“We’ve always thought we can do better” – Edial Dekker previews new Gidsy release

Gidsy Columbus
Gidsy Columbus

Berlin startup Gidsy‘s been dropping hints about its redesign/new release for a few weeks now. To avoid going crazy with suspense (and at the risk of adding to it), we asked CEO Edial Dekker to talk us through what’s coming up:

Gidsy Columbus

Gidsy is a peer-to-peer experience marketplace. You can host-and-charge or book-and-pay for events, with Gidsy taking a 10 per cent cut in exchange for providing the platform.

The new release, dubbed “Columbus”, will bring a suite of new features, a hopefully less-cluttered design and is currently going through private testing. Dekker (below) estimates it will be ready to go live in weeks rather than months.

Edial Dekker“It’s just going to make things a lot more easy,” he says. “We’ve always been quite unhappy with our design and, while we’ve heard really great stuff from the community, we’ve always thought we can do so much better.”

The beta tag may not be coming off just yet but the new release is significant – with Gidsy now in 11 cities and with more on the way, it’s going to become increasingly difficult to switch up the platform’s basic design and features from here on in (just take a look at where LinkedIn ended up).

The new Gidsy – more social, small business-friendly

For a start, the team want to make the Gidsy experience more social with deeper Facebook integration – starting with the option to automatically share bookings, favourite events and activity reviews that Gidsy introduced last week. “People come together for a certain activity and they share similar interests, which is obvious, so we want them to have an experience before they go to the activity and after they go to the activity, so they can still talk to each other,” Dekker explains.

Gidsy and Etsy meetup July 2012A social bunch – Gidsy and Etsy meetup July 2012 at Berlin’s Prinzessinnengarten

There will also be new features aimed at Gidsy organisers who, if they’re regular enough, effectively become small business operators. Think tools to make it easier to print out receipts and manage bookings, probably through an improved calendar… “Some people are really making a living out of Gidsy, using Gidsy in a very different way than we anticipated in the beginning,” Dekker says. “So some things didn’t scale well.”

There’s some sort of third aspect to the Columbus release that remains completely under wraps. More exciting than new servers? “It’s something design-related but also a lot of extra… yeah,” Dekker says. New colour scheme? “I can’t say…”

There are no plans to create separate logins for activity organisers and activity goers – even though Dekker says they’re tending to see people do one or the other – or to change the location of Gidsy HQ (unlike fellow Berlin startups Readmill or SoundCloud and 6Wunderkinder).

Dekker, brother Floris and Philipp Wassibauer founded Gidsy in Berlin in May 2011 and raised $1.2 million in January from investors including Sunstone Capital, Index Ventures, Werner Vogels (of Amazon), Peter Read (UK) and celebrity tech investor Ashton Kutcher.


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VIDEO – a Gidsy adventure (watch our talented features editor Elaine Jung go graffiti-touring, ice-skating and “powerbocking” with Gidsy in Berlin)