Last Saturday I went to Day at the Park, an Amsterdam dance festival. I went with a bunch of friends, including Jessie, my sister. Jessie is fun, but also a bit of chaos on heels. So after having already lost the key to her locker, she lost her hip bag too. Yep, chaos on heels.
If you lose stuff on a 20,000 visitor festival, that’s usually pretty definitive. Theoretically someone could find it, give it to a security guy, who could give it to the organizer, and maybe you get the right person on the phone and you can come pick it up; quite a long shot. Or actually, in Holland this used to be a long shot….
Lost & Found for the 21st century
Jessie called a friend of the Day at the Park team, and he suggested to check iLost. This worked beautifully. She entered what she had lost in the Search field of the website and 2 clicks later; up popped a picture of her bag. iLost is a smart online platform, a central hub for lost items that is connected to their own search engine. Which means that in the website’s back-end there’s some smart stuff going, but for you at the front-end, it’s all really simple. And it’s free, except for eventual shipping costs.
iLost doesn’t just work with dance events. The Amsterdam-based company is hired by movie theaters, department stores, theme parks, even the recent field hockey world-championship. The company is still in its first year, so in the near future, I’d expect it to become much more widespread, and go international.
iLost & Found
Let’s say you’ve lost your sunglasses, and you have no clue where. You were shop-hopping, had lunch, saw a movie, etc. So you wouldn’t even know which Lost & Found department to call. Then how cool is it that there’s a central Lost & Found that you can visit from your computer or mobile. Trust me, this is Lost & Found for the 21st century.
I was surprised that this service was free for my sister. Companies like the aforementioned party organizers or movie theaters will pay a fee, but that’s still remarkably cheaper and easier than managing their own Lost & Found. So I asked Lizette van Hecke of iLost if their company can make money this way. She told me that they’re in a learning phase, and are still establishing themselves, but that their long-term strategy looks financially healthy.
iLost has only been live since January, so they’re still learning. For instance, they will probably soon have a Donate button on their site. Makes sense to me; if they recovered my sunglasses or keys, I would gladly donate…