Tag Archives: online platform

Peaks: investing your change


Do you feel demotivated seeing your interest fall to 0.05%? Would you like to invest your money but do you not know where to start? This is where Peaks comes in. Peaks believes that investing should be for everyone, not only for the happy few!

How does it work?
Peaks digitally collects your change by rounding up all your purchases to whole euros. Let’s assume you bought a coffee for €2,40, Peaks will then automatically transfer €0,60 to your investment account. If you don’t want to provide Peaks access to your account, you can also choose to transfer let’s say €1, – a day to your investment account. The Peaks App provides an easy overview of the amount saved and the current value of your investments. All you have to do is determine the amount of risk you would like to take choosing from four risk levels, where a higher risk corresponds to a higher expected return. The video below outlines the idea behind Peaks, although it’s in Dutch, I’m sure you’ll be able to follow.

Business model
The Peaks business model is based on joint profitability of both the investors and the company itself. The investors benefit since they are able to invest small amounts of money, which they would otherwise not have been able to invest due to the high one-off investment costs charged by funds (Peaks, 2017). Since many investors invest small amounts of money, Peaks can share investment costs among this large group.  Peaks itself on the other side, benefits from profits the investor makes in two ways. First, higher profit motivates investors to invest more money, resulting in an increase in fees being paid to Peaks. Secondly, higher profit motivates new customers to join the platform. With regard to switching costs, there are alternative investment platforms which accept small investments, such as ‘Semmie’. However, since Peaks is a startup financed by Rabobank, its integration with the Rabobank banking system differentiates it from competitors. According to Peaks, integration with other banks will follow soon. Hence, switching costs in terms of convenience are quite high for Rabobank customers yet slightly lower for customers of other banks.

In terms of institutional arrangements, power given to investors is limited. An interesting comparison is Dell computer. Research looked at the degree of user design customization that was optimal when selling a computer. Turns out that the majority of people actually had no idea about the technical specifications of a computer. Letting customers customize their computer using technical design parameters hence resulted in a ‘design defect’: a choice of design parameters that does not maximize user satisfaction (Randall T., 2005). Such design defects can be mitigated by using ‘needs based interfaces’: instead of asking would you like “512MB,DDR,333MHz 2 Dimms or a “512MB,DDR,333MHz 1 Dimm” memory they would ask “do you find the performance of program X important”. In a way, the same can be applied to investing in the stock market. Since the target group of Peaks is unfamiliar with investing money and has little knowledge about the financial market, they are given only a limited degree of freedom. The only question investors are asked is, ‘how much risk would you like to take’?  Based on this level of risk, four different funds are possible: mild, spicy, very spicy and hot. According to your risk preference, the ratio of stocks versus bonds is set automatically. Using this ‘needs based’ approach rather than a ‘parameter based’ approach limits the chance of a design defect occurring and hence increases user satisfaction (Randall T., 2005).

Looking at the institutional environment, the social norms dimension is particularly applicable. Peaks plays into the current movement of Corporate Social Responsibility by banning funds that invest in controversial businesses such as weapons, alcohol/tobacco production and pornography. In terms of polity and judiciary dimensions, Peaks has a permit and is being supervised by the Dutch Authority for Financial Markets. (Peaks, 2017)

Peaks 2

Sounds great! Why not invest?
Empowering everyone rather than just the happy few to get a return on their savings sounds like a great cause. Moreover, expected returns in terms of percentages sound decent. However, after deducting the yearly costs, returns of some of the portfolios become negative. Considering that people investing at Peaks usually have little affinity with investing money, having such low transparency is appalling. For example, if you would like to invest for a period of 1 year with an investment of €30 a month your returns would be as follows (Drabbe, 2018):

  • Mild portfolio: – €3,79
  • Spicy portfolio: – €2,02
  • Very Spicy portfolio: – €0,10
  • Hot portfolio: €1,82

In conclusion, if you want to make money using Peaks you’re going to have to invest more than €30,- a month, which contradicts the whole idea of investing your change. It’s a shame since I believe the idea has a lot of potential! What are your thoughts on the topic? Would you invest your money using Peaks?

Sources:

Carson S. J., D. T. (1999). Understanding Institutional Designs Within Marketing Value Systems. Journal of Marketing Vol 63, 115-130.

Drabbe, M. (2018). Peaks: beleggen met je wisselgeld. Retrieved from Consumentenbond: https://www.consumentenbond.nl/sparen-en-beleggen/peaks-beleggen-met-je-wisselgeld

Peaks. (2017). De app. Retrieved from Peaks: https://www.peaks.nl/de-app/

Randall T., T. C. (2005). Principles for User Design of Customized Products. California Management Review.

Airbnb Trips – The Next Move Towards Conquering the World


“The stuff that matters in life is no longer stuff. It’s other people. It’s relationships. It’s experience.” – Brian Chesky, Co-Founder and CEO of Airbnb

What is your purpose of travel? Is it food? Is it fun? Is it meeting new, inspiring people? Is it getting to know new cultures? Travel is about meaningful moments, experiences you make that you will never forget. But how do you find those places for magical experiences? On TripAdvisor? Go to TripAdvisor and search for “Things to Do” in your home town: Hop-on-Hop-off buses, overpriced boat tours, Madame Tussaud’s… Have you as a local, ever done one of those activities? Most likely you will say: “That’s just something tourists do.”

To prevent travelers from stepping into tourist traps, Airbnb recently presented its’ new offering – the world of trips:

Airbnb knows what travelers want – the ultimate local experience. The previous, successful years resulted in a platform offering millions of homes around the entire world to tourists that no longer want to stay in anonymous hotels. But CEO Brian Chesky realized that homes are just one single part of a great journey. A great journey lets you immerse in and join the local community. With the new product Airbnb Trips, also experiences and places will all be available in the app. So, what are those new features?

  • Experiences: The offered activities are not just organized by city, but also by passion, for example Sports, Nature, Social Impact, or Food. The available experiences can take from a couple of hours up to multiple days. Every offered experience is presented in a short video. About half of the trips are offered at a price below $200 (Airbnb: Experiences, 2017).
  • Places: Within this function, local legends list their top things to do in an “insider guidebook”. Additionally, also audio walks and meet-ups are featured.

Business Model Evaluation

What is the value added for the three main parties involved in Airbnb’s business model?

Consumers (travelers) – For travelers, the extension of Airbnb’s offerings provides a great value added, because the platform becomes a One-Stop-Shop for your entire travel. This will reduce the time necessary to prepare trips and give you new local insights during your holidays. Of course, this comes at high costs: 55€ for a sunset bike ride in Tokyo or 98€ for a 3h-cocktail workshop in San Francisco can not be afforded by budget travelers.

Providers (guides) – From now on, you can also become a host for activities. When deciding to become a host, you have to apply and Airbnb checks the experience for certain quality standards. The best experiences offer guests access participation, and perspective (see Figure 1). Next to monetary profit, the benefits are also non-financial: get more exposure for what you love, promote your brand, and meet locals like you (Airbnb: Become A Host, 2017).

Bildschirmfoto 2017-03-07 um 11.46.39
Figure 1. Assessed Quality Standards for Experiences (Airbnb: Quality Standards for Experiences, 2017)

Platform (Airbnb) – With this business model extension, Airbnb wants to become the platform for your entire trip. By embedding new features like restaurant recommendations and an integrated reservation system, Airbnb seems to aim at replacing existing platforms like TripAdvisor and Yelp. Motivation of this move clearly is Airbnb’s transition from a website for booking accommodation to a full-service travel company, which comes along with increasing its user-base and revenue. For Experiences, Airbnb brokers the payment from the user to the guide and takes a commission, similar to how its home-booking service works. For Places, the company has some revenue-sharing deals in place, like a partnership with Resy to book restaurant reservations. Also, the market for travel activities is still underserved and promises large potential. So far, only small vendors like Klook, I Like LocalPeek and Viator offer a comparable service. However, their offerings are very “touristy” and generic. Additionally, Airbnb can leverage its popularity to quickly establish its offering.

Feasibility of Required Reallocations

Internal ArrangementsAirbnb Trips is more or less an extension from providing accommodation to additionally providing activities and tours. However, this requires further administrative effort, especially related to the quality standards assessment. This assessment is necessary to assure a local and personalized experience, so that Airbnb can clearly differentiate from competitors. Also, videos for every experience have to be created.

External Environment – Airbnb already radically disrupted the global hotel industry by applying the principle of the sharing economy (Zervas, Prosperito & Byers, 2014). With its business, the platform did not only antagonize hotels, but also governments that try to proceed against housing shortage (Jefferson-Jones, 2014; Lee, 2016), coming along with several law-suits in major cities like Berlin, New York and San Francisco. The extension of its offering will most certainly not reduce Airbnb’s number of critics. For example, the ‘ownership of an experience’ is very difficult to assess. Who should get the money, when a guide shows you around a market? Don’t the market traders also deserve a proportion for being essential for the experience? Next to legal conflicts, a discussion about the social impact can be initiated. The commercialization of local experiences may destroy the original selling point of unique, original travel impressions.

All in all, Airbnb Trips moves the platform beyond its’ couch-surfing origins. The offering is clearly targeting the “emotionalization” of travel experiences, a next step in the service economy. This is a great possibility for travelers (who have the budget) to make unique memories. However, it comes at the cost of commercializing the local charm for the sake of profits. Airbnb should be careful and hold up high quality standards (e.g. small groups, special experiences) so that it does not destroy it’s newly designed value proposition.


References

Airbnb: Become A Host. Retrieved March 7, 2017 from https://www.airbnb.com/host/experiences?locale=en

Airbnb: Experiences. Retrieved March 7, 2017 from https://www.airbnb.de/experiences/

Airbnb: New. Retrieved March 7, 2017 from https://de.airbnb.com/new

Airbnb: Quality Standards for Experiences. Retrieved March 7, 2017 from https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/1451/what-are-the-quality-standards-for-experiences?locale=en

Jefferson-Jones, J. (2014). Airbnb and the housing segment of the modern sharing economy: Are short-term rental restrictions an unconstitutional taking. Hastings Const. LQ, 42, 557.

Lee, D. (2016). How Airbnb Short-Term Rentals Exacerbate Los Angeles’s Affordable Housing Crisis: Analysis and Policy Recommendations. Harv. L. & Pol’y Rev., 10, 229.

Zervas, G., Proserpio, D., & Byers, J. W. (2014). The rise of the sharing economy: Estimating the impact of Airbnb on the hotel industry. Journal of Marketing Research.

Skillshare: The Future Belongs to the Curious


This start-up built an alternative education system that’s poised to have a major impact on the learning landscape” (Tracy, 2017).

Skillshare, launched in April 2011 by Michael Karnjanaprakorn (Joyner, 2017), is an online learning platform where the world’s best experts teach world’s best skills. With Skillshare it is possible to learn and practice a skill by doing. You can learn a skill together with their community of over 2 million students and teachers and network with them. Classes and skills are taught by expert practitioners, which makes it possible for everybody to get unlimited access to over 14,000 classes in different categories, such as design, technology, entrepreneurship and many more (Skillshare, 2017). This start-up  uses the benefits from crowdsourcing. The crowd is used to teach other interested individuals a new skill, that are traditionally performed by a designated agent (Howe, 2006)

how-it-works

Learning should be as easy as listening to music at Spotify or watching your favorite movie on Netflix. Skillshare is really about learning by doing and every class is project-based as well. Students can create projects, alter them to the website and can get feedback from students all around the world (Skillshare, 2017). Thus, unlike other educational online platforms, you don’t need to have a Ph.D. to teach something valuable. And on the other hand, learning skills is for everyone universal accessible and relatively inexpensive. It is for everyone easy to become a lifelong learner.The mission of Skillshare is to close the professional skill gap and provide universal access to high-quality learning (Skillshare, 2017). They believe that there is a huge difference between education and learning. Skillshare empowers people to take a leap in their careers, improve their lives and pursue the work they love, by teaching skills online that are needed in tomorrow’s world. This mission directly shows the major strength of Skillshare and how they differentiate themselves from competitive education platforms. Skillshare allows everyone to sign up and teach a class. By doing this they want to provide universal access to high-quality learning.

explaoin

How it works

For the lifelong learner, Skillshare makes it possible to get universal access to high-quality learning and to learn anything they want to. They offer the possibility to watch classes, online and offline, on your own schedule, anytime and anywhere. Thus they make it possible to learn at your own pace. Furthermore, the classes are taught by an expert with experience in the field. These classes include video lessons that are relatively short with most lessons under one hour, written text. And with the project-based environment you really learn by doing and are able to share your project in the class to get feedback and collaborate with a large community (Skillshare Help, 2017). They offer their members the possibility to create projects and build a portfolio of their work. On the other hand, Skillshare makes it possible for everyone to share their knowledge in a particular field, as long as the class follows certain guidelines. The company has proven adept at acquiring experts to teach on their website (Bromwich, 2015).

Skillshare has a freemium model which allows users to access free classes, create projects and discussions within them. However, this model includes videos with advertisements. A premium model offers their users to get unlimited access to over 14,000 classes, watch them offline and ad-free (Skillshare Premium, 2017).

Efficiency criteria:

Skillshare is one of the leading educational platforms that offers everyone universal access to learn a new skill at an affordable price. The platform maximizes the joint profitability of both of the players involved (Carson et al., 1999). On one side, it is for individuals easy to reach a large audience and teach them a skill of their experience. They are not bounded by a physical location anymore and therefore can have a more efficient personal schedule. Additionally, they can earn a little to a lot.

On the other side, many individuals can learn and practice a new skill at an affordable price. At the same time, they can collaborate with a large community and get feedback from them, so that the wisdom of the crowd can be used.

Evaluating the institutional environment, the largest threat for Skillshare is that there are too many new teachers who don’t add value to the platform. However, because there are guidelines and requirements that should be met before a class can be created, this threat is limited.

Concluded, Skillshare is an online platform that offers universal access to high-quality learning at an affordable price.

References:

Bromwich, J. (2015) ‘Anyone Can Be a Teacher at Skillshare, an Online School, The New York Times, available online from: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/20/education/anyone-can-be-a-teacher-in-this-online-school.html?_r=0 [28 February 2017].

Carson, S. J., Devinney, T. M., Dowling, G. R., & John, G. (1999) ‘Understanding institutional designs within marketing value systems’, Journal of Marketing, 115-130.

Howe, J. (2006) ‘The rise of crowdsourcing’, Wired, 14 (6).

Joyner, A. (2017) Skillshare Takes On the Education Gap, available online from: http://www.inc.com/best-industries-2013/april-joyner/skillshare-education-gap.html [28 February 2017].

Tracy, A. (2017) Skillshare: Redesigning  Education for the Masses, available online from: http://www.inc.com/abigail-tracy/35-under-35-skillshare-online-education-platform.html [28 February 2017].

Skillshare (2017) Unlimited access to over 14,000 classes, available online from: https://www.skillshare.com/ [28 February 2017].

Skillshare Help (2017) How does Skillshare work?, available online from: https://help.skillshare.com/hc/en-us/articles/205208147-How-does-Skillshare-work- [28 February 2017].

Skillshare Premium (2017) Why Premium?, available online from: https://www.skillshare.com/premium [28 February 2017].

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?

Is it normal that my >insert body part here< hurts?


Sharing your symptoms with PatientsLikeMe

Have you ever been sick and googled your symptoms? There’s a good chance the Internet told you you might have something way worse than your doctor told you, or that your little headache means you might have a brain tumor…  Or have you ever been sick but experienced there was no one close by to talk to and ask what symptoms are normal or what you could expect?

Continue reading Is it normal that my >insert body part here< hurts?

You do the chic, we do the geek


(1) Concept/brainstorm, (2) design, (3) sketch, (4) mould making, (5) polishing, (6) stone setting, (7) casting, (8) production, (9) quality control, (10) packaging, (11) shipping. That is how jewellery making is supposed to be. But, if it is to Zazzy: That is how jewellery making used to be…

Zazzy removes step 3 to 7 and 9. Besides, they have already taken care of step 1 by setting up templates. So, after designing your own (custom made) jewellery, it is only production, packaging and shipping. I think you already have an idea how they do it… right… 3D-printing.

They describe themselves as the Instagram for jewellery: Instagram is about editing photo’s in a simple and fun way, without the knowledge of photoshop. Zazzy is doing the same within jewellery making, creating “cool stuff” without the knowledge of (1) jewellery making and (2) 3d-printing software: One is able to choose between different kinds of jewellery types/templates, which he/she can fully edit, remix and customize. It is not possible (yet) to fully create a specific bracelet yourself, it needs to fit one of those templates. However, you can change a lot, including the material.

“We’re waving a middle finger at the current pre-designed and impersonal jewellery scene”

Based on the production price, Zazzy charges a 60% fee. However, the production itself has been outsourced to Shapeways.com, “The World’s Leading 3D Printing Service & Marketplace” (Dutch company). In this way they do not own materials and a 3d-printer, they only use “manpower”.

Beginning of this month, Zazzy launched their new platform: zazzy.co. On zazzy.co you are able to upload your own 3d-created jewellery and share it, integrate it in your site/blog and sell it. What is so special about that? The most powerful aspect of this platform is that you don’t need to contract manufacturers, with specific order sizes etc. Zazzy will create the products on demand, so there are no costs for setting up your own brand anymore. Selling your first product = making profit. That is something special, don’t you think?

“Zazzy invites you to new way of designing, thinking and creating on zazzy.co

Zazzy charges the normal 60% production fee within this new business model and a 25% platform fee based on the product-margin, which the creator determined himself. So, Zazzy was already based on co-creation by selling customizable products. However, with zazzy.co the marketing is transferred to the customers as well.

Already 60,000 users designed a product on zazzy.me. I’m very curious about the outcome of zazzy.co. Customizable/personal products are trendy in a lot of different branches, so why not in jewellery? However, Zazzy is not that groundbreaking because you have to fit your design in specific templates. When browsing through the platform (zazzy.co) it all looks the same to me. So, one cannot really differentiate. For personal use, changing text, figures and icons is maybe enough to make it special and personal to oneself. But for brands these options are far from enough to differentiate in the jewellery market: There are so many brands out there….

Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 13.48.46

So my question is: has the time come for niche markets and dummies within 3d-printing, or do we need to wait for some more innovation, in both production price and possibilities?


http://www.rockstart.com/blog/zazzy-launches-new-platform-to-create-and-sell-3d-printed-jewelry/

http://www.shapeways.com

http://www.sprout.nl/artikel/zo-zet-3d-ontwerpplatform-zazzy-de-massa-aan-het-werk

http://www.sprout.nl/artikel/startup-van-de-week/zazzy-sieraden-uit-de-3d-printer

http://zazzy.me/about-us/

Instructables.com! How to do it yourself!?


Have you also wondered for years how to make a wooden paddleball set, or how to make a rock salt bracelet, but you never found the proper motivation to figure this out? Due to the online trend in customer co-creation it is now possible to find instructions for the most bizarre items online on Instructables.com

One of the leading sites in these ‘how-to’ videos & instructions is Instructables.com. Instructables.com is a website which was originally an inside project from some PhD students from the MIT media labs.  When they weren’t solving complex technological problems like solar panels for highways, they were teaching each other things as 3d modelling, cooking and other stuff through videos and instructions that they posted on this platform. In 2006 they decided to open up the platform to the rest of the world.  The website now is a platform for over hundred thousand how-to instructions, videos and ideas.

That these ideas are very varied is already noticeable in the first moment you enter the website. There is a bike challenge available in which people can post their idea about bikes. These ideas vary from homemade bicycle stand to homemade tandems. The great part of this platform is that it is not only a platform for simple guides like sharing a salad recipe or showing how to sheer a sheep, but it is only a place where creative people meet each other, share ideas and create.

Behind the website is a small team and a huge community of enthusiast people who are constantly sharing their most creative ideas. They can add videos, images and even files with 3d models or photoshop images. An extended review system is available on Instructables.com to rate other users and their ideas.. Besides this it is possible to join groups for people with similar interests. Instructables.com also has a membership available for teachers so they can use these videos in the classroom.

The business model of Instructables.com consists of 2 different revenue-models. The first is based on advertisement. They rent out video space on the video pages to companies for advertising purposes.  The other source of revenue they have is organizing contests for their community. Some of these contests are sponsored by companies. At this moment Microsoft is organizing the “Coded creation contest” on Instructables.com. Big prizes like laptops, tablets and photo cameras are waiting for the winners!

Besides Instructables.com there are literally dozens of these websites that are specialized as video platform for how-to and do-it-yourself videos. Although Instructables.com is not the largest website in this category, they have an advantage with having a large community. So if you feel creative these coming months and have a video camera and some spare time, make sure to visit instructables.com!

References:

http://www.instructables.com

Get more done with freelancers


Imagine yourself as an entrepreneur in a startup who worked on a product for quite a while. Eventually, you come in contact with investors and customers who are really interested in your product. Due to the size of your company and the lack of a professional company website these customers are less likely to buy something from you.

Imagine yourself now as a mobile developer. Previous years you trained yourself to design and build mobile applications and had some great projects you worked on. However, the company that had you on their payroll fired you. Although with your skills it wouldn’t be difficult to find a job, but you want more flexibility than your previous job.

Both scenarios are possible within the platform Odesk.com. Odesk is a freelancer platform that creates its value by the number of businesses that are posting jobs on the site, but also the freelancers that are offering their services on the platform. Thus, the supply and demand create the value of the platform while the platform is a mediator for the users.

Freelancers are users that offer their skills and experiences on the platform, for a price they consider to be right. When there are a lot of competitors, it’s best to compete with price. This also stimulates people with a rare skill to offer their services since no competition would influence the price. Also, freelancers are able to apply for a listing job.

Businesses on the other hand can post jobs on the platform. When posting jobs, its common to fill in details for the job. Freelancers could apply to the job and businesses can pick someone out of the crowd. Businesses can select on experience and skills, but also writing style to pick the person that fits best to the job. This way, connecting to people jobs is a two-way relation.

Besides oDesk being a mediator in freelancers finding jobs, oDesk offers protection to the businesses with their tool that captures work-in-progress snapshots of freelancers working on the job. Also, businesses only have to pay when they approve the work that has been done. In return for the services oDesk offers, Odesk receives a 10% fee of each payment. If the freelancer works per hour, Odesk receives 10% of the hourly rate.

oDesk is operating since 2003, and has more than 1 million businesses that used their services. A while ago, oDesk and their competitor elance joined forces and are now connected with each other. Together, they have 9.7 million freelancers signed up; 2 million businesses that use their services and approximately $940 million worth of work done annually.

oDesk is ensuring the world becomes more connected and is supporting competition among its users. However, since the world nowadays gets more connected through more platforms, I wonder what their next big step will be in staying competitive with other businesses that might enter their market.

References:

https://www.odesk.com/

http://www.elance-odesk.com/

Help(l)ing Anyone


A dream came true for the start-up Helpling. They had a brilliant but simple idea and after only 1 year they are offering their service in more than 12 countries and 200 cities. But how did they get so successful? What is so special about Helpling?
There is a huge black market out there, a huge market of housekeepers that serves millions of households and a lot of these families have the same questions: Is it legal? Is this for me the cheapest and safest way? How can I find the perfect match? Everyone recognizes the issues. Millions of people need it, but it is difficult to find: a housekeeper that fits your budget, lives around the corner and you can trust. A difficult combination but Helpling has found a way to make everything more legal, transparent and they promise every customer to find the perfect housekeeper in 60 seconds.

Helpling is started in Germany when two guys presented a simple business concept to Rocket Internet. Rocket Internet liked it and one week after the meeting they already started to develop the concept. On March 29th 2014 Helpling is officially launched.
But why is this simple idea so brilliant? Partly probably because of the contemporary business model: co-creation. Nowadays customers want to contribute and support each other more and more. Helpling is making use of this trend.

Helpling is an online platform that matches customers with independent cleaning providers (called ‘Helplings’). Helplings register online, go through a registration process, choose their availability and after that they are able to receive bookings. Households who want to book a housekeeper have to make a booking online by entering their address and making an appointment. Then Helpling is matching a customer with a housekeeper based on location and number of positive reviews. So if a housekeeper is doing a great job, he gets higher rankings and he will receive more jobs since Helpling is offering jobs first to the best-reviewed housekeepers.

Through this way Helpling is supporting the Helpling community to review each other and the Helpling community improves the overall service by doing this. This recommendation-system supports the quality of Helpling.
Because Helpling is matching, also the perceived effort for the customer is becoming less and Tsekouras & Li (2015) found out that this means that the overall perceived quality would be higher. A customer has to put in a minimum effort and gets great results because of transparency and the Helpling’s review-based selection. Besides, because Helpling is helping customers to find the best-reviewed housekeeper, customers are more likely to do something back and are willing to write these valuable reviews as well.

Of course there are also some challenges of co-creation and the Helpling business model. It could be risky to fully rely on the individual housekeepers. They might seem reliable but housekeepers can also ruin the brand-image by misleading honest customers. Therefore, the most difficult part for Helpling is to recruit the cleaners, since one single Helpling can damage the brand, and they are now thinking about how they can safely scale this task. It is important to explore the risks and opportunities of this co-created platform.

“We would never do anything that harms Helpling as a brand. It only works if we can provide a good service. Otherwise you create hype and everyone tries it, and tries it exactly once, and you are in a really bad position.” (Benedikt Franke, 2015)

Luckily for now the quality remains good and there are increasingly more housekeepers and customers that are making use of this simple and helpful platform. If Helpling can live up to the ultimate dream to serve the world with their service? Give them one more year and we will see where they get.


References:

Thank god it’s Friday!


A creative gateway to the festival Extrema Outdoor, the design and inspiration for a new buddha to buddha bracelet or the design for a new tattoo for Dré Hazes. These requests or so called Calls for Creation have already been answered, co-created and fulfilled using the Created on Friday platform.

Created on Friday is a video-based platform in which clients, creative minds and followers are connected in Creation Stories. With already 12 co-created final products and 16.000+ creative minds and followers, they are experiencing a promising start. What makes this platform different related to others and how does the consummation look like ?

Creating a Creation story process

1st FridayCall for creation

On the 1st Friday at midnight, the client submit a Call for Creation video. With uploading this video based Call on the online platform, a client opens the request for action towards creative minds. As already presented above, the topic of call for creation can be anything of choice based on the client request for a unique concept e.g. design, art or a new marketing campaign.

During the first week, anyone with a creative mind can respond on a specific Call for Creation by uploading their creative solution. Again this response will be delivered in the format of a video-pitch. The video pitch will be shown to online crowd, to give them a proper feeling and understanding of the solution proposed by the creative mind (person, company). The online public or followers, in turn, will vote for their favorite videos resulting in a dynamic top 5 ranking on the basis of video views and votes during this week.

2nd Friday – Winner gets chosen,  nr 2,3,4,5 announced

On the 2nd Friday the top-5 will be frozen and the client decides which pitch will be awarded as the number one. Interesting fact is that the client still can decide to choose a winner outside of the top 5. Having said that the client’s favorites are presented in a frame on the client’s Call for Creation page. This way the client can influence indirectly followers’ voting behavior. The nr 2,3,4,5 of the video-based pitching contest will be awarded with money. Besides the financial rewarding, the top-5 creative minds and their solutions will be announced on the platform making use of a video. In this way the creative mind talents will be shown to all the followers. On top of that, the winning creative minds will be part of the Created on Friday wall of fame.

During the second week, in a Meet & Making of, the client and winning creative mind co-create, further develop and fine-tune the winning idea into a final creation. Taking into account that the client is responsible for all the resources needed to come up with the final creation.

3th  Friday – Final creation

After 14 days of pitching, voting and co-creating the final product will be presented. Not surprisingly, this will be done using a video message on the Created on Friday platform.

 Success

Using online video content during the creation story, allows both clients, a creative mind and followers to share their findings and ideas towards a large crowd. In my opinion, the use of different social media channels ( YouTube, Facebook, Instagram ), makes Created on Friday a unique marketing “machine”.

Secondly I am really curious about the impact Created on Friday could have on nowadays marketing/design agencies. Noticing that these agencies mostly of the time charge a lot of money and consume more than 2 weeks to come up with a final product.

Since it’s founding by the end of 2014 , already 12 Creation Stories have been created. In my opinion, many more will follow. Top priority will be the supply of new Calls for Creation by clients.

Created by: Luut Willen

References :

Hostelworld: More than just a place to book your next accommodation


Hostelworld.com Home Page

In the backpacking world Hostelworld has become a household name, which makes sense considering the fact that www.hostelworld.com is the world’s number one hostel booking website, and “the leading provider of online reservations for the budget, independent and youth travel market.” With the mission: “to become the fastest-growing online provider of great value accommodation, using innovative technology to inspire independently minded travellers everywhere,” the company has certainly done just that, now listing over 35,000 properties in 180 countries, with over 3.5 million guest reviews.

The website was created by a hostel owner and IT entrepreneur who realized that at that time, 1999, there was no way to book and pay hostel reservation deposits online. The company started out as a platform connecting backpackers in need of cheap accommodation with budget hostel owners but has the platform has grown to include other types of accommodation including campsites, self catering accommodations, B&B’s and budget hotels.

Hostelworld created “the network effect, with value growing as the platform matched demand from both sides…increasing returns to scale,” (Eisenmann, 2006). One of the ways the website attracted so many users was through their affiliate program with over 3,500 distribution partners, including big names in the travel industry such as Lonely Planet and Ryanair.com.

So how was Hostelworld been able to attract more clients than similar platforms? Continue reading Hostelworld: More than just a place to book your next accommodation