Plandree Interview

Plandree founder Jerry Reynolds tells us about his collaborative vacation planner that allows you to pin and collect your vacation ideas, then plan together with friends & family.

Transcript

Marcus
All right, we’re talking with Jerry, from Plandree today
Jerry
Yep.
Marcus
Jerry, tell us about—what is Plandree?
Jerry
So Plandree is a collaborative vacation planner that allows people to create plans as a group and collaboratively participate in the planning of a vacation. And then we built it around a market place to help people figure out—not only get inspiration of what’s to do in a destination but actually being able to book those things that might not be on top of mind.
Marcus
Give us a real example of how somebody might use this?
Jerry
Right. So a real example would be like Launch, for example, we were planning as a group to come here, we had kind of the process of planning our tickets, you know, planning where we were going to stay and in our free time, the little that we had before we got here, what we actually might want to do, you know, like Alcatraz, or go to the Golden Gate Bridge, which are two things that we actually ended up doing.
Marcus
Okay.
Jerry
So being able to add those to a plan, you know, as potential ideas or being able to actually book those through our site previous to actually getting here.
Marcus
So how is that different from just a plethora of other travel sites? Because travel’s huge right now, right?
Jerry
So what a lot of people are trying to solve from our perspective is, how can we easily share this information back and forth between our friends and family? Or worse scenario, within our social networks? What we’re saying is the people who are really important are the people who are actually going on the trip, so what we’re doing is making that group who’s a part of that particular trip the focal point and then the sharing actually happens just amongst that group of people, so we’re not trying to push things out to the Web as far as to—getting everybody to collaborate.
Marcus
So if I was going on a trip and I was taking my parents, would my mom need to log in as well?
Jerry
She definitely would be able to create an account, so you’d be able to add her, you know, what we’re trying to do is minimize the amount of times that you have to talk to—or call people or explain what other people have told you through that planning process. So, having this real time communication in the plan itself allows everybody to see what’s going on in real time and be able to participate in the conversation without necessarily having to be encouraged to buy a phone call or buy an e-mail.
Marcus
Okay. How long has Plandree been around?
Jerry
So this is kind of the 4th generation of what we’re doing, so we had a previous set of what we were working on. We’re in 44 countries and 126 destinations but we didn’t have the group planning focus which is how we originally started six years ago. So, in September we turned around and said, you know what, we have a few months, we’re a part of an Accelerator, let’s focus specifically on building this collaborative aspect to it and then we can bring the market place in behind it since we already know how to build that.
Marcus
And how big is your team?
Jerry
Just myself.
Marcus
Oh, so we means you?
Jerry
We means me and me and me. Depending on what time I’m awake.
Marcus
And what would you be doing if you weren’t doing Plandree?
Jerry
I’ve had a bunch of other things. I worked on a project called Albumdale.com at the beginning of MySpace that helped independent musicians sell their music through their social networks. I don’t know. I’ll always be an Entrepreneur, I’m not cut out for the 9 to 5 corporate life, so.
Marcus
Are you a tech guy or are you a biz guy?
Jerry
I think when you’re a solo Founder you become everything. And, you know, like being technical and being a good business guy, you don’t have to be one or the other, you can actually be both, because the creative, artistic artistry of being able to, you know, develop a functioning business in the future, you need both sides of it and it’s the same type of problem solving from my perspective.
Marcus
Nice. What have you risked to start this product?
Jerry
Everything. My health, my entire bank account, I moved across the country with no money, I almost—when I was at the Accelerator just in this last November, I had nowhere to go and no money and I was about to get kicked out on the street.
Marcus
What happened?
Jerry
We weren’t able to secure a pre-seed round of $50,000 from the City of Providence and they kind of bailed us out a little bit and gave us some money for the next 6 to 8 months to be able to continue to do what we do, so.
Marcus
Nice nice.
Jerry
And I’m losing my hair too, so that’s—that’s been going on for a while.
Marcus
If Plandree was a Super Hero, what would its super power be?
Jerry
Wow. I don’t know, I think communication, intuitive communication, just being able to understand what people are thinking and help them better make decisions.
Marcus
Awesome. Are there any final things you’d like our audience to know?
Jerry
Yeah, just come to Plandree.com and check us out, we’d love to get your feedback, either way, you know. One of the goals is, how can we help people better discover the world around them, so—and it’s not something that we’re only focused on travel in the sense of, you know, getting from here to Maui we want to also be able to help people figure out what to do on Saturday with their family in their local destination so that when time goes by, adding that information into our system from your local areas gives us a better opportunity to help other people find things to do as well.
Marcus
Cool. Thank you very much.
Jerry
Absolutely, thank you.