Browsing Online to Discover Offline:
An interview with Nick Telson, Co-Founder of DesignMyNight
Giulia Magnani London - 03/09/2018
This week we look at the role of technology in bringing people back to real world experiences.
We spoke to Nick Telson, co-founder of DesignMyNight.
DesignMyNight was winner of the Guardian’s Small Business Award in the Cash Flow category and is now used by London Business School as a case study on its entrepreneurial course.
5 years after its Angel investment, DesignMyNight was acquired by The Access Group.
He told us about how DesignMyNight helps people discover a city by delivering offline bespoke experiences.
Nick tells us that there has been a shift over the past seven years, where consumers prefer buying experiences over objects.
This phenomenon, he explains, derives from the current economic situation. People have less available money to spend.
This may lead them to cut back on more lavish experiences such as long holidays. Instead, people look for more affordable and regular alternatives of escapism.
Secret to Happiness
According to some of the biggest news sources, including The New York Times and Forbes, investing in experiences, more than on stuff, is one the of the key secrets to happiness.
In a world where digital content is constantly growing, and social networks are exponentially becoming meeting places, how can people really come to understand the value of offline experiences?
“Nothing ever becomes real ‘til it is experienced” - John Keats
DesignMyNight gives its users the opportunity of making things real by combining technology and offline experiences, taking escapism to a whole new level.
Founded in 2010 by Nick and his best mate Andrew Webster, DesignMyNight now has around 50 employees, and is regarded as the UK’s largest casual hospitality discovery and booking website.
It is a digital platform that allows people, both locals and tourists, to discover and fully live the cities they’re in. It helps them find and book the perfect event, restaurant or bar that suits their particular occasion: making their experience ready to be lived!
As Nick puts it: “We are like your knowledgeable best mate; there to help at all times...first date? birthday drinks? fancy dinner with parents? We got it all”.
The Future of Experiences
Nick tells us that the research and desire to live experiences is a phenomenon that he sees growing in the future. Technology will not defeat it, rather foster it.
Flight Club and Puttshack, for example, have spent a lot of money creating their venues, in order to deliver the best technological experiences, and could actually be regarded as tech-hospitality locations.
He reminds us that we are still dealing with the hospitality industry; one, which rotates around human interaction, socialising and the enjoyment of a live environment.
In line with Keats, Nick states:
“You need to be there, in the moment, to really enjoy it”
Nick has shown us that living in a virtually connected world has not stopped people from needing to live real life experiences. It may have just changed their way to access them.
People still want to view the world, live it and, as Nick likes to say, discover it.