Geardropper is an outdoor travel start-up founded in 2016. From the beginning, Cloudrocket has been responsible for the e-commerce platform. A reactive and refined booking experience for travelers looking for their next camping holiday.
Since the founding in 2016, Geardropper rents out camping gear to pick up at unique destinations throughout Europe, so you can camp anywhere you like and choose your own way of travelling.
It all started on a small campsite in the rose gold evening glow in the hills of Tuscany, lying in the hammock in front of their tent; why can’t we experience this everywhere? How great would it be to go camping on islands like Sardinia and Corsica, without making a long and exhausting journey by car? Wouldn’t it be so much better to fly to our favourite destinations and rent camping gear on location, that provides at least the same comfort as our own gear? With the freedom to go anywhere we like on location, without being stuck to reservations and pre set-up bungalow tents.
Then we could easily fly to the most far away destinations, even for a few days, and enjoy this camping experience everywhere! And discover new idyllic places each time, instead of always staying within a small range from home…Wouldn’t more people want this? With these thoughts the dream of Geardropper co-founder Bas Sonnevelt was born: to make this camping experience available for and share it with everyone – everywhere.
A late afternoon in fall 2015 - The office phone rang. Inspired by our blog article about Micro Interactions, Bas decided to call us. He wanted to meet up with us to tell us about this great idea he had in mind. A meeting was set for one week later. In a cosy café in the centre of Eindhoven, Bas passionately pitched his idea. We liked it - and we kept on brainstorming until late in the night.
Bas knew he needed a team of digital experts to build a website that would show his passion for outdoor travel. "For me, it's important to find someone that's willing to go the extra mile. Not just pay by the hour, but someone who is as passionately as I am" he said. A few meetings later, Bas was convinced he would find a long-term development partner in Cloudrocket. And so in April 2016, the Project Kick-off took place.
The first version of the booking website went live about 1.5 month later. Bas appreciated our advice to follow the Lean Startup principles of launching a product and then fine-tuning it, but later he insisted a first impression shouldn't be bèta at all. "I want our first impression to be a good one. We're talking about people's once-per-year holiday here. Everything from A to Z should show trust and professionalism".
"The nice thing about Cloudrocket is that they are actually able to operate as a dedicated development team for our start-up. Of course I could have hired my own team of developers and designers. But then I would have had to manage a whole team myself, which would essentially make me a Project Manager." Bas says. "With all the work that establishing a startup involves, that's just too much."
A few months into the project, it became clear that the startup needed to steer into a slightly different direction. As a result, a few additional functionalities were needed. Traditional agencies usually don't like to deviate from contracts. But for startups, it's crucial to be able to learn through short-cycled experiments. That's how Cloudrocket and Geardropper decided to swap out some User Stories from the contract and replace them by different ones. "I was surprised by how flexible and quickly we were able to push the project into another direction." Bas says.
At Cloudrocket, we think flexibility is not just luxury, but rather absolute necessity. Startups only succeed if they are able to gain traction, and usually founders only have assumptions about who their target customer is and what their product should look like. These assumptions often prove to be wrong when it's too late. That illustrates the need for short-cycled experiments, so startups can learn fast and steer into the right direction.