Name: Gillian Morris
Title: CEO, co-founder of Hitlist
Gillian Morris is the co-founder and CEO of Hitlist, a mobile app which helps users travel more by delivering personalized, proactive trip recommendations. Note: Hitlist has a killer Chrome extension which will have you packing your suitcase with every tab you open. Before entering the start-up world, Gillian worked as a consultant, journalist, and educator in Turkey, China, the Gulf states, Syria, and Afghanistan.
Me: Why are you an entrepreneur?
Gillian: 'Because it's there'? Who wouldn't want to wake up every day and solve a problem they think needs to be addressed? I was lucky enough to figure out relatively early in life that I could make money if I put my mind to it. Once you have that security - that you have a marketable skill and would be able to get a job quickly if need be - then it's relatively easy to branch out and take a risk.
Me: What problem would you like solved?
Gillian: I think that people have the time, money, and inclination to travel more than they do, but can't find things they feel confident buying. At Hitlist, we're building an intelligent, mobile-based travel agent that enables you to plan and book the most interesting trips at the best prices.
Me: Advice you’d wished you’d had or had followed?
Gillian: I wish I'd tried harder to get into one of the good incubators (Y Combinator, TechStars, or 500 Startups). They do truly accelerate you and I probably would have saved about a years' worth of hard earned lessons along the way.
Me: What does success look like for you?
Gillian: Success is when we've succeeded in raising the average # of times an American travels from 2.9 to 5 a year. To do this, they'll have to reduce their spend in other areas, which we think is a good thing - too much is wasted on consumer goods and other areas that would be better spent on travel.
Me: Who are your heroes?
Gillian: Freya Stark (a British explorer), Frances Brown (friend at the Department of State who has been active in transition initiatives on the ground in Afghanistan, Mali, and other conflict zones), Martin Luther King Jr and My parents.
Me: What is your best discovery?
Gillian: The world is a spectacular place and going somewhere is almost never a bad idea.
Me: What would the title of your biography be?
Gillian: She Used Her Passport
Me: What is your biggest regret?
Gillian: I have no regrets. I reflect on things I might have done better but I spend more time thinking about what I'm going to do next.
Me: Anything else we should know about?
Gillian: Hitlist will be launching a new version, 3.0, in the next few weeks (exact date tbd). We're excited to introduce new ways to share and plan trips with friends.
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