Our Mission and Values
Great user experiences, in both Travel and Technology, are essential to our mission.
The idea for our company came to founder Forest Key while he and his family were living in Beijing China from 2007 to 2009 and he was working for Microsoft doing business development in the broader Asia Region. Forest was travelling a ton (100k flyer with 2 airlines simultaneously!) for both business and with his family spending a lot of time exploring China, Korea, Japan, and southeast Asia. Born out of his frustrations with the hotel research and reservation process for his trips, the "there must be a better way" bug bit and the notion of our Cloud DMS sprung.
The Pitch (original version presented to investors)
Here are the actual "slides" that Forest used in initial investor pitches--a series of cue cards with hand-drawn illustrations that Forest and his 7 year old son put together that explained the business opportunity and mission of the company. These low-rez visual aids were augmented with many personal anecdotes from his own travel nightmares (chief among them trying to find The Datai hotel's website, a lovely property in Malaysia), and found resonance with our numerous early angel-investors who had their own bad experiences from their travel quests.
Borrowed from Forest's earlier professional experience as a visual effects artists, the rallying cry in our early development was "CBB" or "could be better", a designation that applied to almost all hotel digital marketing materials that the team found as they researched the state of the art of the industry.
Our Mission Statement
A poetic mission statement would run along the lines of "delight the millions of consumers who travel each year by greatly enhancing the experience of their hotel research and reservations". That is our true mission and why the company exists.
But we break that down internally with a much more pragmatic framework that speaks to HOW we achieve that mission. This mission statement alludes to our 3 key constituencies that make up our "stakeholders" as a company. When we slavishly serve and please each of these, we achieve our mission.
- The first (and foremost) of these is our customers. Without them, the journey is not worth taking; our business starts with our customer’s success.
- Next, our employees, who make it all possible; and
- Importantly (but tellingly not first) are our investors and shareholders (which includes our employees with stock options).
By serving these stakeholders and surpassing their expectations, we are on a path to dramatic innovation in the hospitality industry. We are passionate about travel, about lodging, and about the human experience of seeing the world.
Our values represent the “how” of our culture; they are dogmatic. We have grown more convinced every day that our standards around these values can never be too high. There is just too much to do, too many important decisions to be made along the way. The fact that many of our early team members have little traditional hospitality industry backgrounds (we are mostly tech and marketing geeks) absolutely requires of us that we be fully committed to Personal Growth–said another way, we have a TON to learn each and every day, and it serves us well to be infinitely humble in our approach, as it gives tremendous stretching room and self-awareness that keeps us off-balance and always ready to pivot (fundamental skills for successful startups).