Collaborative Pioneer: Inside Interview with Gon Ben David at Roomer

gon-ben-david-668x288 (1)1.      What is the easiest way to explain Roomer?

Roomer is the marketplace for hotel reservations – the easiest way to understand it to imagine this scenario: say you have a hotel room reservation with a full cancellation fee of $500. You can post your reservation for sale on Roomer and set your own price. Even if you sell it for $250, you’re still gainning half of your money back. Or, if you’re looking to go on a vacation, you could be the lucky buyer who scores a great hotel room at a 50% discount. And you can always watch our short video.

2.     For Roomer what is the biggest challenge to overcome?

Our biggest challenge is the chicken and egg problem – as a marketplace we have to create both supply and demand, and in the past few months we really did manage to have a respectful amount of people trying to sell their hotel reservations and on the other hand to bring people who are looking to buy their reservations from them. It’s also important to mention that different from other marketplaces, we have to validate each and every reservation and transfer the name on the reservations – which  now we do on a daily basis.

3.     In your opinion, what is the secret sauce of Roomer?

A lot of passion and mostly good, crazy, and creative people.

4.     What is another example of Collaborative Consumption that you admire?

I’m a big fan of Lyft, Airbnb and Stubhub. They have all created amazing customer experience and sustainable companies while facing big challenges.

5.     Apart from Roomer, what gets you up in the morning?

Optimism. I think that what motivates the Roomers and me on a very deep level is the optimism lying in this quote of Hellen Keller  – “No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars or sailed an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.”  – and it’s nice to feel and to be a part of this journey.

6.     What are the first three things you do when you get into the office

Go to the gym with the Roomers, then we have a daily briefing at 10am, and than I make coffee for everyone.

7.     Tell us something about yourself that we can’t find on the internet

I am a Justin Bieber fan. No, seriously.

8.     What is the greatest advice someone ever gave you about startups?

Uri Levine, the founder of Waze  and the God-founder of roomer, told me that you must find a big pain and solve it, and on the way of solving it you can compromise on many things – except for the people you bring to the team.

9.     If you weren’t building Roomer, what would you be doing?

Travelling and teaching.

10.  And to conclude, what do you wish Roomer for the future?

I wish that we will keep creating value for our users, challenge ourselves as a company, and create the biggest marketplace of travel.

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