IWannaGoThere is a UK-based trip planning and destination guide service, first featured on Tnooz in March 2010 [TLabs Showcase - IWannaGoThere].
So what happened in the intervening 12 months?
Are you making money yet?
We are making money but not as much as we thought, our company didn’t start as a company, it started as a personal project between three friends so we didn’t have a business model from day zero.
We’ve trying different business models and it looks like we are on it now, but we have to keep developing it to get where we would like to be.
What has been the biggest problem - building the product/service or marketing it to consumers/travel industry?
The market, travel is such a competitive industry, you need a lot of money to make yourself relevant, our competitors spend millions of dollars on marketing, SEO and SEM, we have to be very creative and think about new ideas all the time to be able to fight on the same level with a very small budget.
Biggest assumption in the business plan that was wrong?
If you have a good product you don’t need money for marketing, that’s wrong, at least in an industry so competitive.
Is your current customer base as predicted?
On IWannaGoThere we are happy that we have keep our growth, not as much as we thought it was going to be but we see every other day start ups that launched the same time as us closing down and we’re still here and growing, that’s a success in this market.
At the beginning of the year we launched the Spanish version of IWannaGoThere (Mimaleta.com) and that’s growing a lot! We are so happy about the stats on the Spanish version, I guess one of the main reasons is that we have less competitors.
Did you achieve your 12 month goals? If not, why not?
Most of them yes, we were planning to launch iPhone applications last year but we finally are going to launch them now, I guess we had too many things going on and have to wait a bit more time for this.
Has the problem you were trying to solve changed?
I don’t think so, I think that we solve that problem more each day, with the amount of travel information that we have on the internet people need filters, some people love to research for months for information for the next trip but others don’t have the time, they know on IWannaGoThere they can get what they need: cool places for coolpackers.
Which start up that has launched in the past 12 months did you think "Ah, wish we had done that!"?
I love all what’s being going on with the apartment rentals websites, I’m so curious about how that is going to end. I like a lot what companies as Hipmunk or Wanderfly are doing, new ways of doing common things.
If you could go back in time and tell yourself one thing, what would it be?
I’m not sure if I would go into the travel industry again! But if I would do it I would do something very, very specific, for a very narrow niche, more so than we are doing now.
NB: Tnooz launched TLab Showcase 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.