A IATA NDC Hackathon. Three challenges on the table. We decided we could try our approach at two of them: make it mobile and create an experience that wows the travelers and the trade. We wanted an app that would allow you to search for flights and hotels, but without the traditional "where are you coming from, where are you going to, on which dates, etc..".
What it does
It enables the end-user to keep track of his favorite Artists. It allows her to know when and where those artists will perform. And, above all, (the game changer) it allows the user to know what kind of budget he will require to go and rock with her favorite artist.
How we built it
We have a responsive mobile website, with a WebAPI and a booking engine that is performing multiple searches (hotel, air, show tickets) on the ground and mixing them all together into a travel package.
Challenges we ran into
One of the greatest struggles we ran into was with both omissive cases in the documentation and getting the communication (serialization and deserialization). Thankfully, there was support all around to mitigate these issues.
Accomplishments that we are proud of
Making it work, together. Each of us brought disparate knowledge and areas of expertise and in the end we came through. The behind-the-scenes architecture is also a point of honor for us, although it is not so visible to the end-user. The interface we use to present the different prices, combined with different activities is still a diamond in the rough, but it has a great potential.
What we learned
Hackathons are all about connecting: both with software and "humanware". There are a lot of challenges out there and we see many companies around us started with simple ideas that aim to easy these struggles, one bit at a time.
What's next for GoToMusic
Definitely integrating with Make it Social. This app is a great use case for social booking. Music brings people together, MiS makes it easier. Abstract our engine away from music, trying to create a concept of "event" and a facilitator of getting these events closer to the audience. Think of a business model, either to a B2C perspective or a B2B. Not sure yet. We are also considering bringing artists merchandising into the application.