Earlier today, TripAdvisor added its name to the list of companies publicly trading on the NASDAQ. After doing so, TripAdvisor’s co-founder Stephen Kaufer stopped by TechCrunch for a Founder Stories interview with host, Chris Dixon.
TripAdvisor offers user-generated reviews of everything from hotels to restaurants and claims “50 million monthly unique visitors and 20 million members.” Healthy numbers now, but dial back a decade and TripAdvisor was gasping for air. Kaufer says 18-months in “we had no clients, we had no revenue and we were running out of money.”
Realizing time was short, the team dumped their initial business model after recognizing a demo they released on the side “to showcase what someone else could do with [our] technology” was gathering steam. Leadership built a plan around the concept, added a “write your own review” button and was off to the races with what we now know as TripAdvisor.
Kaufer dives into additional detail on those early days, discusses Expedia’s acquisition of his company and voices concerns about Google as the interview unfolds. Make sure to see it all by watching the entire exchange.
Also be sure to check out Chris Dixon’s thoughts on the interview, the IPO, and issues surrounding it all on his blog, cdixon.org.
Episode II of Kaufer’s interview is coming up.
Past Founder Stories interviews featuring Mayor Bloomberg, David Karp, Dennis Crowley and many other leaders are here.