E228: Kevin Fliess of Room 77 on This Week in Startups



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Kevin Fliess of room booking site Room 77 joined TWiST to talk about where his company has gone since launching last year and what’s on the roadmap for 2012 (Airbnb integration, anyone?).

0:00-1:30 Welcome everyone, I’m here today with Room 77 VP and GM Kevin Fliess.
1:30-1:45 It’s just been a wild ride since you launched last year, hasn’t it?
1:45-3:15 So the produce you launched was “see the room before you commit to a room,” yes?
3:15-5:15 Walk us through the product, Kevin.
5:15-6:15 You’re agnostic as to where the user books from?
6:15-7:45 Where does the data about the hotels come from?
7:45-8:45 Do you think TripAdvisor is still a reliable resource?
8:45-13:30 Thank you to Walker Corporate Law for sponsoring the program! Call Scott at 310-288-6667.
13:30-15:45 Show us what it looks like when you actually see pictures of the rooms.
15:45-17:00 Is there going to be a time when I request a specific room and I’m guaranteed to get that room?
17:00-19:00 Let’s take a look at the view out of a room. How did you generate this?
19:00-21:30 What’s been the reaction from hotels to your service? What do they like and dislike?
21:30-22:30 What do the naysayers think? What about the people whose rooms are revealed to be lemons?
22:30-24:00 Kevin tells a story about when a DC hotel was concerned about the sight lines to the White House were too visible on Room 77’s site.
24:00-26:45 Has the view from the room and the detail level you provide lived up to your expectations as a competitive differintiator?
26:45-28:15 What’s the commission if you book a plane ticket versus a hotel?
28:15-30:30 Why doesn’t a successful airline merge with a hotel chain and cross sell?
30:30-35:00 Let’s talk about the Hotel Tonight phenomenon. What a disruptive experience, yes?
35:00-36:30 So what’s next for Room 77?
36:30-39:00 When are you going to add Airbnb to your system?
39:00-41:30 Do you think we’re resetting expectations for travelers? Will older people still be comfortable with using a service like Airbnb.
41:30-45:00 Is there still an internal debate on whether or not you want to be in the review business?
45:00-47:45 Are there any publications you trust for reviews of hotels?
47:45-48:00 Kevin, thank you so much for joining us today. Email kevin.fliess@room77.com if you’re a killer developer looking for a job.
48:00-49:00 Thank you to our sponsors for their support. We’ll see you next time!

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Jason: @jason
Tyler: @steepdecline
Kevin: @kevinfliess
Walker Corporate Law: @scottedwalker

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Executive Producers


Associate Producers

  • Brad Pineau
  • Kat Ganesan
  • Nicholas Christian
  • Mau Frontier
  • Kyle Braatz
  • Serena Ehrlich
  • JD
  • Alex Lotoczko
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  • Mike Kaltschnee
  • William Doom
  • David Lee
  • Jake Kerber
  • Sarp Coskun
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  • Tyrone Rubin
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  • Zon Petilla
  • Bryan McCormick
  • Marcos Trinidad
  • Allen Cordrey
  • Daniel Mich
  • Joshua Rosen
  • Grant Carlile
  • James Smith
  • Christopher Rill
  • Elliot Myhre
  • Nihon Giga
  • Nathan Gielis
  • Greg Meadows


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  • Michael Cranston
  • Josiah Thomas
  • João Fernandes
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  • Dale Emmons
  • Tim de Jardine
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  • Milan Babuskov
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  • Nelson Melo
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  • David Kolb
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  • Roshan H.
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  • Luigi Armogida
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  • TR Ludwig
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  • Michael Del Borrello


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