2_DiscoverBenelux_Issue21_Sep_2015_Q9_Scan Magazine 1 28/08/2015 20:46 Page 42
Discover Benelux | Best of Dutch Digital Design | Freshheads
By virtue of the internet We often do not realise how much the online world affects our daily lives. An entirely new type of economy has arisen, in which the consumer has all the power. TEXT: BERTHE VAN DEN HURK | PHOTOS: FRESHHEADS
In the last 20 years, the online world has become as important as our ‘real world’. There is not much we cannot do online. Whether it is making a reservation for a hotel, looking for a new job or a trustworthy and affordable handyman, it all happens in the virtual world. What was new, revolutionary and refreshing only a decade ago, is now outdated or traditional. The static websites have evolved into interactive and responsive online channels, complemented with smart television and online apps. Modern technology enables us to create virtual, web-based experiences on a very personalised level. There are not many people left who use the bulletin board at the local supermarket. After all, the online world provides us with ten
42 | Issue 21 | September 2015
times more information, including references, prices and customers reviews.
Supply and demand
nity where customers and craftsmen are in direct contact, and zorgvoorelkaar.com; where people who require care and volunteers meet.
The current market economy calls for a transparent look at supply and demand. The customer has much more information, is in direct contact with the company and other customers or users, and has taken a great deal of control and power. Bringing supply and demand closer together is essential in the current economy. But how do you achieve that in a way that all parties gain from it?
“Platforms like these are more and more involved in our daily lives,” says Wout Withagen, CEO at Freshheads. “The online communities have an enormous impact on the economy and disrupt the traditional market. The traditional market didn’t see any merit in it, or saw it as a threat, which is understandable, since we remove the middlemen from the process.”
The Dutch company Freshheads specialises in online supply and demand solutions. They are the developers of inter alia Werkspot.nl; a successful online commu-
New markets: divide and conquer According to Withagen these platforms only exist by virtue of the internet. As an example he mentions Flexbook; an online
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.