We all know of #ThrowbackThursdays — loads of individuals and companies use the hashtag to remind us of things gone by across topics and industries. Now, Ixigo is reminiscing its 11 years of being in existence by giving us #MondayGoals to address the Monday blues.
In 2006, Aloke Bajpai, along with his co-founder Rajnish Kumar, founded Ixigo, a travel search platform that claims to connect over 80 Mn travellers with content and deals from over 25,000 online as well as offline partners. It aggregates and compares real-time travel information, prices, and the availability of flights, trains, buses, cabs, hotels, packages, and destinations.
The company has raised nearly $25.5 Mn funding from its investors, which includes Sequoia Capital, SAIF Partners, and Micromax, among others.
Today, the company has become a quick reference platform for millennials who love to travel. But, of course, 11 years is a long time and Ixigo has had its good and bad days.
As Ixigo turns 11, Aloke Bajpai decided to take 11 lessons the company has learnt to Twitter. We’ve summarised it for you here:
- The best way to win a market is to create a new one. Just make sure you’re solving a large enough problem that you have real empathy for.
- Co-founders need to commit more than 10 years, possibly 20. Be very picky about whom you hire — great teams build great products and also attract other great people.
- The team’s Attitude and Cultural Fit > Skills. When in doubt, reject (or let go).
- Don’t spend anything on marketing unless your organic growth proves your product works.
- The cost of bad decisions is always less than the ones you didn’t make.
- Leaders who are approachable, friendly, and fun to work with: the most under-rated employee engagement tool.
- It is OK if most investors reject your idea. You only need one to believe in it for the others to change their perception.
- The best investors are the ones who don’t try to add value unless you ask them to.
- Get used to incumbents copying your ideas. It’s a sign that you are winning. Stay laser focused on understanding where the ball will move to next.
- Data, experimentation, iteration, and A/B tests are important but lead to local maxima. Understanding user behaviour and developing your own intuition will help you disrupt yourself.
- Frugality and relentless optimism will ensure you survive, and creativity and resourcefulness will ensure you grow.
During Inc42 Facebook Live AMA, Aloke Bajpai also shared that one of the lessons one needs to learn as an entrepreneur is that you will hear a lot of ‘no’. He says, “That does not mean that you are on the wrong path. Rather, it means that you are on a difficult path and if you are able to build that path for yourself, you will have created a new market.”
India’s travel industry, which is expected to be worth $48 Bn within the next three years, Aloke Bajpai’s lessons of 11-year-old Ixigo can give a boost to several new players of the segment.