Our inaugural Skift Global Forum was a phenomenal success, thanks to all the speakers, attendees, sponsors and our team. We’re grateful to everyone who has supported and loved (or even criticized) us to help us be where we are today as a company.

I opened the Forum with a brief presentation — embedded in full below — introducing Skift to everyone present, formally, on where we are as a brand, company, and product lines two years into our larger mission to define the future of travel.

As part of that, I outlined these three guideposts we have used to build Skift (see above image), and these three points are what we deeply believe is needed for any travel brand trying to understand the future.

  • Building Around Trendlines, Not Headlines
  • Ignoring & Breaking the Silos
  • Fanatically Focused on The Changing Consumer Behavior

And here’s the explanation of what these above points mean:

Here’s our secret: We are giving it all away!

Point 1: Build around trendlines, not headlines

One of my favorite guideposts, President Bill Clinton, has been talking about this for more than a decade within the context of global affairs. He speaks of the need to go beyond the sensationalist headlines in troubled areas of the world to look at the larger trends happening.

This is what we have built Skift around: finding, following, and deciphering the trends in travel. But this could easily be applicable for anyone building a new brand in travel, or an existing brand that’s building for the future of travel.

Point 2: Ignoring and breaking the silos

Two separate points, really. First ignore the silos by not having preconceptions and presumptions about what you’re getting into.

Who cares what others have historically defined what travel is or isn’t, how it is organized, and what the established norms are? We came up with our own. And then, once we got confident in our voice, we broke across the old school silos in travel, and we talk and live the big picture.

Point 3: Fanatically focused on the changing consumer behaviors

This really is how we broke across silos. We are “consumer in” instead of “silos out.” Being fanatically focused on the changing consumer behaviors across all sectors, not just travel — whether because of digital tools or globalization or other generational factors — rather than what silos are doing talking among themselves, and how that affects travel and its future.

We think these three points, internalized, are half the battle won.

Photo Credit: If you're building for the future of travel, think of these. by Rafat Ali