The novel coronavirus may stop us from leaving our houses (temporarily), but it can’t stop us from continuing to build a global community across all borders. This seems like a good time to share a relevant project as the entire travel industry has been decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

I wanted to bring to you a special program from The Table Less Traveled, a company with the same mission that we built Oh Hey World and Horizon around: community through travel.

Without further ado…

Experience Interactive Cooking Classes from Chefs Around the Globe — in the Comfort of Your Own Kitchen

  • What It Is: Live, virtual, interactive cooking classes with chefs and friends from around the world.
  • How It Works: Pick a class from the calendar of events, then gather ingredients or have one of their preferred vendors ship them to you. …


This year’s SVP Fast Pitch Final Showdown was a night to remember. It was inspiring to lift my head from the day to day to see the next generation of social entrepreneurs pitch their businesses and organizations literally changing the fabric of our society’s most pressing issues. I was impressed with all the pitches, and particularly, by the selection of entrepreneurs. Nine out of eleven were women, representing diverse cultures and communities. Both nonprofit and for-profit organizations demonstrated how there are tackling key issues in the housing industry, as well as education, healthcare and food & services.

Image for post
Image for post

As a longtime member of Impact Hub Seattle and social entrepreneur myself, this was the third SVP Fast Pitch event I’ve attended. This year marked a bit of nostalgia because the event was held at Kane Hall, where I used to sit for hour long lectures more than a decade ago. A bonus of the night for me was to see the Intellectual House, a longhouse-style facility that was recently constructed a few years ago. …


Hi again, Drew here, co-founder of Horizon…

Remember when you found Horizon App and discovered a way to connect members of communities around the globe? We, the Horizon team, envisioned a new way to travel — one that would facilitate homestays among friends, friends of friends, and communities, such as the Peace Corps and StartingBloc. We are on a mission to make travel accessible, make it more personal for you, and give you a way to form deeper connections in each destination you visit.

It’s been an incredible, challenging, and humbling journey. And yes, we’re still here. Horizon exists, but it needs you more than ever. Four years ago, we joined Start-up Chile with a private hospitality networks concept and a small team. We overcame many challenges in those early years, and now, many thousands of dollars poorer, I’m still here. …


WeWork is set to acquire Meetup.

This is big, big news in the community industry for sure. WeWork is a unicorn on an acquisition spree aiming to platform community. Meetup has been around 15 years and is one of the shining lights of “community”.

When I heard the acquisition news earlier this evening, my first thought was that of sadness the shining light of building & strengthening real community is no longer independent — and likely will be neglected like virtually every other consumer focused product that has been acquired.

Image for post
Image for post
Via https://www.gaintap.com/blog/wework-buys-meetup-heres-meetup-will-change/

I’ve always been a huge fan of Meetup.

Why?

Their mission and focus is the same as Horizon’s: in person connections & experiences, which is the fundamental requirement to building community. They believe what we believe. A world experienced face to face is where life’s magical moments occur. As Scott Heiferman puts…


Image for post
Image for post
Via Maura McDonald

It’s no secret America is more divided than ever.

There are articles written about the topic on a daily basis. Time’s most recent poll says 59% of people think Trump is encouraging division.

The Evergrey asks “We need to continue talking with people who disagree with us. So where do we go from here?

How do we bridge the gap?

We can read books such as Hillbilly Elegy. We can watch documentaries. We can bitch and moan on social media (this post would literally take millions of minutes to read if I linked to every example of this).

Im sorry to break it to you, but none of that makes a difference in terms of the two sides of the aisle truly understanding the others’ perspective. When I say the two sides of the aisle, I don’t mean politicians in Washington DC. I mean the millions and millions of Americans all over the country. …


The tech recruiting industry puzzles me. The sheer number of recruiters looking for talent, and the money spent on finders fees is beyond my comprehension.

Why so perplexing to me?

As the founder of Horizon, we have always had the opposite surplus as the tech industry norm. Talent, not money.

Engineers work on Horizon for equity or at extremely discounted rates. In some cases, they’ve worked for free in between jobs or in their spare time. …


The following commercial from Royal Jordanian is simply superb…

As is Rafat Ali’s essay, The Anxieties of a Muslim Traveler.


Hospitality exchange (also known as home sharing) accounts for 40% — or more — of all stays worldwide. (AirBnB has quoted 40% and Expedia 27%). Virtually everyone in the world has “Couchsurfed” with someone they know (friend, friend of a friend, uncle, cousin, college classmate, RPCV, grandma, etc). Particularly if you include road trips to your best friends’ house across the state and Christmas at your grandparents, I’ll venture toguess the percentage is closer to 50% of all trips worldwide. That equates to more than 2 billion home stays, without breaking a sweat.

The barrier to facilitating more home stays is a majority of people don’t know / trust people in every city they dream of visiting. That’s where “communities” like Couchsurfing — and now Horizon — come into play. There’s a need to vastly expand the number of accessible global connections to potentially stay with. Horizon’s mission is to facilitate hospitality exchange within your trusted communities. …


You likely heard the bigs news coming out of the Facebook community summit in Chicago. Facebook has changed their mission.

The old:

To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.

The new:

To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.

Sounds good in theory. It’s 100% true — the world is more divided than ever, and someone needs to do something about it.

Making community accessible globally is the fundamental mission of Horizon. I‘m not spending years of my life and a considerable amount of my own money working on solving a problem I don’t believe to be important. …


I think a lot about long term strategic defensibility when evaluating any business (& building my own). The best companies, focus on what they do better than anyone else, that is extremely hard to duplicate — and stay focused on executing on increasing that defensibility. You’ve got to build a moat to protect your castle.

In the context of web and mobile assets, without a “moat”, someone will inevitably knock you off. From the real estate franchise perspective, what’s defensible about your lead generation efforts? What’s your moat? …

About

Drew Meyers

Travel, Microfinance, Real Estate Enthusiast, Blogger, Social Entrepreneurship. Doer. @Zillow Alum. Co-Founder - @gethorizonapp, Founder @geekestate.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store