June - August 2019

Team: 3 co-founders & me (the intern)

Product & sales intern helping a startup find product-market fit. Also a cold calling machine.

In order to explore less technical roles, I worked as a product/sales intern for avery young startup in Nashville called hostmost during summer 2019.

The Project

If you’ve ever stayed at an Airbnb in a city you’re unfamiliar with you’ve probably thought “what do I go do?”

Hostmost is trying to answer that question by providing an easy, centralized list of discounts to local tours and activities.

As a product/sales intern I worked to help the founders find product-market fit and to grow their list of early adopters in the Nashville market.

Market Research

My first week or so at hostmost was focused entirely on gauging the total market potential for the product and to identify high priority expansion cities.

We needed to show that there were enough cities with a large number of short term rentals and high quality tourist activities nearby. To a lesser extent, we were also looking for the prevalence of mid-sized property management groups to accelerate sales.

I leveraged tools like Inside Airbnb to paint a picture of the short term rental market in each city.

Even though some cities look like hubs, their legislature can tell another story.

To find local tours and activities I spent more time browsing Travelocity than anybody likely will in their entire life. This helped me identify popular locally owned tourism activities.

Ultimately, this helped me built out a comprehensive list of interesting destinations and property managers across major US cities. This proved to be absolutely vital for the customer discovery phase later.


Teddy Dinker, hostmost’s founder and CEO, had already connected with many local businesses and found early adopters for the platform. Growing this list of adopters and determining what sort of activities tourists were most willing to pay for became my next task.

Using the same research tactics as in the market research phase, I built out a list of uncontacted local Nashville tour and activity companies.

The list included pub crawls, bike rentals, and trailer hot tubs.

party tub
Nashville certainly caters towards the tours and activities market.

Hubspot became my source of truth for the next few weeks as I cold called and cold emailed nearly every local activity in Nashville. Contacting small businesses was certainly challenging, but after several days I began to find a rhythm.

Cold calling is a grind, but I’m so fortunate to have that experience under my belt and happy to have helped hostmost grow.

Customer Discovery

After about three weeks of sales I had quite literally exhausted the Nashville tours and activities market.

Growing our early adopter user base was obviously important, but we still had much to learn about what features property managers prioritized as need-to-have not just nice-to-have.

To solve this, I continued my cold-calling spree – this time with property managers and hotels. I called the top 20 property management groups in the largest 15 markets in America and compiled every insight possible.

Many property managers were too busy or not particularly interested in giving real feedback, but the few who did helped us push the direction of our product towards seamless integration.


Finally, after compiling insights and growing our market share, I was able to spend more time working with the co-founders to address product concerns.

My most interesting and challenging task was facilitating communication between the CEO and CTO. I’ve always been interested in being able to communicate from both a technical and business perspective.

I was given the chance to help tackle the challenge of optimizing the backend database to allow for additional product offerings.

It’s challenging to find the balance between developing a product quickly and preventing technical debt. This was the crux of our issue and while my internship ended before the solution was built, we did end up finding a solution which simplified backend API calls and sped up the development process from several months to implementable within only a few weeks.