Mission: To help people plan less and live more.
Our Chief of Data and Strategy, Amanda, drops some knowledge and helps other startups avoid huge data mistakes.
Add this to your podcast playlist: Sam Shank chats with Forbes about HotelTonight's early days & how the app has evolved over time.
We built HotelTonight because we believe in a life less planned. In a life rich in experiences, not things. In the endless possibilities of the night ahead, and the night after that. We know that one ten-second decision can completely change the course of your day, in the best possible way.
So we make it remarkably easy to book great hotels at amazing rates for tonight, tomorrow and beyond. When hotels have unsold rooms, they load them on the app, which means you get incredible deals. We screen every hotel featured, and only work with ones you'll love. By booking on HotelTonight you get the flexibility to play it by ear, while knowing you'll get a great price and a great place to stay.
Give us ten seconds and we'll get you a great deal at your soon-to-be favorite hotel. And we'll turn an average night into a 'tonight' you'll always remember.
BUILD. QUESTION. RESPECT.
HotelTonight is a pioneer in mobile commerce. Our team is passionate about delivering a flawless customer experience as we play matchmaker between great hotels with unsold rooms and the on-the-go people who want to book them. Every day, we're accomplishing our goal of being the preimier and most loved way to book a place to stay.
We set aggressive goals and work hard to crush them, but we make time to decompress, whether it's a ping pong throw down or hosting an impromptu happy hour at our hotel-inspired full bar. If you like an environment that rewards great ideas, initiative and hard work – contributing to products that will be seen and used by millions – then we want to work with you.
SAM SHANK | CEO & CO-FOUNDER
A travel-obsessed serial entrepreneur, Sam previously founded and was CEO of DealBase.com, a travel deals search engine, and was CEO of TravelPost.com, a hotel reviews site. SideStep acquired TravelPost.com and Sam stayed on as VP of business development until its fortunate acquisition by Kayak. Sam also worked in comparison shopping at Excite, CNET and NexTag. Not at all surprisingly, he was an assistant to Wes Craven on the film Scream. He HotelTonights at the Ace New York.
CHRIS BAILEY | CHIEF ARCHITECT & CO-FOUNDER
A master in the art of proper espresso preparation, Chris built HotelTonight’s first iOS app and backend systems, and continues to drive architecture and strategic technology. He was previously CTO of DealBase and prior to that, architect and senior computer scientist at Adobe Systems. He has led many engineering teams, been involved with several startups, and done a variety of consulting. He HotelTonights at Hotel Zetta in San Francisco.
KALPANA CHANDRASEKHAR | VP CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Kalpana heads up Customer Experience at HotelTonight where she focuses on delighting our customers. Previously, she worked in consumer insights marketing at American Express in New York, and then joined SurveyMonkey to help build out their enterprise businesses in San Francisco. When she's not working, she's hiking, baking, karaoking or planning her next international trip. She HotelTonights at any place she hasn't been before.
JATINDER SINGH | CTO
Jatinder heads up the Technology team and is responsible for scaling our engineering teams and technology that powers HotelTonight. Prior to HT, Jatinder co-founded MUBI, an online streaming service for watching indie, cult and classic movies. With a human-curated approach and only 30 films available at any given time, MUBI is designed to make the decision-making process simpler for subscribers. He HotelTonights at Carmel Valley Ranch where his toddler enjoys the evening s’mores and flying kites.
RAY ELIAS | CMO
An avid snowboarder and runner, but not at the same time, Ray is responsible for brand, communications, customer acquisition and customer retention. Ray was previously CMO at StubHub, acquired by eBay in 2007, and led search marketing at Esurance, which was acquired by Allstate in 2011. He was named “40 Under 40” by Sports Business Journal in 2013. He began his career in the late nineties with early stage Internet start-ups in the Action Sports and Health and Fitness verticals. He HotelTonights at h2 Hotel in Healdsburg.
I have been working at HotelTonight full-time (More than a year)
As a software engineer I favor companies that are big enough to have interesting scaling work, but small enough where there is still new ground to cover and one can have huge impact as an individual contributor. HotelTonight delivers on both in spades. You're not just a cog in a giant machine, you actually get the chance to see what drives the business and shape the future of the company directly through your work.
The engineering culture encourages ownership and empowerment of individuals. Custom tooling and internal documentation allows teams to run their own containerized services, and develop true operational expertise in deploying production code at scale. We don't simply throw code over the wall to a devops team–it is expected for us to watch our code in production and develop good intuition for what will or won't work. At the same time, we also work very closely with product managers and are expected to be thinking of the product implications in everything we do. As an engineer, being able to cover the gamut from infrastructure up to UI and product implications is great experience that gives a broad view of the economic value we create beyond just slinging code. This type of experience paves the way for a wider range of career options than more silo'ed roles would.
One thing I particularly appreciate compared to other companies is the financial and operational transparency. The CEO gives a weekly update to the whole company outlining the financial picture for the company, leadership discussions, strategic plans, as well as responding to questions from anyone in the company. It is apparent from these all-hands meetings that our growth is sustainable and not based on buying marketshare through irresponsible means that could burn us down the line. Being part of a real company with solid financials versus SV smoke and mirrors is extremely valuable to me as a software engineer who's been to a few rodeos.
Last but not least, the team is fantastic to work with. Across the board the company truly values hiring good, humble people who are all about doing the best work they can. HT has quite a diverse group spread across six offices in North America and Europe, and it is a pleasure to come in every day and see what ideas people are cooking up.
The downside of working at HT is that things can get a bit chaotic at times. Management is good about avoiding unrealistic deadlines or death marches, but it is the nature of a fast-growing business that things change. This offers new opportunities but could be stressful for those who prefer unchanging and clearly defined roles.
I applied through a staffing agency. I interviewed at HotelTonight (San Francisco, CA).
The interview process was fantastic. The recruiter and hiring manager were incredibly friendly and helpful, kept me updated at every stage of the process with feedback from the interview team, and made sure I knew what the next steps were. Everyone I spoke with seemed really well prepared and each meeting felt more like a really good conversation than an interview.
They prepared me very well for the Test Drive (leading a group conversation around a topic in your area of expertise) and the hiring manager made himself available to answer any questions I had about the format, my talking points, or what the team was looking for. Compared to formal presentations I have made during interviews with other companies, the test drive gave me a much better idea of what it's like to actually work at HotelTonight, as opposed to what it's like to just interview there. I could tell that they are a collaborative, respectful, fun, and supportive group, and I walked away feeling more confident that it was a fit for me than I had with other companies I was interviewing with. It was a lot of work to prepare, but it was worth it because I got just as much out of it as they did.