August 31st, 2013, 04:50 PM
Question new website: where should I start?
I did not know where to ask my question.
I have this idea of making a single website for some bookstores that do not have their own websites. I want the website to list all the books available at each book store, where every book is available, at what bookstore and its price. If a certain book is sold out then the website gets updated instantly. The website basically connects to the database of the book store. Customers can purchase books online.
I am not a programmer, but I thought I should at least have an idea of the possibility of making such a website before approaching a web development company. I know it's possible to build a website for one bookstore.
What does making such a website requires? Would it cost a lot of money?
Thanks a lot.
August 31st, 2013, 05:14 PM
Sounds a lot like amazon...
They just laid off a few thousand employees...
My first thought is that while it sounds like a simple solution the reality is that its not.
Every store will have a different pos and ems system and you will need open access to these systems which will not ve easy to get as they are indeed likely propriatary and tge solution you describe is most likley an offering they already have available to the store owners as add on offering.
As for creating a new solution you would need to build a new point of sale system with an inventory management system that has api's that you can open up to a new e-commerce site. Then you will have to get the store owners to switch to your platform and convince them that the countless hours of updating inventory, pricing, location, etc. is worth paying you money for.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but this idea is ****.
But look at the bright side, in the world of tech startups you just embraced a valuable rule. FAIL FAST.
Sorry my friend. I'm sure your next idea will be better.
August 31st, 2013, 09:17 PM
LOL. I sort of knew the idea was not going to work, not feasible at all. But at least now I know for sure it won't work.
Originally Posted by thew
Really thank you for your detailed reply.
I better think about a smaller idea.
August 31st, 2013, 09:51 PM
By no means would I suggest thinking smaller...
Try thinking differently...
Here's some homework...
Address the problem you wish to solve.
Then write down as many ways as you can think of to solve this problem.
A white board is helpful.
Then look at your brainstorm and find ways to connect the dots differently than anyone else.
Find a way to simplify what you are trying to solve from multiple angles.
You need a refined idea before you can solve a problem with it.
And in my opinion you aren't thinking too big, you're thinking too small.
What I mean is you may be well on your way to creating a new type of marketplace that can extend far beyond books or whatever. But first address the need and create a unique solution.
Let the whiteboard show you what and how to solve your problem.
September 1st, 2013, 05:15 PM
Maaan, I am already enjoying this discussion/conversation. Hats off, Mr. Thew. very informative.
I would totally take your advice about the white board.
The only problem (big thing) with that idea is how to connect all the databases of the different bookstores to the website's server!
Booking.com was the first website to come to my mind when thinking about this problem. Booking.com uses extranet to keep rates current. Extranet costs a lot, according to the information on wikipedia.
Another example came to mind was: foodonclick.com where you can order food online from different restaurants! But then I learned that happens through emails only; very simple. Not helping my case.
There are clone scripts of amazon.com but amazon is an e-commerce website. different from my idea, sort of.
Still my idea is unique, at least in my region. Maybe I can start simple, with just providing a list of available books at each store so to save people the time to wait for some book to be delivered when buying online.
This region, the market here is very fresh.
I should start using the whiteboard. List all possible solutions! or maybe come up with a new idea
September 1st, 2013, 05:54 PM
It all starts there.
Start writing things down. Then take a break. Come back later and and you'll be amazed at how your perspective changes and you add to and modify. Great ideas don't just happen. They are cultivated and rarely directly relate to the original idea they stemmed from but are themselves a completely unique idea with an entirely different solution.
Good luck and keep us updated with where this goes.
Btw what part of the world are you in?
I myself am in Kansas City, Mo USA
September 2nd, 2013, 10:33 AM
I am from Oman; a country in The Middle East.
The area known as MENA (The Middle East and North Africa) is still fresh when it comes to online start ups, anything to do with internet business..
I am working on an online local directory, a yelp-like website to cover the capital region. hopefully I can launch the website in about 50-60 days.
Next was supposed to be the book stores idea!
Then another idea already in mind!
Some people suggest focusing on one idea, but for me, I just want to do a lot of things.
so, any cool ideas?! lol
September 3rd, 2013, 06:56 AM
You would get into trouble if you are not owner of the bookstores. You can prepare a website for themselves and get paid. If you have your own book stores then it could be better for you to prepare a website and its database to update it after selling and inbcluding new books.
September 4th, 2013, 05:43 AM
No, my friend. I think you did not understand my idea. I do not want to get myself in trouble. I am not going to steal any information from them without their permission. That would be crazy.
I said they do not have their own websites; only database, which I want to use WITH THEIR PERMISSION AND APPROVAL to make a single a website for all the book stores, "one hub", so I save the book stores the hassle of making their own websites and maintaining them and also save "people, customers" the hassle of driving to the book store just to find out the book they are looking for is not available at that book store and also save "people, customers" the time of waiting for a book to be delivered when they purchase books online. I hope now you understand my idea; it is clear now.