Trippie Before Shark Tank
Ryan Diew is the young entrepreneur who created the Trippie app. As someone who traveled frequently both to and from college, and asked the traveling college basketball player, Ryan knew that the airport could be a frustrating experience for most people. Decided he wanted to try and help by creating a nap so that travelers could connect with each other and map out the airport. He created all of that before he even graduated college, and then began to grow the app with the help of his brother. He decided to go on Shark Tank because he needed the money to expand.
Trippie on Shark Tank
Before going on stage, the camera showed Ryan hugging his mother, who was encouraging him. Finally, he walked out onto the stage to face the Sharks. He said that he was the entrepreneur behind Trippie. He called it the go-to app for navigating large airports. Ryan requested $100,000 in exchange for 10% equity in his company.
He started off his presentation by telling the Sharks something they probably already knew – that airports with confusing. He said that that was even the case for business professionals who traveled all the time. Ryan said that he was a college student from Oakland who went to school in the East and traveled as a student-athlete. He said that he was always at the airport.
Ryan acted out his typical airport experience. He picked up the bags at his feet and said that he would typically grab his carry-ons before he grabbed a bite to eat before a long flight. He wouldn’t know where to turn from there. He explained that the airport directory was never there when you needed it, and a traveler would not want to go looking up and down the terminal for something that might not be there in the first place.
He said that he would typically have to settle for the newsstand by his gate which only sold bottled water and soggy tuna sandwiches. He insisted that with his product, he wouldn’t have to settle for subpar food. He tossed the package containing the tuna sandwich towards the garbage can on stage but did not get it in. He continued, said that instead of the tuna sandwich, he would be able to eat that burrito of his dreams. He took a bite of a burrito that was hiding behind a plant on the stage.
Ryan continued, stating that with Trippie they would be able to navigate big airports. He had a TV screen on stage to be able to showcase the app to the Sharks. It had a list of airports on it, including Shark Tank International. That brought up a list of all of the restaurants at the terminals. He picked one, in particular, the Shark Tank Diner. Once he clicked on that, it showed him how far away he was from it and that one of the deals was the Mr. Wonderful special. It also listed which gate it was at, and the hours of operation. The other Sharks joked that the business had probably gone out of business due to food safety issues.
Ryan showed them the map. Where the consumer would be a little blue dot. It would guide him through his destination. Ryan claimed that the arrival of Trippie would eliminate most of the airport stress. Robert laughed. He asked the Sharks who wanted to help him get Trippie into the hands of millions of jet-setters worldwide, thus ending his presentation.
Robert jumped right in, wanting to know how many airports they had recruited. Ryan informed him that they had for so far – San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, and Toronto. He told them that it expanded even further since he graduated from college three weeks ago. He recruited another five airports. Mark knows that he was talking little funny, and asked him if he was still trying to finish his burrito. When Ryan said yes, he told him to finish and Ryan started chewing quickly.
Barbara asked him how he was able to always keep his information updated, with changes in restaurants and possible locations. She was particularly interested in prices and menu items. Ryan said that as of now, it was just a description of what the restaurant would sell. An example would be listing out certain kinds of beer or wine for a bar. The burrito is catching up to Ryan, and he was getting thirsty. He didn’t bring water with him, but one of the showrunners came out to provide him with some. He said it was really embarrassing. Robert was understanding, while Mark said that it was only the biggest moment of his life and what else could go wrong?
Ryan explained that he recently graduated and had turned down several job opportunities from large companies such as Facebook and Google. Robert wants to know what he was currently doing for a living. Ryan said that he worked on Trippie. He claims that he couldn’t go more than two seconds without thinking about it. Mark asked if he still lived at home with his parents, and Ryan admitted that he did.
Ryan told the sharks that he was the sole coder for the app and the only iOS developer. Robert asked him how long ago he uploaded, and he told him that he uploaded it in October of that year. Ryan has 850 downloads with about 160 active users per month. Mark asked him if there are other apps that do the same thing, and Ryan admitted that there were. Robert told him to forget about his competitors, and explain why he was better.
Ryan cited his main goal as connecting air travelers within the airport. He is looking to become the Waze to an indoor space. Travelers would be able to do things like telling each other how long they waited in the TSA line. Lori said that it wasn’t bad, but it was completely different from what he showed them today.
Mark Cuban asked if Google Maps wasn’t already doing a lot of the things that Ryan was talking about, including tracking your destination through the airport. Ryan told him that they were actually using the Google Maps API. He said that the main difference between Trippie and Google Maps was that he was trying to create a community of travelers the same way to communicate with each other.
Barbara stopped him and asked him what he would do with the money if he was able to get an investment in the Shark Tank. Ryan said that his top priority was to be able to parse place for itineraries to load them into the application. He claimed that since he graduated, the monthly users have increased by 40%. But when Mark asked him how many that was, he said it was only 179 active users. Mark Cuban told him that was a throwaway number.
Robert asked him if he was somehow plugged into the backend of airports, but Ryan said that they were not. Rohan wanted to know how they were getting the information and if he was uploading it manually into the system. Ryan told him that he worked with his brother who helped him aggregate all of the data from publicly available websites. Robert said that that was really difficult. He wondered why Ryan didn’t try to tie into the backend at airports.
Ryan said that they weren’t directly connected to the airports. He hadn’t reached out to them. Lori said that he thought she thought becoming the Waze for airports was a brilliant idea. She said that she thought he should concentrate on figuring out the waiting time for security. Ryan said that he didn’t go on the Shark Tank pitching that idea because they didn’t have that functionality yet. He said that he had a lot of ideas for where he wanted the app to go.
Lori said that she got back, and admitted that he was very intelligent. She just likes to know that something was already in the works. She apologized and went out. Ryan seemed to get a little insulted. He said that he didn’t have a rich uncle and couldn’t raise the friends and family round of investments. Robert told him not to say that. He was an immigrant, and his mother was a receptionist. He told Ryan that he would have to be more innovative and accept the reality of his situation. He said that that was the beauty of being an entrepreneur – being able to create value. Robert and Rohan also went out.
Ryan was visibly upset. Barbara told him not to get discouraged. She said that he had a good idea, but it wasn’t a business yet. She said that it was too early to come in to ask for an investment. She also went out. He looks shocked, and addressed the only Shark that was still in,
Mark Cuban. He said that their main goal for the site was to build the user base for the application. Mark told him that that was impossible. He asked Ryan if he knew how many apps I tried to be ubiquitous so that they had enough users to make it work. He said that he wasn’t going to over complement Ryan, or just build him up. He realized how much Ryan was hurting because he could see it in his face. Ryan said that they were only in the iOS store, and they hadn’t had the chance to jump over to the Play store yet.
Ryan said that the issue was that the app was still in beta mode. He told the Sharks that when he pitched last year at Colgate, they had a bunch of different entrepreneurs interested in it. Mark stopped him and told him that he was lying to himself if he thought he could differentiate his app that much. Ryan apologized, looking like he was about to cry.
Mark said that he understood that it was hard to be an entrepreneur. He continued, saying that one of the hardest things he had to learn was to stop lying to himself when things weren’t working. Mark told Ryan that Trippie was more of a feature than a product. He went out, wishing him the best of luck. Ryan put his head down and turned to walk off the stage. Before he was off, he turned back around and said he just wanted to say something.
He said that he put his blood sweat and tears into the app while he was a college student and a basketball player. Mark got angry. He told Ryan to stop patting himself on the back. He wasn’t special. Mark himself had spent 36 hours straight coding, and every other Shark in the Tank had worked long hard hours to get where they were. He said that it was a part of the deal. Mark told Ryan to stop feeling sorry for himself and go get the job done. Ryan insisted that he wasn’t feeling sorry for himself, he just wanted to tell his story. Mark said that he had been called an idiot many times, and has always come out all right in the end. Ryan just had to go out and prove himself.
Mark wished Ryan luck again, essentially telling him to get off the stage. Ryan looked completely crestfallen and walked off the stage with his head down and his shoulders hunched. Barbara said that it broke her heart. Mark was still angry, and he said that Ryan was being a millennial stereotype. He said that he wanted a participation trophy. Ryan walked to where his mom was waiting. He told her that the sharks thought he was acting like an entitled kid. His mom said that she had never seen him so invested in something in his entire life. She said it was motivation, and they are going to dig down and make it succeed. Let’s see how that played out.
Trippie Now in 2018 – The After Shark Tank Update
On their Twitter account, Trippie advertises that their the number one airport app in the US. Their Facebook app has not been updated since December 2017. Still, it doesn’t look like Ryan gave up. Since the Shark Tank episode, the app is been updated multiple times. They added international airports such as Frankfurt, Sydney, and Tokyo. They added more features such as being able to search restaurants by category and the ability to search by an airport. The trippie app now also has the ability to rate restaurants within the app. It has a 4.3 rating out of five stars.
Ryan is still updating the business’s Twitter account, even if the website and Facebook page are out of date. Occasionally whole post motivational messages to himself such as “Focus on the positive things.” On May 24, 2018, the Trippie account posted that they would be “cooking up something crazy for you guys… Stay tuned.” As of July 2018, the new venture has not been announced yet.