Great software boils down to giving a damn about user experience. Take a look at your browser history. How much horseshit do you have going on in your digital life? Web applications take the cake for shameless apathy. When an exception turns up – when someone, miraculously, gives a damn about making their software work well, it’s a special moment.
Hipmunk is just such a miracle. Look at this homepage:
The text fields are huge, meaty, clearly-labeled things. Easy to find and click on. Instead of being relegated to a forgotten sidebar, the search activity itself is the focal point of the page. There are no distracting promotions or other crap you don’t care about. “You’re here to search for your flight, so let’s make it happen!” cries Hipmunk, grabbing you by the cheeks and shoving you into search land. Want to leave tomorrow? Type “tomorrow” into the date field.
Thank you, Danilo! And thank you to the Hacker News community for all the upvotes on his entry. It's something I hope users saw while Steve & I started reddit, which continues to this day in hipmunk, which Steve cofounded with Adam Goldstein and I'm marketing.
I can't stress this enough among startups I advise: product/service first.