Rick, Director, Vroom
Vroom Vroom - 3rd February 2006
We investigate what new media is doing for the travel,
tourism and lifestyle sector.
What's your background. After an I.T. Degree at QUT,
I started off in software development for a major
GDS. Then, after 5 years of various government and
commercial contracts, I wanted something more. So
I packed up everything, moved to the UK and worked
for minimum wage at a search engine optimisation (SEO)
firm in order to learn the tricks of the Google optimisation
trade. This helped seal the deal with my current position
of Director at VroomVroomVroom in Brisbane.
What motivates and inspires you?
I want my work to leave a lasting impression with
both my suppliers and my customers. If I don't register
a wow factor with customers, then I haven't done good
enough. This not only motivates me but keeps me working
till the sunrise on too many occasions.
How did you break into new media?
Most great opportunities are a collision of being
at the right place at the right time. Vroom Vroom
Vroom is one of those situations. This created great
opportunity to get in on the ground floor of Vroom's
What is Vroom Vroom Vroom all about?
VroomVroomVroom.com.au is all about comparing car
hire prices from Avis, Budget, Hertz, Europcar and
Thrifty. We negotiate deals with these car rental
companies so that customers can be assured they're
getting the best car for the best price.
How did you design and model it?
The concept of Vroom Vroom Vroom was developed from
the standpoint that everyone wants a deal but not
everyone has the time to research the web for this
deal. Vroom Vroom Vroom's objective is to save everyone
about 1 hour's worth of research time by bringing
all of the best deals on global brands together in
one place. The brash branding "Vroom Vroom Vroom"
allows us to stand out among the myriad of derivatives
of the term car hire that everybody else uses for
their own sites.
How does it complement your other business interests?
Vroom allows me to continue to learn about the many
facets of the web: search engine optimisation, customer
interfaces, business development, supplier relationships,
a great mixed bag of responsibilities that should
help me with really anything I could do in the future.
Is Vroom Vroom Vroom similar to what WebJet is for
the online airfare ticketing industry?
Yes, in a word. But we try to stay focused on car
hire. We feel that it is the only way to become the
best at what we do.
How many hits and unique visitors does the website
This varies during high and low seasons of course.
On average, we'd get around 4,000 unique visitors
per day who are looking for a rental car.
9) Who are your mentors?
Everyone is! I don't think there's anyone I know whom
I haven't yet spoken about how to improve Vroom. Even
my hair dresser has provided some great input! The
point is, if you ask the right questions, everyone
can be a good mentor. In particular though, Peter
Thornton (Vroom CEO) based in the UK has a wealth
of knowledge about travel and global business. David
Hasselhoff for social, entertainment and singing.
What do you consider to be the highlights of your
career, life, to date?
I have developed some free software called Nukedit
which allows users to edit web content and manage
their websites real time - this has gone down really
well-There is now several thousand users who have
developed over 40,000 pages of content using Nukedit.
One of my best customers is Vroom Vroom Vroom!
What are your current projects?
The real centrepiece in my career has to be the car
hire bargain hunter I have developed for Vroom Vroom
Vroom which you can now see on the www.vroomvroomvroom.com.au
What's the most impressive technologies you have come
Part of the beauty of the web is that everything is
simple. Simplicity in itself can be impressive. Google
Earth is pretty amazing.
Why is a solid media plan so important?
You can have the greatest website in the world but
it will remain useless without customers. "Build
it and they will come" has rarely been true with
online businesses. Sure, word of mouth works, but
you need some mouths to start with!
What media outlets have covered your endeavours to
We have dabbled here and there with printed media
but our core marketing remains online due to its proven
success. We're hoping our new PR guy (mediaman.com.au)
will be able to kick start successful new mediums
Who have been your biggest supporters, and what clients
have been able to really take advantage of Vroom Vroom
Well, our biggest supporters are our suppliers: Avis,
Budget, Hertz, Thrifty and Europcar. They all seem
to like the idea of an alternative distribution channel
that only compares serious brands (apples to apples).
They benefit because they get a larger slice of the
bargain hunter market and users of our website benefit
because they get bargain priced car hire from reputable
Why is Vroom Vroom Vroom such a resource for the travel
At present, there are a number of websites that might
offer a great deal on one or two of the travel commodities
but not the third (e.g., you might great a great deal
on a flight and hotel, but still need to book the
car). Sometimes you just want to rent a car and don't
need the rest. With people making their own travel
arrangements online, a site that just focuses on car
hire can be really handy, just in case.
What do you do to relax?
Vroom Vroom Vroom touch footy in North Brisbane, chatting
to new and interesting people. I also love asking
questions, finding out what makes them tick.
What's your motto?
It's a survival of the fittest out there. So find
out what you're good at and enjoy best, then stick
Where will you be in 5 years?
Hopefully running the world's most popular website
for comparing discount car hire online.
Why do we need to sign up with you now?
Why waste time doing the research that we have already
done. Spend the time with your family or taking your
dog for a walk. An added bonus is that hire cars which
become available due to no-shows and cancellations
won't be picked up by other systems. Having a direct
interface into each of the global suppliers reservation
systems allow our system to find out what's left.
This is especially useful during peak seasons when
cars are harder to find.
note: A new media entrepreneur with plently of vroom
to watch out for.