Innovators. They come in many forms. They dream big but they aren’t just dreamers. They form raw ideas into cool products with disruptive business models. They shatter entire industries and leave established leviathans running scared with their tails between their legs. The Innovators interview series connects you with the most driven people on the planet. What makes them tick? What advice do they have for tech founders? What tools do they use to get the job done? Read on to find out.
Adam is the co-founder and CEO of Hipmunk, the travel search site. Prior to establishing Hipmunk in 2010, Adam co-founded BookTour with Wired’s Chris Anderson. He graduated from MIT in 2010 with degrees in Electrical Engineering/Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering, and was North American Debating Champion in 2010. Adam was also the youngest author ever at O’Reilly, writing AppleScript: The Missing Manual at the age of 16. Adam currently lives in San Francisco.
What do you enjoy most about your work and why?
I love being able to solve people’s problems. Hipmunk came from my personal frustration in booking travel, and it’s gratifying to see when other people discover the site or mobile app and love what we’ve built.
Where does your passion come from? What drives you, inspires you, excites you?
My passion comes from the belief that when people put their heart into creating great products, the results are transformative. It’s clear when a company loses its focus or begins to compromise. I am driven by a focus on helping real travelers with their actual problems.
Someone reading this wants to start a tech company. What’s your best advice for them?
Start a company whose products you will use every day. You can, if you choose to, be your best possible critic. And it’ll be a lot more interesting if you’re working on a problem you know and care about.
What are a few tech startups that you’re really excited about right now and why?
Two on my mind right now:
- Stripe – Brilliant team and incredibly elegant product.
- Olark – We use it every day at Hipmunk to help us talk and learn from our users.
What tech tools (websites, apps, gadgets, etc.) do you rely on both for work and in your down time?