Best of Foo Week - Jan 2017 ✈︎

At Hipmunk, we believe that the key to developing a world-class product and team is by fostering innovation and enabling continuous education. One way we encourage that is through the use of Foo Time. Foo Time is time for Hipmunks to spend however they want, Hipmunk related or not. They can learn a new technology, prototype a new feature, work on a side project, develop a new skill, or even write blog posts. If it makes you better at what you do then go for it!

Foovolution

Foo Time started out as Foo Fridays. "Foo" was a placeholder name, but we never got around to changing it, and eventually it stuck. We would "foo" (also a verb as well as a noun) every other Friday, but one day every other week wasn't enough time to get much done. You'd start a project, make some progress and table it until next time, but when the next Friday rolled around you forgot what you were doing and had to spend time ramping up again. Eventually most people started to ignore Foo Fridays and continued to do their regular work during them.

That wasn't what we wanted, so we decided to double down on Foo. We realized it would be more productive to have a longer stretch of Foo Time and make up for it by doing them less frequently. We settled on one week of Foo every quarter. Foo Week was born! Foo Weeks start on a Friday and end the following Friday. The first Friday is a chance to plan and coordinate so that when everyone comes in on Monday they can hit the ground running. On the last Friday, we end the day a little early and show off what we've been working on. Then it's time to pick a winner and celebrate!

We've had many great projects come out of Foo Time, including Hello Hipmunk, our popular travel chatbot. We recently launched Hipskunk to showcase some of these projects and give our users the opportunity to try them out and give us feedback.

Foo Week III

Check out some of the best projects from our third Foo Week below!

Hello

Winner: Restaurants and Events in Hello Hipmunk
by Zak Lee and Eliot Winder

The winner of our latest Foo Week integrated restaurant and event booking into Hello Hipmunk. The demo enabled you to easily find the best restaurants at your destination and reserve a table at your favorite. It also helped you find the best deals for events. For example, say you wanted to go to a Warriors game. Hello Hipmunk would search all of the places they were playing at so you could easily find great deals for flights and tickets.

Mardis Gras

Visualizing Travel Searches in D3
by Meg Ellis

We're constantly looking for new ways to analyze and visualize the vast amount of travel data that we collect. This week, Meg from our Data Science team experimented with showing the flow of people at different travel times across the United States. With green being low volume and red being high volume, you can see which states are popular destinations and tie them back to popular events. The image above highlights the influx of people into Louisiana during Mardis Gras.

Comparison Emails

Comparison Emails
by Devin Ruppenstein, Danver Braganza, Christine Moon, and Steve Clarke

Sometimes you just need more options. The idea with this email is that someone who searches on Hipmunk but can't find what they're looking for might be able to find it on another site. In that case, this helpful email will let them click through to each site with all of their search parameters saved. This way they can easily comparison shop without having to fill in a search form on each site.

Playover

Playovers
by Steve Vargas, Jamie Sharpless, Jorge Cruz, Adam Lang, and Kim Ruelo

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to take a break on a long journey to have some fun? With playovers, you can split up a long trip and potentially save money by utilizing layovers to your advantage. In this example, you can spend a day in Vegas while flying from SFO to NYC. Seems like a win-win to us.