Intelligent Trip

After years of building Intelligent Hack, our top-notch consultancy to help start-ups and scale-ups create great, scalable products, I think it is high time I added an update to how it is going and what's next for us.

Let me assure you that the company is doing great, growing, and sustainable. Even though over 90% of start-ups fail, we are doing well and growing -- we are hiring a designer-who-codes now!

That said, over the years and after many conversations among us and with advisors, we have seen that:

  • we have great talent in the company. We can't always offer a good challenge to them.
  • we can add more talented people, but we want to scale the company without compromising
  • we can get a more extensive customer base, slowly, because the cost of finding new customers is very high. I don't like this, I am a developer, not a salesman.
  • it is tough to explain the value we add to people that generally think we are a software development company of which there's plenty cheaper.

None of this is a deal-breaker, and while we have a very functional company, and we are doing good, we also need to choose our own adventure and aspire to do great. Cue a couple of months later, I decided to challenge my co-workers with finding product ideas. Lo and behold, together we put about a dozen great crazy ideas on the table, from creating a "software performance non-profit", to building a "privacy-respecting Alexa".

We were following Paul Graham's recipe for good startup ideas:

Let me repeat that recipe: finding the problem intolerable and feeling it must be possible to solve it. Simple as it seems, that's the recipe for a lot of startup ideas.

We think that the way people buy travel is broken and we think we can fix it. What do people really want when they go to travel websites? Surely many different things, but let me give you a few scenarios:

  • I want to book a holiday for my family and friends around Italy, seeing a little sea but also some art and doing a few spa days. We had fairly fixed dates, a clear idea of our budget, but only a vague idea of the place or places we needed to book.
  • Booking my business trips requires car parking, air travel, black car, hotel/Airbnb at the very least. Each of these needs to happen on a different website and all the details need to be synchronized. Someone is booking all of this for me. They have fixed dates, elastic budget but need to book for me.
  • My wife needs to go to some remote places in northern Europe to participate in sword-fighting competitions and wants to book the cheapest possible transport. The budget is "as low as possible", dates are hard-fixed, often to the hour, accommodation needs to be cheap but also close to the venue.
  • Intelligent Hack wants to book a company retreat for a week. We need to book for multiple people coming from different countries, handle COVID and visa requirements, and generally handle the mishaps that happen proportionally to the number of people. Fixed budget, very variable dates and location.

I am sure you can relate. These are common and very real problems which are served terribly by the current offerings. Trust me, I've tried everything I could try over the years. Moreover, the more we talked about this to family and friends, the more we realized this was an easy-to-understand, relatable problem that was felt by many.

We have an idea of how to solve this.

We decided to call our next big thing Intelligent Trip and we aim to serve travelers and not flight databases.

We are currently looking for early adopters and alpha testers that can help us test different iterations of the service between now and the end of the year. You can sign up on the project's home page to be invited and receive our low volume, no-spam newsletter.

Wish us luck!

Hi, I'm Marco Cecconi. I am the founder of Intelligent Hack, developer, hacker, blogger, conference lecturer. Bio: ex Stack Overflow core team, ex Toptal EM.

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