Gate3 <> London was a momentous event not only because it was the first Dtravel community hosted event, but also because it was the first time we’ve seen our long term vision of the Dtravel DAO in action with a community based proposal on how to help grow the Dtravel ecosystem.
The Motivation Behind Gate3 <> London
Last August, Dtravel was the first web3 travel company in the world to empower a property manager to process a vacation rental booking using smart contracts. The property manager was Amir Sadjady, a long time Airbnb Superhost who lost trust with Airbnb after COVID. Amir and his brother Ali own multiple short-term rental properties and other businesses.
“During COVID, instantly overnight, I run strict cancellation policies on all my properties, always have and overnight, lost 20 cancellations, just like that, all summer gone. No recourse, no nothing. Lost all cancellations, how are you going to pay for mortgages, how are you going to pay for bills, how are you going to pay for utilities - no answer.” - Amir
Because Amir could no longer trust Airbnb, he decided to look at alternate options to run his short-term rental business and came across Dtravel. He and Ali became one of the first beta customers of Dtravel Direct and have since processed nine direct bookings totalling over $20,000, a $2,400 increase toward his bottom line, simply by saving on platform fees alone.
Inspired by the performance and wanting to share their experience with others, Amir and Ali created a proposal to host the first ever Dtravel community event as part of the Zebu Live Conference.
Planning Gate3 <> London
Amir and Ali wanted to bring their network together to share their experience and how they envision web3 technology to play a critical role in their future success. They put together an informative and exciting agenda focused on the structural problems inherent in web2 and how Dtravel is helping operators and property managers get more control and ownership of their vacation rental businesses. They also wanted to invite other web3 projects building value in the real world today using web3 technologies.
To help communicate how web3 projects are building real world value today, we decided to invite two incredibly talented women, Evin McMullen, CEO of Disco, and Ella Cullen, CMO of Minespider.
For those of you unfamiliar with Disco, it’s a digital identity data backpack where you can stash your private data in a way that’s owned and controlled by you. Their friendly tools make it easy for you to carry your data from web2 to web3, under your ownership and control.
Minespider is the leading traceability platform for mining and raw materials tracking. Leading companies use Minespider’s platform to track carbon emissions, critical documents, and supply chain histories of the products we need for the clean energy transition.
Armed with an agenda of inspiring speakers, Amir and Ali focused their attention on creating visual assets for the events, including banners, posters, event cards and even made their own Dtravel hats to give away. Nothing short of professional in whatever endeavor they take on, they also purchased audio visual equipment and hired a photographer for the event. With every contingency accounted for, it was time for the actual event.
The Gate3 <> London Event
The day of the event was a beautiful, (and rare!) sunny fall day and the venue had its red carpet rolled out for attendees. The room was absolutely stunning and set up professionally with baked goods and coffee for attendees, event cards on every seat and swag for all the attendees.
Simone, a Dtravel Direct customer and community member with properties in London, also attended the event and shared her experiences as a longtime short-term rental manager.
After welcoming everyone to the event, Ali cracked some jokes and introduced the event with quotes that hit the heart of what we’re trying to achieve at Dtravel.
“Great companies start because the founders want to change the world…when I got to know Cynthia, that’s what this was…this was about changing the world” - Ali Sadjady
Next, Eric Pace, Head of Supply at Dtravel, gave a primer on the structural problems of web2 and how naturally web2 products and platforms over time have to extract value from their users because of the nature of how companies make money.
“Over time, as their business model develops based on advertising, they start to change their relationship with their users and they start extracting value from their users.” - Eric Pace
Having laid the groundwork for what problems exist in web2 and the inherent structural issues, it was time for Cynthia Huang, CEO of Dtravel, to talk about the vision and mission behind Dtravel. She spoke about her experience of being a host for almost a decade, building the largest short-term rental forum Airhosts Forum to connect with the host community worldwide, working in crypto in 2017 and seeing how many of the problems that she was seeing in the short term rental industry could be solved with web3 technologies.
“This is one of the reasons why the short term rental industry is so perfectly suited to web3 because it's already community driven. In web3, we have this concept of community led companies where it's the community members within the community who make decisions by voting on different initiatives they feel is best for the company. That's the vision we see for Dtravel where every community member in our ecosystem gets a voice and a vote to truly be able to be a part of driving decisions based on how committed they are. This is not reinventing the wheel. Hosts and property managers already want this but because of the structural problems, it can't be done in web2.” - Cynthia Huang
Following Cynthia, Amir gave an incredibly compelling testimony, explaining how he discovered Dtravel and how his business has changed to the point of no longer relying on centralized platforms.
“This is the beginning of something really big because hosts like myself are frustrated, are angry at the way they've been treated by the centralized entities out there, AIrbnb, Booking.com and the rest. I give people a really great experience and I want the value to return back to me. I’m fed up with Airbnb taking all of my value and giving nothing in return.” - Amir Sadjady
Wrapping up, Cynthia moderated a panel with Evin and Ella, who shared their experiences about why web3 technologies are the solution to the problems they’re solving in both data and traceability.
“The value that this delivers for individuals and businesses is…the ability to carry data from one environment to another, where the data travels with you, the subject, the party it's written about, instead of staying trapped in the app where it was created. So whether it’s Airbnb ratings or online reviews or your shopping history…often your traits and preferences, accomplishments and actions, get stuck within the app where you made them and you can’t bring them with you.” - Evin McMullen
“If we talk about adoption in a web2 setting, adoption is marketing…but if we want to talk about web3 adoption, we can’t target people with ads. So how do we target people? I think crypto has done an amazing job of community building. It’s kind of like tribes, you know, you find people you really relate to. This is even an amazing community.” - Ella Cullen
What’s Next and How You Can Get Involved
If this post has inspired and motivated you to come up with your own solution of how to contribute to Dtravel’s growth, get in touch and share your ideas! We’ll be sharing a template for how to submit a community proposal shortly but we’re always open to hearing any ideas our community members have, whether it’s hosting their own event, creating content, becoming an affiliate or something else you think would benefit the Dtravel ecosystem.