Co-founder of Adioso. Veteran startup guy based in Melbourne, Australia. Curious observer of economics, sociology, UFC.

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Google Flight Search means little for Adioso & Hipmunk

NB This post was republished on Tnooz on 15 Sep 2011.

Being located 17 hours ahead of Silicon Valley often has you lagging behind on the big news. On waking this morning at home in Melbourne, the inbox and Twitters were abuzz. Google had launched a flight search product.

As the “other” YC-funded travel search startup, people just wanted to be sure we’d heard the news. Most were just interested in our thoughts. At least one feared for our future.

Over at HackerNews, once you waded past the protracted debate over Google’s evilness, several commenters asserted with certainty that this would spell death for travel startups like Hipmunk. The news had one anonymous travel startup founder throwing himself out the proverbial window.

When Google first announced its intention to acquire ITA Software in July 2010, we at Adioso thought it was a huge deal that would materially influence our...

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Our Y Combinator interview experience

In November 2008, Fenn and I had one of the more momentous experiences of our lives. After six years working together on various startup ideas from in our home town of Melbourne, Australia, we were selected for an interview with Y Combinator in Mountain View, California. Here’s how we got through it.

The Preparation

After allowing ourselves a couple of days to come to terms with the surprise of our interview invitation, we set about preparing. As we already had a working product, we didn’t need to spend much time on our demo. From YC’s interview preparation guide, the most important points seemed to be that we should have a good idea of how we’d make money, and find someone to help us practice our interview skills.

As complete outsiders to Y Combinator and Silicon Valley, practicing with YC alumni or experienced operators in the Valley didn’t seem to be an option. We didn’t even...

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