Innovation, Hipmunk, and You

Innovation is one of our biz culture’s buzzwords today, but is it overrated? More accurately, is our typical understanding of the term leading us astray?

Innovation simply means the bringing of something new.

Sometimes that something new is a killer app or product. More often, meaningful innovation occurs when we eliminate unnecessary steps in a process, resulting in work that is smoother, more effective and efficient, or just more fun.

Enter If you’ve been using Travelocity or Orbitz to search for the best deal on airline tickets, try Hipmunk. Its interface is clean and simple, like Google‘s. No extra text or clutter. Just three required entries (from, to and date of departure) with an optional fourth (date of return). Hipmunk sorts results by “Agony,” based on factors such as ridiculously early or late flights, how many legs, how much time spent in layovers, and ticket price. Search results are laid out on a Gantt chart-like calendar, so you can instantly compare schedules visually. It also suppresses results for ridiculous four-leg combinations that are roughly the same price as a one-stop flight because it already knows that no one in their right mind would make that choice. You can still reveal those options if you so desire.

Simple. Uncluttered. Fresh. Inviting. Innovative. Now that’s some practical leadership.

What daily processes does your team use that could be streamlined by taking a fresh look at unnecessary steps and pruning them away?

By Ken

Dr. Ken Cochrum (DMin, Bethel University) is Vice President of Global Digital Strategies at Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) in Orlando, Florida. An avid cyclist and aspiring guitarist, he also holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas and a Masters of Arts in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. He recently co-founded, a movement passionate about connecting people to Jesus using digital strategies. He previously served as vice president of Cru’s student-led movements worldwide. He and his wife Ann spent 13 years in East Asia where they raised their two children. Ken blogs regularly at

5 replies on “Innovation, Hipmunk, and You”

Thank you for the great writeup about hipmunk! You really nailed what we were aiming for with the site — we just want to be as good to our users as possible. And it’s paying dividends every day as we see all the buzz about our site from happy hipmunks all over the web.

Thanks for your comments, y’all. Glad to have an official Hipmunk drop by the site, Alexis.

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