Welcome to Life at Hopper — Hopper’s new Medium publication space.

Here is where we’ll be posting all our behind-the-scenes articles. From the algorithms that power our state-of-the-art predictions technology, the code that builds the app and the humans behind the bunny that make Hopper happen, we want to peel back the curtain and show you what life at Hopper is really like.

Make sure to subscribe to the Life at Hopper publication space so you don’t miss any updates. You’ll hear from our Data Scientists, Engineers, Designers, Product Managers, and more. …


By: Tamir Bennatan, Data Scientist @ Hopper

How do you measure Lifetime Retention, without waiting for a lifetime?

Everything we work on at Hopper is aimed at delighting our customers by delivering real and unique value.

Arguably, the best metric we can use to measure our success in achieving this goal isn’t sessions, sales or conversion; it’s retention. Customers who find Hopper useful and recognize continuous improvements in the app are retained; customers who do not are lost.

While most would agree that improving retention is a worthwhile objective, it’s difficult to iterate on projects aimed at improving retention directly, as retention is not observable in the short term. This is…


Tomorrow is the first day of summer, which means that millions of Americans are planning their annual warm-weather getaways. But when it comes to booking hotels, do travelers know how to get the best bang for their buck, or are they relying on old myths that could cost them?

To save travelers some extra cash on their upcoming summer trips, Hopper analyzed millions of hotel prices to determine the four truths you need to know about booking hotels. If travelers do everything right, they could be looking at a savings of over 50%.

Myth #1: Your Check-In Date Doesn’t Matter


Over 270,000 Hotels Now Available to Book in the App Worldwide

Every traveler knows that flight prices can fluctuate drastically in the months leading up to departure. At Hopper, we’re proud to have earned nearly perfect reviews for predicting future flight prices with 95% recommendation accuracy up to a year in advance. What many travelers don’t know, however, is that hotel prices can fluctuate just as much as flight prices. Over a year ago, we rolled out the first-ever price prediction feature for hotels in one beta market — New York. …


By: Tamir Bennatan, Hopper Data Scientist

Hopper is hiring — check out our current job openings.

We at Hopper have always appreciated the importance of collecting and analyzing user behavior data - and we have a lot of user behavior data. Users set up 4.5 million “Watches” per month, telling Hopper which trip they’d ultimately like to book and trusting the app to monitor prices for them. Requesting a “Watch” exposes users to notifications on price changes, flash sales, and alternative deals. We send around 1.5 million push notifications per day, and the average Hopper user launches the app once…


The Simple Power of SMS

By Trevor Tarakjian

Have you ever had an engaging conversation with your favourite app?

At Hopper, we like to challenge what it means to engage our users, how engagement can lead to new experiences, and what driving experiences through personal conversations with an app that you rely on for accurate travel predictions might look like.

The potential value behind what we dub “Business Chat” is hazy. Business initiated discussions are rare. Sure, Spotify might tell you that a new album from your favourite artist is available to stream, or perhaps Uber is forcing you to vacate your couch to come…


Jo Lai, Hopper Travel Experience Manager

The concept of a travel agent has transformed completely from its totemic origins. From being the mighty gatekeepers of all travel knowledge (c. the 1950s) to their current role as a seldom-used specialty travel option — one thread remains consistent — travel agents are called upon for an extra level of service, expertise and ease.

Implicit in the old rulebook, however, is a distinct level of opacity and the expectation that the travel agent guided experience will be based on good faith that the agent has done the much-needed legwork. For those of us…


By Ken Pickering, VP Engineering @ Hopper

Investing in growth is one of the most critical times as a company, especially when you’re looking for smart people to contribute within an advanced technical ecosystem. It’s one thing when the corporate goal to “double the engineering team” appears on the roadmap; it’s another to embrace the chaos, change and eventual rewards of that additional number of humans joining, growing and developing your team.

In the last year, Hopper has exploded from the fledgling headcount of a start-up to something double that, with the vast majority of the new team members starting…


I thought I understood this comment — by User Experience veteran Don Norman — until a recent project I designed taught me otherwise.

“[…] never solve the problem I am asked to solve. […] Because, invariably, the problem I am asked to solve is not the real, fundamental, root problem.” — Don Norman in The Design of Everyday Things

The ability to narrow down flight search results by hiding undesirable flights was one of the most asked for features on the Hopper app for much of the product’s first year of existence. Preoccupied with product/market fit and validating our core…


The idea of measuring distance between different values of a cyclic feature suggests the concept of a preference distribution over such a feature. In figure 4, imagine that the user’s preferred origin is p and that q is the origin of a trip they’re considering. (Obviously the likelihood of switching origin from New York to Paris is usually low!) Now, just like the dot product of a full user preference vector and product feature vector produces a similarity score, the dot product p · q produces an origin similarity score, rising as the two origins get closer together. …

Hopper

Hopper uses big data to predict when you should book your flights & hotels. We’ll instantly notify you when prices drop so you can book travel fast in the app.

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