Powers Unfiltered

An entrepreneur’s journey into grid computing and partnering with Microsoft, by John Powers

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Startup Travel, New York style

June 24th, 2007 · No Comments

OK, Digipede might no longer properly be called a startup. It’s been two years (next week) since the release of the Digipede Network, and we’ve got more customers and revenue and growth than a true startup — but we still think and act like a startup. In particular, when it comes to travel — we’re cheap.

Oh, we love to travel — I’ve always been a big advocate of getting in front of customers and prospects as often as possible. But it’s far better to make two trips than one on the same budget.

Which brings us to the New York problem. If you travel to New York, you know — some cities are expensive, and then there’s New York. A very, very ordinary hotel room that might cost under $100 in another town can easily cost $300 in New York – and far more if you don’t book WAY in advance. And often I don’t. Yet some of you see me in New York quite often these days.

So what’s the secret? Priceline? Hotwire? Nope. Those work great in some cities, but in New York, when the supply of rooms gets tight (i.e., almost always), these don’t save that much and you can end up in some highly dubious rooms.

No, the secret is the Pod. The Pod Hotel (formerly called the Pickwick Arms hotel) requires some attitude adjustment (unless you think like a startup!). Basically, if your college dorm had the same advertising agency as Apple, it would be the Pod Hotel.

The rooms are quite small, the beds are small (OK, they’re twins, but I’m 6’4″), you don’t get your own bathroom (there are four per floor), and there’s no room service (but come on — you’re in midtown Manhattan! Go out!). But the whole place is newly refurnished, very clean, comfortable, equipped with a nice little flatscreen TV plus a clock radio with a dock for your iPod, conveniently located in Midtown (on 51st Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues) — and even if you book just a few days ahead, it’s $129 or less per night, including free wireless internet access.

The startup mentality says hotel rooms are for sleeping in — the rest of the day is too valuable to spend in the room anyway — so if you can give up a bit of space and luxury, you can save a bunch of money for the next trip.   Now you  know.

Tags: Entrepreneurship · Startup Life

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