This week we interviewed Steve Weiner, CEO of Spot, a location-based app and travel blog dedicated to helping users find the best travel experiences, as recommended by their friends and vetted locals.

The idea for the app came after Weiner became tired of scouring the expanses of the web for trustworthy reviews months in advance of a trip. With Spot, users are presented with an amalgamation of reviews shared within the app, along with data about how locations get discussed elsewhere on the web - in seconds, helping users spend less time and energy finding their best-suited experiences and recommendations. 

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1. Tell us a bit about your company.

Spot helps people explore the best places and plan trips with friends. Founded in Expa’s startup studio, we’re on a mission to make connecting people and places more personal by publishing spots recommended by friends and experts you follow on Spot.

2. What problem are you solving?

We’re avid travellers who got tired of scouring the Internet for food, drink, and sightseeing tips, planning vacations collaboratively in google docs and email threads, and always getting asked for recommendations on Facebook. We’re building Spot so you spend more time exploring and less time in your phone or lost in endless browser tabs.

3. Why are you the ones to solve this problem?

Because we felt this pain ourselves and decided to productize a really time-consuming process that used tools that weren’t designed for discovery and planning. I personally used to travel the world in a nuclear submarine.  When I pulled into port I only had a few days to get the most out of a city, but couldn’t help but feel I was leaving something on the table. I wanted to see the world like a local and not get stuck in tourist traps.

In order to start an entrepreneurial journey, you need to be physically uncomfortable living in a world where your solution doesn’t exist. That resonates with me. 
— Steve Weiner

4. Why is now the time for your company to exist?

Travel, particularly among millennials, is on the rise. Younger generations are spending more disposable income on eating out and travel than previous generations. Also, these travellers are more likely to go places in groups, which is one of the reasons we build collaborative trip planning tools into Spot.

5. Where will your company be in 3 years?

We’re really focused on building a community around food and travel fanatics who want to share food and travel recommendations. I’d like to see a Spot chapter in every major city. I also think there’s an opportunity for small business owners to claim their Spot page and make it easier for them to manage their digital presence and attract customers with high intent.

6. How do you define success?

We have a big vision for Spot that takes us on a multi-year journey, but like any adventure, there are always unforeseen bumps in the road. Candidly, our product roadmap extends only a few months, because we want to make sure we’re building something our community wants. I personally would like Spot to be the brand people trust and associate with the world’s best places.

7. What is one piece of advice you would offer to someone who is considering taking the leap into entrepreneurship?

One of the earliest lessons I learned at Expa was that in order to start an entrepreneurial journey you need to be physically uncomfortable living in a world where your solution doesn't exist. That's how I feel everyday when I wake up thinking about Spot. Building companies is hard because you have to create something from nothing and if you’re pre-revenue the money is only going in one direction. You have to work hard and fast without sacrificing quality and your mind and body have to be all the way in it.


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