I am writing to you in these times of extreme uncertainty with a message: Letting go is always hard.
And 2020 is finally when I've come to grips with something I've been putting off for a while: shutting down Horizon's web application.
After 6 years of time, resources, creative energy, and personal capital devoted to Oh Hey World and HorizonApp, I’ve come to realize that there will be no future for these dreams without a significant investment, which is unfortunately lacking.
The last public update I made was almost two years ago. I thank those of you who stepped up from the bottom of my heart. While your support has been beyond helpful, the reality is that a larger investment is needed to cover platform growth, iOS/Android platform updates, and fixing software bugs.
It was a great ride. I wouldn't trade it for the world. But it's one that must come to an end. At least, until there are partners to share the energy and financial load.
With that, please feel free to cancel your pledge.
Stay a Night, Give a Night
This campaign, which allocates tourism dollars otherwise spent on expensive hotels or vacation rentals to families and children experiencing homelessness, still receives requests for places to stay in Seattle. I'll still continue to support inquiries and leverage the email list we started to help them find places to stay.
The Future of Community Through Travel
I still believe in the power of community. In fact, if there was ever a time for a community-driven hospitality exchange platform to flourish, it’s in the wake of COVID-19. The entire travel sector has been decimated, with flights grounded all across the world. When travel resumes, people will be looking for connections and cost-effective ways to experience the world. Airbnb has announced an even larger focus on long-term stays, a trend that isn’t new, but will now push them even further away from their community roots. It’s yet to be seen how the Couchsurfing community will ultimately react to the news that they are charging to access the community.
If you’re seeking to engage with a hospitality exchange or home-sharing, a few websites worth a look:
The novel coronavirus may stop us from leaving our houses (temporarily), but it can’t stop us from continuing to build a global community across all borders. As such, I wanted to leave you with a special program from The Table Less Traveled, a company with the same mission that we built Oh Hey World and Horizon around: community through travel. They shifted their group trips focus to facilitating live, virtual, interactive cooking classes with chefs and friends from around the world. Classes run on a pay what you can model and you can continue to support the spirit of travel comfort of your own home.
Please do cancel your pledge.
I will leave this campaign up in the event that others beyond me come across it and want to resuscitate the project.
Thank you for all your support.