2_DiscoverBenelux_Issue21_Sep_2015_Q9_Scan Magazine 1 28/08/2015 20:46 Page 39
Discover Benelux | Best of Dutch Digital Design | Digital Natives
Staying ahead of the curve “As for the future, the task is not to foresee it but to enable it,” says Erik de Vreede. His company, Digital Natives, is all about facilitating innovation in the digital world. TEXT: CATHY VAN KLAVEREN | PHOTOS: DIGITAL NATIVES
The internet is evolving so quickly that predictions, research and waiting for the right opportunity has become a dangerous strategy. Companies that roll up their sleeves and experiment, learn and change on their own account are the ones that become successful online, according to De Vreede.
Building platforms for innovation “We are very proud to work with clients such as Voordekunst, NPO, Spaces and RegioBank. Together we not only build a new website or platform, we introduce new processes for our clients to make innovation and experimentation part of their everyday work,” he says. One of those clients is Vrij Nederland, a magazine that is considered one of the most influential of written media in the Netherlands. “This is an interesting case, because journalism and news-orientated media are having a hard time making money on the internet. There is very little innovation from within the
industry. It seems like the media is just waiting for a solution.” Vrij Nederland is not waiting. Within two months, together with Digital Natives, the magazine launched their new website on vn.nl. “We introduced new working methods such as Lean Startup and SCRUM. These new methods, originating from Silicon Valley, give Vrij Nederland the possibility to launch new versions of their website on a weekly basis. That way they can actively experiment, learn from tests and invest in products and features that prove to work. One of the biggest innovations that we are testing now on the website is the possibility to pay for a single article by using micropayments. Instead of having a membership, you can access a longread article for just 0.30 euros.”
adopt new technology, work with it and, if it’s better than what we had, integrate it into new products. We do it naturally and we see it as our task to teach companies to do the same. It’s the only way to stay ahead of the curve.” www.digitalnatives.nl
A second nature All the staff at Digital Natives have worked with digital technology since they were very young. “It has become second nature to
Issue 21 | September 2015 | 39
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