We have been organizing ski trips since the beginning. I remember we could fit in a car when we started, then in a pickup van, we later had to rent a couple of cars to be able to go, soon we had to share a bus with other people and now we need an entire bus for us.

Getting people to join

Once you have a date and a location, you can create a form with all the available options and share it via email, slack or whatever. We used to create it using Google Forms because it integrated with Google Spreadsheets and was easy to use, but now we use Typeform. It’s beautiful and now also integrates with Spreadsheets.

Typeform captured results in the Google Spreadsheet

Calculating each individual price

Our ski trip has a lot of variability. One individual might want to rent gear while another one already owns it. Some individuals might want to snowboard and others might want to rent the highest quality skis available. Some need classes and some want an insurance. Some people don’t even want to ski, but just spend the weekend in the snow.

This results in a situation where almost everyone has a unique price and although it was easy to calculate and handle when we were 5, it gets harder when you are 50.

You could perform a 200 character long nested IFS function to calculate the price for every row in the Spreadsheet, but it’s easier to just code your own more readable and maintainable Google Script function.

From the ‘Tool’ menu you can access the ‘Script Editor’ and there you have a lot of freedom to write your own functions.

I coded the ‘skiPrice’ function to calculate the final price for every possible combination, depending on the arguments the function received. Once coded, you can call the funcion as if it was a normal Spreadsheet function, sending cells as parameters.

The ‘skiPrice’ function calculates the final price

Sharing the info with the agency

Once you have all this information available you have to share it with the agency so they can check all prices are correct and to generate the insurance policies for the people who are paying for them. You could copy and paste or export the document but the best option is to share the live spreadsheet so they always see updated information. You could share with them the whole spreadsheet as “read-only” but you might have information or sheets you don’t want to share with them.

The best approach is to create an ‘Agency’ sheet in the same spreadsheet, with all the information you want to share with the agency. Then create a new Spreadsheet and in the first row write:

=IMPORTRANGE("https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/[YOUR_SPREADSHEET_ID]/edit";"Agency!A1:J60")

This will create a new Spreadsheet with only the sheet you want to show the agency, so you can now share it. Whenever you update the original Spreadsheet this mirror sheet will conveniently keep up to date.

Send custom payment emails from Spreadsheets

Once again this is a task that I could afford to do manually when we were less people but now doesn’t scale. Using the power of the Google Scripts I generate the corpus of the email, containing the options each user selected.

In the actual Spreadsheet I calculate the total price and generate the email corpus in one function call and a single iteration, but it’s easier to explain it separately.

The function ‘mailText’ generates a custom email corpus showing the user the options he chose and showing the total amount to pay. The funcion takes all options as parameters.


Once the email corpus is generated, a final script run directly from the script editor iterates through every row in the Spreadsheet and sends an email to each user containing the custom corpus.

And every user gets the email in their inbox.

Conclusion

The powerful combination of Typeform, Google Spreadsheets and Google Scripts is great, but after organising ski trips for years I see a clear next step. A modern ski agency app that would let companies and individuals organize their custom ski trips adjusting every detail to their budgets and keeping all the information, communication and payment processes in one place. Considering there is more than 6M skiers only in Spain we are looking at an interesting market.

How does Skitnig sound for a new startup name?

Previous ArticleNext Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

E.

Essential Podcasts for Entrepreneurs & Tech Lovers

Podcasts are a great way to discover new subjects and new people. Whether you are a tech lover or an entrepreneur, bellow you will discover podcasts for entrepreneurs you should – without a doubt – listen to. 

Itnig Podcast with César Migueláñez, Bernat Farrero and Carlos Pierre
Itnig Podcast with César Migueláñez, Bernat Farrero and Carlos Pierre

« Masters of Scale » 

with Reid Hoffman

The host: Reid Hoffman decides to turn to the corporate world instead of pursuing a university carrier. He worked for Apple, Fujitsu for then starting his own business: SocialNet and left it in 2000 to join Confinity. Confinity gives life to Paypal after fusionning. Finally, in 2003, Hoffman co-founds LinkedIn. He is Master of Scale’s host. 

About: The podcast welcomes some of the greatest entrepreneurs. You will discover throughout the talk how they managed to take their companies from 0 to a lot of zeros. You can listen to Masters of Scale’s special guests like Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Selina Tobaccowalla (Evite), Brian Chesky (Airbnb) or Nancy Lublin (Crisis Text Line). Must-hear: one of the top tech podcasts for entrepreneurs.

Listen to the podcast: On their website, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Youtube

The Team: Reid Hoffman, June Cohen, Deron Triff and Jai Punjabi

« Rocket » 

with Christina Warren, Simone de Rochefort and Brianna Wu

The hosts: Christina Warren started as a Freelance Writer. Then, she worked at Mashable as a Senior Tech Analyst and Tech Correspondent and ended the journey at Microsoft as a Senior Cloud Developer Advocate. About Simone de Rochefort, she is  Senior Video Producer and co-host of The Polygon Show. Brianna Wu founded her first startup at the age of 19, Giant Spacekat. She was Head of Development at the time. She is now running for US Congress. 

About: In this podcast, you will discover three passionate women and their “geek conversation” as they like to call it.  No guest speakers, but you will be able to listen to a panel of tech subjects from Apple to Comics, you will not be disappointed. 

Listen to the podcast: On their website, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Spotify and Castro

« This week in Startups »

with Jason Calacanis

The host: Jason Calacanis starts as an internet industry journalist in New-York. In 2003, he co-founded Weblogs, Inc and then a few years later he joined Sequoia Capital, launched the web directory Mahalo. He also founded ThisWeekIn.com. Furthermore, he created This Week in Startups podcast and a startup named Inside.com. Finally, he was part of the creation of the Sydney Launch Festival. 

About: Either you are looking to start your own company, or you are a successful entrepreneur, or you just love technology, this podcast will give you a peek to the entrepreneurship world. You will hear stories of all kinds! On his website, you will also find his events and some research on transportation, healthcare and more. This is one is part of the tech podcasts for entrepreneurs not to be missed.

Listen to the podcast: Apple Podcasts, Youtube, SoundCloud and RSS Feed

You can also subscribe to their newsletter in order to receive episodes directly. 

The Team: Jason Calacanis, Jacqui Deegan, and Tony Agapiou

« Recode / Decode » 

with Kara Swisher

The host: Kara Swisher is an American journalist specialized in the technology industry. She first started to work for an alternative newspaper in Washington for then working for the Washington Post. She wrote articles for the Wall Street Journal and New York Times and wrote her own books. Finally, in 2014, she created Recode, a website dedicated to the latest technology news. In 2015, she initiates Recode Decode. 

About: The weekly podcast welcomes tech experts and great entrepreneurs. They review how they got there, what’s on their mind about the current industry and what they would improve or create. Her recent guests were Elon Musk (Tesla CEO), former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mark Zuckerberg. 

Listen to the podcast: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn

« K Fund PodKast »

with Jaime Novoa

The host: Jaime Novoa’s background is quite diverse. He is a writer and an investor, but he also worked in data analysis and social media analysis. In 2014, he founded Novobrief, a newsletter for startups. Then, in 2016, he becomes an investor at K Fund and he founds, in 2019, Dealflow, a weekly tech newsletter. 

About: The podcast discusses startups, entrepreneurs and Venture Capital. You will discover enterprises and their story. From data science, unicorns or digital platforms, you sure will find more than one interesting podcast. 

Listen to the podcast: On their website and Soundcloud

« Clockwise »

with Dan Moren and Mikah Sargent

The hosts: Dan Moren is an active author and writer as well as podcaster. He was a Senior Editor at Macworld. Today, he hosts two podcast shows: Clockwise and The Rebound. As for Mikah Sargent, he started as a Website Designer and Developer for then switching as a Senior Editor at Newsy. He now hosts few podcasts such as Clockwise on Replay FM or on TWiT.tv. 

About: The weekly podcast discusses technology and welcomes each time 2 special guests. For 30 minutes, they address 4 topics where all four speakers get to elaborate on the matter, highlight the issues and expose their thoughts. 

Listen to the podcast: On their website, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Spotify and Castro

« Itnig Podcast»

with Bernat Farrero

The host: Bernat Farrero starts his career as a Developer. In 2009, he founded Itnig, a startup ecosystem that organizes entrepreneurship events. They also have a coworking for startups, a podcast and a fund for early-stage projects. Furthermore, he is a Founder of Factorial, Quipu and Camaloon. He is also a Board Member of Playfullbet, GymForLess and Parkimeter. Finally, he hosts Itnig’s weekly Podcast. 

About: The podcast welcomes every week a new guest. If you wish to learn from successful entrepreneurs, you are on the right platform. The discussions turn around Technology and its industry. You will come across guests like Carlos Pierre (Badi), Vincent Rosso (BlaBlaCar) or Oscar Pierre (Glovo).

Listen to the podcast: Youtube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Ivoox, and Google Podcasts

You can subscribe to their newsletter if you want to receive the podcast’s link every Monday. 

Whether you are at an early stage of your project, an investor or you are just curious, these podcasts for entrepreneurs give you the opportunity to be updated on tech and business news. Also, you get to learn from successful international entrepreneurs, which can definitely be very useful for your business.