Q&A 4Her – Heddi Cundle of myTab.co
Heddi Cundle is giving travelers a new way to book and fund their trips with the launch of her innovative new website, myTab. The website is like a virtual gift card, allowing friends and family to contribute money to a person to help them fund a meaningful trip.
Heddi took a moment to talk to MyCity4Her about her website, the barriers she faced in getting it started and more. Take a look at the full interview below.
What is the unique problem or situation your product or service solves?
There’s no loyalty in travel – we’re all spending weeks scrambling around for the lowest deal and when we finally book a trip, did we really get the best bang for our buck? We don’t know and the travel industry doesn’t either. 85/90% of us, at the time of booking decide to check elsewhere at the last minute and travel is the only industry that we’d actually search for 4 weeks trying to find something $5 less. So we’re slightly insane – attempting the same irritating problem each time we want to book a trip yet expecting a different result, which never happens. But with myTab, you’re not focusing on the price because you’re already travel cash rich (gifting and/or saving) and it feels a bit like free money. Friends & family that gifted you also know their gift will be used towards a memorable trip vs a standard unemotional gift card that’s re-gifted or discarded (for ref, $30b of the $100b gift cards a year purchased are never redeemed). So with myTab, we bring back the value proposition and excitement to gifting, saving, searching and booking travel. And with our Match myCash feature, we’re truly creating a win/win for both customer and travel industry. You receive an exclusive deal and the travel industry get to target a fantastic demographic, ready to travel. It’s never been done before because no one ever focused on the price problem as such a massive issue. myTab’s also great for friends getaways – just plan together yet save and book separately so no stressed team leader organizing the trip and trying to recoup back the cash.
What in hindsight would you say you underestimated about this particular industry or running your own business and why?
The only thing I believe I underestimated were investors. They all say they love disruptive risky start ups but in reality, since myTab is so original, they’d prefer to hold out until a few clone copycats come along. And I believe that’s the epitome of safe-investments. But with Fundable.com, we’re getting that incredible support and just see this as an amazing opportunity to pivot in our fundraising efforts.
What is the best business related advice you have ever been given?
When people are getting nervous in the industry about myTab, you’re doing something right because we’re outside of their comfort zone and showing disruption. I actually use that as my own rule of thumb. If I feel slightly jumpy about a new venture or proposition, I know that I need to test the water since it’s new and I have to take a leap. I’m very conscious about that feeling.
What were the hardest barriers in getting your idea off the ground?
There weren’t any actual barriers getting myTab idea off the ground since everyone loved what we were doing and we ran focus groups, tested with industry top tier experts etc. What was hard getting off the ground was the actual business since it’s such a new concept. No one would write about us since they didn’t have a comparable. So we ran tests and then upgraded our website design for launch, so we could strategically go live in October 2011 at the same time as latch onto gift-guide holiday media coverage. And it worked. Timing was everything and we were very astute about maximizing the holiday season opportunities.
What do you enjoy best about being an entrepreneur?
The unexpected and the hysteria that comes from sleepless nights thinking ‘what if’ to the then amazing results of seeing cash flowing in for a dream trip. We have a customer who’s set up an account for her friend’s milestone birthday. Everyone’s chipped in and the pals generated over $750 in two days. In a few weeks, they’ll present her with her myTab user & password so she can get the best birthday surprise of her life. Then there’s Ben who was bullied at school, gained 140lbs extra weight, lost 100lbs but needed an incentive to drop the other 40lbs. He heard about myTab and set a goal – to jazzercise on the beaches in Rio for New Year’s Eve with the best body ever. See, we’re focusing on the emotion behind the trip, not the destination. These stories are the ones that just make me so happy I have an incredible team and business. We’re so off-the-wall different and absolutely life-changing for not only the customer but also the travel industry. We’re changing ecommerce.
Do you feel becoming an entrepreneur has helped you grow as a person? If so – how?
Absolutely it has. I don’t care about the petty stuff anymore. I’ve lost a great deal of friends over the past year and I never expected that to happen. So many friends were incredibly unsupportive so I realized, it’s that they’re getting that nervous feeling. I’ve stepped outside my comfort zone and made a lifestyle change and it’s unnerving them. I now can’t sweat about the small stuff. The core friends I have are like gold to me and I’ve evolved completely with a new set of appreciation and value for these friends.
Where can people learn more about your company?
They can go to www.mytab.co and read the ‘About Us’ section or just play around on the website. It’s incredibly easy to use and so inspiring for making your travel dreams come true or helping someone you care about fulfill their trip.
If you had to share one final thought with our audience of thousands of women in business – what would it be?
Richard Branson can’t fly a plane yet he built an airline empire. Just because you can’t code doesn’t mean your business won’t be accepted by your industry. Focus on your start up and not your gender. Magnify your innovation and not your competitors. And every time you think ‘I’m not sure if this will work,’ just call a family member and pretend you’re pitching them. All the passion you had that made you create your business will press your happy default button for inspiration, drive and ambition.
About myTab: With myTab.co (yes, .co), our online gift card lets you save travel cash and shout ‘put it on myTab’ so friends & family can contribute towards your trip. Then simply redeem the funds towards travel, all within our website, just like a store card! Our gifting feature is fantastic for all celebrations i.e. birthdays, wedding/honeymoon registry, volunteer abroad, study abroad. The kicker? Since we’re running a gift card platform, we can also negotiate exclusive deals with travel suppliers on behalf of our customers. We call this Match myCash and its brilliant!