by Arda Kutsal on October 2, 2009
Before going on travel, everyone makes some planning and research on a lot stuff like places to stay, plane tickets, places to see in that city. There are worldwide services that offer service on travel planning and make things easier for users while provide a great deal of efficiency. In Turkey, these services are not widely used, but I can say that these services will be of great value once users make us of them and awareness is created among specific user segments.
In this point, one of TechCrunch50 ‘s Demopit initiatives, Duffel stands out. However, I should point out that there is another reason why Duffel catches out attention other than the fact that it is much easier to use compared to its competitors in the market and has successful interfaces. That is, Eren Emre Kanal from SiberKultur.com is one of the co-founders of this initiative and plays an active role in the design of products, particularly interfaces of the service.
Duffel team consists of 4 people, Eren Emre Kanal, Will Cheung, Ming Fu and Jack Chang. The team started to work on the project one year ago, and improved the service with their aim to launch a better product to the market.
Let’s have a look at what Duffel does and in which areas it provides help in details. It takes only a few seconds to sign up to the system and you are required to provide only a small number of personal information such as user name, password, email address and the nearest airport.
Then Duffel steps in and lists travel plans, of “Duffels” added to the system earlier. You can make your travel plan visible to everyone or open only to people you invite. If you like, the system adds recommendations about the location you are going to your planning screen. But if you do not want any recommendations, the system doesn’t involve in this process.
There are three important items for your travel plan. These are activities, food and beverage, and accommodation. You can assign all of your plans to these categories and enter them to your Duffel manually, or you can add Duffel’s little Bookmarklet to your browser by dragging and dropping, and then send the links you like or your notes to Duffel with one click while making research on the web.
Those who already use social labeling services will easily adopt Duffel, which lets you move your activities and notes to your calendar including travel period with drag and drop again after putting your notes and links together.
If you set your travel plan as open to everyone, you can also get comments from the users, which can be a very precious option if you are planning to go to a place you have never been before.
After all your work is done, you can use Duffel’s successful easy-to-use printer format.
If you like to see Duffel working, you can review San Francisco travel plan on the system that is open to everyone. You will have a better idea about the service.
Duffel got very intense interest on demo areas in TechCrunch50 and users gave positive feedback saying that Duffel is “the easiest travel planning service”. Google invited Duffel, which got attention of a number of worldwide investors, for a presentation in its office. As it is quite an interesting improvement, I will ask for an update on this news from Eren Emre Kanal in the coming days.
Finally, I want to share the lessons Duffel got from TechCrunch50 experience to lead the way to the entrepreneurs who are thinking of being involved in similar organizations as Eren Emre Kanal tells us.
- Bring a large monitor with you. It gets participants’ attention better.
- Have a working product demo. It’s better if the participants test a running service.
- It’s more catchy to use video in demo area. Duffel’s animated hope page served this purpose.
- At least two or three members of the team should be there, since it can be hard to catch up with all of the questions of participants.
- Give participants something that will remind you. Duffel gave special postcards to participants.
- Deal with everyone in front of your stand. Investors may not introduce themselves as investors; they might look around the stands as if they are participants.
I follow Turkish initiatives taking place in the global market with excitement and support them. However, beyond the support I give, I believe that Duffel will create a value for the market with its easy-to-use features. After this point, Duffel should make the access to the service as easy as possible and make the path for sending content to Duffel via different channels. After these are provided, Duffel can catch the critical majority and we might hear Duffel’s name more in the global market.
We congratulate Eren Emre Kanal on his initiative and thank him for sharing this exclusive information with Webrazzi. If you would like to check Duffel out, you can reach the service on DuffelUp.com .