Stephen Chip is the CEO and co-founder of Cruise.me, a re-imagined online cruise booking experience.
The more we dig into the cruise industry and immerge ourselves into what the future of online travel could look like – the more features we want to develop and more problems we want to solve. Since going off track is easy, we decided to focus on a single goal at a time which significantly decreased our turnaround time and iterations and now we feel we are really moving the needle. The bottom line is that you need to concentrate on what your core business is and focus on what can really make an impact on the bottom line. Everything else can be added to a never ending wish list or delegated.
Both online travel agencies and cruise lines are very aggressive when it comes to marketing. Even though the search space is crowded, we are leveraging our SEO and SEM experience and will streamline as efficiently as possible. Travel agency partnerships and Social are also two important components of our strategy.
One of the most important things you can do on a team is focus on people’s strengths. Too many times the top sales person is promoted to manager and their sales plummet as a result. Keep an eye out for the other areas they excel in as well. Everyone will be happier in the end.
When starting anything don’t think you are going to launch with the perfect product, website, etc. Choose the most important feature and just launch that. There will be plenty of time to iterate.
When starting out the people closest to you can surprisingly be your biggest detractors. Keep your wits about you and let the comments roll off. Your mission is much bigger and keeping yourself positive and motivated is key.
You never know where your next aha moment or idea will come from. Be alert, ask questions and listen. You’re likely to find that next idea by just being present. By sharing your ideas they will naturally be returned.
The first thing that comes to mind is getting carried away at a domain auction. The good news is that it was the catalyst which launched Cruise.me and the brand we are building. We didn’t expect to win and with one last bid we became the proud owners.