Skift Take

Startups can develop and push out tests in their sites and apps in a matter of days. The lucky ones will recognize when they have a winner and then run with it.

Sasha Hoffman, CEO of startup Fuzzy Compass, and Gillian Morris, founder and CEO of startup Hitlist, spoke at the Skift Global Forum in Brooklyn on October 15, 2015.

Fuzzy Compass is an app that pairs travelers and travel influencers for trip-planning, and its CEO, Sasha Hoffman, previously headed business development for Plastiq, an online payments solution. Hitlist scans millions of airfares and provides travelers with notifications and recommendations about where to fly Prior to Hitlist, Morris was an analyst at Oxford Business Group.

Hoffman and Morris discussed “The Growth Hacks That Turned Startups Into Giants” at the Skift Global Forum in Brooklyn on October 15, 2015. The two spoke of several case studies and here are four things we learned:

  • Startups can take more risks than established, global brands and push out experiments much faster. In these tests, the products don’t have to be perfect. The downside is low and the upside potential can be tremendous, Morris says.
  • In fact, Morris says, it is very difficult to predict which experiments will succeed and which will fail and that’s one of the reasons startups need to innovate quickly.
  • Hoffman and Morris agreed that when dealing with travel influencers or consumers it can pay to play to their own vanity in order to encourage engagement with startups.
  • Morris says that startups should consider offline events as a way to promote their apps, although successful offline events can be difficult to pull off.

Keep track of all the activity at this year’s Global Forum by bookmarking our #skiftforum tag.


And thanks to all the sponsors that made Skift Global Forum 2015 possible: Adobe, Amadeus, American Express, Boxever, Big Bus Tours, CendyneOne, Cheapoair, Criteo, Gogo, HelloGbye, Hornblower Cruises, MasterCard, Mindtree, National Geographic, NewsCred, Sabre, SiteMinder, Travel Channel, TurkeyHome, Uber, Underline, Virtuoso, and Yahoo.


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Tags: sgf2015, skift global forum

Photo credit: Sasha Hoffman (left) of Fuzzy Compass and Gillian Morris of Hitlist discussed startup innovation at the Skift Global Forum in Brooklyn on October 15, 2015. Skift

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