Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mobile and travel - my new business

It's been a very long time since I wrote here, and much has changed with me.

I no longer work for a hardware manufacturer flogging transport and mobile backhaul products.

I have an internet startup -

It's an online travel guide, targeted at the busy professional who is discerning and demands more from travel.

We use professional travel writers and also travel bloggers to give real expert opinions of hotels, restaurants, bars and attractions. Our audience is middle to upper tier in their taste. Our writers can promote themselves to the community and interact directly with their readership. Each writer's personality is important, and indeed the diversity of our writers adds to the richness of the site.

Our audience is educated individuals, with higher disposable income who appreciate authoritative advice and enjoy the cultural/enriching aspects of travel. They are typically time-starved due to the demands of their work and social life. Accordingly, the articles on are short, personal and to the point.

We're starting to introduce themed pieces as well - food and drink, yoga retreats, spas, rail journeys, road trips. We also do Top 10s, longer feature pieces and other round ups which add a magazine-y feel to the trip planning content. These are great fun and our writers like to produce these.

So what's this got to do with mobile? Well, read on.

Surprisingly, there is a massive gap in the market for mobile and portable travel content. Don't believe me? Go to Expedia and try to find some.

There is some stuff out there: MP3 walking tours to download to your iPod for example are starting to pop up.

But no one has really exploited the opportunity presented by the fact we all carry smartphones and iPods, the mobile networks are broadband and WiFi is everywhere.

This is a wide open area, especially for travellers. How many times have you walked out of your hotel, and despite what you may have read in the guidebook, you still ask your wife "Where shall we go for dinner?" I do that all the time. This is merely one example of a specific customer problem which could be solved by a mobile solution.

We at see this as a huge opportunity and are investing our resources in this area. I shall use this blog to update you on our progress and also other mobile developments as they relate to travel.

It's good to be back.