Friday, September 21, 2007

TripIt - Now we know what they do and that they are in with the "in crowd"

I passed on the news in April that TripIt had raised a million dollars in funding. Now the site is live (in beta of course) and we have more of an idea of what they do and what CEO Greg Brockway plans to do with the money.

TripIt is a travel organisation and collaboration site but with a real twist. Instead of the now usual Web 2.0 approach of letting you tag pages or save pages or integrate pages from various booking and content sites, TripIt works by extracting all of the confirmation information you have from your booking emails and putting it in the one consolidated form. Here is how they describe it
Here’s how TripIt works: A traveler simply forwards their travel confirmation emails – no matter where they booked - and the TripIt “Itinerator” instantly incorporates them into their master itinerary. Then, TripIt puts that information to work on the traveler’s behalf by automatically anticipating basic needs to make the trip easier, such as adding daily weather, local maps and directions, helpful destination information and more by using information pulled from a variety of other popular websites. Travelers can then print out all their bookings neatly in a single document to take on their trip.
If they get it right then the opportunities for upselling and profiling consumers will be fantastic.

Two challenges -

1. Getting consumers to use it. It a world of instant gratification it will challenging to convince consumers to email and wait; and

2. This presumably requires some very complicated technology. The system will need to be able to extract different types of booking information from thousands of possible sites, all with different itinerary formats. Assuming they build up the consumer base, the technology will have work perfectly every time or else it will lose the main draw card - convenience.

Love the idea but big job to get it working.

The PR campaign is already working. TripIt has proven itself to me a member of the VC/Valley in-crowd. They were the only travel company in the Techcrunch40, the just completed web startup demonstration conference hosted by tech/VC blogging A-listers Michael Arrington of Techrcunch and Jason Calacanis of Mahalo.

Here is the crunchbase profile of TripIt and here is an earlier post I did on Mahalo.

UPDATE - Another of the A-lister sites, GigaOM, is not giving TripIt much of a chance.


Garrison said...

Jesus, Mary and Jerry Seinfield but do we need another muthalovin' site with the word 'trip' in it?

The only use of the word trip in a travel related site that I wanna see, is a travel service aimed at LSD casualties, the Timothy Leary type mofos who make a pilgrimage to Tangiers once in a while.

Now we're talking!

Sam I Am said...

Hi Tim,

I got an email from one of their PR folk and posted a long blog entry on my experience based on trying it out. Like you say, the technology is one of the main stumbling blocks, as witnessed by my attempts...

Full entry at

I might need to do a follow up post though, as after telling the PR team about the blog post the technical team managed to get my Expedia booking showing properly for me. Once you do have one or two go through, it looks good and could definitely be useful (synced it with my mac ical for example).


Tim Hughes said...

Sam - thanks for the link and sharing your experiences

Garrison - comment of year award is almost certainly yours!