eHub Interviews EveryTrail

Posted by Emily Chang on Monday, December 4th, 2006. Filed under: eHub Interviews

Visit EveryTrail, originally added to eHub on Nov 07, 06.

imageThanks to Joost Schreve and the team at EveryTrail for this email interview.

eHub: What is your web application/service about?

EveryTrail: EveryTrail is a free online platform that enables active travelers and outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds to visualize and share trips using GPS data, digital photos and location-based notes overlaid on interactive maps.

eHub: Why did you start this project?

EveryTrail: I’m an avid traveler and outdoor enthusiast, and I’m passionate about sharing my travel experiences with family, friends and likeminded people around the world. People like me are also always looking for information and inspiration about new adventures and experiences, so I decided to take the plunge and attempt to build a business that makes adventure sharing both easy and fun for people all over the world.

eHub: How much time do you devote to its growth?  Do you have a day job?

imageEveryTrail: EveryTrail is my day job. It’s really important to me that EveryTrail visitors enjoy a great site experience, and that we keep making consistent improvements to that experience.  Right now, it’s a 24/7 job just keeping up with all of the great ideas from our users.

eHub: How large is your team and what are your backgrounds?

EveryTrail: EveryTrail consists of Joost Schreve (former Yahoo, Fredhopper, Stanford MBA), Mark Duff (former director of Web strategy at REI.com), Hap Klopp (Founder and former CEO of The North Face) and Chris McCarty (Stanford Computer Science). We also work with a small team in Slovakia led by Michal Skala.

eHub: What is your design philosophy?

imageEveryTrail: In a nutshell, to keep things simple and stay focused on our customers’ core needs.  We employ some pretty powerful technology behind the scenes at EveryTrail, but we’re an online community – not a technology site.  We spend a lot of time asking users and visitors for input, and even more time listening to their suggestions. Our goal—produce a simple, engaging, easy-to-use site experience that encourages travelers of all kinds to share their adventures with others.

eHub: What technologies are you currently using?

EveryTrail: Mainly MySQL, PHP and Ajax, a bunch of Google APIs.

eHub: If your project is live, what are the most requested features from your users/community?

EveryTrail: As we grow in popularity and our database of trips increases, the number one request is more robust search functionality.  Users have also started asking for new social features (like creating lists of people to follow) as well as enhanced map display and printing capabilities. We love this kind of feedback, and ask for more every day.

eHub: Does your user base reside in a primary geographic location or is it distributed?

EveryTrail: So far our user base is 45% US based, 25 % European, 20% Asian, 5% Latin American and 5% Australian & New Zealand. We are proud of our fast growing, truly global community!

eHub: Where do you see the project heading in the next 6 months?  The next 2 years?

EveryTrail: Over the next 6 months, we will continue to focus on product development, community building, and site usability. We are in close touch with our users and try to listen carefully to understand their wishes and needs.

Over the next two years, we plan to grow a vibrant community of users, one that grows right alongside the exploding use of GPS technologies in everyday life.  We believe our core service set will be even more useful and engaging in the coming years, and plan to stay the course.  Our long term goal is to become the primary source for planning and inspiration for active travelers around the world.

eHub: What is the greatest challenge to your success?

EveryTrail: Our biggest challenge is to keep our heads down and stay focused on adding value for our users. The world is full of opportunities, but we will need to keep our eyes on the target.

eHub: What is the one thing you need to get to the next phase of the project?

EveryTrail: Making our site extremely easy to use for GPS users and non-users alike remains our #1 goal.

eHub: Do you have a business model?  If so, what is it?

EveryTrail: We hope to generate significant revenue over time through targeted advertising and strategic partnerships.

eHub: If you’re able to disclose this information, how much traffic or usage do you see on an average day?

EveryTrail: We launched just a couple of weeks ago, so it’s too early to give meaningful numbers, but traffic, signups and trip postings are growing extremely quickly. Please check out the wide variety of trips from all corners of the world on our homepage to see for yourself.

eHub: What is the one thing you’re most proud of about the project?

EveryTrail: Our most passionate users tell us that they LOVE EveryTrail. For some it is what they have been looking for for many years. It is incredibly rewarding when you launch a product and users start contacting you to tell you how much they love it. It’s also very cool to have users engaged and passionate enough to share detailed suggestions and ideas for future development.  In that way, EveryTrail is already a thriving community.

eHub: How would you describe the shift that’s occurring with the web right now to future generations?

EveryTrail: I keep arguing with my MBA classmates about this :-) Some of them think it’s all hype and it will fall apart just like the dotcom bubble in 2000. I disagree. I am fascinated by the current sociological phenomena we see on sites like wikipedia, flickr and digg. When you put the power in the hands of the community, beautiful things can happen. EveryTrail applies that same principle to the world of active travel. I am a big believer that the social web unleashes an incredible amount of brainpower and inspiration, power that was previously confined to individuals and small groups. Whatever will happen to Web2.0 and EveryTrail, I am glad that I am at the heart of this fascinating movement.

eHub: What site(s) do you visit everyday other than your own?

EveryTrail: NYTimes, TechCrunch, Ehub, Om Malik, and a bunch of travel and GPS blogs.

eHub: How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

EveryTrail: Not enough. My 7 month-old daughter doesn’t seem to appreciate the entrepreneurial lifestyle. She keeps waking me up :-)

Thanks to Joost Schreve and the team at EveryTrail for this email interview.

(Disclosure: EveryTrail is a client of Ideacodes)

Visit EveryTrail
Originally added to eHub on Nov 07, 06