The International Expansion Podcast with Ramsey Pryor

Episode 6 - Ron Schneidermann, CEO at AllTrails

from The International Expansion Podcast with Ramsey Pryor | Published 6/18/2021

Ron Schneidermann is the CEO of AllTrails, and has been building technology that helps people enjoy the outdoors for over 15 years. He's an accomplished entrepreneur and a hands-on leader who devours data and isn't afraid to veer from the standard startup playbook. Many of the folks listening know AllTrails as the outdoor app that helps you find the perfect activity for your preferences, and once you’re there, you can take advantage all sorts of detailed maps to keep you on the trail, even when you’re out of cell service. AllTrails has been around since 2010, and now hosts over 200,000 trail guides in 190 countries across all 7 continents, and has over 1M premium subscribers worldwide. This isn’t Ron’s first expedition as an outdoor technology leader. He co-founded Liftopia and built and ran the world’s leading ski lift ticket booking tool for 8 years, backed by all-star investors like Marc Benioff, Chris Sacca, and First Round Capital. He also led Growth at Yelp before taking over the reins at AllTrails. In our talk, Ron shares his approach to covering the globe, lessons he's learned the hard way, and the questions he's still chewing on. Here's what we cover: Ron's experience taking AllTrails from 6 people to 100 people, and through a really tough transition period. Carving a non-conventional path as a startup. Going for profitability early, and deciding the early adopters were not the profile to build around. The inflection point that led to the focus on becoming a global company. The pros and the cons of using acquisitions to fuel growth. The pandemic experience - the explosion of hiking, helping people stay healthy, and growing the team during lockdown. How AllTrails approaches international expansion and coverage across all 7 continents. Translation vs. localization, and things that broke when going from one market to the next (even from the US to the UK). Machine translation - when to use it, when to avoid it. How to support one billion end users around the world, and the trade-offs between centralized vs. de-centralized teams. Ron's advice and hindsight for companies going global and maximizing momentum. Hindsight on acquisitions, and things NOT to do to avoid making users really angry and avoid bleeding eyes :). How best to structure your team to get the most out of each market, and to diagnose problems when markets aren't performing as hoped. The aspects of international expansion that are still up for debate at AllTrails, and most likely at many other growing companies.

Om Podcasten

Welcome to the International Expansion podcast. My name is Ramsey Pryor, and I spent the past five years taking one of Silicon Valley's fastest growing startups into new markets all around the world. Tech companies are able to expand overseas faster than ever before. But there's quite a lot that goes into getting it right, and each new market has its own unique and fascinating set of quirks and challenges. The best way to prepare is to learn from people who have been there before, so I started this podcast to gather the best practices from tech's most admired startups.