In the past few years, Sarah Smith and Kevin Long have gotten into the dilemma of running their startup company. They ignored what they started to help people do: go camping.Portland’s husband and wife co-founder Det This situation is being changed by truly remotely working remotely.
Smith and Long started a multi-month cross-country road trip in a van, working in campgrounds, RV parks, and desolate locations along the way to experience the user communities they serve, and to better understand and adjust products that have become the App Store and The #1 camping app on Google Play.
“Dyrt is to make it easier for people to find campsites,” Long said in a video call with GeekWire. He and Smith settled in Durango, Colorado for a week. “Our whole idea is,’After building this platform and this community for more than five years, let us truly live as the founders; let us continue to do this for the next six months and let the product become us Used to find things to experience.'”
Meet a variety of different users—country backpackers, RV campers, tent campers, van enthusiasts, etc.—Smith and Long are learning how people use The Dyrt, what they like, how they find campsites, etc.
“It’s really fun to be on site and get this feedback,” Long said.
For more than a year, working at home or remotely has become the new normal for many people, especially in the technology industry. Dyrt’s own policy is that employees can work anywhere, as long as they have a strong enough signal to make video calls.
Although fully immersed in entrepreneurship and taking time out of camping, Long and Smith have successfully established a successful small company, and as more and more people get closer to home during the pandemic, The Dyrt is growing wildly .
The startup now has 40 employees, and the app lists 40,000 campgrounds and scattered campgrounds. This huge database includes pictures, videos, comments and tips submitted by 2.5 million users. It took The Dyrt five years to get more than 1 million pieces of content, and in the past 11 months, they added another 1.4 million pieces.
The company also established a Cell coverage function Campsites across the United States have received comments from 34,000 users who have voluntarily shared their service providers and coverage through the app. Long calls it a more accurate data collection than the coverage area reported by the operator.
“The trajectory is exploding,” Long said. “We are already very good at basically finding people who like comments. It’s great.”
To date, Dyrt has raised 12 million U.S. dollars, while large companies in camping verticals such as Hipcamp, Outdoorsy, and RVShare have raised more than 100 million U.S. dollars.
“Compared with other players in the field, we are a very capital efficient and aggressive start-up company that has just raised ridiculous capital,” Lang said.
Smith and Long did not disclose how many users they attracted, but Long did state that their price was $36 Professional Edition Add it every two minutes. This annual package unlocks other features and discounts in the app, such as travel plans, downloadable maps to eliminate WiFi connections, and map overlays for camping on scattered lands such as the National Forest or Land Administration area. The Dyrt works with more than a thousand campsites across the United States, and PRO subscribers can get a 40% discount at these campsites.
Using the product and talking with people on the road provided Smith and Long with valuable road insights. For example, after reviewing the scattered sites, Smith generated a pop-up window with questions unrelated to scattered camping, and he recorded technical work orders for the design team.
“In fact, I can experience it myself and say,’This will make it better,’ which is very important,” she said.
“We have been conducting user interviews. Our design and user experience teams have been interviewing people,” Long added. “This cannot replace the founders taking the product out and using it to realize their real existence.”
There are two small work areas in the van, and their dog brandy is nestled under their feet. Smith and Lang said that they had a great time living the highly acclaimed “van life” for the first time. But this is not as dreamy as some founders, CEOs, and other remote workers want you to believe that photos on social media describe entertainment rather than work.
“This looks like a great Instagram moment, right?” Long said. “The difficulty lies in this: We are running a super fast-paced startup that is growing at an alarming rate, and I am on the computer 6 days a week, 10 hours a day. We are going to some places, I am leaving, and I thought,’That’s not It’s a visit to that place. I really sit on this computer in this van.'”
He said that it is important to remember that your personal life and work requirements at home are the same as those during your journey.
Before: Extreme social distancing: why camping will be so popular thanks to technology
“No one cares if there is a problem with your Internet connection, that’s your problem,” Lang said. “When I’m at home, I wake up and can leave. When I enter a new town, Sarah and I have to study mobile phone services. We must have a week’s worth of water, electricity and battery power. We need to arrive at the place one day in advance. In order to test it and run the Zoom phone with people to make sure I can go. If it doesn’t work, we must be ready to pack and drive for another four hours to find a new place.”
It would be helpful to understand how each person operates as a spouse and co-founder. For example, in the past month, they learned that one person at a time in the kitchen of the van is a good rule. Better summer weather allows them to be separated outside the truck.
“We have spent seven years at The Dyrt. So we have sorted it out,” Lang said of the couple’s partnership. “If this is the beginning of a startup world, I suggest you own a house. Once you have everything organized, then compress it into a 19-foot van as the second step in the process.”