Shared vision, complementary collaboration: an introduction to Wieni founders, Jelle Van den Bergh and Hans Vanderstraeten
End of September, the esteemed digital product studio, Wieni, has become an integral part of the Craftzing Group. Jelle Van den Bergh and Hans Vanderstraeten, the driving forces behind Wieni, have joined Craftzing as partners. Jelle and Hans share their vision for this partnership and how they, along with Craftzing, aim to create a positive impact on the digital landscape.
Welcome to Craftzing! What are your initial goals as partners at Craftzing?
Jelle: Firstly, we are keen to familiarize ourselves with the people: the founders, employees, and clients. While Wieni and Craftzing share many commonalities in terms of DNA and expertise, there are still differences in our approaches. We intend to merge Wieni's strengths with those of Craftzing and vice versa.
Hans: At Wieni, we operate under the motto "Learning by Doing." Thus, we aim to foster knowledge sharing, experimentation, and adaptation. We have a clear vision for both Craftzing and Wieni, but it's the practical implementation and its unpredictability that excite us the most. It promises to be a fascinating journey!
Jelle, you founded Wieni in 2009. Can you share the origins of Wieni's story?
Jelle: My former business partner and I shared a profound passion for the internet and the creation, design, and development of digital products. In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, Wieni emerged as a fresh, innovative digital studio. With our agility, technological proficiency, and innovative mindset, we quickly became the go-to partner for clients seeking assistance with large-scale web projects. This rapid growth led to Hans joining us as a partner in 2011.
Hans, at that time, you were an independent professional. What motivated your decision to join Wieni?
Hans: With my technical background and expertise, I saw the opportunity to contribute significantly and make a difference for both Wieni and our clients. This allowed Wieni to further solidify its identity as a company with 'digital thinking' deeply embedded in its DNA, driven entirely by technology.
Jelle: Hans embodies the cutting-edge technological prowess that sets Wieni apart and is the missing piece we needed to expand and distinguish ourselves.
In what ways do you plan to continue making a difference for your clients?
Jelle: We want to demonstrate to our clients that successful digital products transcend mere code. It's imperative to adopt a human-centered approach and prioritize the end-users. We firmly believe that this mindset is not just enlightening but, in fact, the only way to create truly remarkable digital products.
How do you complement each other as a team, and how does this contribute to your success?
Hans: Jelle excels in guiding clients through digital strategy. He envisions Wieni's future and eagerly embraces experimentation with new forms of collaboration. I also see him as an important source of inspiration for our partners and employees.
Jelle: Hans is the technical pillar of Wieni. He oversees everything related to software development, server technology, and architecture. As a cloud expert, he focuses on performance, security, and serverless applications. He leads our development and infrastructure teams and, as a technological architect, is a trailblazer and visionary within the digital agency realm. For example, our approach to hosting for large, complex projects differs significantly from merely having an account with a hosting provider. This sets us apart uniquely in Belgium.
Why did you choose Craftzing, and why now?
Jelle: Roeland and I have known each other for two decades. There has always been a strong foundation of trust and a personal connection. Furthermore, we share the same DNA and a common vision: we aim to have a positive impact on the digital landscape, our clients, and the users of our products. Building sustainable, long-term partnerships with our partners lies at the core of this vision.
Hans: Becoming a part of the Craftzing Group provides us with the essential building blocks and support to enhance our expertise, better meet customer needs, and strengthen our brand, allowing us to realize our full potential. It was the perfect opportunity at the perfect time.
How do you perceive the complementarity in your collaboration with Craftzing?
Jelle: Craftzing boasts extensive experience in digital strategy, whereas we had room to grow in that area. With this infusion of expertise, we can provide significant added value to our existing clients. Moreover, we look forward to learning from Craftzing's approach to extensive and long-term client projects. Lastly, Craftzing possesses a diverse talent pool that can contribute to Wieni projects as well. This accelerates our projects and enhances the quality of our product.
Hans: From Wieni to Craftzing, we foresee substantial gains as well: our expertise in building and maintaining online projects and digital products complements Craftzing's strategic consultancy projects and existing studio offerings. Additionally, we can further strengthen Craftzing with our strong expertise in the field of cloud and backend.
You have built a strong presence in the Belgian media sector. What led you to this sector?
Jelle: It's a sector that perpetually evolves, requiring rapid adaptation in alignment with its target audience, often faster than other industries. These ongoing challenges keep us sharp. Technology plays a pivotal role in this evolution. We immediately see the difference when a digital strategy successfully translates into a digital product, making it remarkably tangible and measurable.
Your motto is "The web is a gift, treat it as such." How do you embody this philosophy?
Jelle: We aspire to leave the web in a better state than we found it. To achieve this, we aim to inspire all our employees, clients, and partners. As individuals, we benefit most from a free and open internet and highly accessible digital products. With Wieni, we aim to expand in projects, clients, and employees. This expansion will increase our positive impact on the internet, touching the lives of people every day. By collaborating with Craftzing, we can reach more individuals, support organizations, and collectively leave our mark on the digital world.
By Michele Stynen