The secret life of my last Hipmunk project

Right before I left Hipmunk, I silently ‘launched’ a beta product. It’s something I wanted to use and honestly, no one else really cared about it. Hipmunk wasn’t focused on consumer products after being acquired by Concur (who were acquired by SAP). Business travel was the focus.

Continue reading

Almost there

Men at forty/learn to close softly/the doors to rooms they will not be/coming back to.

Donald Justice

Fly Club

One of the things I enjoyed the most during my time at Hipmunk was Fly Club. It was a service for really cool flight deals delivered by a chatbot. The bot knew the users’ interests and home airport, and using a data model we jerry rigged together, it sniffed out upcoming flights to places that were interesting. On average, the prices were 35-60% below normal.

Continue reading

My refugee story

I’ve never really told anyone our family’s story – about how we got accepted to the US, about how were were given the opportunity to better our lives. It has been so long that the circumstances half-myths.

Continue reading

Goodbye to the things I carried

Today’s a new chapter: I’m finally donating my backpack to the Salvation Army. After 31 countries, 13 years and countless steps — it has been with me longer than my wife — I’m moving on to a lighter and smaller pack now.

Continue reading

Afternoon with the penguins

The students were rushed by Chilean special forces in riot gear from different directions.  In these moments, I ran with the students, dodging the tear gas canisters, the water cannons and police batons. Running trumped curiosity.

Continue reading