My guest today is Alyssa Ravasio, co-founder and CEO of Hipcamp, a platform to discover and book your next camping trip. I was excited for this conversation as it combines two of my favorite passions – the outdoors and internet marketplaces. In our discussion, we cover how Alyssa bootstrapped demand in the early days of Hipcamp, the importance of creating not just great experiences but magical ones, and the evolution of Hipcamp’s business model. After listening to this episode, I’m sure the first thing you’ll want to do is get outside in nature. Please enjoy my conversation with Alyssa Ravasio.
For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.
This episode is brought to you by Vanta. Vanta has built software that makes it easier to get and maintain your SOC 2 report at a fraction of the typical cost. Founder’s Field Guide listeners can redeem a $1k off coupon at vanta.com/patrick.
This episode is brought to you by DigitalOcean. DigitalOcean provides founders and creators with the platform they need to get their website and apps off the ground, all with low-bandwidth pricing to save them money over other cloud providers.
If you are looking for the best place to build web apps or API backends on robust infrastructure, DigitalOcean is the place for you. They provide a fully managed solution that handles your infrastructure, operating systems, databases, and other dependencies on their new App Platform product. App Platform makes it easy to build, deploy, and scale apps. Get started for free at do.co/founders.
Founder's Field Guide is a property of Colossus, Inc. For more episodes of Founder's Field Guide, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.
Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.
[00:02:57] - [First question] - The original insight that led to founding Hipcamp
[00:06:15] - What she studied in college and primary lessons learned there
[00:08:18] - Specific features of studying the internet that influenced her trajectory
[00:10:14] - Deciding what to attack first when developing Hipcamp’s infrastructure
[00:14:12] - Dimensions and market size of the outdoor industry
[00:15:48] - Organizing fragmented data into a useable schema and data set
[00:18:24] - What customers cared about most in the early days of Hipcamp
[00:20:00] - Managing focus and liquidity of the initial marketplace
[00:22:58] - Helping landowners manage the logistics of their property placements
[00:25:16] - Liability insurance in the outdoor industry
[00:27:35] - The biggest challenge faced in developing an outdoor marketplace
[00:30:03] - Amplifying and accelerating naturally grooved distribution
[00:32:32] - Identifying the top correlates of making magic happen
[00:34:55] - An ideal future for Hipcamp five years from now
[00:38:28] - What bad supply looks like and creating quality standards
[00:42:08] - Their business model and revenue stream
[00:44:45] - Deciding on their take rate and the debate around booking fees
[00:46:14] - Lessons learned along the way as a leader
[00:47:42] - Unit economics from the host’s perspective
[00:52:33] - The most interesting businesses built on top of Hipcamp
[00:53:35] - Why is Hipcamp’s mission so important to her
[00:57:11] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for her