Zyppos is a crowdsourcing platform of travel experts that users can hire for a fee to make sure they get the best flights and lowest fares. We use registered experts and travel consultants to help people get amazing savings on all trips.
How did you came up with the concept of Zyppos? Did you see a gap in the market as a user, or did you have experience in the travel industry that you wanted to share with others?
Zyppos comes from a real problem, so I guess it comes from a gap in the market as a user. Searching for flights is overwhelming, there are just too many options. The internet is crowded with countless flight search engines, making the simple process of looking for a flight a stressful experience.
How do you know which site to use? How can you be sure you are getting the best value?
I’ve always been a huge fan of travel, especially living in HK where jumping on a plane and discovering an incredible new city across Asia is relatively easy. I always tell myself that ‘next year, my goal is to travel more’. But I kept finding myself postponing trips simply because of procrastination. Looking for flights seemed like a huge task – I just wanted someone to do it for me, someone that had my best interest in mind. Then I thought, ‘wouldn’t everyone want this? I think so!’
And Zyppos started taking shape.
Tell us about your team. Did you have all the expertise you needed to launch this product or did you have to outsource any of the components?
We are a small distributed team, spread across Hong Kong, Guatemala and the US. Each of us brings a different skillset to the mix: marketing and growth, technical and programming skills, user experience and design, and travel hacking and airline connections. We’ve all had to wear many different hats at different points! But to fill the gaps we’ve encountered along the way, a few freelancers have come on board.
What was the development process like? How long did it take?
The development of the MVP (minimum viable product) took a little longer than we would have liked as we needed to redesign the site after a change in the team. All in, I would say it took us about 8 months to launch and get our first users.
You mentioned that you will be launching a new version of your website in the near future, what changes are you planning to make, and why did you feel it necessary to make them?
That’s right! And I am really excited. After conducting some user testing, seeing user behavior and running a few focus groups we really understood where the user experience problems were for the more casual users. So we decided to redesign the site completely, from the ground up, taking all this information into consideration.
The site looks a lot better – user flow is much smoother, and the overall experience was simplified considerably. We’ve been testing the new site, and we’re launching mid-November. In the meantime, we have a page were visitors can register to be told when the new site goes live, and by signing up they can great rewards, like a ‘Round the World’ ticket!
What are some of the biggest challenges you encountered so far?
We’ve come across quite a few challenges, from the time difference and problems specific to being a distributed team all over the world, to having to test our initial assumptions and change our product accordingly. I think, however, the biggest challenge really has been how when you plan for a task, in reality it tends to take twice the amount of work and amount of time! The whole experience has been a great learning opportunity, and I think it’s helped us all grow personally and professionally way beyond our expectations.
Did you raise funds to launch Zyppos or was it self-funded?
Zyppos has been self-funded.
Zyppos is quite a unique name, how did you come up with it?
Like most things related to our site, the name came from meticulous testing. I had an original list of about 30 names (some had meaning, some did not, some were mixtures of words). I send this list to close friends and family asking them to rate each on a scale from 1 to 3. I then used the top 5 names and took out Google Ads for each of them. The ad with the biggest amount of clicks won – the majority of people were clicking on “Zyppos”, so the name was picked by our future and potential users.
What’s next for Zyppos?
Ideally, the plan is to become the default flight search standard on the web. We really want to make sure everyone is travelling as much as they would like, and that a simple step like looking for flights is not stopping anyone.
Go out there, and discover a new city! Let us help you find the best flight and lowest fare.
Interview with Guillermo Ginesta of Zyppos