Ivan is still an Android fan…why? Well, his first business out of college showcased restaurants and tours on computer kiosks in Austin hotels, but Steve Jobs and the iPhone’s emergence in 2007 put an end to that! Through that experience, plus the early years of Reservation Genie, Ivan and his team learned all of the pains, struggles and rip-offs restaurants go through in dealing with the world of online marketing. According to Ivan, “I was always at odds with the concierges at the hotels that hosted our kiosks as they wanted to help guests find information and earn tips. That’s where Reservation Genie was born, we created a private platform for hotel employees to book reservations for guests, deliver extra perks to those guests, and and earn a few bucks at the same time.
About Reservation Genie:
Reservation Genie provides an online reservation system for restaurants that helps them maximize customer loyalty and build strong relationships with concierges. We use a gamification format that gives points for completing reservations and top customers earn perks at their favorite restaurant for coming back often.
Hardest things about being an entrepreneur:
- Time Management: There just never seems to be enough.
- Wearing so many hats: It cracks me up when clients call asking for our accounting department.
- Balancing other life goals: It’s hard to stay in shape clicking on that keyboard all day. I make time for tennis and the gym
Advice for entrepreneurs (new or seasoned):
1. Prioritize: You will meet a lot of people that want to suggest many new things for your business. You can get lost evaluating all. the opportunities
2. Focus: We have chased many ideas and customer types that didn’t fit inside the scope of our core product. We still have a couple of sororities that use Reservation Genie to manage their kitchen. They don’t fit into the mold of our restaurant client base and I think ‘crossing the chasm’ requires focusing on a single market.
3. Enjoy your Time Off: You may find yourself working 80 hours a week. Make sure you make time for something awesome outside of work so you don’t get lost in it.
Of course we have to ask…words to describe Tech Ranch® 🙂
- Favorite Word: engagement
- Favorite Activity: tennis
- Something we don’t already know about you? I wear snow boots around the house because my feet are cold.
Finally, please share with us any news or exciting opportunities for our readers about Reservation Genie:
We just released “Search & Filter” tools in New York City, Los Angeles, San Antonio, and Austin that allow customers to search for availability for a particular date, time, and party size and then filter the results by cuisine and neighborhood. It works best in NYC we’re there’s enough options to give a good set of results.