Other entrepreneurs. My Parents. Anything with an engine.
Ryan Pasco launched HolidayCrowd.com in 2011 at the age of 20. Ryan was born in Sydney, Australia and moved to Poland before finally ending up in the UK. Ryan started his first business at school, when iPhones first came about. As a result of high demand, stock was limited, and he set about buying as many iPhones as he could and selling them online for a huge premium. Since going to university (and then dropping out) Ryan started a one man band social media marketing company, whose clients included regional Subway contracts. Now on the hunt for the next big thing, Ryan has started HolidayCrowd.com.
HolidayCrowd is a disruptive business trying to wiggle into the world of online travel, but with a very big difference. HolidayCrowd itself does not buy, or sell travel, it simply connects travelers with professional travel agents. Here’s an example use case. A traveller would go onto HolidayCrowd and request a trip for him and his 5 friends to go surfing in Australia with a budget of $5000. Travel agents can then bid on the trip with customised itineraries. We encourage lots of online chat between travellers and travel agents, whether it’s asking questions or offering advice. Trips can then be booked there and then, through HolidayCrowd or over the phone.
What are you working on right now?
Having only launched HolidayCrowd 3 weeks ago, we are fixing bugs, signing up travel agents, improving features, organising marketing campaigns as well as making the office a fun place to be.
What does your typical day look like?
Get into the office, check the emails I received over night, look at our huge whiteboard with the long list of ‘to-do’s, make sure the team is happy, fend off marketing calls and don’t stop until jobs are done!
3 trends that excite you?
International outsourcing – possibly the coolest thing happening at the moment with places such as oDesk and eLance – (sparked the idea for HolidayCrowd).
Twitter for b2b communication – Twitter is the best way for us to get involved with the press, get noticed by ‘big players’ and generally communicate our ideas.
Mobile Payments – Looking forward to the day when forgetting your wallet no longer matters.
How do you bring ideas to life?
If I have an idea I will ask the closest people to me what they think, and then take a percentage reading. If more than 50% of the room understand the concept, it means it isn’t that innovative, so I’m not interested. I don’t normally ask my friends and family what they think as ‘honest’ answers are hard to come by. I then write a business plan on a half side of a4, work out how much it’s going to cost (if you don’t know ask someone who does). My mentality is ‘why waste time failing’. I like to go hard, go fast succeed fast or fail quick…then repeat.
What inspires you?
Other entrepreneurs. My Parents. Anything with an engine.
What is one mistake you’ve made, and what did you learn from it?
Lack of research. I am all for trying to disrupt an industry and change how things are done. However, sometimes there may be a factor which makes something impossible – Not finding out before you do it costs time and money – although sometimes the only way to find out is to do it!
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Instant Ecommerce. What is the most annoying thing about shopping online? Waiting!!! I want to order something online and get it delivered within a couple of hours, not days, even If it means paying a little extra. If you want to do this, email me!
What do you read every day, and why?
TechCrunch & Mashable – Staying up to date is vital.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read, and why?
I don’t tend to read books. They take too long and are normally not up to date enough for my liking. However, the books I would read are autobiography’s of entrepreneurs, to name a few – Richard Branson, Theo Papthetis…oh and Tim Ferriss (The Four Hour Work Week).
What is your favorite gadget, app or piece of software that helps you every day?
iPhone, iPad and Dropbox. If you don’t use Dropbox, then get started. People waste too much time moving documents to different computers and working out which one is the latest version. Plus it’s handy for sharing documents. My whole company uses it.
Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?
No one in specific, but I would like to see entrepreneurs who have failed more times than they have succeeded – they are the guys that really know about the business world and the problems you can come up against.
Does outsourcing help your business? If so, how?
Just to clarify, when talking about outsourcing, I don’t mean outsourcing web design to a web design company in your city, I’m talking about hiring individuals from around the world. International outsourcing is possibly the best thing going, especially if you are on a limited budget or are in need of expertise. I have web developers in Uruguay, flash designers in Indonesia, graphic designers in Russia, SEO people in Bangladesh and data entry in India. These are highly skilled individuals, with a great work ethic, a desire to please and hunger for knowledge. To outsource my work I use oDesk.com, a great company, a great product, I highly recommend it!
How do you market your products?
I don’t like spending money on marketing, when I could be spending it on my product or my team. I look to get as much bang for my buck as I can. So, rather than taking out a $50k radio campaign I would prefer to spend the money gaining PR, getting involved in events and shows, making your company transparent and respected, rather than just shouting about your product all day long.