Innovation, Hipmunk, and You

February 25, 2011 — 4 Comments

Innovation is one of our biz culture’s buzzwords today, but is it overrated? More accurately, is our typical understanding of the term leading us astray?

Innovation simply means the bringing of something new.

Sometimes that something new is a killer app or product. More often, meaningful innovation occurs when we eliminate unnecessary steps in a process, resulting in work that is smoother, more effective and efficient, or just more fun.

Enter If you’ve been using Travelocity or Orbitz to search for the best deal on airline tickets, try Hipmunk. Its interface is clean and simple, like Google‘s. No extra text or clutter. Just three required entries (from, to and date of departure) with an optional fourth (date of return). Hipmunk sorts results by “Agony,” based on factors such as ridiculously early or late flights, how many legs, how much time spent in layovers, and ticket price. Search results are laid out on a Gantt chart-like calendar, so you can instantly compare schedules visually. It also suppresses results for ridiculous four-leg combinations that are roughly the same price as a one-stop flight because it already knows that no one in their right mind would make that choice. You can still reveal those options if you so desire.

Simple. Uncluttered. Fresh. Inviting. Innovative. Now that’s some practical leadership.

What daily processes does your team use that could be streamlined by taking a fresh look at unnecessary steps and pruning them away?

4 responses to Innovation, Hipmunk, and You

  1. LOVE Hipmunk, Ken!! It’s not innovation for innovation’s sake, it actually helps! So do you, by the way! =)

  2. Ken and Chris, I totally agree. Let’s not innovate to hip or flashy, let’s innovate to bring value/clarity/efficiency to the mission.

  3. Thank you for the great writeup about hipmunk! You really nailed what we were aiming for with the site — we just want to be as good to our users as possible. And it’s paying dividends every day as we see all the buzz about our site from happy hipmunks all over the web.

  4. Thanks for your comments, y’all. Glad to have an official Hipmunk drop by the site, Alexis.

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