Nitesh Goyal spent seven years at Amazon.com, so it’s not a huge surprise that the 30-year-traces his entrepreneurial hunger to lessons at the online retailer.
Goyal is putting the skills to work at DealScoopr, a new startup that’s attempting to tap into the power of social networks to track down cheap airfares.
Seattle has a long line of successful online travel companies, from Expedia to VacationSpot to Farecast. And Goyal wants to join the club.
We chatted with him for our latest installment of Startup Spotlight.
Explain what you do so our parents can understand it: “DealScoopr takes the pain out of trip planning. We help you discover the best flight deals to visit your Facebook friends.”
Inspiration hit us when: “I travel a lot to visit my friends and family spread around the world, but hate paying too much for airfare. Planning a trip online was never fun – I would have to search several destinations and dates to find a decent fare that worked for me. Considering that my friends and family are already on Facebook, it became clear that a social travel discovery site was needed.”
VC, Angel or Bootstrap: “Bootstrap/Angel. We’re here for the long haul and focused on building the best social travel discovery site. Boostrapping has helped us focus on what really matters to our users and stay lean. We’ve intentionally kept our burn rate low.”
The smartest move we’ve made so far: “Launching early and getting tons of feedback from our beta users. This has helped us fine tune our product.”
The biggest mistake we’ve made so far: “Initially we launched an invite only site, but soon realized it added roadblocks to potential users. We found that it was better to get raw feedback from users and gain insights from their usage patterns.”
Would you rather have Gates, Jobs, Zuckerberg or Bezos in your corner: “Bezos. I spent seven years at Amazon and really admired how Bezos thought about the customer first and believed in building long term value. We’re applying his philosophy at DealScoopr.”
Rivals should fear us because: “We’re nimble, innovative and really determined to disrupt the online travel space.”
We are truly unique because: “We’ve got excellent design sense and technical know how.”
The biggest hurdle we’ve overcome is: “Navigating the complex world of the travel ecosystems.”
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to other entrepreneurs just starting out: “Go with your gut and just do it. You’ll make lots of mistakes but grow wiser from them.”
Startup Spotlight is an occasional look at a Seattle area startup company. Have an interesting new venture you want spotlighted in GeekWire? Fill out the questions above, send photos of the founder(s) and company logo to firstname.lastname@example.org. Past profiles can be found here.