I got an email this week from the guy behind a startup service aimed at the outdoors market, I liked his friendly approach and the premise behind the platform / service. And I put aside the fact that he’s way too entrepreneurial for a 22 year old – leaving a good job at Google to launch this service – too much energy and enthusiasm from the youth I say 😉
Hoplett looks like a great service idea and with my other hat on (web marketing / digital content consultant etc) it has the making of a nice user experience / interface and functionality.
I asked Gui, the guy behind the site, where the name came from: it’s a mix of hop – as in hopping / hiking / travelling from place to place and allowing site / property owners to let accommodation. Now you know (I wanted to know out of brand development interest, some of you won’t be so interested I’m sure 🙂
To quote the launch / intro site : If you’re on the road, it will show you places to “camp around you or along the way you want to take. To decide among these you can see pictures, videos, reviews, the exact GPS location and directions to get there. Once you make up your mind, just hit book and you’re done. The payment is handled automatically and you never have to figure out if there is space available for you”, that’s also handled by Hoplett.
They’re also looking to curate some properties that might be unusual or are in areas under-served by campsites.
As I say, the website and branding look great but there’s more to launching a new platform or web utility for any market: you need a lot of robust and useful data / content behind it to get traction. So it looks like a good start in that they’re collating campsite data and soliciting user/owner generated listings (from campsite owners) but also allowing hiker / camper reviews too.
I wish them luck.