Profitable From Day 1 — Interview with Dr. Daniel Quadt GuideGecko Founder

by Jason -- February 8, 2011

Dr. Daniel Quadt vividly remembers when the idea for GuideGecko hit him. He was in Penang, Malaysia watching all of the locals heading to their favorite lunch places and he thought if they could somehow write all of their local knowledge down, help travelers and get paid for it, it would be a win-win scenario. A short while after, he launched GuideGecko as the place to find travel guide books. GuideGecko is the place to purchase your standard published guide books (Lonely Planet, Insider’s, etc.) as well as guide books written and uploaded by independent authors. If you’re looking for a place to publish your own travel guide book, check them out as well. You can now even publish your own iPhone app through their website.

In the following interview Daniel and I discuss how GuideGecko was profitable from the first day they launched and how he’s been able to grow the site primarily through public relations — getting into publications such as “The Washington Post” and “The Boston Globe”. Continue Reading

“Do More Faster” Book Review

by Jason -- January 26, 2011

I recently read “Do More Faster” by David Cohen and Brad Feld. It was one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. I was able to immediately implement many ideas from the book with my startup, Unanchor. In the following post I’ll provide an outline of what you’ll be able to find in the book as well as a few of my favorite lessons.

Book Background

David Cohen & Brad Feld are the founders of the startup incubator Techstars. “Do More Faster” is a collection of lessons and stories from the authors, the mentors of Techstars, and the companies that have participated in the program. Each chapter is essentially a long blog post written by one person.

The book primarily focuses on lessons, examples and tips for entrepreneurs in the web space. A lot of the lessons are applicable for general business, but you will get the most out of this book by being interested in the web space.

The book is divided into 7 primary themes. Within each theme there are several chapters written by different authors. Continue Reading

Successful Entrepreneur Bypasses College with Viator Founder Rod Cuthbert

by Jason -- January 19, 2011

The following interview is with Rod Cuthbert, the founder of He began working in the computer industry at 17 and eventually started and then sold a computer dealership. In 1995 he started a web development company with a friend where all of his initial clients were in the travel industry. This led to the founding of Viator which sells tours for any destination around the world.

Rod’s current project is Qewz is a news aggregator which uses natural language processing to highlight opposing perspectives of the same story.

In the interview we discuss how the idea for Viator came about, how he financed Viator at the start and his advice for entrepreneurs interested in the travel space. Continue Reading

From Concept to Funding - The Formation of Trazzler with Founder Adam Rugel

by Jason -- January 13, 2011

The following interview is with the founder of Trazzler, Adam Rugel. Adam first became interested in the travel space during his days at AOL Travel. He ultimately found his passion for entrepreneurship while working at Odeo alongside the eventual founders of Twitter. While at Odeo, Adam came up with the initial idea for Trazzler with the help of Twitter co-founder Biz Stone.

In the interview we talk about how the idea for Trazzler came about, how they got funded and how they were able to gather 1.3 million Twitter followers. Continue Reading

2011 New Year’s Adventure Resolution

by Jason -- January 10, 2011

I’m not the type of person to set grandiose New Year’s resolutions. I don’t like the idea of waiting until the New Year to make changes in your life. If you need to make a change, do it now, what are you waiting for? However, I do like to use the New Year to set an “adventure resolution”.

Each year I try to choose one activity that I’ve never done before. A few years ago it was skydiving, another year was hiking half-dome, the next was traveling through Asia for a year, and last year it was outdoor mountain climbing. Unfortunately, last year’s New Year’s resolution went the way of most resolutions, and I failed to follow through. To be fair, I did give it a few modest tries, but none were able to get me closer to my goal. Continue Reading

How A Non-Technical Founder Built NileGuide with Josh Steinitz

by Jason -- January 3, 2011

Today’s interview is with the CEO of NileGuide, Josh Steinitz. Josh comes from a business background and started NileGuide by outsourcing its development. NileGuide has raised $13M of venture capital, acquired in May 2010 and has over a million visitors a month.

In the interview, we discuss what he did before NileGuide and how the company got started. Towards the end of the interview he gives advice to aspiring entrepreneurs interested in the travel space. Continue Reading

2010 Year In Review

by Jason -- December 29, 2010

This is a week of simultaneous reflection and looking ahead. Not wanting to be left out of the process, today’s post takes a quick look back at 2010.  Sharon and I will highlight a few of our favorite posts from this past year. Next week, I’ll be looking forward. Continue Reading

Sharing Some of My Favorite Links From Around The Web III

by Jason -- December 20, 2010

After a 2+ week trip through Florida, Washington DC, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, Sharon and I are back in the Bay Area. It’s good to be “home”. Today’s post is a collection of great links I’ve come across lately. Enjoy! Continue Reading

Announcing UnAnchor 2.0

by Jason -- December 13, 2010

My co-founder, Mohammad, and I are very excited to announce that the next version of has officially launched. The new version has a brand-new design as well as a complete overhaul of the back-end code. In this post I’ll be discussing the details of the new version and what we’re working on next. Continue Reading

Semi Update: We are homeless!

by Sharon -- December 9, 2010

Since we’ve been back, one of the most frequently asked questions we get is “so where are you living now?”  Just like most things since we’ve been back, we answer with a long, drawn out “well…..”  The reason for this is quite comical; we don’t have a home.

I started applying to teach in Korea over two months ago, and since we figured that we would most likely go back to South Korea for a year in late February, we haven’t really taken the time and put in any effort to find an apartment of our own.  It would most likely be very difficult to find a place to rent for only 3-4 months and the cost of rent in San Francisco would look extremely hideous in our bank account which seems to rapidly disappear and hasn’t replenished itself in over a year.  We could technically live at our parents’ homes in Sacramento, but that just doesn’t really appeal to us.

We have multiple friends in San Francisco who have an extra room/air mattress that allow us to stay when we’re in need (which is every night).  Basically, our friends share custody of us  “kids”.  We’re lucky enough to have some amazing friends and family who welcome two homeless people into their homes regularly.

It’s an interesting thing, practically being a transient in your own home.  We are back to where we have lived our whole lives and yet we have no car or home.  When we quit our jobs, sold our cars and furniture to travel, it was tough to think ahead and plan out all of the details for when we would come back. The reality is we had no idea how long we would be back and what our plans would be.  The circumstances of our return home were unknown.  Talk about being some serious vagabonds!

Speaking of plans, if anyone has ever applied to the EPIK program in Korea, you’ll know how tedious and long the process is.  I’m going to have to wait until January to know whether or not I got the job and where I get placed… !!!!!

Random Thought of the Day: We are in Pennsylvania right now… The east coast is FREEZING!  I’m sure this is news to everyone.  You’re welcome.