Do not fear failure

Bookbhook is India’s first books based micro-learning service

Please introduce yourself and your startup bookbhook to our readers!
bookbhook.com is India’s first books based micro-learning service that helps you know more without reading more. With more than 100 book summaries published and another 200 in the pipeline, bookbhook handcrafts short summaries of life changing books that you can read in just 15 minutes. As a beta feature, bookbhook is also offering audio and local language versions of these summaries. Bookbhook is a portmanteau of the words ‘book’ and ‘bhook’ (hunger in Hindi)- hence hunger for books.

How did you get the idea to bookbhook?
The thought of bookbhook germinated in 2014 when I found my team members at work not reading books that I would recommend or gift to them. Instead, some of them would actually ask me to give a gist of the book. I then discovered that thanks multimedia options on the internet, the attention span of the younger generation is getting fragmented. Diving deep, I further figured out the concept of “Attention Economy” and how some companies are already building products focused on the Attention Economy. Simultaneously, I got to know about book summary services as commercial service, being offered in the US and Europe, which was a validation of the commercial viability of this model, though not for India.

How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
For me, leaving my corporate career of 14 years (in 2015) was the most difficult challenge. I did not want to jump into startup directly. So I began a weekly email service where I would offer one book summary every week, while continuing with my day job. This newsletter slowly expanded its subscription base. Finally, another year later, having tested the waters with the email newsletter, planning out my finances, I quit my job to build bookbhook.com in 2016. Leaving the comfort of a monthly salary was the most difficult challenge then. Now, in 2017, challenges are still there, but of a different nature.

Who is your target audience?

Bookbhook focuses on two groups:

1. Money-rich-time-poor corporate executives and entrepreneurs, who do not mind spending a few dollars on a service that enhances their knowledge, and saves a lot of their time. This segment does not get the time to read a few hours every day, so bookbhook.com does the reading for them.
2. Money-poor-time-rich students in senior and professional colleges, who are looking for latest as well as timeless concepts in management, psychology, entrepreneurship and more so that they can do well in their exams and interviews. While this segment has time on their hands, they want to spend that time watching Netflix and hanging out with friends. They do not want to spend their time reading books, and certainly do not have the money to buy books frequently. Bookbhook.com curates life-changing books for this segment and then converts them into short summaries

What is the USP of your startup?
Bookbhook is India’s first books based micro-learning service. No other book summary service carries a blend of Indian and international books. Bookbhook.com also converts these summaries into Hindi (beta feature) and very soon, in other Indian languages- just so that someone in a small town in India, who may not be comfortable reading in English, does not miss out life changing ideas from books.

Bookbhook.com is the new-gen library for the new generation

Bookbhook booksCan you describe a typical workday of you?
Of course, I get to read a lot! I read books, summaries written by other writers for bookbhook.com, edited drafts and more. In the last few months, a lot of my time also goes into meeting prospects and business development. So, most of the day goes into reading and meeting people- and I enjoy both of them!

Where do you see yourself and your startup bookbhook in five years?
With the advent of Attention Economy, the world of content publishing is changing rapidly. There’s a Microsoft study done during 2000-2015, where the researchers found that the average attention span of humans had dropped from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to 8 seconds in 2015. Goldfish, by the way, has an attentions pan of 9 seconds, as per that study! Imagine what will happen in the next five years.

My sense is a lot of information will be consumed in snackable bites-especially content that needs to be read. Services like Hooked, Curiosity, inshorts are indicators of this fundamental shift. With this decline in attention span and the need for ‘compressed knowledge’, a related trend that will become bigger than what it is today will be gamification of learning. As Virtual Reality becomes more commonplace, reading, even as snackable bites, will be a gamified experience involving all our senses, rather than the just the eyes and the mind.

What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?
1. Start early. I started bookbhook.com in my late 30s, and I think I should have done this much earlier
2. Do not fear failure. We all fail at some stage in life. You cannot avoid failure, so you might as well do something that you really want to do, and fail in the process.
3. Be prepared to become bipolar once you don the hat of an entrepreneur. There will be days when you will feel at the top of the world because your idea and product has worked well. And then there will be days (maybe in that same day) when you will feel the world is conspiring against you. This yo-yo ride is absolutely par for the course, but you need to learn to manage conflicting emotions as a startup founder

More information you will find here

Thank you Gaurav Gupta for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

Sabine Elsässer

Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

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