First of all, how have you guys and gothere.sg been doing since the last time we met you (circa 2009)?
We're doing great. Gothere.sg has been a giant success. We are giving people more than 10 million directions every month. It gives us a warm fuzzy feeling knowing that we have helped so many fellow commuters in Singapore.
We see that you have ads now on gothere.sg, when there was none before. What prompted that?
Our iPhone app has been doing well on the iTunes app store but we're always looking for new revenue streams to cover the costs of running gothere.sg. It's a hard problem especially since this is seen as a public service, something which the government should be providing instead.
Has the gothere.sg app launch and charging for the app changed your business perspective?
It hasn't changed our business perspective much. We knew it would be very hard to monetize a public service. It has been a very pleasant surprise to find out that so many users in Singapore are willing to pay and support a good utility application. A reason why we took so long to release it was that we weren't very optimistic about charging for our app when it's up against the existing Maps app which is on every iPhone and developed by Apple no less.
What led you guys to develop the FlightLover app? How did it start?
We were planning for a getaway in the beginning of the year and realised that it wasn't easy to source for the best deals from the major budget airlines. That's when we decided to come up with our own solution. We believe there is a growing demand for affordable tickets and no frills flying, that's why we built FlightLover to help recommend the best deals out of Singapore to over 50 destinations, including popular holiday destinations such as Bangkok, Hong Kong and Taipei.
Why the soft launch? We haven't heard anything about it, and neither is it on the gothere.sg blog.
We've had better success with soft launches so far, as it allows us to quickly fine-tune the product in response to feedback from early adopters, thus achieving a better market fit. That said, the fact that FlightLover has reached your ears (and many others in the press), probably means that people already think it's a pretty good solution, and are really optimistic about the potential of FlightLover.
What's next in the pipeline? Anything you can share?
We are moving really fast with FlightLover and will be pushing it to 7 more countries really soon. Beyond that, we're always listening to feedback from our users and evolving our business to serve their needs better.