The Other Bill Maher: Travel Enthusiast & Entrepreneur

You won’t find William (Bill) Maher, founder and CEO of Intelaplay tucked away in an office building. Instead, he can be seen taking to the skies in his Cessna 127Sp or sailing the blue waters off of Florida’s Gulf Coast. Bill is three times a successful entrepreneur with a passion for travel that he developed as his previous ventures lead him to exciting new places. The world is Maher’s office, and he has segued his zest for exploring the globe into his latest business venture.

Maher’s latest pursuit was born in a watershed moment. Browsing the internet with the goal of discovering and booking a great rental for a Hawaiian vacation, he became frustrated by the complexity of the process and the brevity of the information available.  His annoyance led him to an idea – that travel websites, especially for the rental community, could be drastically improved with an enhanced user experience and richer, more localized content. He believed he could engineer a better solution; one that would take the hassle out of searching a dozen or more websites in order to plan a vacation.

And so Bill Maher, whose name is often mistaken for the synonymous comedian and TV host (he once landed on a tarmac full of eager fans, only to disappoint them when he exited his plane), decided to build a better travel and rental resource from the ground up. He partnered with Junction Creative Solutions. Fast forward 9 months, and Intelaplay.com has launched its intuitive, immersive online experience, featuring Bill’s hometown of St. Petersburg and the surrounding Tampa Bay area as its first featured destination.

The launch has been promoted with a unique corresponding experiential marketing campaign- A New Way to Stay and Play – true to the core principle of the site that the process of choosing “places to stay” and “places to play” should be simplified, localized, and headache-free. The concept is scalable to locations in any part of the world, and the challenge for Bill is now to take the site to a global level. He is committed to making Intelaplay the leading resource for travelers around the world.

Bill’s work on Intelaplay.com is terrific example of the spirit of entrepreneurship at work. He saw a real need in the marketplace through his own personal experience, and leveraged his passion and know-how to effectively fill the gap. Wherever he is found, whether on a Caribbean beach or in the mountains of Southeast Asia, he is bound to be thinking of his next big idea.

Entrepreneur Readiness?

Businesses start somewhere – more often driven by an entrepreneurial passion.  The transition from employee to entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart.  Statistically, many entrepreneurs fail.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010 more than 96,000 companies closed its doors after an even more devastating loss of 400,000 companies in 2009.

Don’t let the numbers deter you from launching a new business venture, but rather assess your entrepreneurial readiness:

Insight: Have you thought your idea through?  Have you identified the value for what you propose for your customers? Have you researched your idea?

Ability: Analyze your personal and professional abilities.  How will your skills enable you to execute on your idea?

Risk: Are you making a calculated risk or a foolish one? Is the risk more than you can afford to take?

Endurance: Are you prepared physically and mentally to launch a new business?

True entrepreneurs will attest to the fact that if being in business for yourself was easy, everyone would do it.

Announcing Junction’s 2011 Entrepreneurial Series

Happy New Year from Junction Creative Solutions!

In 2011, Junction will offer an entrepreneurial blog series focused for entrepreneurs looking to start a new business.  Each month, Junction will discuss topics that span the start-up process from ideation to launch.   Throughout the series, we will highlight entrepreneurs who are moving through the process and the unique challenges they face.

Junction looks forward to sharing knowledge with the entrepreneurial community and the opportunity to learn from each other!