January 01, 2024

Trailvoyant is Back! (sort of)

 A little over 2 years ago, I took down the Trailvoyant web app after 5 years online.

It was painful. It was my baby. I had been working on it since 2010 and like most trails, there were lots of ups and downs along the way.

The app was born out of 2 core assumptions:

  1. The destination is important - It's not all about the journey. You want to know you're hiking to something awesome.
  2. People want more reliable information - Researching a new hike is tough because information online is scarce or inaccurate. Read about my first-hand experience here
I still believe both to be true.

The Struggle

"First time founders are obsessed with product. Second time founders are obsessed with distribution." 
- Justin Kan

Building a web app is hard. It's complex, time-consuming, and expensive. If you can push through the misery and get it launched, the battle has only begun. 

You can build the greatest product ever, but it does zero good if nobody knows about it. Turns out the world will not beat a path to your door when you invent a better mousetrap.

Changing Trails

Having learned the difficulty in trying to find an audience for a product, it's time to flip the script.

In 2024, I'll be working to build an audience through creating videos about Tucson hikes.

If I'm successful, I'll engage them to find out what products they actually want. Perhaps the app will be revived. We'll see...

Why Video?

I realized that neither original assumption needed a web app to validate. 

From amazing camera gear to free hosting on YouTube, it's never been easier to create and share video content.

Add to that the fact that YouTube is the second largest search engine on the planet (next to its parent Google) and it seems like there's adequate opportunity to get the content seen.

The Path Forward

I don't know how this will go. I can't control the outcome, but I can control my inputs. 

Here's what I'm committing to:

  • 100 videos in 2024
  • At least 1 video per week
  • Posting an update in January of 2025
If you'd like to follow along and learn about the amazing hiking trails in Tucson, Arizona, click here to check out the YouTube channel.

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