This interview with Travelfish founder offers some nice insights for those of you/us thinking that building a career around lying on a South-Eastern Asian beach would sure beat winter in Melbourne (feel free to substitute your wet and windy hometown here).
I presume many of his site visitors (the folks who are providing the click through revenue) come from down under and other Western nations. But as the interaction is web-based the visitors don’t really care where he is.
His suppliers (i.e. the content providers) and advertisers/clients (the hotels, travel companies etc) are in the six countries his site covers. He has made the very judicious decision to base himself closer to these folk. This reduces his overheads dramatically (as cost of living is so much lower) and makes his revenue requirements much lower. He presumably can also deal with any dramas much more quickly (espcially if they require a physical presence) then if he was sitting in an office in Sydney or Melbourne.
There are other aspects of strategic importance here (such as the decision to focus on a regional niche, the possibility of considerable early mover advantages from network effects, and the scope to extend the model to other locales users identify).
It sounds like a pretty cosy life. Now, can someone think of a version for the rest of us to pursue? 🙂