Get to know a MITX member! This month we're featuring TripAdvisor.
1. How was TripAdvisor founded and what inspired its creation?
TripAdvisor was founded in 2000 by our CEO, Steve Kaufer. His mission in creating the company was to help travelers around the world plan and have the perfect trip. That’s because TripAdvisor was started to solve a real vacation planning issue. Steve was planning his own trip to Mexico and kept running into dead ends as he searched the Web for travel advice. When he couldn’t find the information he was looking for, the idea for TripAdvisor was born, and Steve and his co-founders decided to build a new online travel resource that filtered out extraneous content, and allowed the traveler to focus on the best and most relevant information for their travel planning needs.
TripAdvisor is different because its sole focus is to help travelers plan and have the perfect trip. Unlike other travel websites where booking is the ultimate goal, TripAdvisor is dedicated to inspiring travelers and helping them make the best travel decisions. Also, in addition to being the world’s largest travel site, TripAdvisor is the world’s largest social travel website. Through a long-standing partnership with Facebook and the creation of the Cities I’ve Visited Facebook application in 2007, TripAdvisor has been offering travelers a fun and useful way to tap into their existing social networks to plan even better vacations and share their travels with friends.
3. What has been TripAdvisor’s greatest accomplishment in the past 12 months?
TripAdvisor has had some exciting milestones during the past year. Last July, the site hit 50 million reviews and opinions, 60 million reviews and opinions this January, and continues to have 40 pieces of content added every minute. TripAdvisor also launched some great social products, including a deeper integration with Facebook through instant personalization. In fact, TripAdvisor recently launched the new Friend of a Friend feature, which allows travelers to see reviews and opinions from friends of their Facebook friends. This new product has allowed TripAdvisor to reveal ten times more useful advice from travelers’ social networks when they visit the site. One of the most exciting accomplishments was the TripAdvisor spin off from Expedia in December of 2011. Today, TripAdvisor is a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ stock market, and we’re all pretty excited about that!
4. What is the biggest challenge you face in the marketplace today?
The biggest challenge TripAdvisor faces in our marketplace today is the fact that there is so much we want to offer travelers, but also the reality that we can’t develop everything. While every new idea can’t be implemented right away, TripAdvisor looks to find a balance between offering travelers products that they want to see on the site with new innovations that the team is constantly creating. There is also a lot of competition in the space, making the fast delivery of useful and effective new products and features of the upmost important to us.
5. Why is TripAdvisor a MITX member?
At TripAdvisor, we believe in continuing to grow the technology industry, and the importance of fostering growth and leadership in the online and digital space. Additionally, with more than 300 employees in our Newton headquarters, we’re investing in the local digital economy. That’s why we’re a MITX member. As a company, we’re devoted to building and giving back to the tech industry through education, networking and mentoring the tech leaders of the future. Being a part of MITX also allows TripAdvisor employees a chance to stay involved with the ever-changing digital world outside of the office by attending both educational and social events.