TLabs Reprise - Cost2Drive 12 months onNewsBy Kevin May | June 21, 2011Share This article was originally published on Cost2Drive is a US-based planning service for those using a vehicle for a trip, first featured on Tnooz in March 2010 [TLabs Showcase - Cost2Drive].Are you making money yet?We’re generating revenue but not yet at break-even.What has been the biggest problem - building the product/service or marketing it to consumers/travel industry?When we launched the product a number of people gave us advice. They said "your product is great as it is, focus all your energy on marketing it".They were right - marketing and distribution are the biggest challenges. Despite the great traction we’ve had with SEO and the recent press attention we’ve received due to high gas prices.Biggest assumption in the business plan that was wrong?How long everything takes. It taken much longer to build traffic, revenue streams and partnerships than we had originally planned, 2-3X longer.Is your current customer base as predicted?Yes, although skewed more to the long-distance car traveller than we had originally thought.In hindsight this seems obvious, but the average distance travelled (866 miles each way) still amazes me as it’s about 4X the distance of the average car trip, and we’re definitely attracting the vacationing audience as Orlando and Las Vegas consistently are the top destinations entered.Did you achieve your 12 month goals? If not, why not?Yes and no. I think given the failure rates of startups every entrepreneur should have a goal to just still be alive in 12 months.I’m amazed that we’ve been around for over two years and continue to grow at an accelerating rate. Raising the seed funding round has taken longer than expected, but those discussions are underway so hopefully that will be the next news you read about us on Tnooz.Has the problem you were trying to solve changed?No. People still care about how much it costs to go places ;-)Which startup that has launched in the past 12 months did you think "Ah, wish we had done that!"?No startup immediately stands out, however Living Social’s entry into the travel space last November is really interesting. We see some parallels to that business with their focus on the regional drive-in market.If you could go back in time and tell yourself one thing, what would it be?I only get one? I guess conserve cash for as long as possible.NB: Tnooz launched TLabs in March 2010, a dedicated channel to give startups in the travel, tourism and hospitality sector an opportunity to explain their vision, company background and strategy to a wider audience.As well as publishing an elevator pitch-type questionnaire for each business, Tnooz committed to following up with each startup after 12 months or so to see how well (or not) each performed. NB2: TLabs Showcase is part of the wider TLabs project from Tnooz.