Instatrip – Share Instagram Photos And Create Your Travel Journal
I have to say, I had a very similar idea recently of an app that would map your travel photos. But, others have beat me to it, including Instatrip.it, the site that creates a travel journal and map with your Instagram photos. We caught up with founder Bart Sitek to talk about allowing folks to share Instagram photos in a way that lets them map their memories. We also chatted about bike rides in Japan, but more about that later.
How’d you come up with the name for your company?
That was pretty easy. The business is built on top of Instagram so the name somehow had to be related with it.
We’re in the business of creating and sharing photo trips out of Instagram data – Instatrip seemed like an obvious choice.
What’s the very first thing you do at work everyday?
I’m checking emails and making sure that all the services are up and running and that there are no surprises. Also taking a look at Google Analytics and other stats.
How many people did you start the company with and how many people work for you now?
This is still a 1 person business.
Remember the early days starting up? Maybe you can share one anecdote that describe the struggle you went through?
It’s still early days for me so I remember them pretty well. I was launching the service just recently and after people started pouring in I found out it was running a little bit slow for some of them. My main goal is to make sure that experience is not degraded for the users at any point, so I decided to upgrade to a better server/provider behind the scenes. It was somewhat stressing and there was time pressure involved but in the end everything went according to plan.
How do you handle frustration? When/how was the last time you dealt with frustration?
I’m just trying to stay optimistic and focused on making the service better and more fun for users. The most rewarding part is when you get feedback that people are in fact enjoying and liking what you’re building for them, and that’s pushing you forward.
What’s your office environment like?
Just a desk with my laptop tied to an external 24″ monitor along with Xbox360 on the side for when I need some rest from coding. I also have a set of good headphones to make sure I can focus on the work and get “disconnected” from the outside world whenever needed.
How do you picture your company in 5 years?
It all depends on how Instagram does (and it does well at the moment with it’s 29 million users), but currently I’m trying to focus on here-and-now rather than on what’s going to happen in years to come. Instatrip is made to scale so I’m open to co-operation with any other significant players on the social photography market (people will continue to travel and take photos for the foreseeable future), but am currently focused on just the Instagram.
Who or what inspires you?
Watching keynotes by guys like Steve Jobs, John Carmack, Larry Ellison and reading their biographies. Also I tend to look for ideas in movies, computer games and during my trips to Japan.
How’d you fund this venture?
It’s running solely on personal savings for now.
Got any great bootstrapping tips for the lean startups out there?
Try to make use of all the emerging technologies that show up everyday. You have to stay focused and not afraid of trying new things and new directions. If you’re building a service or business then you’re building it for people that will use it. Having that in mind, you should do everything to make your people happy and enjoying the ride. Stay active and stay focused, don’t let it be boring for you and for anyone that is using your services.
What would you be doing if you had one year off and $500,000 to spend?
I would put it in my savings account and make it into $1,000,000. Either that or travel around Japan/Asia/World. Travelling is often very inspiring and rewarding in terms of how many new ideas you get and how many great people you meet.
Do you consider yourself a successful entrepreneur right now? If not, what’s it gonna take to make you feel successful?
I just started and have to say that this is my most serious project to date – so this is still to be determined. I’d say number of active users would be a good indication of how well I’m doing. Let’s hope it increases exponentially. I have some solid vision and plenty of ideas to make it work, so I think I’m on track to being successful. Also, it was a really nice touch to see the Presidential House of Costa Rica making use of the service within the first days of its launch.
Website you couldn’t live without and why?
That would be Google.com and Wikipedia.org
Mobile App you’re in love with and why?
Instagram for sure, as it pushed me to go with this idea.
Dogs or cats?
Cats all the way.
iOS or Android?
iOS. I’m not a big fan of Android platform fragmentation and how there are 1001 non-compatible hardware/software configurations on the market.
Number 1 country you’ve always wanted to visit but haven’t yet?
Never been to the US. Visiting Silicon Valley would’ve been cool.
What do you do in your free time?
What do you do in your free time? I enjoy riding self-assembled fixed gear bike, learning about Japan, researching new business ideas, tinkering and all things tech!
What’s the greatest thing about Instatrip.it?
This one is pretty simple – it does cool things and looks good! Instatrip is not just photo trips. It enables people to map out their memories then share them with their families and friends.
Where can our readers reach out?
Thanks, Bart! All you wandering Instagrammers, make sure to check out instatrip.it to share Instragram photos and map out your memories.