Platform Mediated Networks


Helpling vs Work Hard Anywhere

For our report we made an analysis on platform mediated networks and chose to compare Helpling and Work Hard Anywhere (WHA). Below a short summary is written, where we describe the business models of each platform and will then shortly discuss their differences.

Helpling is an online platform where people can find a cleaner in a fast and relatively cheap way. Helpling is a closed platform, meaning that a company controls and limits the services that can work with the system (Sherr & Totty, 2011). They are also offering insurance in case things go wrong. One of the main values is quality; Helpling checks every new potential cleaner. Helpling’s service is based on customers’ reviews and feedback. Their platform is growing fast. Besides their original service they also want to offer healthcare solutions and cleaning services in the business world.

In the upcoming years Helpling will still be able to expand. Many households prefer hiring a cleaner and Helpling’s services make it easier to find someone for a good price (van Noort, 2015). At the moment the main competitive forces the company experiences are coming from the black economy and professional local companies that are part of the offline market. But their most direct competitor is another platform ‘ikzoekeenschoonmaakster.nl’.

To fight there forces and turn them into an opportunity or strength Helpling needs to make sure that switching costs stay high for the customers and network effects on both sides will add value.

WHA is a free online platform in the form of an app which provides a community directory of workplaces. WHA enables the user to have access to a large database of reviewed workspaces. Already 2500 locations are scanned on attributes such as loudness, Wi-Fi speed, outlets availability, crowdedness etc. Also, WHA posts good looking photographs of the workplaces. The app increases informedness and lowers search costs of the users. Word Hard Anywhere is an open platform, meaning that there are no restrictions placed on participation and when there are restrictions they are reasonable and non-discriminatory (Eisenmann, 2006). WHA is a pioneer in the industry but still needs to take into account the threat of competition. For example competitors in the offline market that offer workplaces like HNK (www.hnk.nk) and other platforms like ShareDesk. Besides the easy access for users (no paid subscription), WHA takes advantage of positive word-of-mouth/mouse.

If we compare these two platforms we can say that both are very young and fast growing networks. This implicates the possibility to grow even more, for Helpling this could be globally as well as in different markets such as the cleaning for businesses. For WHA this means connecting more workspace per area and also expending globally. A difference between the two platforms is the price. Helpling has a fixed price while WHA offers it services for free. For the future we think that both companies have great possibilities to  grow as customers will keep creating value for each other with the means of these platforms.

Technology of the Week  Group 48

Bibliography

Eisenmann, T. P. G. a. V. A. M., 2006. Strategies for Two-Sided Markets.. Harvard Business Review, 10(84), pp. 92-101.

Ikzoekeenschoonmaakster.nl, 2015. Ik zoek een schoonmaakster. [Online]
Available at: http://www.ikzoekeenschoonmaakster.nl/?gclid=CjwKEAjwp56wBRDThOSZ3vqGzmESJABjNaj9dCKLR2jVCdfzPVLVXLtBhuq4Zvczz1E69D6eaYgM3BoCgCLw_wcB
[Geopend 28 September 2015].

Li, T. & Pavlou, P., 2015. What drives users’website registration. Issue Working Paper.

Sherr, I. & Totty, M., 2011. Is It Better for Businesses to Adopt Open or Closed Platforms?. [Online]
Available at: http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052970204554204577023994194742720

Tiwana, A., 2014. Platform Ecosystems: Aligning Architecture, Governance, and Strategy. Morgan Kaufmann.). In: Platform Ecosystems: Aligning Architecture, Governance, and Strategy. sl:Morgan Kaufmann.

van Noort, W., 2015. Schoonmaak-app Helpling krijgt investering van 43 miljoen. [Online]
Available at: http://www.nrcq.nl/2015/03/25/schoonmaak-app-helpling-krijgt-investering-van-43-miljoen

Work Hard Anywhere, 2015. About. [Online]
Available at: http://workhardanywhere.com/community2/

Advertisements

One response to “Platform Mediated Networks”

  1. 344951jk says :

    This in an interesting piece, though for Helpling you say that it is important to keep switching costs high, to fight the forces of competition. I don’t entirely agree. While high switching costs help avoid losing customers, it also forms a barrier for new customers to join your customer base, which would end up working counter-productively.
    Especially since Helpling is internet based, I think they should focus instead on the Network Effect, that increases the utility of a platform as more and more users use the platform[1]. If they focus on attracting new customers, they will strengthen the value of their network. That in turn would increase barriers to entry for new rivals, and offers a competitive advantage over existing rivals.

    [1] Carl Shapiro and Hal R. Varian (1999). Information Rules. Havard Business School Press.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: