Six Questions with The Dyrt’s founder Sarah Smith

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Six Questions - A snappy Q&A series with founders from the ecosystem.
Six Questions is a Q&A-style interview series with our portfolio founders from their unique entrepreneurial perspective. 

Sarah Smith is the co-founder and Chief Product Officer at The Dyrt.

How do you explain your company to friends and family?

The easiest way to think about The Dyrt is Yelp for camping. The Dyrt’s community reviews make it the go-to resource for all sorts of campers — from a seasoned camper to someone who’s just discovered camping. In 5 years, every camping trip will, at some level, involve The Dyrt, whether it’s a review, booking, or planning an epic camping trip.

What do you like most about being an entrepreneur? What do you like least about being one?

I love being a part of solving a problem. We started The Dyrt because it was hard to find a campground online, and it turns out a large portion of the 80 million Americans who camp also struggle with this. As for difficulties, being a founder can be a lonely journey. I’m lucky enough to have my husband as my co-founder, so we get to share this journey. Having a founder-to-founder community here in Portland (Oregon) has been a game-changer.

What metric do you think about the most, and why?

In the beginning, we focused on the one thing that we knew would most help us build our platform: our super users, people who loved to review campgrounds. This year, our focus turned to PRO, our premium subscription offering. It was super fun to watch as users signed up for PRO every 60 seconds.

One bonus metric I always like to keep my eye on is our ranking in the app stores. You can’t fake being #1 for camping in the app stores and something we’re really proud of.

What creative things do you do to develop a likable company culture? 

All-Staff Zoom Fun

Remote working has forced us to re-evaluate our company culture. We could no longer rely on the informal talks in the hallways or kitchen to connect with people from other departments. One way we’ve adjusted it to implement “5×5”s in which one employee shares 5 things about them in 5 minutes. We highlight two employees at each weekly all-staff. It’s a great way to learn more about new employees, some of whom may be across the country, and even people you’ve worked with for years.

What advice have you been given that you needed to lean on most to navigate 2020?

Always look for the silver lining. When COVID hit, none of us knew exactly how to navigate it. Once camping emerged as the perfect socially distanced activity, we realized we could really accelerate our growth. We had a record-breaking summer, which put us in a great position to raise our $5M Series A, and we’re in a great position for 2021.

How can collaboration with corporations help your business?

Partnerships are a great way for companies to work together. For instance, this summer, T-Mobile reached out to set up a strategic camping partnership with The Dyrt that would welcome millions of new T-Mobile users after their merger with Sprint. The Dyrt gained thousands of new subscribers, while T-Mobile gained an opportunity to speak to their customers’ interests. A real win-win!

More about The Dyrt:

The Dyrt is the go-to resource and #1 camping app. Use it to discover your new favorite camping spot, get real, useful advice from others who’ve camped there, and seamlessly plan your next trip. The Dyrt Pro membership allows you to unlock premium tools and exclusive savings. Visit TheDyrt.com to learn more.

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