Say, you gave birth to a kid who's very talented in music. However, you do not have the money( or else) to find a great musician to teach the kid. Just then, a local musician sees the talents of your kid. He is willing to teach the kid for free, on the condition that the kid will have to stay with the musician forever(of course you have to right to visit the kid any time). The musician is not a talented, but at least he can teach. Will you make the deal?
It's the case with our final project, Yun Reading. We're facing the problem with the future development of this app. Our money is dying out and our team mates will probably be too busy to continue with the monetization part next semester. We know our app is having a great potential, like a talented music kid. But we've got no time and money to make the talents shine. A ebook publishing company seems to be envision the value of this app in the future. The company want to acquire this app when its value is still unseen to others. 1500SGD/ person is offered. Shall we accept it now then?
1. Can we commit that we will make a lot of time and efforts to make the app a full product in the next 2 years?
Honestly, the main difficulties for the further development of our app lie in the contents and copy-right issues. For our tech team, it won't take too much time and efforts. The problem here is very difficult to solve by our own efforts. We've got to work with publishing companies. A lot of stuffs may involve. Hu Qiang is taking CS3217 next sem, Yingbo is busy with her two degrees, Aldrian is busy with Urop, I'm going for SEP...
It might be easier if we let the company operate the app and we only provide some tech supports. But our value is definitely underestimated.
2.How to create value?
Money<> value. I personally think if we only make this platform use by one company, it creates values to the company. But whether it creates values for the readers, it really depends on the company, whether it wants solely make money out of its customers or really create values to them.
When I sit in Central Library today, I opened my ipad and try to use our app. Yes, I like the app, except I would like to get some books I myself love to read, not books that are very popular in the market but not fit my taste. Reading is a personal thing. I think Hu Qiang's suggestion of make it a personal ebook library(like a dropbox for epubs) would be a nice idea. It may not bring instant money to the retailers, but it do create values to the readers. If I were the reader, I would like to have such one in my device.
Yes, creating value is more important than making money. That's learnt from CS3216.
I'm sure a lot of cross-platform ebook reader are coming out in the next two years. Some of them will be from big players. I would like to work with everyone instead of competing with others. I think competing is not the right way for success, collaboration is. But big players seldom know you, that's the reality. So we've got to establish it ASAP to China market to make it known to everyone. Hopefully people will come and get to know us. I heard Singtel launched the first Ebook Platform in Singapore today. Well, honestly, I think we are better, just that we are not complete yet. But we are not competing with them, we're focusing on the China market.
4. How about funding?
I know from Prof.Ben that there is a $50,000 grant. That's a lot of money. If we can get it, our plan of dropbox for ebooks will probably become reality. Currently, our plan is still under discussion. We'll probably explore the plan in two different strategies in PARALLEL. First way is to make a dropbox for epubs(probably the English version) and the second way is to sell ebooks(Chinese version). We can let the publishing company use the Chinese Version in China as they are only interested in selling their own books. But we can continue developing the english version and make it a dropbox for epubs. We reserve our right to use the English Version and they can use our Chinese version and sell ebooks in that platform. Don't know whether the plan will work or not, but we'll try.
We'll need a lot of help from friends in CS3216 if we're really taking the step out. Thank you in advance, great great people here in CS3216:-)