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商业 - 科技

创业偶像:AnyRoad掘金导游业

JP Mangalindan 2013年07月19日

好兄弟乔纳森•雅菲与丹尼尔•雅菲都是资深驴友,两人联手创建了一家公司,为世界各地的导游搭建了一个拓展业务的平台。全世界的导游都可以上这个平台推广自己的线路,而游客也可以上这个平台预订最喜欢的线路。这个项目将参加今年财富科技头脑风暴大会创业偶像竞赛的角逐。

好兄弟乔纳森•雅菲和丹尼尔•雅菲是AnyRoad的联合创始人。图片来源:AnyRoad

    据丹尼尔•雅菲和乔纳森•雅菲这对好兄弟称,全球共有40万名持证的全职导游,他们构成了一个价值高达160亿美元的市场,但其中只有5%的人会在网上露脸。对此丹尼尔解释道:“我们意识到,很多职业导游是完全与互联网绝缘的。所以我们想,如果能让他们上网,给他们一个平台来更好地展示自己,那将为导游和游客双方都带来巨大的便利。”

    于是,雅菲兄弟于今年四月在旧金山创办了AnyRoad公司,目的是要为导游提供一个枢纽,让他们可以把在某个城市提供的旅游线路集中发布在网上(目前仅有六个城市),比如去东京赏酒,或是徒步游玩里约热内卢,这样游客就能在线预订了。它的盈利模式是,从游客和导游两边各收一小笔费用,同时拿出其中5%给该城市的非盈利机构。这家公司打算在近两个月内把业务拓展到希腊和韩国,还希望到明年夏天能有15个城市加盟。

    不过,这家公司现在面临的头等大事是,必须全身心地迎接另一个挑战。就在下周,雅菲兄弟俩将与其他五位竞争者共同参加本年度在科罗拉多州阿斯彭学院举行的《财富》科技头脑风暴大会(Brainstorm Tech conference)的“创业偶像大赛”(Startup Idol competition)。我们找到了28岁的丹尼尔和31岁的乔纳森,对他们进行了简短的采访。

    作为下周正式比赛的热身,请跟大家讲讲你们的“电梯游说”(elevator pitch,指对产品、服务、机构及其价值主张的简短介绍——译注)。请用一句话概括AnyRoad的使命。

    丹尼尔与乔纳森:AnyRoad是一个从价值160亿美元的线下导游市场开始着手,继而对全球旅游业进行现代化改造的平台。

    作为两位资深驴友,你们曾表示,你们并不认为自己是那种按通常方式“游览”的人。说到“游览”这个词,马上让我想起最近的一次游览经历:在蒙特利尔跟一群兴致勃勃的老年人一起坐大巴观光。

    乔纳森:世界上确实有不少地方都有这种观光巴士:如恶魔岛、渔人码头等,不一而足。但是这种观光游的导游不会都让老年游客自己步行观光!但AnyRoad上的导游却是一些对鸡尾酒、小啤酒厂或是某种小吃情有独钟的人,他们认为游客应该深入了解某个城市的真实面貌。他们也许有文艺复兴艺术领域的学位,也许自己本身就是涂鸦艺术家。所以他们是真正专业的、有资质的导游,他们提供的行程多数人不会认为是“观光”,因为这类行程不是那么能看得见摸得着的。

    听起来挺像那么回事的。你们在有些城市和当地政府合作,让导游更方便地发布自己的行程。跟这些政府接触时有什么困难吗?

    丹尼尔:我们向他们推出的价值主张超级简单明了。我们只是找到这些政府,告诉他们:“我们是要帮助当地导游上网推广旅游线路,而且还会把5%的收入赠予你们本地的非盈利机构(不收一分钱)。”这样一来,很多政府部门就非常支持我们了。他们喜欢AnyRoad的原因是,我们并没威胁到旅游业,而是提供了一个平台,帮助他们把旅游服务变得更加现代化。(财富中文网)

    译者:清远

    According to brothers Daniel and Jonathan Yaffe, there are 400,000 full-time, accredited tour guides around the world who account for a $16 billion market, but just 5% of them have any online presence. "What we realized is that there are amazing professional tour guides who are completely off the grid," explains Daniel. "And so we sought to find out how their lives, and ultimately travelers' lives, might be better if we were able to bring them onto the grid and give them a platform with more visibility."

    Launched this April, the bootstrapped San Francisco-based AnyRoad offers guides a hub where they can list tours in one of six cities -- a Tokyo sake tasting, a light hike through Rio de Janeiro -- and tourists may book them. AnyRoad makes money by shaving a small fee from the customer and the guide but gives 5% back to a city's

    nonprofits. The startup plans to expand into Greece and Korea within the next two months and wants to be in 15 cities by summer of next year.

    First things, first, however: AnyRoad must face another challenge entirely. Next week, the Yaffe brothers will vie as one of five contestants for the mantle of this year's Startup Idol competition at Fortune's Brainstorm Tech conference, at the Aspen Institute in Colorado. We caught up with Daniel, 28, and Jonathan, 31, beforehand for a few quick questions.

    To warm you up for next week, let's hear your elevator pitch. Summarize AnyRoad's mission in one sentence.

    Daniel and Jonathan: AnyRoad is a platform that is modernizing the worldwide tourism industry starting with a $16 billion market of offline tour guides.

    Being pretty well-traveled, you've said that you wouldn't necessarily consider yourselves the kind of people who normally take "tours." When I think of the word "tour," I think back to the last one I took: a Montreal bus filled with (delightful) senior citizens.

    Jonathan: There are of course, the hop-on, hop-off buses of the world: the Alcatraz tours and the Fisherman's Wharf tours and all of that ... But not all tour guides give the general senior citizens walking tour! These [the kind on AnyRoad] are tour guides who have a passion for cocktails or microbreweries or a certain kind of cuisine. Or they think people should explore the nature of cities. Or they have a degree in Renaissance art. Or they have a hobby as graffiti artists. So these are professional, accredited guys, but the tours they give, well, most people wouldn't describe as "tours" because they're not quite as visible.

    That's fair. In some cities, you're pairing up with the local government to make it easier for guides to list tours. Is it a hard sell when you reach out to them?

    Daniel: The value proposition that we offer is super-easy. We're basically going to them and saying, "We're helping bring your tour guides online, and we're also giving 5% to local nonprofits. (Oh, and we're doing this for free.)" So, a lot of governments have been very supportive. They love that we're not challenging the industry, that really, we're offering them a platform to help modernize their own infrastructures.

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