Vayable's Jamie Wong Q&A by Benjamin Solomon
The travel guru shows us what’s on her iPhone 5.
My Phone: Vayable’s Jamie Wong on Imikimi, Clear, and Learning Her Hormone Horoscope
After traveling extensively around the world—she claims to have notched 30 countries in her belt—journalist turned marketing consultant turned tech strategist Jamie Wong envisioned a new way to experience travel. It led her to co-found Vayable.com, a fast-growing marketplace of tours, trips, and curated experiences that helps visitors find local experts when traveling. A breakout start-up that claims to be doubling sales every month, Vayable is a prime example of the growing “share economy.” We spoke with the media-savvy 32-year-old C.E.O., a former researcher at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, about her iPhone 5.
Phone: iPhone 5.
Ringtone: Diego’s Umbrella.
“Yes, I am like a high-school girl. My ringtone is a guitar riff played by my good friend Yair and written by my friend Vaughn for his band, Diego’s Umbrella. At this point everyone who knows me knows it. I can never change it. I love it.”
Case: Hex Code Wallet Case.
“Up until a few weeks ago I used the Hex’s leather iPhone case and loved it. Then I lost my phone and, along with it, everything else important—ID, credit card, etc. So I decided to opt for a generic slender case I bought from a booth at the mall—don’t ask why I was there. Sometimes I use a Mophie case for more juice.”
Background: My friends boarding a plane in Mexico.
“My background image makes me so happy. It’s a photo of some friends and me moments after we’d just landed in my friend’s Eclipse 500 on a small, shitty landing strip in Nowhere, Mexico, over the holidays. We decided to take this spontaneous trip only hours before departure. I knew everyone on the plane, but they didn’t know each other. It’s was a true adventure and this trip, and the moment captured in the photo specifically, embodies the spirit of what I work hard every day to make accessible to others with Vayable.”
Last text: Vayable’s community manager.
“[I was suggesting] we do our Sunday meeting while jogging in Crissy Field.”
Most-used app: Yelp.
“It’s fast, easy to use, and super-robust and gets me the info I need much faster than any other mobile method. The engineers who built this did a great job.”
Last app I used: Hormone Horoscope.
“It sends me daily alerts about my cycle that are both informative and absolutely ridiculous. All my girlfriends use it, too, and we describe it as our daily “Ah hah!” moment. Today I was told my progesterone is on the rise, which makes me especially nurturing and loving, so it’s a good day to catch up with family and friends. Hilarious.”
Currently obsessed with: Duolingo.
“I just got back from a business trip in Berlin and was regretful of how little German I knew. So I downloaded the app and am now absolutely addicted to it. ‘Die Frau ist eine Apfel!’ I’ve always had a penchant for languages, so this lets me bring that obsession into the digital age.”
Last download: Clear.
“It is a to-do-list app. I am still playing around with it and seeing how much I like it. They have a really nice [user interface], and it’s very rewarding to check off items on that app. I have high hopes.”
Most surprising app on my home screen: Imikimi.
“It’s ridiculous. My friend showed it to me last year, and we’ve been pretty much obsessed with it since. You can basically put people’s faces in Michael Jordan’s head or turn yourself into a turkey. It’s awesome.”
Clean inbox? “This is a sore spot for me. I promised myself to keep a zero inbox after a friend who is C.E.O. of a large company convinced me it was possible. But it’s quickly fallen back into double and triple digits. I am excited for Mailbox, a new app designed by my friend Elle Luna, because I think it’s the only thing that will save me.”
Text or call? “I hate the phone. It feels cumbersome and keeps you from doing anything else other than die while crossing the street. I love talking with people live.”
Remaining battery: 60 percent.
“I just got the newest iPhone, so the battery has been doing me well. When I am out of the office all day, I typically have to charge up two to three times.”