Peter Veldhoven is Founding Partner at Veeel Designers, an unconventional design firm based in Amsterdam (The Netherlands). Why unconventional? His design firm only works with freelance designers instead of a small team on the payroll. Veeel offers product- and brand development services for leading brands and corporations. Veeel has the knowledge and experience of a traditional design firm, combined with an unrivaled level of creativity: they work together with no less than 1200 professional designers, selected on project specific needs and demands.
Among many other things Peter’s main role is that of commercial director, where his biggest goal is to find new projects that fit the company. And we can only assume this means all kinds of projects, since designers Veeel works with, vary from background, design skills and interests.
After finishing his Master Industrial Design Engineering at the University of Technology in Delft (The Netherlands) Peter found his passion in entrepreneurial activities and never looked back. Peter’s biggest achievement (self-claimed) is that he knows where he is not good at. He finds this extremely important when working hard on letting your own company grow, but also when you are a designer. You just can’t do it all. He shared this vision with college buddy Jelmer Riemersma and together they started Veeel in 2006. Veeel respects designers for where they’re not good at, but focuses strongly on where they are good at. Veeel is a project driven company and matches designers on projects to achieve the best results for clients like Philips, Unilever and PWC.
He plays the bass, loves cars, dreams of Formula 1-racing and is a strong believer that matching creativity and commerce in a well-structured and well-managed way will ultimately lead to the best results in innovation. Peter knows that working with great people brings out the best in him; so it’s great that 1200 designers want to work with him as well.
What are you working on right now?
We just launched our tool Designrider, which is an online platform for designers to find design projects online. For Veeel it is the ideal way to communicate with our designers. For them it is ideal to find new projects, show their work and interact with other designers. And us of course.
3 trends that excite you?
Flat world companies
How do you bring ideas to life?
By working and bringing together the best and most creative experts.
What inspires you?
People inspire me most, it’s a cliché I know, but I love good conversations when time seems unimportant, but in fact flies…
What is one mistake you’ve made, and what did you learn from it?
We had a meeting with a CEO of an Energy Drink for a new assignment. We thought we’d better dress up for him to show and impress him, since he was the CEO and all… Not really something we’d normally do. We met him in suit and tie; he was in shorts and covered with tattoos and piercings. We didn’t get the assignment.
Lesson: just be yourself
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Never be afraid to give away a business idea, one idea that we are working on is crowd funding for new products. As Howard Aiken says: “Don’t worry about people stealing an idea, if it’s original, you will have to ram it down their throats.”
What is one book and one tool that helps you bring ideas to life?
I have a really good study book about the design process. The explanation is so hard to understand, that we created our own process; much easier.
Best tool would be iTunes, music is an important part of the creating process, couldn’t do without it. And Designrider of course.
Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?
The man who invented the cocktail-umbrella, what was he thinking?
International expansion seems to be a logical next step. Do you agree?
Yes, I agree. We have a lot to offer to the world. With our way of working, we combine fresh ideas with the skills to realize them. Designers have the ability to combine an objective view with subjective experience and interaction with brands and products. We have an international platform now; with designers from all over the world, so international clients are more than welcome.
Since you are about to become father, how will this influence your work?
I always saw my company as my child, so now I’ll just have another one. No just kidding, I’m looking forward to the challenge of combining fatherhood and running a company. I like the idea of a modern dad where spending time with your family is just as important as working hard. As a designer, I look forward testing all kinds of baby products –and improving them!