It was the time of Google Maps appearing on the scene, mashups, and web 2.0. We'd spotted a gap in the web. Beaches. No one had a decent site for reviews and content about beaches. Sure there were surf sites, but nothing for the regular traveller.
How hard would it be? I thought - a designer and a couple of good developers, we'll bash it out fairly quickly. Which we did - PHP, MySQL, belt and braces stuff, but it had reviews, lists, attributes, photos from Flickr, videos from Youtube, maps (of course), a logo.
It was about then that we realised that there's quite a bit more to launching a big new content site than just design and coding. The ever-enthusiastic Mark took time out of his day job of managing the lastminute.com brand to help us out. The story went that his performance goals included creating a campaign that would land him in jail. Exaggeration undoubtedly. However on his sage advice we photoshopped a photo of a couple having sex on a beach onto a Google Earth tile, to release as a bit of fake news. Now we had design, coding and a launch viral.
Sadly, it wasn't enough. lastminute.com had recently been taken over by Travelocity, who had a number of similar projects on the go in the US, and our fledgling effort succumbed to corporate infighting. I haven't checked recently but if you're after a project the beach niche may still be a good opportunity...