Thanks for the heads up on the correct verb for what we've done to allocating stock options.
Now, when someone asks I can say that we hipmunked the allocation process when we built Option Sanity www.optionsanity.com)
Great article. Thanks Jason.
Clayton Christensen coined the term disruptive innovation to describe what you wrote. He wrote a big book on that. You beautifully described it in a few paragraphs.
I can think of few industries that need hipmunked:
1) Buying automobiles
2) Doing taxes
3) Grocery shopping
My company Vaayoo (http://www.vaayoo.com) is disrupting the way people develop rich native mobile applications.
If you have a great idea and want to create a killer mobile app out of it, you can do so by doing drag and drop and without writing a single line of code. Time to market is tommorrow and costs are negligible. We have helped several non-tech entrepreuners turn their ideas into market-leading and money making mobile apps. They came to us with an idea.
The best thing about our platform is that it allows our customers take their ideas to market at lowest cost and fastest time. They will pay a small monthly subscription fee only when the app is submitted to the app store. If it does not work out they can just walk away.
If interested, please ping me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I love the product!
I hate their ads all around the web!
Please stop it! I deserve a vacation from your ads!
Love disruptive startups making a massive pain less painful. Thanks for alerting me to Hipmunk - a Suitcase Entrepreneur I'm not sure how I've not come across them before.
Great article as always.
I discovered Hipmunk's elegance
back in August of 2010. I'm glad to see they're still disrupting the travel market with user-centric design. Go Hipmunk!
What a smart article ... and what a great idea Hipmunk is. I tried it and it just sings. It's a perfect example of how to simplify something that is just a pain in the ass.
Thanks. This gives me all kinds of ideas that I think should be simplified.
Great read. I've been building hellofax.com. It's not your web 2.0 sexy idea, but signing + faxing documents is a huge pain in the a#$. Reading this article was great validation.
I think its worth noting that you really need to take into account why things are a certain way before you go and try to "hipmunk" an industry. Hipmunk has succeeded with its awesome interface but you can't just go into any industry and say "well the interface sucks, so if we fix it everyone will want to use us". Travel is unique because of the low switching costs of using any different provider. There are no network effects and almost no data advantages that established players have so success is really based in the experience which the major players have been ignoring for a long time. Entrepreneurs looking to "hipmunk" other markets should definitely take into account the structure of those markets before assuming that just making a better user experience will make them win the market.
A lot of people have written about how innovative Hipmonk's interface is... which really annoys the people at ITA who have had an interface like it for years.
A Hipmunk for taxes would be out of this world...
We've hipmunked office and meeting spaces. Now if we can hipmunk insurance! THAT will be a big deal.
Publishing industry and companies immediately came to mind. Yes there's POD, vanity presses or from your own websites, but it's still the same system - just 'upgraded' for the digital age.
I'd like to see a streamlined process to the dog and pony show that traditional publishers put authors through.
We're doing the same for self-help. Livifi Just launched friday for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Livifi.com, We've paired concise, engaging, evidence-based information with an intuitive tool for setting goals and tracking progress. Check it out..
Great article or disruption but I politely disagree on Hipmunk being a disruptive force. When I think of disruption in the recent past it is Mint. I don't think anybody uses quicken client anymore. May be Minted should be your verb or InDineroed ( if you want to use a Ycombinator start up)?
we'll have to think pretty hard how to apply this to the oil and gas industry ;)
Never heard of hipmunk before, but you have enlightened me. I loved the points, but the emphasis on "disruptive" is interesting.
Hipmunk lacks creativity and innovation. It can be copied in a second by the market leaders. It is dissapointing to see start-ups waisting time and investors $$$ doing the same old thing...can you guys come with something unique and original. What is the value add of another travel website yet? you are trying to sell us the 'agony' and 'hipmunkiness' because the product really has little substance...I challenge you to bring something unique and original to market....
Inspiring... This is exactly what I want my startup to be... beautifully disruptive. Now don't forget that all the sexiness in the world won't be enough if your execution is not exceptional either... You have to actually fix the fundamental problem that plagues the industry you're trying to disrupt. A nice, simple UI is generally just a symptom, not the core of the problem. Ex: Google's UI vs its algorithmic approach to search. Or: Twitter's UI vs its realtime approach to spreading news.
Hipmunk hasn't been all that disruptive. Finding flights still sucks and all they did was wrap a visualization layer over Orbitz (and maybe some other flight providers by now). Has the online travel/flight booking industry or process changed or been affected since the launch of Hipmunk? No. I doubt that traffic numbers to Kayak, Orbitz, Travelocity, etc. have dropped much at all.
I agree with all your other points though.
I've never heard of hipmunk and never had a problem finding and purchasing flights. I'm wondering if this post is simply here to stir up publicity for an unknown startup. I would like to know how hipmunk "called out" its competitor though. The example is for salesforce vs. microsoft, not hipmunk. I'm itching to call out my competitors but I don't want it to backfire on me.
I love hipmunk and use it over kayak for the sake of supporting a startup and because it IS marginally cooler than kayak. But do you really think that the pain of booking a flight on Kayak, or even cheapflights.com (do they even exist anymore) is chronic and unbearable? Go hipmunk! I am all in favor of building a better mousetrap even if marginally- and I agree that other places should be hipmunked... just not sure hipmunk hipmunked online bookings in quite as flamboyantly as you suggest:)
The "Yo mama" domain registration company has been hipmunked by hover.com.
I still haven't got an idea what "HIPMUNK" means and if it applies to my industry. Could somebody, anybody please enlighten me?
O-ya, my industry is fabrication of orthodics and prostheses.
I couldn't agree more about keeping it clean and simple. I've witnessed far too many cases where startups think adding 'more' will help them appeal to a larger audience. In reality, it does the exact opposite. Instead of seeing something that solves a specific problem in an interesting way, potential users see a hodgepodge that does a hundred different things.
I think hipmunk is a great tool. Been surprised by all the "hate comments" on sites. Raving fans and returning customers, can't be a bad thing for a new y combinator company.
I think there are several industries ripe for a big disruption, including real estate and banking.
The restaurant "Point-of-Sale" industry is ripe to be Hipmunk'd. Most people interchange POS with "Point-of-Sale" and "Piece of Shit". The software in the industry is that bad!
Wow, great article..I guess I have been a hipmunk for let's see now, 25 years! In engineering terms, I used to call it just being efficient, but I guess everyone needs a catch-phrase nowadays...that is cool..if it helps one person get it, then by all means...hipmunk away!
Great article. Good collection of points. Particularly liked target the industry with large user base as the promoters are comfortable and not thinking of new ways.
Checkout iwantmyname.com for simplifying domain purchasing.
In India, there are lot of industries that are waiting to be "hipmunked".
You will encounter unbelievable bureaucracy - but if you can get past that you can create some fantastic companies.
The first thing people here told me was - "you cannot sell cosmetics online to Indian women". I decided that that is just the thing I wanted to do! - So hence I am setting up http://cosmetix.in/
Great article, right on and I loved it. We are already doing a few of the ideas listed here for the Project Collaboration
software we are developing, like identify the enemy (basecamp), making UI sexy and focusing on the customer.
Great Approach, I really appreciate it and get a lot knowledge which will help me to face such challenges and to overcome on them. Off course this will also boost my career, if I will succeed.
Great ideas! As an accountant, I have observed small businesses struggling with basic function such as bookkeeping. The service is almost generic at this point, but could use someone to Hipmonk it. Same with tax preparation, as noted above by Diego. Will check out the site he mentioned.
Thanks for the information.
Very thought provoking Jason, thank you.
In the UK, the delivery of healthcare could do with a good Hipmunking. There is very little choice outside of what the National Health Service offers.
Remote medicine, doctor via webcam on a subscription basis could work. Anything like that in the US?
Big fan of Hipmunk. As a frequent traveler, it's the first time I've felt like organizing plans with the right price/pain ratio isn't an awful hassle. And I find I actually spend more on flights, because layovers, airlines, times etc. actually come into play instead of just price.
If you want the Hipmunk of domain registrars, look no further than http://dnsimple.com. Geared towards developers, with a command line interface for managing domains.
Disruptive success is usually when the change is on the delivery side. So those interested in disrupting a specific industry or segment, study the delivery processes. Whatever makes it easier, simpler, cuts one steps (which means saves time money for final delivery) is disruptive. Those who quote or know Christensen who coined disruptive innovation also mentioned finding ways to make "non users" your customers. The combination is real disruption. In emerging markets the "non user" is the largest segment. Those who control markets dont even notice such disruption, and when they do its tool late. SO when disrupting do not recommend calling your competition out. let them find out when its too late.
I was about to try Hipmunk, when my friend pointed out that Kayak is superior in so many ways. Hipmunk doesn't even have any of the helpful features that Kayak does.
I made sure to save my friends from using the disaster that is Hipmunk!
Great article Jason.
Being around for 20 months makes us feel old atwww.acceleratedfreefall.com
Even so, just watch what's gonna happen in the next 3 months. A spinoff project that will hipmunk a market that is just crying out to be disrupted.
Great article. So true that not all new services need to be all web2.0 and flashy to succeed. Much better to make something dead-simple for people who actually never thought that it could be improved.
are trying to do something different in the ecommerce market by letting people get in control of their products.
But thanks again for the inspiration with this article.
This article is so good, I'm NOT going to share it. I'll keep this one to myself, thanks. That's about the highest compliment I've got.
Very insightful and inspiring article. My startup has set out to disrupt the last mile delivery industry. We think that if you can get a pizza ordered and delivered in 45 minutes then you should be able to get a camcorder ordered and delivered just as fast. The same item is probably on the shelves at 5 different stores within 5 miles of your house.
Exactly what we are working on right now. Disrupting an old industry trying to get out of its own way. Blue Ocean Strategy. Great article Jason.