Latest PathWrangler News
Apr 8, 2015
Apr 8.2015 Maybe some parts of the travel industry aren’t as cut throat as we all think they are. Adventure travel online planning service PathWrangler announced in early-March that it would close after not getting enough revenue from paying customers. In a lengthy email to its user base , CEO Doug Heinz wrote the company hadn’t been able to “make enough money to take this web app to a place that our standards demand”. A closure date was set for Saturday 21 March. A few weeks on from that date and the fortunes of PathWrangler and Heinz have taken a rather different path than the one predicted just five weeks ago. Heinz says he felt that he had let down the community that were using the system, a web app which brought offline conversations together in an interactive platform designed specifically for adventure and outdoor enthusiasts to organize trips together. But, remarkably, despite the heart-felt message to users about the financial state of the company, one of the company’s tour operator customers came forward with a rescue plan. Emilie Cortes from Call Of The Wild Adventures came forward to tell Heinz its business model and customer service delivery was built around the PathWrangler platform. She wrote to Heinz: “The biggest impact PathWrangler has had on our business is the ability to build community pre-trip, not only post-trip. “Clients come on our trips feeling more connected, more prepared, and some groups even have inside jokes before they have ever even met. It’s powerful. “As we all know, it’s way more effective to retain clients who then bring more people, than to keep spending money on advertising trying to bring in brand new clients.” Heinz told Cortes that he was “down to my latest two nickels”. By the next day, however, Heinz was told that Call Of The Wild Adventures and a group of the company’s clients had since raised around half of the moment required (no details given) to keep the platform running. Heinz says: “I was initially reluctant to accept this help, but realized that tour operators don’t wear shiny top hats and monocles, and if they were willing to support us financially, they were dead serious about how much we meant to the success of their businesses.” The company will now be implementing some changes to the business model to “achieve sustainability from our end”. More investment will probably be needed, Heinz admits. “Knowing that we have this kind of support in our community, I have no doubt we’ll figure how how to do this and I will continue to fight to keep this community thriving and, hopefully, growing.” And to think Heinz didn’t even need to write the obligatory Medium -hosted post mortem.