The Idea HypothesisMany developing countries do not We wanted to validate if:have good public libraryinfrastructure. Access to technical 1) Users really do find it difficult tobooks is hard. find the technical books they want to readChances are high that someone elsein your city has the book you want 2) Users who have books are willingto read. What if you could search all to lend themthe people in your city, find out whohas the book, and borrow it directly 3) Users do not mind travelling tofrom them. collect the books from other people in the cityLenders receive some paymentwhenever they lend a book. 4) How much users are willing toBorrowers pay a subscription pay for the serviceamount in order to borrow, and oursite makes money on the difference.
Survey ResultsWe surveyed 60 people in the target market from our city. We found that1) 73% read 5-8 technical books a year2) 85% of people surveyed would be willing to lend their books (we did not expectthis to be so high!)3) Poeple are not willing to travel to pick up the book (we did not expect this,because people do travel long distances to reach a library)4) They are willing to pay about Rs.500 – Rs.2000 / year ($10-$40/year) toborrow books. Lenders expect to be paid Rs.50 ($1) everytime they lend a book.To learn more about why users are not willing to travel, we added a questionasking them why they would not travelWe learnt that most people would be willing to travel short distances to pick upbooks
Business Model ChangesThe original business model had envisioned users picking up books directly fromthe lenders. This allowed our platform to be a purely online marketplace and itwould reduce costs as we didnt have to deal with transportation and logistics.The survey invalidated this assumption, as most users would not be willing totravel a long distance to pick up books.Based on the survey results, we decided that we needed to have drop off points atvarious neighbourhoods, where users can drop off and pick up books. It will be ourjob to transfer books between drop off points based on the location of the lendersand borrowers.This change increased the cost structure in the form of maintaining drop off pointsand transporting between drop points. This, in turn, increased the subscriptionprice that we would need to charge borrowers in order for the venture to beeconomically viable.