Monday’s Links for Curious People – Quito/Trippy Edition

Posted: October 10, 2011    Categories: Links

Marine Iguanas in the Galapagos Islands

Marine Iguanas in the Galapagos Islands

I’m winding up my stay here in Ecuador. My original plans were pretty aggressive. In the end, other than my trip to the Galapagos Islands, I’ve spent all my time here in Quito. It has given me the opportunity to work, eat great food and explore the city a bit. Also, when you have a room with free wifi at $20/night, it seemed like a good idea.

Wednesday I’m going to have one of those hell travel days I have to suffer through every so often. My flight from Quito leaves at 6am and lands in Los Angeles at 2:45pm with a layover in Houston. My flight to New Zealand then leaves at 11:40pm, which means I have to kill a good part of the day at LAX. Oh well.

I’m going to New Zealand with Qantas Airlines. They ran a contest where Australians were able to come to New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup and follow the Wallabies around in campervans. They also had a slot for some bloggers, and they asked me. As of yesterday the Wallabies are in the semi-finals and they will be playing the All Blacks from New Zealand. If you have any suggestions for things I should do/see in New Zealand, you can suggest them to me on Trippy.

Speaking of Trippy, I’ve mentioned it briefly before, but I am serving on the board of advisors of the company. I get requests on almost a daily basis from startup travel companies who want me to promote them. Most of the requests are impersonal, the services are uncompelling, and there is really no incentive for me to even follow up.

I’m very picky about the companies I associate myself with. There were several things about Trippy which appealed to me.

  1. JR Johnson, CEO of Trippy, took the time to actually meet with me in person. So many people just send mass emails out to bloggers. By taking the time to meet with me in person (we were both in New York City) he demonstrated that he was serious about my involvement. I was also able to assess him as a person. It meant a lot.
  2. The team has an excellent track record. JR and much of the Trippy staff were behind which was sold to Expedia for a boatload of money. They have experience running online startups and also have experience in the travel industry.
  3. The product is good. Obviously, you can have the best people in the world with all the financial backing you want, but if the product sucks, it sucks. I’ve had several people tell me that it is addictive to sit and just plan your dream trips. That is a good sign.
  4. They are making it worth my while. I’m not getting any money, but they are offering me some stock options in the company. I’m not going to get rich from it, but it is nice gesture on their part. Much more than the nothing which most companies give you for your involvement.
  5. I’m in good company. In addition to myself, other heavyweights are on the advisory board of the company: Kim Mance, Johnny Jet, Tim Ferriss, Brent Snyder, Peter Shankman and Randi Zuckerberg. In fact, I’m not even sure what the hell I’m doing on that list.

I’ll be using Trippy as my platform in the future for all of my future trip planning. You can view my trips, make suggestions, comments…you can even take my entire trips and use them as your own template for visiting a place. The site is currently in Beta, but it is open to anyone.

What I’m Reading

As you may know, I’m in the process of rereading all of the books in the Dune series in chronological order (order they take place, not the order they were written). I’ve been making headway now that I’m back on the road.


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