Saturday, November 28, 2009

Just Books, Bangalore is a promising startup running crappy software

JustBooks is a Book Rental startup incubated by IIMB. They have a fairly decent pricing model where u can take 2 books at a time for 150/= a month in the basic plan.

Since the book store is conveniently located at 12th Main, Indiranagar, I promptly went there to get a membership. The store is kept quite neatly and boasts of touch screen kiosks to search books under an air conditioned roof, with a good collection of books and comics on the shelves.

The sad part though, is that when I asked the lady at the counter to add me as a member, she struggled. She had taken the money from me, but the software she was using could not do the basic user scenario of "Add a new member" and it crashed. I was feeling more embarrassed thinking about the state of the software they were using, and for a startup out of an Indian IT Hub B-School. A small glance at their website shows how pathetic it is. I think people made better library applications as a part of their college projects.

I sometimes wonder what this indicates ? Does this show how serious we are about building software for an Indian Business ? Maybe customers in India are not really that demanding when it comes to the software they use ?

What I am sure of, is that someone tried to source really cheap labor to do a shoddy job.

9 comments:

deebi said...

I am a member at their Whitefield branch - in the initial days there were problems...but not now-a-days. Hope you have enquired on the details of how the software in the first place got to this shape before putting in your comments.

As a software techie - can you provide some help if required :-)

deebi said...

I am a member at their Whitefield branch - in the initial days there were problems...but not now-a-days - it has been smooth. Hope you have enquired on the details of how the software in the first place got to this shape before putting in your comments.

As a software techie - can you provide some help if required :-)

Keshav Ram Narla said...

checkout www.easylib.com. it is located in Koramagla and has a decent collection of books. They even provide door delivery.

Software is simple and great. Try it!

Anup Goyal said...

Try this out for your child www.4kids.in . I am using this library since last 4 months. Too good service, just for 75/month, including home delivey.

R. Sundar said...

Hi

Thank you for signing up as a member at Just Books.

We just ended up making a conscious decision to prioritise retail & books related aspects of the venture ahead of technology.

We are confident of being able to pleasantly surprise you with our software in the coming weeks.

It helps to give startups the benefit of doubt & a long rope to survive and show results.

Having said that, I must confess that it has been a revelation to see how difficult & costly it is to get good software written if you are not a US/Europe based business!

Regards,

R. Sundar

Just Books clc

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Anonymous said...

Indiranagar has another library Kids Kouch www.kidskouch.com thou this is purely for kids ( books & toys) with also seating area for kids to read and play . u can check it out

Anonymous said...

I thought of sharing with you some of the libraries and second hand book store I am using.. Hope you find it useful

Well we book lovers could not have asked for better time, so many libraries are opening up. I (and my kids) read a lot so we are member of three libraries :-)

1)British Library on Kasturba Road: I wish they did home delivery.. but they are not expensive and have some good business magazines and DVDs
2) MyLib, http://www.mylib.in/ : They do home delivery. The website is very user friendly, home delivery is fast and collection is good
3) City central library: well you may not get the new books, buy I always manage to get something interesting to pick from here, especially regional books

4) Blossom Book House: My visit to blossom has reduced dramatically, thanks to all the libraries. But I still visit it once in a while to pick up few books I don’t find in my library....Or some of the new titles i can't wait for :-)