Last week it was announced that the startup Gidsy had received a significant round of funding from high-profile investors.* Gidsy is a marketplace where people organizing activities are matched with people looking for things to do.
I’m a satisfied Gidsy user myself. Also, I’ve worked with the two brothers behind it on my own startup, and they are the real deal. Most importantly however, while I have reservations about a lot of startups being a net win for society, I think Gidsy definitely is.
Over the past years I have become a bit alarmed by the inactivity that modern day society induces, and technology in particular. This is what the so-called Paleolithic Lifestyle is all about. It means we should be critical of many things that are qualified as “progress”, if they take us further away from the life our genes expect for us.
Services like Gidsy encourage people to get out of the house. Not only that, in many instances they encourage them to be active. The bulk of the population sits all day in offices, only to come home to spend the evening – again sitting of course – behind the TV or on Facebook. This to me does not constitute a real life. Contrast this with the Gidsy activity ‘Primal Fitness’, where people get in touch again with how to move naturally and learn how to cooperate on practical physical tasks.*
When you go out and do something, often you are not just by yourself. You go with people you know, or you meet new people as a nice side effect. Like going to a cocktail party. Compare this to merely going to networking events. These are often unrelaxed settings where people are social in a forced way, because they have some agenda.
Author Nassim Nicholas Taleb explains that if people have an income source on which they are dependent (say a job), other than minimum wage, then most of them are not free.* They become afraid to bite the hand that feeds them so to say, and adapt their beliefs to their actions (instead of vice versa, which is the ethical thing to do). Companies like Airbnb, Zaarly, and TaskRabbit provide a platform where anybody can supplement their income.
Gidsy too helps people become less dependent. It stands out however, because it does so by letting them earn money doing what they love. Others it gives alternatives to passivity and isolation. That’s why I think it is a net win for society, and I sincerely wish the company and the team all the best.