Interview With Johannes Reck: CEO of GetYourGuide
As you know, we’re gearing up for this year’s Techsylvania Conference in Cluj-Napoca, 2015’s Youth Capital of the World. As always, we’re lining up the most talented, innovative entrepreneurs in the industry whose knowledge and insight are incredible.
Among them is Johannes Reck, CEO of GetYourGuide. The company is one of our Silver Partners and will share their story, struggles and invaluable insights on the ins and outs of beginning a startup.
Johannes Reck: From Student to Start Up
Johannes started as a biochemistry student at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich where he worked on learning and memory with mice. From there, he worked as a management consultant for Boston Consulting Group for a brief period of time.
While it was a great job, for some reason, it just didn’t fit. Soon, he found himself going back to an idea he’d originally started as a student project while in college, which was GetYourGuide, however with a completely different vision. His humble beginnings consisted of a small university room absent of air conditioning with only one small window. He and a group of students would gather in the evenings and code, hack, sell, design, perform customer service and chip away at completing their first prototype.
Four years later, GetYourGuide is a very successful, growing company. This means that they’re also hiring at the moment. Available positions range from content editors to SEO analysts and account managers.
We had the privilege of picking his brain to get to know him a little better.
What is GetYourGuide focusing on these days?
Johannes Reck: GetYourGuide is the global leader providing travel activities like attraction tickets or sightseeing tours in more than 2000 destinations worldwide. We have started to grow the company in Central Europe and are now scaling across Europe, Asia and the U.S. Internationalization and growth are our top priorities.
Another big priority is mobile. We see that a fast growing segment of our user base decides what to do during their holidays when they are on destination and only have their smartphone or tablet with them. Thus, our mobile apps and web products are growing incredibly fast and it’s an important focus for us.
You attended Techsylvania last year, and now your colleague Pascal will be joining for this year’s edition. What were your impressions after visiting in 2014?
Johannes Reck: I was very impressed with the quality of the presentations at the conference. Romania has very good engineering talent and an increasingly interesting tech ecosystem. Also, Cluj is a beautiful city full of history with very friendly and welcoming people. It’s been a pleasure meeting and learning from the local entrepreneurs.
What is your interest in this region?
Johannes Reck: We are interested in developing Eastern Europe as strategic markets for GetYourGuide, both from a customer and a technology perspective. GetYourGuide is currently growing across all European countries and people in Eastern Europe are increasingly traveling and spending money on travel activities when abroad.
From a tech perspective, we want to make sure that we are among the top companies that talented young engineers consider when they think about joining a fast growing tech startup.
Learning From the Best
Clearly, the story of how GetYourGuide began is an amazing one. VP of Engineering Pascal von Rickenbach will continue with the story of this successful startup at this year’s Techsylvania Conference. He’s one of many whom will show how relentlessness and teamwork can bring success. Get your tickets now so that you can learn and grow from this year’s speakers. This year’s speakers are looking forward to sharing their insights with you June 6–9.