- Please immediately change your password. Under settings, you can do that here. Please use a strong password that has upper and lowercase letters, numbers as well as symbols. This will go a long way in helping to fend off these kind of attacks.
- If you receive an automatic password change request from PathWrangle that was unprompted, please forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org immediately. You will never receive an unprompted automated password change request from PathWrangler.
- No billing or private information or email addresses have been compromised.
- We spent the weekend tracking down and closing the loop-holes that these attackers took advantage of. We ensure that your account is secure and that we have not only solved this problem, but are taking active steps to make sure that any future attacks are protected against.
Today we announced a partnership with a fantastic company out of Indianapolis: Formstack. So, what does Formstack do and why it is important to PathWrangler users? In short, it could change how businesses operate in our industry forever.
First a recap: PathWrangler is a platform for creating, planning, managing and then sharing stories about your trips. If you have the travel bug you’ll love it. However, there is a whole separate layer to PathWrangler that is focused towards to those businesses and other institutions that have made it their business to run trips. Our clients are tour operators, guides, educational institutions, schools, clubs and volunteer organizations. The PathWrangler platform focuses specifically on collaboration around all the elements specific to running trips, selling them and then using them to help capture referrals.
While PathWrangler takes a huge bite out of the trip specific problems, those that run a business have other problems to solve that are specific to running any business. In the two years we’ve been in business, we’ve received a lot of feedback from entities big and small who have said they struggle with a lot of business operations issues such as taking payments, gathering personal information from clients (like medical information, dietary preferences/restrictions), getting waivers signed, applications filled out and even requesting post-trip reviews and feedback.
We are getting into the stage of the digital age where people are starting to show physical symptoms (anywhere from a mild tic to a full-on pouring sweat fever) when PDFs and Word Docs show up in their inbox. In this age we can use technology to upload and share photos with the world from our phone, make purchases with the click of a button and know the exact number of times that our favorite Facebook poster’s children have eaten and taken bowel movements. Whether good or bad, this has made the tolerance for having to download an attachment, print it out, fill it out by hand, scan it and send it back almost an act of hostility. Not only do these issues cause tension for clients, those who have to manage the operations on the business side are engaged in an endless cycle of self-abuse.
Formstack solves all of these problems. Not just a couple. Not just many. ALL of them. Not only do your clients have a single place where they can go to interact with you about their trip, all the operational elements you require to get them going is right there as well. Formstack is designed to automate this collection process and, if you have other tools like CRMs, Accounting Systems and payment processors, it plugs right into those systems so you don’t have to do a thing. Those who run trips for a living can go about doing more of what they love and doing less office work.
So, here is how it works. Firstly, you need a PathWrangler Premium Entity account (you can get one here). This account is your business’s dashboard, where anyone who helps to manage your company can build trips, interact with clients, create libraries of your past trips, and capture referrals that come in from people interacting with their friends and family that have gone on your previous trips. This page, along with all of your individual trips, are integrated into your social media channels as well as your website, so you can distribute them more widely and sell more of them.
Located within this Entity page is a tab specifically for Forms. Through this page, you can sign-up for Formstack (they offer a 14-Day trial for new users). You’ll log into Formstack separately to build and manage all of your forms. By linking PathWrangler with Formstack, all the forms you create for your business are here for your clients in one place. They never have to send you another email, attachment or homing pigeon ever again.
Here are some links to all the different types of forms that you can build in Formstack. If you have a more evolved business with other tool sets that you use to manage your business, here is a link to all the different technologies that Formstack integrates with and how to link any of them to your third party apps.
PathWrangler and Formstack together have just given travel industry the biggest leap in technology since the invention of the airplane. No more wasteful business processes, double/triple/quadruple data entry, offline transactions, email attachments or waiting around the fax machine. In fact, you can take your scanners and fax machines out into an isolated location and beat them into pieces with a bat (send us photos, if you do this, please!).
If you have any questions or would like some further information on how we can help you change the way your company does business, contact us via our cool Formstack contact form below: CONTACT PATHWRANGLER HERE!
The new and improved PathWrangler is here! With one CLICK, you can sign up and put this integrated travel planning and selling solution to work for you.
PathWrangler helps you run better trips & grow your business.
Today, Karthik Prabu from Tnooz published a showcase article on PathWrangler. It is part info, part interview of me (Doug Heinz) and analysis. Great write-up and wait until they see what’s coming up in a couple of days! Our biggest release since Trip Stories is coming up.
Here’s their take:
PathWrangler is a tool that can be used quickly to create an itinerary, associate a cost, enter day-wise details and publish to clients (travellers).
It looks like the target market is small/medium-sized tour operators or individual tour guides.
Though PathWrangler claims that the discussion feature is their USP, its competitors have much advanced features.
PathWrangler estimates the adventure travel market at $100 billion and outdoor recreation at $800 billion. But, given the number of similar players existing in the market, the question is the share of PathWrangler in this huge market.
The platform is easy to use, self explanatory and simple. There was no need to go through any documentation to create a trip and publish it.
I will add one counterpoint to discussion feature analysis. We agree that our discussion/commenting tool within PathWrangler is simple compared to others out there. However, because our conversations are private among only those who are planning the trip together, the bells and whistles that come with many other discussion tools out there (like social media integration, favoriting, ranking, etc) are overkill for us. The power of PathWrangler is not how amazing the discussion tool is as a stand alone technology, but that it is contained within the confines of trip, thus creating an easier and more engaging experience all around. We definitely see room for improvement here, though, but it’ll be within the context of a private discussion.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA | MARCH 12, 2013 – PATHWRANGLER has been selected by Outside, America’s leading multimedia active-lifestyle brand, as a recipient of its second annual Active Travel Awards. PathWrangler was honored as an Honoree. The full list of award winners will be published in the April issue of Outside magazine, available on newsstands March 12, 2013, and at Outside Online.
To select this year’s awards, Outside tapped our global network of correspondents, who spent months on the road traveling from the Philippines to Switzerland to Namibia and then some, to report a definitive roundup of the best new adventures, secret paradises, mountain epics, stunning beaches, airline deals, gorgeous islands, and more. The result is 42 fresh trips that we guarantee will change your life, plus smart travel strategies, the best travel gear, and five exciting new frontiers.
PathWrangler is proud to be awarded honoree of Outside Strategies to “Plug-In.” With all these beautiful destinations and incredible activities to do, PathWrangler is the tool that brings it all together and makes these dream trips a reality.
“Outside magazine has long been one of the world’s most trusted advisors for active and adventurous travelers,” says Outside Editor Christopher Keyes. “In addition to truly award-worthy destinations and travel providers, this year we unearthed a handful of amazing new frontiers in active travel. Our annual edit franchise honors the year’s best trips, hotels, lodges, luggage, islands, and new destinations that will be an invaluable travel resource for years to come.”
Simply put, PathWrangler makes creating experiences and telling those stories easier than ever before. Planning an adventure trip or an outdoor excursion is like herding cats. It is maddening to get everyone and everything prepared. Our web app brings the conversation together in an interactive place designed specifically for adventure and outdoor enthusiasts to dream and organize their trip together, and then share their stories after. Over 100 Tour Operators, Outdoor Clubs and Outdoor Wilderness Programs and thousands of outdoor enthusiasts are using PathWrangler to run better trips and share them with their friends.
In celebration of the Outside Active Travel Awards, PathWrangler is offering its award-winning product for free in preparation for a new premium rollout in the upcoming months. That means unlimited trips and users for any individuals or business that sign-up now. Please sign-up here to take advantage of this offer. Please contact us at email@example.com if you’d like any help in getting you or your organization started.
# # #
Outside is America’s leading active lifestyle brand. For more than 35 years, Outside has covered travel, sports, adventure, health, and fitness, as well as the personalities, the environment, and the style and culture of the world Outside. The Outside family includes Outside magazine, the only magazine to win three consecutive National Magazine Awards for General Excellence, The Outside Buyer’s Guides, Outside Online, Outside Television, Outside Events, Outside+ tablet edition, and Outside Books. Visit us on www.outsideonline.com and www.facebook.com/outsidemagazine.
For further press inquiries or other requests, please contact CEO Doug Heinz at firstname.lastname@example.org and 415-309-2242. Please visit us online at www.pathwrangler.com, www.facebook.com/pathwrangler and @pathwrangler.
The internets have been lit up with the news of Instagram’s
new policy for ownership of your photos:
Instagram said today that it has the perpetual right to sell users’ photographs without payment or notification, a dramatic policy shift that quickly sparked a public outcry.
The new intellectual property policy, which takes effect on January 16, comes three months after Facebook completed its acquisition of the popular photo-sharing site. Unless Instagram users delete their accounts before the January deadline, they cannot opt out.
Under the new policy, Facebook claims the perpetual right to license all public Instagram photos to companies or any other organization, including for advertising purposes, which would effectively transform the Web site into the world’s largest stock photo agency. One irked Twitter user quipped that “Instagram is now the new iStockPhoto, except they won’t have to pay you anything to use your images.”
“It’s asking people to agree to unspecified future commercial use of their photos,” says Kurt Opsahl, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “That makes it challenging for someone to give informed consent to that deal.”
That means that a hotel in Hawaii, for instance, could write a check to Facebook to license photos taken at its resort and use them on its Web site, in TV ads, in glossy brochures, and so on — without paying any money to the Instagram user who took the photo. The language would include not only photos of picturesque sunsets on Waikiki, but also images of young children frolicking on the beach, a result that parents might not expect, and which could trigger state privacy laws.
I couldn’t really believe this the first time I read it. I almost felt like this was an internet hoax by someone creatively trolling the masses. But after reading several more articles on it (here, here), plus the link above to attorney Kurt Opshal’s interpretation and analysis in the CNET article above, it is as bad as it sounds.
I hate this as a user, but it is even more offensive, as a business owner. Companies that are building internet platforms heavily rely on the trust of users to participate and use their service. In Instagram’s case, I’ve heard it argued from others that because their app/service is free, users have little right to complain when they take their content and do what they want with it. This is stupid. Rights and laws don’t necessarily mean it is good business. A trusted relationship with your customers is the most valuable asset you have and to thumb your nose and be antagonistic about that relationship defies common sense. Everyday you have to earn your customer’s trust and in one whiff, it can be severed beyond repair.
Firstly, as a note to existing and future PathWrangler users, we actively protect your intellectual property. We don’t just refuse to pursue relationships and partnerships with outside companies profiting off of your data without your permission; we built a way that YOU are in control of the distribution of YOUR content: photos, trip information, itineraries, gear lists, trip reports, stories and conversations. Any tools that have been developed or will be developed will only help further the control you have. It is rather simple for us to do this as is a part of our core values and mission.
Lastly, as an editorial, you can see the weakness and laziness of Instagram as a business model. It is simple: build something people want and they’ll pay you for it. Instagram built a simple/free app that gained a shit-ton of users and not a dollar in revenue. The founders got rich off their exit, but they never built a real business model. This attempt to monetize at the expense of the only asset they had – their users’ trust – is just a massive unforced error. This isn’t a just a gaffe like Chevy trying to sell the Nova in Mexico and then realizing later that it meant “No Go” in Spanish. Then again, what do I know, I haven’t made a billion dollars off of PathWrangler, so maybe my thinking is just dated and tired. But my experience with our clients says that they kind of like this old fashioned thinking.
Living the Dream! An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting and Operating a Successful Adventure Travel Company
PathWrangler is pleased to announced the release of our free eBook, “Living the Dream: An Entreprenuer’s Guide to Starting and Operating a Successful Adventure Travel Company.” This book was written by Christina Heyniger and myself and features Chunnie Wright and Mona McPhee.
So, what it this about? Let’s take you to our first chapter:
“Do you want to build a successful adventure travel business? LIVING THE DREAM gives you a framework for not only starting and getting your new adventure company off the ground, but also how to operate and grow it with dazzling service. Inside this book you’ll find information about how to:
- Get your business off the ground as quickly and inexpensively as possible
- Focus your efforts on core business aspects
- Provide outstanding service to your clients
- Throw out big, clunky business plans or ideas that are too grand in favor of focusing on bite-sized problems
- Quickly launch, modify and constantly improve your business to adjust to the market, client demands and economic realities
The book presents a series of steps that draw on the “Lean Startup” methodology created by Eric Ries and has since launched top web software companies and is being extended to numerous other sectors. We are combining our experience with Lean Startup with the know-how and experience of people who have created and built leading adventure travel companies to bring you this adventure travel start-up manual.
Benefits to You
“In the old days, adventure travel was only for a very limited number of highly adventurous people. Nowadays everyone is into adventure travel. Anything out of person’s comfort zone is called ‘adventure travel.’ The whole industry has just skyrocketed. At the same time we have a huge amount of competition, much more than in the past.” - Tony Neubauer, Myths and Mountains
LIVING THE DREAM will explain how you can build a competitive adventure business with a distinctive personality. The methods presented will challenge you to embrace the challenges of a limited budget and turns those limitations into an advantage. Being small and agile isn’t a stage of your business, it is a mindset that lets you provide much better personal experiences to your clients.
Following the steps in this book will help you organize your adventure travel startup, get clients in the door and run better trips.
LIVING THE DREAM challenges you to be opinionated. Forgo being all things to all people and build something that has a distinct image — one that you’re proud and excited about, and that stands out from the crowd.
Who LIVING THE DREAM is Written For
If you are
- An adventurous type who is tired of the day-to-day slog in the office, who has always wanted to start a business that allows you to explore your passion and work with great people around the world;
- Currently operating an adventure business you would like to improve, perhaps by streamlining your operational activities or standing out more effectively from your competition;
- Overwhelmed with the costs of adopting, creating and keeping up with the technology required to stay current in today’s online world;
Then LIVING THE DREAM is for you.”
More to come. Stay tuned!
One of the elements of travel that we keep hearing from clients and travelers is the need for authenticity. At PathWrangler, we try to get you as immersed as we possibly can. However, to be a true adventurer, we not only want to put you into the shoes of the indigenous cultures, we want to put you into the shoes of the pioneers of adventure and exploration. What did it feel like to be Ernest Shackleton, Marco Polo, Dr Livingstone, Ferdinand Magellan, or Sacagawae?
Head researcher, Mikey Clarke reveals how we can bring your trip to the next level:
On your next adventure, there is an option to take our vitamin anti-pills for an extra bout of authenticity – these anti-pills helpfully leach nutrients from your body to let you experience the pleasures of scurvy, just like the old-time adventurers! This is for the adventurer who will have none of this plasticky, tourist-trap crap.
Another example of how TARPA is leading the travel industry in research.
Stay tuned for the big PathWrangler announcement (which is certainly NOT a TARPA program).
The Travel Innovation Summit@The PhoCusWright Conference shines the spotlight on the new applications and ideas that change the industry.
Thirty global innovators demonstrate applications, technologies and solutions with the potential to transform travel planning, purchasing and memorializing.
Travel Innovation Summit attendees come prepared to find the next market-changing innovations, seeking fresh ideas, new partners and investment opportunities. Attendees have open access to the innovators and are encouraged to connect and provide feedback throughout the event.
A World Class Event
PhoCusWright’s experienced analyst team carefully screens each candidate to find the best and eliminate the hype. There are no “speakers” or “presenters” at The Travel Innovation Summit. The innovators demonstrate their products through live walkthroughs of their technologies and tools, creating an immersive experience for the audience. The demonstrator package provides innovators with more than just marketing and promotion, they get business development opportunities, on-site meetings and critics’ feedback and a chance to wow the audience during Center Stage@The PhoCusWright Conference later in the week. Award winners vie to return home with The DEMO Award for the Most Game-Changing Innovation. Startup, emerging and established companies (including last year’s demonstrators!) are invited to apply based purely on their innovative accomplishments, regardless of organizational size, age, sector or location.
We are absolutely thrilled and excited to demonstrate our technology in front of some of world’s top travel thought leaders. In building PathWrangler, we didn’t just set out to make a cool app; we aim to upset and change the adventure travel and outdoor experience.
What do we do?
Simply put, PathWrangler makes building and storing experiences easier than ever before.
Let’s face it, planning an adventure trip or an outdoor excursion is like herding cats. It is maddening to get everyone and everything prepared. We’ve built a collaborative web tool that makes trip planning not only easy, but fun. The goal is empower you so that your only limitation is your imagination and sense of wonder. It is used just as easily by professional guides running recurring expeditions to the Himalayas to just a handful of avid outdoor enthusiasts planning their next hiking trip in Yosemite.
We take the conversation that normally occurs over emails, spreadsheets, PDFs, Word Docs, etc and puts it into a central place where your team/group interacts with each other from a single version of the truth. It is interactive, dynamic and a way to get everyone involved. After your trip, all that hard work turns into a wonderful trip report that stores those memories.
Tell us what you think before then. Go in and check us out for yourself by signing up for a free account. With your help, we’ll see if we have what it takes to hang with some of the world’s best.
Please join me in welcoming Christina Heyniger to the PathWrangler team!
Christina’s influential work in the adventure industry led us to her a year ago. Since our first over-coffee meeting on Valencia Street the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District, we discovered a common view on some of the key challenges in our industry, and how we can work together to solve them.
Since 2004 Christina’s consulting work has been focused on the adventure industry’s potential to transform local economies and foster the type of cultural exchange that supports world peace. Her clients include governments, adventure entrepreneurs, and international development agencies from India to Brazil to Saudi Arabia and many places in between, who are now trying to use adventure travel as a path to sustainable economic development.
In 2008 she pioneered the Adventure Tourism Development Index (ATDI), a ranking of countries around the world based on principles of sustainable adventure tourism. Now in its fourth year, the ATDI is guiding destinations in creating sustainable adventure tourism markets, and also helping to reshape the global perception and understanding of adventure as a means of social and environmental development and stewardship. In emerging markets, government policymakers are using the ATDI to argue for sustainable tourism over less favorable types of tourism development.
Here are some of Christina’s career highlights in her own words:
In 2004 I started a consulting firm (Xola Consulting) focused on adventure tourism as a means of economic development. My first client was a small river rafting business based in Pollock, Idaho. In exchange for training as a river guide, I provided the company owner process analysis and management recommendations for his small company. I’m forever indebted to this company for the chance they gave me to apply my corporate management consulting skills in a new environment. Over the course of three months one summer and in subsequent trips I learned to row the rapids of the main Salmon River (not very well, I’m afraid) and all about how this family-run business operated: from managing local partners and guides to keeping the guest lodge full. Since that first “client” I’ve been learning about the importance of tackling development issues with a systems approach and exploring different avenues for how to accomplish this. In 2011 I merged my consulting practice with Vital Wave Consulting, and shifted the consumer-facing elements of the business to an internet company selling adventure travel online, called Xola.com.
Prior to 2004 I lived in Washington, D.C. and worked for a large, global consulting firm based in Tysons Corner, Virginia. I was in the technology infrastructure solutions group; our clients were government agencies, communication companies and technology-oriented foundations. Starting Xola Consulting was one of my life’s defining moments, a radical upheaval that eventually caught a little attention from Outside magazine and also Roadtrip Nation, an organization that helps students explore pathways they never knew existed through programs and resources focused on self-discovery.
I write and speak regularly on small and medium business development and tourism issues related to the environment and human development. In 2008 I was a contributing author of two chapters, one on Bhutan, and another on Kerala, India, in a book published by National Geographic titled Riding the Hulahula to the Arctic Ocean- A Guide to 50 Extraordinary Adventures.
Before these things all happened I was studying at various schools, where I earned an MBA in Entrepreneurship (Kogod School of Business at American University); an MA in Communication, Culture and Technology (Georgetown University); and a BS in Communication (Cornell University).
Another important thing about me that influences much of my thinking and things I like to do, is that I grew up in Anchorage, Alaska.
Ultimately, though, Christina is an entrepreneur. While many high-level strategists often look at problems from 40,000 ft, they can be more academic than offering real solutions. Christina, on the other hand, repeatedly takes the leap without a map in hand, gets her hands dirty and finds innovative ways to solve problems and create value.
Christina is joining us on an advisory basis and there are some big projects that we are working on that you will see shortly. Until then, please give a warm welcome to Christina!