It all started last year in a kebab shop in Amsterdam. The two (at the time) AKQA colleagues David and Luis-Daniel, were in town, after a long weeks work. Knowing Amsterdam is famous for its nightlife, they were pretty curious to find out for themselves.
They started furiously Googling, calling friends, scanning Facebook, checking Foursquare etc. Ending (not surprisingly) up at an average venue, feeling frustrated in the knowledge that the night of their life could be just around the corner.
Alas, after a while wandering the streets, passing tourist hell holes, they gave up and went back to the hotel... and poured their frustrations into what would be the first mock up of Vamos (back then called the 'Event Compass’).
The idea was straight-forward: To source today’s best local events and find out where friends were going.
David says “The idea lived on in our heads, but we didn’t begin building anything until the 11th February 2012, at a hackathon in Berlin. Where we brought together Erik, Jens, (the other two co-founders), Berlin-based designer Linda Gavin, who previously worked on Twitter’s branding, and some of Luis’ former class mates at Hyper Island, flying in from all over Northern Europe”.
Since then, the the team has built an iOS app and have been testing and developing it in closed beta with a group of 140 people. “Already iterated on the feedback of our friends, 27 times and counting!” says David.
When you log into the app, you can find a list of events happening right now or later today closest to your current location. Because context is also important you can see which friends have RSVP'd, photos taken with Instagram and a map view for directions.
David says they were “inspired by the endless potential of the social layer (the idea of open APIs), which is also what's unique about the app. Instead of having some "expert" curating events in every city of the world, we let people's friends do the curation job for them”.
"Vamos is focusing on the here and now, today, in the same city, because it is not just a useful point of difference from international competitors, but it also opens up a bridge between people looking for how to entertain themselves and local event promotors wanting to drive foot traffic in real time" says David.
"This is why we left the ad industry, and an example of how we see brands and ad platforms evolve throughout the next couple of years".
Right now the app is iOS only, but the team says other mobile platforms are in the pipeline. So, watch this space and download it for yourself...