When Guide Pro was born back in 2012, our vision was elementary at best. That vision was to digitize every trail in existence and compile it all into a comprehensive database allowing anyone to navigate anywhere; always knowing what trail and at what point they were standing. We later found out that the vision was shared by others that had more technical muscle than our little side project. We congratulate the organizations that did it and continue to improve on that vision. Without them, we would not be where we are today.
As Guide Pro matured, so did our vision. We realized that it's not just a digital map that this new age of technology needs - that's only the half! What's needed was quality recommendations and guides for the best adventures! It was with this revelation that we decided to launch our Kickstarter campaign to raise a bit of cash to test this theory. Thanks in huge part to the 140 amazing people who backed our project, we were able to explore this idea. We were humbled by the positive response and apatite for such a product.
So like any adolescent child we said, "We will do this on our own! We will create the most amazing digital guidebook ever!" Thus, we set our aim at multiple destinations and got started...
We quickly learned that it takes a lot of work to develop the content to author even a simple guidebook - let alone build an application to support the concept...
This was both good news and bad. Good, because it assured us of our belief that crowd-sourcing will never reach the quality standards of the guidebook industry. There is just too much work invested in compiling a book's worth of material, just to donate it to the internet for free. It was bad because this was our approach to surpassing our competitors and we weren't moving very quickly..
We have learned a lot in the last three years; studied from others and learned valuable lessons. For instance The Lean Startup reinforced the necessity to "pivot" and not fear having to make small or even major directional changes to the business plan. We have have certainly become comfortable with pivoting and feel, after three tireless years of essentially swing dancing with our ideas, we've at least found our course.
We are happy to release Guide Pro V2.0. We certainly aren't where we hoped to be with the content side of things, but we are pretty darn satisfied with the platform we've built, and the quality of content it's designed to support.
Moving forward we intend to source quality content that represents the best quality guidebooks in some amazing destinations. We still have a lot of work to do but we know that we are making some giant steps in the right direction.