along the lines of "you should really add more information on X or review more attractions for this city", etc.
But that is not the point of Travelindicator, the point is that we just made you aware of the existence of that city! Now you can save it to your must-see, should-see or might-see list, or even create an itinerary. And then keep browsing.
What will we do differently? We will work on streamlining our interface and simplifying the website, rather than adding more and more complex features as we go along. Less is more.
One area where we will keep innovating and pushing is social. I realise that for many startups social is added as a gimmick, or as a must-have in order to build a user base and so on.
We are convinced that Travelindicator is different. We started adding basic social features this year which allow users to message each other, share and publish itineraries, recommend places to each other and so on.
We envision a future for Travelindicator where entire families or groups of friends are browsing together to discover destinations and build itineraries for their next trips.
What will we do differently? There will be increased focus on the social aspects of Travelindicator. Not as a gimmick, but because it will make planning your trip that much easier.