Tag Archives: app


“Life is too short to drink bad wine.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

You enjoy an occasional glass of red wine, or you just want to pair the day’s love infused dinner with an exquisite bottle of white. You go to the nearest wine shop, liquor store or supermarket only to be left alone staring at the abundance of options. Of course, you can ask the salesperson at the shop, but can he or she incorporate the knowledge of millions of wines into his recommendation? No, I didn’t think so either. It is your lucky day though, Vivino is here to help.

Finding the perfect bottle

Vivino boasts over 9 million different wines in its database covering over 3000 different wine regions for its community of 29 million wine lovers. Founded in the capital of Denmark, Copenhagen, by Heini Zachariassen and Theis Søndergaard in 2010, it is world’s largest online wine marketplace. The company is spread over three continents with their offices in Copenhagen, San Fransico, Ukraine and India, and so far has secured $56.3 million in funding including a staggering $25 million from SCP Neptune, the family office investment vehicle of the Moët Hennesy CEO, Christophe Navarre. A “community-powered e-commerce platform for personalized recommendations” as Zachariassen puts it, allows users to scan the labels of the whichever bottle they are about to buy and the app recognizes the key pieces of information such as the price, producer, year and the region of production. The app also gives tasting notes and recommends food pairings to go with your precious bottle.

Here’s a 60-second video explaining how:

Wine lovers unite!

The community dimension of Vivino is what makes it a truly customer-centric platform. It allows users to rate the wines, read the comments of other users and even follow their fellow oenophiles, possibly consisting of family and friends whose reviews will be highlighted in their feeds. Since the launch of the app some seven years ago, half a billion labels have been scanned and 88 million ratings have been submitted. With such a wealth of data, the company launched Vivino Market in 2017 offering wine lovers customized recommendations depending on their past behavior on the platform. The more labels they scan and more ratings and reviews they leave on the platform, the better recommendations the users get. Vivino seems to be the perfect conjunction of social media, big data, and machine learning assisting wine lovers to never be disappointed ever again with their choice of wine.

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Vivino by the numbers

A new era for selling wines

Vivino’s value proposition does not only concern wine lovers in the pursuit of a good wine. It also benefits retail partners and sommeliers alike. Guest-to-sommelier interaction is usually an awkward one: guest trying to explain what kind of wine he or she likes and sommelier trying to pinpoint “the one” with not much to go on other than “dry”. Vivino successfully steps in at this point. The users of the platform can simply show the sommeliers wines that they previously enjoyed, making everyone’s lives a little easier. And Scott Zocolillo, Managing Partner, and Sommelier at Nectar in suburban Philadelphia’s Berwyn agrees: “Vivino, to me, shows trends and preferences. I love when a guest has their app out, [as] it helps move the conversation along and helps me do my job and get them the best wine for their experience.” It doesn’t end there, though. Through its marketplace, Vivino charges a flat commission for retailers on the orders that are bought on its website and app. With over $40 million worth of wine sold through Vivino, it provides a disruptive opportunity for wine producers to reach a vast community of users who are appreciative of wine. A win-win situation for all parties involved!

Powered by a solid community of users with its current data capabilities, the company plans to expand to emerging markets such as Hong Kong, Brazil, and Mexico through its increased partnerships. The goal is to sell $1 billion in wine by 2020 and with 2 years to go, that doesn’t seem to be an easy target. However, Zachariassen seems to believe in the potential of the online market for wines. “Wine is a $300 billion industry and if you look at the online part of wine, e-commerce, it’s still very, very small,” says Zachariassen, pointing towards a plethora of opportunities in the online wine retail business in the years to come. For now, what we can do as wine lovers is to sit back, relax and crack open that bottle of red which is guaranteed to be a pleasure.

Here is another article written about Vivino from 2014: https://consumervaluecreation.com/2014/05/18/viva-il-vino-exploring-wine-with-vivino/


Crunchbase. (2018). Vivino | Crunchbase. [online] Available at: https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/vivino#section-locked-marketplace [Accessed 5 Mar. 2018].

Freedman, B. (2017). The Launch Of Vivino Market Could Herald A New Era In Wine Buying. [online] Forbes.com. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/brianfreedman/2017/03/30/the-launch-of-vivino-market-could-herald-a-new-era-in-wine-buying/#35e56f975ed1 [Accessed 5 Mar. 2018].

Page, H. (2018). Investors Pour $20M More Into Wine Curation And Delivery App Vivino – Crunchbase News. [online] Crunchbase News. Available at: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/investors-pour-20m-wine-curation-delivery-app-vivino/ [Accessed 5 Mar. 2018].

Scott, K. (2017). Vivino: This app is designed to turn anyone into a wine expert. [online] CNNMoney. Available at: http://money.cnn.com/2017/08/01/smallbusiness/vivino-wine-app/index.html [Accessed 5 Mar. 2018].

Vivino.com. (2018). About Vivino. [online] Available at: https://www.vivino.com/about [Accessed 5 Mar. 2018].

Yeung, K. (2016). Vivino raises $25M round, led by Moet Hennessey’s CEO, for its wine discovery app. [online] VentureBeat. Available at: https://venturebeat.com/2016/01/12/vivino-raises-25m-round-led-by-moet-hennesseys-ceo-for-its-wine-discovery-app/ [Accessed 5 Mar. 2018].

Get the London Look – Snap, Try and Buy

Any girl has heard about Rimmel London (remember: get the london look?) at least once in her life, or has seen the advertisements often containing a celebrity, such as Kate Moss. Now, unfortunately most of us do not look like Kate Moss (no offense), which means that make-up that looks amazing on her, might look a bit less amazing on us. But do you really wanna buy all the products she wears, only to realize that the look shown in the advertisement does not suit you?

Ofcourse not!

Luckily, Rimmel has realized this, and came up with a solution: the Get The London Look app! The app works as follows (Rimmel, 2017):

  1. SNAP – Take a picture of a makeup look in a magazine or from a real person
  2. TRY – Try her look virtually live in the app
  3. SHARE – Share your look with friends
  4. BUY – Buy any product from the app

So, for example, I see Kate Moss in a magazine (preferably in a Rimmel London ad, otherwise I still cannot buy the right product haha), I snap a photo of her look, try it out on myself and if I am unsure, I send the look to my friends. I was really eager to try out the app, but I couldn’t find it in the Dutch iTunes app store. Further, when I tried sending up for an email with the download link through the Rimmel London website, I could not click on ‘accept the terms & conditions’. Not a very good promotion of the app, I’d say 😉

So, what about the efficiency criteria?

If the app indeed works, the joint profitability criteria is definitely met. The consumers benefit from using the app, as they do not need to go the store to get a look done on them or buy unnecessary products that do not suit them. Even though the company had to invest in creating the app, the app will allow them -in my opinion- to obtain more customers. For example, when people try out looks and are happy they obtained a product, they will come back. Further, allowing customers to share looks with their friends will probably make their friends eager to use the app and purchase products as well.

Further, I think the app would be a lot of fun to use. It is always nice to see different make-up looks on yourself (as a girl, at least) and if you want to have extra fun, you can even try it out on guys 😉 To see for yourself, here are two screenshots from the app (taken from here in case you’d like to see more).

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As with the Lancôme: future of beauty blog, the institutional environment is less relevant in this case. Further, the feasibility requirement is met, as the app already exists and has quite some positive reviews on the app store (see here).

If someone manages to download the app, please let me know what you think of it and perhaps we can try it out in class!

To find out more: https://uk.rimmellondon.com/get-the-look/virtual-makeover

Say hi. Say bye. Hey ho!

Are you also familiar with the feeling that you want to buy something which you don’t really need? Me neither. Nevertheless there is a new online platform called ‘Letgo’ which raised 175 million dollars from investors (Emerce, 2017). And last month they entered the Dutch market, you might have seen their annoying (yet catchy) advertisements on TV or on billboards. Letgo is basically a platform where people can buy and sell second hand stuff.

Sounds promising, how does it work?

Letgo is a free app for Android and iOS where you can find deals for second hand products (AndroidWorld, 2017). It is possible to create a personal profile where you can tell something about yourself. In addition you can link your profile with your Facebook account. Users can place advertisements, chat with others or extend their network by inviting others via Facebook. The app shows a map of the neighborhood of your current location and shows the products which are for sale. Furthermore you can see what your friends are selling. When you click on one of the ads, you get the possibility to place a bid, share the ad or chat with the seller.


But aren’t there a billion websites doing the same thing?

No, there are only a few thousand websites doing the same thing. But Letgo is slightly different:

  • By including Facebook, Letgo becomes more ‘social’ compared to other platforms like Marktplaats or eBay. Furthermore it is not necessary to send emails or make phone calls to make a deal as you can chat via the app.
  • It’s much fancier than other platforms (hipster alert!). I think that it’s a bit like Tinder, but instead of selling yourself you can sell your stuff (and meet new people).
  • Another part of their unique proposition is its focus on local as you can only see ads near your current location.


How would you evaluate this fantastic business model?

When looking at the joint profitability, they meet this requirement as there are strong network effects. More sellers lead to an increase in (potential) buyers (and the other way around), which enables Letgo to gather more users and data. It’s a bit shady, but it’s likely that Letgo earns money by selling data. Letgo also satisfies the feasibility as there are many similar platforms. The judiciary and polity requirements are less relevant for this case, but the social norms dimension is met as Letgo is already popular in the US, which establishes trust. The achievability criteria is also met as used products are increasing in popularity (AD, 2017).

So, Letgo has a bright future

Not sure about that… This platform is useless if you are looking for a particular product. Furthermore there are already numerous Facebook groups which provide the same ‘social’ and ‘local’ experience. On the other hand, Letgo is focused on mobile devices, which makes it easier, faster and more fun to buy and sell. You could argue that there are tons of dating sites, but Tinder remains a popular app for the exact same reasons. Hence, I believe that Letgo can become a successful platform, especially among young people.





ARTO – The Easiest Way to Discover Art You Love

As the housing market continues to grow, the walls of  new homes need some decoration. You decide you want a nice piece of art but where to start, what is your personal taste? Even if you know your preferences, you may find it rather difficult to describe them to find the type of art you are looking for. Now there is ARTO Gallery, the application that helps you find your perfect art match!

What is ARTO?    

picture5ARTO Gallery, launched in 2016 by Jonie Oostveen who was a former Director Business Development at Spotify, is a new way to discover and buy art from your mobile device. The app helps experts as well as non-experts to discover great paintings based on their personal preferences, while also giving artists a platform to sell and promote their artworks. The platform offers art of both independent artists and galleries but also partners with renowned museums (e.g. the Rijks Museum and the National Gallery of Art).  Currently the platform has a database of 5.500 artists and more than 20.000 pieces, which is expected to grow to 50.000 by the end of the year.

How does it work?      

Once you open the app, you will see your “Art Stream”. Customers participate as active “co-creators”(Tsekouras, lecture 2017) by indicating per artwork whether they like it or not through swiping it left or right. The more the customer swipes, the better ARTO Gallery understands their personal preferences. By using the Artificial Intelligent “Art Recommendation Engine” ARTO can recommend artworks from their database to the customer. Furthermore, it is possible to stream artwork to your TV to imagine how the piece would look in your room, ask questions to the artists and see similar artworks to the ones you liked. Artists pay for the service if a transaction takes place as ARTO Gallery charges the artists’ account a certain percentage of the value of artworks sold. For customers the platform is free of charge.

ARTO Gallery impression

Efficiency Criteria

ARTO is the first two-sided personalized platform that connects art seekers to galleries and artists. The platform maximizes the joint profitability of both partners (Carson et al., 1999). On one side, art seekers are now enabled to find artworks they love more efficiently as their choice overload is reduced by personalized recommendations. Moreover, the invested effort is relatively low as using the application requires much less time than browsing gallery websites.
On the other side, galleries and artists have easy and low cost access to a new customer base, increasing their potential returns. Moreover, through this process ARTO Gallery allows the long tail of art to grow (Brynjolfsson et al., 2006) as more customers discover unfamiliar artwork styles while artists and galleries can adapt their supply to this.

Futhermore, I consider criterion for the feasibility of required reallocations  (Carson et al., 1999) to be met. However, evaluating the institutional environment, I would say that legally there is the largest threat for platform abuse. One might want to sell copies of paintings as if it is original work (intellectual property issues), which may both harm the potential buyer as well as the reputation of ARTO Gallery as a platform. Nonetheless, ARTO Gallery addressed this by their notifications of copyright infringement. Moreover, artists are carefully screened before they are allowed to upload work on the platform. In addition, artists and galleries are always responsible for their own artworks and personal information may be handed over to legal institutions at all times.


I think the ARTO Gallery application is unique and considerably differs from its competition by offering personalized art recommendations. This feature makes it a great way to discover your personal taste and new artworks, while it offers a platform for art suppliers to expose their works. However, as the application is launched recently it is difficult to tell whether it will establish itself into the marketplace. I think first some marketing investments need to be done as the application is still quite unknown, but there is definitely potential!


Brynjolfsson, E., Hu, Y., and Smith, M.D. 2006. From Nichees to Riches: Anotomy of the Long Tail. Management Review 47(4) 67-71.

Carson, S. J., Devinney, T. M., Dowling, G. R., & John, G. (1999). Understanding institutional designs within marketing value systems. Journal of Marketing, 115-130

Arto Gallery.(2017, February 24). Our Company. Retrieved from Arto.Gallery

Artworldforum. (2017, February 24). press-arto-gallery. Retrieved from Artworldforum.com

Tsekouras, D. (2 February 2017), Lecture Customer Centric Digital Commerce, “Introduction to value co-creation”.

Polarsteps – Automatically track and share your trip

Imagine you just came back home from a long trip abroad and you want to share your experiences with your friends and family by writing a blog. Travel blogging, however, is time-consuming. So, you decide to post your photos on Facebook. Not a bad way to share your journey, but it does not really capture the essence of your awesome experiences either..

Polarsteps – Why was it created, what is it and how does it work?

Just before leaving for his sailing trip, Polarsteps co-founder Niek wrote a small script that read off his coordinates from a GPS tracker and sent them to a server via satellite phone (Ho, 2016). Niek’s website went viral among travelers, who loved the idea of telling your travel story on a beautiful map and sharing it with their loved ones back at home. This inspired Niek to further develop the idea (Ohr, 2016).

Polarsteps is an Amsterdam-based app that automatically tracks travelers’ journeys. Travelers don’t need to worry about internet costs, because the app uses offline GPS-tracking. Once Wi-Fi-connection is available, the app seamlessly transfers all tracked information to the traveler’s Polarsteps webpage. Here, the trip is displayed on an interactive map showing the traveler’s routes, key locations and photos. Polarsteps tracks a ton of other statistics, such as kilometers traveled. Furthermore, travelers can keep their friends and family updated as to where in the world they are by sharing their trip real-time. Users can instantly add photos and locations to the interactive map or do it afterwards. Thus, no need to worry about battery drain either. Travelers can also follow other travelers and explore their trips. Finally, Polarsteps offers printed travel books, which includes all travel routes, statistics and photos, turning travel moments into lifetime memories.


Efficiency criterion – Joint profitability

  • Polarsteps automatically generates users’ travel story on a beautiful map which can be shared real-time with their loved ones back at home. Polarsteps also functions as a platform where users can follow other travelers’ trips and share theirs. Additionally, users can buy a personal travel book, so they can look back on their journey.
  • The founders of Polarsteps are passionate travelers who focus primarily on helping other passionate travelers log their travels and tell their stories. Polarsteps wants its platform to enable travel organizations to create branded accounts where they can share their routes and tell their stories. The company considers adding features such as sharing the content on social media and incorporating booking reservations. Eventually Polarsteps wants to become THE app for discovering, logging and sharing beautiful routes. Other sources of income may come from selling travel books and gift cards. However, this is not the core of the business model (Tmoz.com).

Required reallocations

Polarsteps has an extensive terms and privacy statement that users must agree to. It includes the following:

  • Users are responsible and liable for all activity on their account.
  • Polarsteps collects personal information provided by the user, information collected automatically and information it receives from third parties.
  • Users can choose between 3 privacy levels: Only me, Only my followers or Everyone.
  • Polarsteps urges users to think carefully about the consequences of using the Trvavel Tracker functionality, when Everyone can view their account.



Ho, J. (2016, April 25). A Dutchman sails across the Atlantic and innovates travel logging. Retrieved February 22, 2017, from https://thenextweb.com/insider/2016/04/25/polarsteps-koen-droste/#.tnw_1vxuPgmT

Ohr, T. (2016, March 17). Thomas Ohr. Retrieved February 22, 2017, from http://www.eu-startups.com/2016/03/amsterdam-based-travel-tracking-app-polarsteps-secures-e500k-in-funding/?via=indexdotco

Startup pitch: Polarsteps automagically tracks and plots worldwide jaunts. (2015, April 2). Retrieved February 22, 2017, from https://www.tnooz.com/article/startup-pitch-polarsteps-automagically-tracks-plots-worldwide-jaunts/

Brigade: Redefining Politics, Civic Engagement and Democracy?

In today’s democracy, politicians have a tough time reaching millennials. In the same way as religion, Western politics currently faces difficulties to create affiliation with the latest generations. Especially, the themes of politics and voting have lost interest of the younger generations over time:

Continue reading Brigade: Redefining Politics, Civic Engagement and Democracy?

ShopAdvisor – The value of information

In the stock market the value and the quality of information is very important. Even if the prices of the stock are unpredictable, past trends and information can help people, especially financiers, to take decision about buying or selling stocks. Information regarding price behavior can be very useful not only to buy or sell stocks, but also for buying other kind of products, not related with the stock market. This information can help people making decisions about buying a product.

Often when you discover a product you are not ready to buy it, because you do not know if the price you are going to pay is fair or simply because you do not have enough money to buy it.

How can you be sure you are making the right decision when buying a product or how can you know that a product is within your budget?

Well, there is an application for your tablet or your mobile phone that can answer to both questions. With ShopAdvisor “consumer’s simply “watch” products they discover and like, and they are saved to one convenient list, accessible anytime, anywhere. Later, when the time is right, ShopAdvisor reminds them – on their phone, in their email, on their tablet. That sweater is finally available in retail. That TV price is finally within your budget. That designer is offering a sample of their new fragrance” (Shop Advisor, 2014) (see Figure 1).

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Figure 1. ShopAdvisor tutorial.

Besides the alert ShopAdvisor sent you when a product is finally within the budget is also shows you the price behavior of the product since it was launched (See Figure 2). Using this information you can make see if the actual price is a good deal or not. If it is a good deal and you are interested in buying the product ShopAdvisor will show which stores are selling the product and it will redirect you to the one you are interested, in this way retailers are benefited from the app as well. Continue reading ShopAdvisor – The value of information