On a trip to Japan in 2016, a former colleague introduced me to a group of hospitality veterans who had previously worked in high-level roles at the Tokyo Grand Hyatt and Ritz-Carlton hotels. They saw a need for a new SaaS platform to help luxury hotel concierge teams more efficiently provide recommendations to guests. This was particularly crucial in the run up to the (ultimately ill-fated) 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
As a co-founder and Director of Product, I worked with a global team of designers and engineers to develop a web app for concierge teams, which we launched with the Grand Hyatt and Ritz-Carlton as our first users. I also played a key role in helping sell the product to other hotel groups in Japan.
You can see a product walkthrough of what we launched here. As I described it back in 2016:
“The work of a hotel concierge is never done, even when a guest leaves their hotel. That's where Digby (parent company) comes in. With a team of hospitality industry veterans from Japan and tech gurus from Silicon Valley, Digby seeks to disrupt and transform an industry that has long been neglected when it comes to innovative software.
Our first product offering, PINSTOP, brings a modern service to hotels that still desire a classic touch when serving their guests.
PINSTOP gives five-star hotels the ability to service guests in a way that takes them beyond their doors and into the best dining, shopping, and sightseeing a city has to offer. A PINSTOP Feed serves as a guest's guiding light, with detailed maps, taxi directions, concierge notes, and multi-language support. Digby believes that the light touch of a hotel concierge should never be out of reach, and with PINSTOP, it doesn't have to be.
Easy to build, print, email and text, a hotel concierge can now curate and deliver recommendations to guests like never before with a PINSTOP Feed.”
I was proud to unveil the product in-person to the concierge teams at the Grand Hyatt and RItz-Carlton, during the sakura full bloom in Tokyo. I also got to work closely with their teams pre- and post-launch to collect user feedback and iterate accordingly.
I had to leave the company a few months post-launch for personal reasons.