Category Archives: Oh Hey World Updates

STARTUPS-CHILE

Startup Chile Application Complete and an Oh Hey World Ad

We decided a few weeks ago that  Startup Chile was the best next step for Oh Hey World, so we’ve been diligently knocking items off the application list ever since. After continually tweaking the written application responses over the past week or two, I finally pushed the submit button today (deadline is in about 9 hours)!

Part of the application was a 3 minute pitch video, which Will finished over the weekend. Since I think it turned out really good, I thought I’d share it here…

Version without an introduction (more of an ad for Oh Hey World):

YouTube Preview Image

Version with an introduction (video we submitted with our application):

YouTube Preview Image

Featuring the song “Fireworks” by Jahzzar, from the album “Traveller’s Guide” — http://betterwithmusic.com/

We’ll find out if we’ll be moving to Chile in January by the end of November – the waiting game begins.

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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Working on Startup Chile Application

We’ve been working on our application and video pitch for Startup Chile this week — and I’m sure we’re not alone since the application deadline is fast approaching this coming Monday, the 8th.

Below are a couple photos my buddy Tony Longo at Block Avenue took this morning (I’ve been working out of their office this week) as I was preparing to record some audio for the 3 minute Oh Hey World video pitch.

Prepping for audio

From outside

 Wish us luck on a long weekend of revising our application and video…

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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What is Your Biggest Pain Point of Traveling?

Traveling isn’t all fun and dandy — as with every other activity, there are pain points that need to be addressed. Finding people to travel with. Airport security lines. Hotel directions. Cost of travel.

What is your biggest pain point of traveling?

Would love your feedback if you can spare 3 minutes.

Or you can provide feedback at the following URL at any point: http://www.ohheyworld.com/feedback.html

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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Motives for Building Oh Hey World

I’ve always been entrepreneurial. I sold candy on the bus in middle school (made little to no money but covered the cost of candy for myself). I bought and sold sports cards throughout my youth (never made any money). I started a lawn mowing business in 8th grade (made a little money).

Those endeavors were all done in good fun as a form of entertainment, and to make a little bit of extra spending money to buy my next candy bar or pack of baseball cards.

But when faced with the prospect of putting tens of thousands of dollars of my own money into a real company that employees count on to pay their bills — it’s a whole different ball game. Starting a company just to start a company is, well, plain foolish. As is starting a company with the sole goal of flipping it. Prior to embarking on the journey of building Oh Hey World with my own time and money, I had to ensure the company was being started for the right reasons.

My motives for building Oh Hey World revolve around solving a real world problem I face while traveling – the inefficient nature of finding and connecting with friends and other similar travelers while on the road – teamed with making the world a better place for millions of people. In the travel context, making the world a better place means getting more people to travel.

Why?

People should lead less sheltered & materialistic, and more simplistic lives — and traveling to varied cultures is the best way to ensure that happens. It’s hard to continue to think and live the same lifestyle once you’ve seen how the rest of the world lives.

People will travel more when it becomes extremely easy to find friends and travel mates to spend time with in a given location. When I ask people why they don’t travel more, the two biggest obstacles I hear are finding travel companions & money. The vast majority of people are afraid of solo travel. Anything we can do to remove that roadblock is a step in the right direction.

As I mentioned in a comment on 1000Watt today:

I dream of a world where all barriers to traveling are removed & every single person has a stamp in their passport.

Let’s make it so.

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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Why Oh Hey World Will Succeed

logo_transparent_no_shadI’ve met with a few potential investors for Oh Hey World over the past two months, and of course the team is the the most critical component of any startup looking to raise money. After outlining why I was the right person to undertake this opportunity and build the team to execute on it to one potential investor, he told me I should articulate my answer to the “why you” question on my blog. So, here it is.

And yes, this may sound a bit like marketing text. You’re right. It is. But I’d tell you the exact same thing if you and I were to sit down for coffee and talk one on one.

1. Understanding of the target market inside and out.

I’ve been a part of every primary market segment of travelers for at least 3 years, and understand each of their pain points. From my first trip abroad in 2005 to 2008, I was a budget backpacker scrounging every last dime I could muster to travel. From 2007-2011 I was a business traveler at Zillow, traveling on average about once a month within the US. From 2010 to today, I’ve been a long term traveler with no real home base – spending significant chunks of time in Greece, Thailand, Kenya, Ghana, and Spain among other destinations. Success online comes from emulating the real world, and I get the real world traveler scenarios in need of attention. Don’t get me wrong, there are others who understand the pain points for the various traveler market segments, but understanding how to actually execute on their idea beyond a hacked together solution to address one tiny problem is another story. Which brings me to point number 2…

2. My experience at Zillow.

I’ve seen, from the inside, how a real successful web company is built from 0 to over 13 million unique users when I left the company in 2010 (now they are over 34 million uniques). It takes massive massive efforts, both in terms of building a great product and executing on a sound business strategy, to grow a web startup from zero to millions and millions of web users. It takes an incredible focus on people, culture, and recruiting (a great article on A VC regarding culture & recruiting here). It requires winning extremely strategic partnerships. It requires a great understanding of design and user experience. It requires a devotion to listening to your users and responding to their concerns. It requires a top flight public relations team to form strategic relationships with the media. It requires responding to social media inquires in minutes, not days or months. The list goes on and on.

3. Community Building

I believe any web company that doesn’t understand and invest in community building is completely toast from the beginning, no matter how good their product is. With the volume of web startups launching and the overlap involved in products, there’s simply no other defensible strategy these days. At the end of the day, users go back to destinations where they know they’ll find familiar faces. Same as in real life. Fortunately, community building is my greatest strength and a huge chunk of my time will be spent on it. I understand what it takes to build a strong community — with the most important being to genuinely care about others and want to help them achieve their goals.

4. Networking

No one can succeed on their own. I get that. I feel fortunate to have built up an amazing network of friends and advisors to provide advice, marketing, and support. Much of that network was built while at Zillow, but a huge chunk of it has been formed over the past three years while traveling the globe. So yes, I know a thing or two about sphere building.

5. I know it’s possible.

Once you know where you want to end up in life, the rest is simple. The same is true with building a web startup. Once the vision is clear, it’s just patching the puzzle together to get there. It’s as simple as that. This vision can be realized, and will be realized.

There is no “if” involved.

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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The Vision Behind Oh Hey World – Part 1

Despite the enormous sums of money that have been thrown at the online travel vertical, the online travel experience still sucks.

Royally.

Literally not a single website does a great job of unifying or improving my travel experience — either the research leading up to a trip or the experience while I’m in a particular city. The social sites with potential lack my network to make them truly useful. Or, if they do exist, I haven’t heard of them. Meanwhile, the ones with scale have crappy user experiences. I’d say HostelWorld is the only site close since it has all my hostel data since my first trip in 2005 — but it really hasn’t used that data to make my travel experience better. Sure, there are some regional sites such as TravelFish that are great when you are in a particular spot in the world. But overall? Online travel is a fragmented landscape dripping with mediocrity, or worse, outright crappiness.

What is Oh Hey World setting out to do? Aside from the obvious answer of changing the world (duh, that’s a no-brainer) we’re aiming to connect you with nearby people and things that are relevant to you.

As with any startup, building a product is a gradual process. Connecting you with other locals and travelers you know is a natural step 1, since you already know these people and likely want to see them again in person. You just need a simple and intuitive way to find them. Those that have traveled know traveling with others – whether that be your spouse, significant other, best friend of 10 years, or a random backpacker you met 2 days ago – is always a better experience than traveling solo. Even a solo traveler is never truly solo — they meet others constantly, floating from group to group as they see fit. Going one step further — if local knowledge is part of that equation, travel goes from good to great. Many of the best travel experiences I’ve had have been because of local expertise. Someone living somewhere knows which bars to go to. Knows where to take you off the tourist trail. Can take you to a local party, and get you a feel for their hometown’s true culture.

As of about two weeks ago, we have a new home page up that gives you a peak into what’s we’re going after in version 1.

  1. Inform your loved ones of your whereabouts
  2. Track your travel history
  3. Connect with locals and nearby travelers

If the proposition of a more social travel experience sounds appealing to you, go ahead and sign up to be in the first group to try our beta. Go ahead, I’ll let you and won’t bite.

As you can imagine, this is just the beginning of the journey for Oh Hey World. Stoked to see where it leads…

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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What Type of Traveler Are You? Feedback Wanted

If you have 3 minutes — and I know you do — I’d really appreciate it if you could provide some feedback on what type of traveler you are and how you think about budgeting your trips.

Thanks in advance..

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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Oh Hey World Switched to Twenty Ten

Our site redesign (which you can preview here) is getting closer and closer by the day…so you’ll start to see some changes over the coming weeks.

The first one happens to be today — and it’s a new, temporary theme. Since the “featured image” functionality is not built into the old theme used on this site but will be need for the new theme, we switched Oh Hey World over to the Twenty Ten theme for the time being so that we can mark images as featured and they will show up correctly once the redesign goes live.

Site is a work in progress, but feel free to leave comments with funky styling that you come across…

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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Welcome to Oh Hey World, A Blog Devoted to Backpacking and Travel for Gen X & Y

We’re excited to say that Oh Hey World is now live! For now, Oh Hey World is a multi-author backpacking and travel blog focused on Generation X & Y with the goal of connecting those who share a passion for traversing the globe and providing valuable information to those travelers. But let’s be clear from the outset, Oh Hey World is going to be much more than just a multi-author backpacking blog in the long run. There are so many players in the travel industry, yet in our minds the backpacking niche is one that has not been solved by anyone. Backpacking should be simpler and more social — and that’s what we’re going to set out to do. We don’t have all the answers yet, but we’re confident if we build what backpackers want and enable a more social experience for those on the travel trail, we’ll succeed. If you have ideas or suggestions for us related to what you’d like to see from a website devoted to backpackers and their ventures throughout the world, leave them for us in the suggestions section of the Oh Hey World forum.

What type of content can you expect to see here on Oh Hey World? Reviews of destinations such as Paris, Hong Kong, Cinque Terre, and Santorini (which happens to be where I am right now) from a backpackers perspective. Stories about what backpacking and traveling has meant to people and how experiencing foreign cultures have changed people’s lives for the better. First hand experiences from those who have lived abroad and immersed themselves in the local scene. The funniest experiences people have had while traveling the globe. Travel and life insights from wondering nomads (such as myself) who make their money online with nothing more than a laptop. Anything relevant to a backpacker is fair game for this blog.

I’m a firm believer in the importance of understanding the “why” behind any decision. So, why are Andrew Mattie and I starting Oh Hey World? With my passion for traveling and blogging, I’ve been wanting to start a travel blog for quite some time. Particularly since I’m on the traveling trail for the foreseeable future, there’s no better time than now to do it since I’m interacting with other backpackers on a daily basis. And, as I stated earlier in this post, I don’t think any player in the backpacking niche has truly built a fantastic experience online for backpackers. I understand the basics of code and can hack things together in WordPress, but I’m by no means a developer and I wanted to do this project with someone who can handle all the technical components of the site so I can focus on the business side of the equation. I’ve known Andrew for close to 4 years and he’s a fantastic developer, extremely self motivated, and passionate about what he does, which is exactly what I’m looking for in a business partner. Additionally, those who know me know I’m extremely passionate about helping others. Luckily, and not unintentionally, I found a business partner (and close friend) in Andrew who feels the same as I do that life should be about more than simply making money. Oh Hey World will be a socially conscious business and donate 10% of all advertising revenue to charities.

We have a few things up our sleeve, and will certainly post updates as we make improvements and changes and build the core Oh Hey World feature set. Remember, if you have ideas or suggestions for us, be sure to leave them in our backpacking forum or in the comments here. We’re all ears on what needs to be improved to get the most out of your backpacking and travel experiences!

We’re looking forward to this journey and look forward to meeting – virtually or in person – many of the thousands upon thousands of backpackers traveling the globe!

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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