J.R. Johnson has launched four websites, in a continued run of entrepreneurial endeavors. Currently he is founder of the social travel site and app Trippy (Trippy.com).
Trippy is a social travel web and mobile app designed to collect and share travel ideas, and collaborate on your plans with the people in your life who know you best. It’s a full-circle travel experience that takes you from dreaming to doing.
After debuting a private beta in September 2011 as a Battlefield Finalist at TechCrunch Disrupt, Trippy launched its open beta in October 2011. The company was founded by travel start-up veteran J.R. Johnson, who previously launched VirtualTourist (acquired by Expedia in 2008), and is funded by Sequoia Capital, True Ventures and SV Angel.
Trippy’s advisory board includes Jason Mraz, Rachel Zoe, Anthony Bourdain, Kevin Rose, Tim Ferriss, Randi Zuckerberg, Andrew Zimmern, Gary Vaynerchuk, Chase Jarvis, Soleil Moon Frye, Soraya Darabi, Johnny Jet, Veronica Belmont, Kim Mance, Brett Snyder, Gary Arndt, Peter Shankman and Boo (“The World’s Cutest Dog”).
Johnson was previously founder and CEO of the user-generated content website VirtualTourist.com. Under his leadership, VirtualTourist grew to one of the largest online travel communities in the world earning multiple honors, including Time Magazine’s “Recommended Travel Forum,” Newsweek’s “Favorite Website,” and one of Travel + Leisure’s “35 Best Travel Sites.” Johnson then launched online meta comparison tool OneTime.com in 2004, with a focus on booking flights and hotels.
The bootstrapped sites grew to an annual revenue of $18MM and $8MM EBITDA at the time they were acquired by Expedia in 2008 for a reported $85M. Following that acquisition, Johnson founded Lunch.com, to solve the decreasing trust and relevance of online reviews and recommendations. Lunch continues to grow and foster an active UGC community.
Johnson has authored several op ed pieces, including “Social Media Can Change The World Through Common Ground” published on Mashable; ”Can Facebook Unring the Privacy Bell?” published in the Silicon Valley Watcher; ”Online, accountability’s hot and anonymity’s not” published in the San Jose Mercury News; ”Obama’s ideas for small business don’t go far enough” published in the San Francisco Chronicle, and ”How Twitter could overtake Google” published on Socialmedia.biz.
A Southern California native, Johnson attended the University of Southern California and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Entrepreneurship, he also holds a Juris Doctorate from S.M.U. Law School and is a member of the State Bar of California. An early pioneer in the field of user-generated content and a frequent speaker at industry events, Johnson co-founded the “Lunch for Good” series, a program designed to encourage offline discussions and thought leadership around issues core to the future of online participation.
Johnson grew up in Westlake Village, CA and currently resides in Manhattan Beach, CA with his wife and daughter.