Two Harvard grads start a camping business, make millions

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Came across this

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/tw...
What do people think about this business? I consider it borderline absurd that these two "Harvard guys" were able to get funding to start a business based on a concept that has been around for thousands of years - renting cabins in the woods so overworked yuppies can "unplug" and "de-stress."

I personally don't see how what they are offering is materially different from Airbnb/camping. What value are these guys really adding here?

Comments (11)

Nov 27, 2018

They're building a dinky startup that if it is successful can be bought out by one of those competitors. Sounds like a solid strategy to me. Once they have a good personal net worth and connections from said investors, they now can create more and more. They look to be on a great track to me.

Nov 27, 2018

This is the concept of most VC backed companies these days. Build something other big VC backed companies or huge tech companies will buy.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Most Helpful
Nov 27, 2018

I'll bite.

What does Airbnb offer that hotels don't? Lots of the current homes that are available on airbnb were available before, just through travel agencies, local rental companies, etc. ALL Airbnb did was put everything on one platform, made it easy to pay for/get paid through, and advertised the hell out of it. That is it. And it was a fantastic idea. I don't have to tell anyone on this site how much Airbnb is worth

Camping isn't necessarily easy. You need to get a tent, food, cooking supplies, camping gear, tarps, etc. Then you need to find a spot, rent it/secure the location however that may be, and finally, drive there. Then set up the tent, unpack, and get situated. Most decent camping spots or parks are more than an hour or two from a major metros, so it isn't particularly easy to just go do for a weekend without taking a day off

Also, my guess is most people don't like to go out and get dirty, light the fire themselves, go without washing their face for a day or two, all the things that come with traditional camping. What we know people do like, is experiences. That's the new trend now, right? These two found a way to bring an experience most in today's day and age wouldn't take the time to pursue, to an easily accessible web platform. My guess is most all of the people who do this, never have camped or at least wouldn't without this.

I'll also add that Justphresh has a great point. Half these companies are just looking to be acquired. With that being said, looks to me like these two were able to become cash positive a lot faster than most and will probably sell this off and create something else that will be trivialized by some WaPo writer

Now, this is coming from someone who grew up in the outdoors, riding dirtbikes, camping, etc. I wouldn't necessarily call this camping, you're renting a small cabin in the woods with running water and heat, clean sheets, etc. BUT it is a new way to get people outdoors and disconnected, I'll take it.

Let's be real, VC groups throw way more that $15m at dumber, cash bleeding companies all the time anyway

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Funniest
Nov 27, 2018
weaksaus:

What did Airbnb offer that hotels don't?


weaksaus:

Lot's

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Nov 27, 2018
Isaiah_53_5:
weaksaus:

What did Airbnb offer that hotels don't?


weaksaus:

Lot's

I can always appreciate a friendly spell-check troll on this site, since apparently there isn't one built in

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Nov 27, 2018
weaksaus:
Isaiah_53_5:
weaksaus:

What did Airbnb offer that hotels don't?


weaksaus:

Lot's

I can always appreciate a friendly spell-check troll on this site, since apparently there isn't one built in

haha riiiight

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Nov 27, 2018

I'll chime on this: I'm from a small fishing village out in nowhere. It's about as rural as it gets (think some 3-digit fishing village in Alaska), and the place has been facing bankruptcy for as long as I can remember.

For the past 10 years or so, some people figured out that, hey, why don't we just try to sell this rugged and rural "experience" to someone? Like rich city folk.

And it actually worked. I won't say that our rented out cabins / lodges are jam packed, but there's a steady stream of people from all around the world (though mostly Asia, and some richer western countries) that are willing to pay considerable sums for a couple of days / weeks out in nowhere. Some spend good money on guided stuff, other just rent a cabin and go there for their stay.

In fact, it seems like a huge part of this kinda of tourism is strictly geared towards the luxury market. And I can understand them: You get to see places that very few people see, there's next to zero "annoying" tourism there, and you're pretty much disconnected from the daily bustle if you want.

So I can absolutely understand how someone building small and minimalistic cabins out in nowhere can make money - they're aimed at people that living the exact opposite lifestyles (surrounded by tech, noise, people, in big cities). Now are they worth tens of millions? Who knows, I haven't done research or seen any numbers on similar businesses - but I absolutely think there's a marked for rich people wanting to get "back" to nature.

Nov 27, 2018

This entire concept is about making it easier for hunters to find access to lodging. It makes perfect senese.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Nov 27, 2018

Think about it. The AirBNB example is really what Amazon has done. Amazon, to the consumer, is simply a mail order company no different than Sears, LL Bean and 1000 others. It put it all on one platform, made it easy to pay, get fast delivery, etc. In fact, it's just the modern version of the old Wells Fargo wagons but you don't have to wait months for your goods. Not a new concept, just a better delivery system and user interface.

Nov 27, 2018

More power to the entrepreneurs, even though I detest the concept. In 21st century America, let's be real---a cabin in the woods is just another place to Netflix and chill. I can't imagine spending several hundred dollars a night on something like that--the idea of doing so enrages me.

Nov 30, 2018

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.