Not so long ago we conducted our first SF Mobile Entrepreneurs meetup. Discussing various challenges while creating successful app, our speakers candidly shared their successes and pitfalls young entrepreneurs might face.
Bob Dana opened our meetup with a galvanizing story. Bob is CEO & co-founder of Tripshare, the first mobile startup focused on building tools for collaborative travel planning. Using Tripshare iPad app, you can easily create, book and share your travel itineraries. Bob also mentioned company’s plans to launch iPhone and web apps in the nearest future.
Tripshare was started in 2011 & has already raised 1.6 M USD of venture capital. BTW, it’s ten times more than an average VC funding! As of now, Tripshare has over 30 000 of downloads & a lot of positive feedbacks from users.
There were a lot of ups & downs during these three saturated years while Tripshare was becoming a successful social sharing app. Except for the victories and losses, these three years have been full of new experiences and learning. Here they are.
Lesson # 1: Pick your battles
Assess the risks in market you want to get in. You will have to disrupt existing brands, so before starting the battle determine market size & opportunities, users’ needs, your messaging to consumers & results you want to achieve. Choosing between content and platform battle, Tripshare decided to start with creating valuable content, and then expand to various platforms.
Lesson #2: Solve big problems.
Don’t focus only on making money. Choose your own niche in which you can bring improvements & satisfy social needs. Only in this case you will succeed. BTW, 53% of people around the world still use “paper&pencil” planning. Tripshare is going to change this, make planning process easier & better.
Lesson #3: Don’t force it.
Don’t pay for customers that don’t really need your product. They will come, and then they will just go away. 30 000 downloads, 7 000 registered users, for about 1 500 active users – this is what Tripshare achieved without having paid a dime for an advertising.
Lesson #4: Eliminate your doubts
Use all founder contributions in your store: knowledge of technology, customer insights, previous startup experience, personal investments etc., it will help you to stand up.
Lesson #5: The journey is the destination
Enjoy what you are doing. The process of creation must be your main focus.
As Winston Churchill said “Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts”.
We really enjoyed Bob’s speech, and we are looking forward to his participation in our future meetups.
See you on our next SF Mobile Entrepreneurs community meetup that will be held in the early December!
About Bob Dana
Bob Dana is CEO & co-founder of Tripshare the first mobile startup focused on building tools for collaborative travel planning. Before co-founding Tripshare Bob was Employee #1, CFO and wrote the business plan for Virgin America, the award-winning startup airline. He was also a Managing Director in the technology investment banking group at Piper Jaffray and he led the North American aviation investment banking practice for Credit Suisse First Boston.