Maia Josebachvili: Passion helped her build Urban Escapes, her application of simple math helped drive its growth.
Back in November I had the very good fortune of meeting Maia Josebachvili at the Philly Startup Leader event Founder Factory. By way of brief introduction Maia founded Urban escapes which provides the urban dweller the opportunity to get away for a weekend of hiking, backpacking, sky diving or any other sort of similar outdoor adventure. I’ll leave it at that in the hopes you’ll take time to listen to my interview with Maia, who first takes a minute to provide a little bit more detail on how Urban Escapes came into being and how they ended up moving into the hottest local advertising space there is today as a now acquired member of Living Social.
But before I drop the audio in here a little background on what you’re about to hear and why I was so eager to catch up with Maia to do this interview. At the Founder Factory her talk focused on some of the critical decision making she and her partners were faced with as their operation began to grow. What ensued was a practical analysis of their product offerings, how they wanted to mature the line of offerings, where they strategically wanted to expand their business, and a pragmatic determination of exactly what tactics were going to be necessary in order to achieve their strategic objectives.
What is compelling about Maia’s breakdown of those moments is not in the brilliance of the process, candidly (and I think Maia would agree) there is nothing all together special about the process itself. In fact in some cases it is a simple mathematics lesson. No, what is remarkable is the focus with which the simplicity was applied. Despite being a small company at the time, Maia and her Urban Escapes partners conducted an incredibly well integrated process that set them on course to launch in 3 additional cities and ultimately paved the way for acquisition. . and oh, prepared them for launch in over 30 additional cities sometime this winter.
Here is the interview with Maia and four steps if employed, should help drive success of any company. They certainly had an impact on what Maia calls ‘her little camping company’.
Go to market strategy: Create some periodic planning session (annual is most common) to clearly define a strategic approach to get you to your desired destination.
Product / Service Line Management: Leverage the plan to evaluate whether or not current products or services are, as they exist, going to be enough to execute the strategy
Tactics: The analysis of products and services against the strategic plan should be used to define the tactics necessary to execute
Course correction: Create some periodic evaluation of the progress being made and course correct as necessary.