Pipple: Pippi as a role model

WATT is always on the lookout for unusual entrepreneurs, concepts and ideas that deserve a bigger stage. This time we’re meeting with Jeroen de Haas fromPipple

Who is Jeroen de Haas 

Right, so let’s get straight down to the most important question. Who am I? Well, at any rate I’m an Eindhoven native in heart and soul. I’m also married to Catrijn, I’m a father to Caatje and Loet, and I’m creative, enterprising, musical, impulsive, philosophical, mathematical and clumsy. I always found Earl Sinclair from Dinosaurs a liberating role model in that regard. Something along those lines…

What does Pipple do?

Pipple is the no. 1 partner for data and A.I. in the Netherlands. We optimise our clients’ processes and organisation using data, mathematics and A.I. For example, by more effectively predicting customer demand, planning smarter, saving energy and emissions, or developing new smart digital products and services. 

What is Pipple’s unique DNA?

That lies in the combination of the mathematical and social intelligence in our people. Incredibly smart econometricians that you can also have a beer with in the pub. The uniqueness is in the energy, in the collaboration with the customer

Explain the connection here with Pippi Longstocking.

We have 3 core values: service, creativity and open-mindedness. Pippi is our role model in terms of open-mindedness. Doing things you’ve never done before, not being afraid to fall flat on your face, to be frank and honest with each other. Letting go of those fears!

Pipple ranks among the top 250 growth companies. What advice would you give to other scale ups in terms of growth?

At Pipple, our adage has always been: “growth with a soft touch”. Quality ALWAYS comes first for us. We want to be the very best, not the biggest. Consultancy.nl recently awarded us the silver level out of more than 200 data consultancy firms in the Netherlands. And the great thing is that if you’re the best, customers will pass that on. That’s how you acquire new customers who are a good match for you and how you can grow. That’s how it works for kitchen retailers in Veldhoven, and the same goes for data and A.I. clubs.  But that’s our strategy. You have to decide for yourself what works for you.

Why is A.I. your best friend?

A.I. can really make our lives and work a lot nicer and easier. We can improve medical diagnoses, reduce CO2 emissions, organise aid from the Red Cross more effectively, automate mindless administrative work. There are so many great examples.

And when should you sometimes ignore this friend?

When some Silicon-Valley business model constantly starts creeping into your life asking you for your undivided attention. Especially through your smartphone. That’ll kill you. Half your life, creativity and energy will go straight to pot. Just put it back in its cage and interact with the people around you without having those two screens between you. That’s a lot more fun anyway. 

Finish this sentence: A world without data is a world without…

There’s a quote from Clint Eastwood that I always find funny. “Opinions are like assholes; everybody has one.” Without substantiation, for example through data, you’re just one of many with just another opinion.

What makes mathematics sexy?

At Pipple, we help FC Eindhoven, RKC and Feyenoord, for example, create better analyses of match patterns. What’s the best pass to make, where are the opponent’s weaknesses. I think that’s pretty cool. We work for TOP brands like IKEA, Coolblue, G-Star, Bol.com. For IKEA, for example, we predict the stock that they’ll need for all their stores worldwide. And we also help social organisations like Warchild and the Red Cross make a social impact. Helping to make the world a bit nicer.  How great is it that all that can be done with mathematics and A.I.!

What’s the biggest challenge your customers face?

Making a real and lasting impact with data and A.I. is not easy. There’s a huge gap between theory and practice. There’s no point in hiring a few data scientists if you don’t have a good foundation. That means a foundation both in terms of data and organisationally. It’s actually the same as with football clubs: the entire structure has to be perfectly in place for a team to perform at its best. Because we’ve been doing this for 8 years with brands that play in the champions league, and with the hands-on experience we’ve amassed with over 200 projects, we can help our clients make the right choices.

What would you like to share with start-up entrepreneurs?

Discover the core of who you are as an organisation (and as an entrepreneur).  What’s your dream, what are your core values. This has become increasingly clear for me over the years and it helps me make the right choices. And most of all: Get cracking!

What else is on Pipple’s bucket list?

The Nobel Prize for data A.I. And maybe a bit closer to home, to continue optimising the data analytics for PSV so that we win the Champions League again.


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