Clem Bason: CEO of goSeek

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Bio:

Clem is a proud father, Delawarean, Cal grad, and Oakland resident. Before goSeek, he was President of Hotwire.com, bringing travel savings to the masses. Prior to that, he worked for Gap Inc., McKinsey & Co., and Accenture. Clem values family, friends, and giving back. He is on the board of Paper Source and Techsoup Global. Clem spends his vacation time on the beaches in Delaware (go Blue Hens!), the lakes in Wisconsin (go beer, cheese, and Badgers!), the less populated spots in California, and occasionally a Hawaiian island or two. His next big trip is to Bhutan.

How did you get into the tech industry?

When I should have been drinking beer and playing volleyball in undergraduate, I instead found myself enamored with this new thing called “The World Wide Web”.  And after graduation, I was fortunate enough to join what was then called the Technology Competency Group within Accenture.

Tell us about goSeek.  What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the company?

I’m frugal.  Travel is expensive.  I was going bananas trying to find the best deal for my trip.  I’d have to search 30 sites before I booked and even then I’d inevitably find something better a few days later.  I started goSeek to make it easy for every person to get the very best value on their trip, period.

What strategic partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have attributed to goSeek’s success?

The online travel industry is amazing.  It feels like a big family where everyone is kind, friendly, and helpful.  Everyone loves innovation.  Everyone wants you to succeed.  In particular we’ve gotten some amazing support from the folks at TripAdvisor, Expedia Inc., and Orbitz Worldwide.   

What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?

Travel discounts are fragmenting.  They’re everywhere.  But most people have no clue that they even exist.  And even if they know about the discounts, it’s often too much work to find and validate them.  It’s really helpful to aggregate low rates and discounts in one place and simply tell someone “Here is the lowest price”.

Life motto?

“Whatever it is you’re seeking won’t come in the form you’re expecting.” (credit to Haruki Murakami)

goSeek's motto?

“It’s not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren’t doing it.” (credit to Terry Pratchett)

Your greatest success as founder/CEO of goSeek?  Most difficult moment – how did you overcome and what did you learn?

We haven’t been at this very long, so I’m lacking any wickedly difficult moments.  But thus far my greatest success has been assembling a tremendously fun, competent, and conscientious team.  It’s a pleasure to work with them every day.

Your advice to an aspiring entrepreneur?

Bootstrap.  It builds character.

Describe the ideal experience of using goSeek.

You have your dream trip.  You’re ready to book.  You search goSeek, and find the hotel you want, when you want it, for 20% less than every other site.  You click to our partner and book.  It’s just that easy.

How do you motivate your employees?

I play Def Leppard non-stop.  Nothing motivates an employee more than the live version of Pour Some Sugar On Me.

One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?  

Philadelphia cheesesteak, obviously.  The tough part is whether it’d be Geno’s, Pat’s, or Jim’s.

What literature is on your bed stand?

Right now I’m rereading Neuromancer.

Role model – business and personal?

Both.  This might be cliché, but it’s my father.  He taught me the value of work ethic.  He taught me commitment.  He taught me how to work with my hands, even though I barely do that anymore building an online business.  He taught me to be up front and tell people when you’ve screwed something up (and that has helped me perhaps more than anything else in my career and life in general).  He taught me that you have to pick your moments.  

Current passion?

Game of Thrones Season Five.

Favorite travel destination?

Zion National Park.  Hiking there is a religious experience for me.

What’s next for goSeek?

Mo’ discounts.

http://www.goseek.com/