some very creative years in our company history. I had incredibly talented and
hands on people around me who didn’t take any prisoners. Three of them should
be mentioned by name because they need all recognition: Fredrik Ekstrand, Sören
Bech and Katharina Nordstrom. More passionate and dedicated people are hard to
find. And I cherish the memories of these years dearly.
We had a
deal with a company that we knew we were going to loose. We estimated the loss
to be around 30% of our business. So we needed to come up with new stuff to
sell and downsize at the same time.
downsizing was sad and we had to let some people go to prepare for the worst.
Because of our
predicament we instilled a new routine were we had a product meeting once a
week. We were not allowed to leave the room until we had come up with ONE new
product that we could launch the next seven days. It was very hard in the start
but after a while it got easier. We decided not to have any preconceived ideas
on what was possible and what was not. So here are some of the products we
started to market via our travel website:
Model for a
day thingy, glam photos
tours in Sweden, primarily to Gotland and Skane.
of concert tickets; Kent, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Mc Cartney, Bowie etc.
a famous person
of toys, even think we sold some kinky stuff
other kitchen supply
from Sweden to Iceland.
We sold out
two nights of Christmas concerts at Blå Hallen in Stockholm
many more products.
this exercise was mostly non travel related we found the traffic increasing on
our website manifold and as a bi product our core products like flights and
hotels increased as well.
By the time
we lost the deal we were trying to make up for we had not only regained the 30%
of business we actually lost but we had gained another 20% on top of that.
our core business grew to a degree that it didn’t make any since in continuing
selling odd merchandise. The products were also a hassle to manage. Someone had
to package the toys and run with them to the post office. When it came to the
concert tickets it was a mission because we always had to buy the tickets
second hand on the grey market. These often had to be delivered at dodge
places. “You can pi.jpgck up your Bruce Springsteen tickets at the bar on
Odengatan. The person you will meet has a gray leather jacket. Meet him at 3 o
clock”. Ema telstar, now live nation, founder Thomas Johansson, who runs a
monopoly in Sweden, came at us in radio and newspapers and wanted to sue us,
but nothing ever came out of it.
A group of
150 Swedish politicians bought a spa packages from us to Poland plus some
2.000€ worth of gift vouchers, to use for, God knows what. Some of them were
later convicted for the misuse of taxpayer’s money. But they paid for the gift vouchers
and never used them, so Travelstart at least got something back for all the
taxes we pay each year.