When a few hundred lines of javascript could equal $100 MM

If you click around the radio buttons above, the form resets. Orbitz does an AJAX call to reset the form with new HTML. I can select two cities, select my dates... and I just decide to click "Flight + Hotel", Orbitz blows away my form submissions (data loss!)  and replaces it with a blank form! Not only is this rude to the user, it's bad for business. 

This simple UX gaffe could be worth double digit percentage decrease in revenue for Orbitz over the course of a year. For a company that made over $700 MM, that's could easily be over 9 figures. 

This could be solved with an incredibly simple and tiny amount of javascript to remember selected airports and leave/return dates. It could be fixed in less than an hour by a halfways decent hacker.

It's things like this that make me thankful for Hipmunk.



18 responses
Garry Tan, I am a 27 year old transgender girl trying to get into the next YCombinator class, and I am totally on my own. I was wondering if you would consider mentoring me to show support for and encourage other transgendered people to apply in the future, because I have great ideas I need to pick one from to develop into an mvp, and because you might be able to help me find some cofounders, or become one yourself if one of my ideas that you can find at transtartup.blogspot.com strikes your fancy.
Allison Mobley
I'm with you that it's annoying, but don't you think you users will just suffer through it? You still fulfilled your order right? Orbitz isn't a customer service company. The reason why you go with them is to find the cheapest fares.
Allison -- let me know how I can help. garry@ycombinator.com
Apparently, this is not about 100 lines of javascript - this is about huge shift in culture of Orbitz, which would enable clever people there to be free to do things that make sense. Many companies get stuck like this, and sometimes it takes a competitor to replicate the whole infrastructure just to be able to add those 100 lines - and then they get big and get stuck on something different :).
+1 tomaskafka ... well said.
Hi Garry,

We're working on something very similar to what you're talking about. Would love to drop you a note at your email or ping me at tmace at wantmegetme dot com.


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