As Anoniem Anno Nu is centered on art, I envisioned bringing the theme back in the blog posts I wrote about the website. With the assignment being three blogposts, I came up with the idea of a tryptich – a (often Christian themed) three-panel piece with the mid-section being the most important and the side-panels playing a supportive role. In this case, value co-creation and collective intelligence taking the main stage, while pricing strategies and interface design played the respective roles of deutera- and tritagonist. So, in line with the theme of art, it seemed self-evident to discuss the importance of aesthetics and design as the cornerstones of a website experience.
Research done by Hartman et al. (2010) have identified the value of quality website aesthetics and design in enhancing usability. Put differently, if a website has a pleasing aesthetic with an emphasis on visual design, it is more likely to be found easy to navigate through and, hence, users will be more likely to stay longer on the page and come back to it more often. This is seemingly good news for AAN as its website interface is visual, clear and playful.
In the last post I discussed how Pieter Jan Glerum could make Anoniem Anno Nu (AAN) commercially more attractive through different pricing strategies. Today, however, I want to reflect on the different ways AAN facilitates value co-creation through collective intelligence and suggest some room for improvement.
In post-modern theoretical works on value co-creation, the term has been characterized by consumer’s ability to craft personal consumption experiences through the offering of more customized goods or services. However, for a deeper understanding of the underlying frictions between the three terms (value, co, and creation) need to be dismantled and separately evaluated according to their meaning. In the case of AAN, value is generated for the artists who get to send in their artworks for a potential sale and for Glerum who gets a 10-15% mark-up over all sales. ‘Co’ refers to the resources that are used by the consumers when creating value. In this case, it is the artists who use their artistic talents to create works to be sold through AAN. Lastly, creation refers to the mechanisms that are used by artists and art patrons to change roles that were traditionally taken on by firms. At AAN, co-creation and voting are used by the consumers and integrate with the firm’s own resources.
However, though we now know what is being done at AAN – creating artworks and making decisions around the quality of these works – and by whom it is being done – artists and art enthusiasts on both crowd and individual level –, we can ask ourselves why it is being done (i.e., why would one partake in the website’s objectives?).
Being the son of one of the Netherland’s most famous auctioneers, Pieter Jan Glerum has never been a stranger to fine art and its inherent elitism. However, it was exactly this inaccessibility to the masses that made Glerum come up with a website that would allow anyone to anonymously send in his/her artwork, and the masses to show their support for the work through social media. In short, Anoniem Anno Nu (AAN) brings democracy to the world of art.
AAN is a wonderful example of co-creation through crowdsourcing – as anyone can sell their art and, equally, anyone can vote and buy the art – and the two-sided market (or platform) – as it brings together artists and art enthusiasts. The difference between the two-sided-market and the traditional value chain is that the prior allows networks of users that are attracted to each other come together. As such, the more users the platform attract, the more revenue it can generate. Here lies the crux: AAN currently has nearly 1.300 likes (or followers), which hardly makes it profitable.
What to do to increase the amount of users and profitability of this platform? The answer can be found in Eisenmann, Parker & Geoffrey’s (2006) article ‘Strategies for Two-Sided-Markets’ that was published in the Harvard Business Review: a business model suggestion, if you will.