Let me start by saying Q1 was great. Moreover, after Q4 of 2018 forced us to change plans, deal with lots of uncertainties, trying to re-invent our way to success - Q1 is all about positive indications. To refresh your memory, We closed 2018 with launching 2 pilots with strategic partners from the travel industry. One is still going on and one has ended with great results. Before I share the results of the pilot and our plans for the next quarter, I want to answer some of the concerns I’ve heard and address some of the issues that came up.
We’ve seen lots of questions about liquidity and progress, and obviously a few ‘scam’ alerts. Even though I totally understand the frustration I don’t respect all the ‘scam’ alerts. We are working very hard to build Cool Cousin and this language is just not appropriate. As you all know, Cool Cousin is not an infrastructure company nor is it a tech solution of some kind for other BC companies, as a matter of fact, the technological side of Cool Cousin is nothing compared to the consumer side of it. Growing the consumer side requires 2 basic things (aside from a working product): resources and a market. From the resources perspective, all of us had different expectations from the current situation and it obviously changed the picture completely.
As for the market, we said from the get go, we need the maturity of the market to succeed and in return not only it didn’t mature it actually went backwards in many ways. For these two reasons we went to reinvent ourselves. Not an easy task. It was easier to stick to the original plan, it made no sense and we saw others do so, failing dramatically in adoption, growth, and all other aspects. We’ve invested years in Cool Cousin and we didn’t want it to be the Cool Cousin story. We realised this wasn't the right time for launching the consumer side and we needed to focus on the B2B side. Bringing forward what was planned for late 2019 with adjustments and tweaks. We created the Cool Cousin experience for partners.
A white label solution based on Cool Cousin which allows us to provide a B2B solution, work with paying customers, turning Cool Cousin into a viable business and getting ready for the right moment to tap into the consumer side again. Our first pilot was with a traditional travel agency - Our mission was to increase customer engagement and build a new revenue stream for a traditional travel agency. Our WL solution had achieved the following: 1 out of 2 users have shared their page, Average time spent on page was 5.5 minutes, 55% clicked on ‘more info’, 45% clicked on ‘Get tickets’ and 75% have tried at least one recommendation. Promising results!
Second pilot was (and still running) is with a partner from the hospitality industry. Our mission is to connect the tourist aspects of it to the local neighborhood, highlighting what’s best about it, driving engagement and boosting satisfaction. Results are not final yet (expected to end by the end of the month) but again we see positive indications for our efforts.
Considering the success of the pilots, our goals for Q2 are: (1) Build a 2 vertical partners base (hospitality and OTAs), (2) Improve the technical infrastructure. Achieving all of the above will serve as a solid ground to build on. As said before, we took our initial plans for Q3 2019 and brought it forward.
Some of you have asked to share some screenshots or even help test products - we highly appreciate that offer and I’m thinking of a way to address it. Since we’re dealing here with third party stakeholders it is a bit tricky. In order to sort it out we’re thinking about opening a closed group to engage with more sensitive information, test and provide feedback. If you want to be a part of it, please email me: CEOclosedgroup@coolcousin.com.
There are no magic tricks or shortcuts in building a company, things usually take more time and cost more money than expected. Focus and hard work are the key. Patience and ability to be quick on your feet are crucial. Cool Cousin is not a short term gig of ours and we will do whatever it takes to make it in the long term. Having said that, we keep our eyes and ears open, the latest signals from the market may indicate a change in the sentiment and it will definitely affect our plans going forward.
In the next few days we will have a new admin for the TG group and we will share a few guidelines to improve communication and make sure all issues are being addressed. Feel free to email me on any matter.