My wife wrote about BookMe a few days back and compared it with Fandango. Fandango is hugely popular in US for booking cinema tickets. Even Steve Jobs mentioned it several times in his live demos. Can BookMe become the same? It’s the question that has been bothering me since then. The frequent press coverage of the startup on blogs like this and Pro-Pakistani etc didn’t helped the matter much.
Potentially BookMe can be the Fandango of Pakistan but I am a bit skeptical due to couple of reasons. And to be on safe side none of these reasons has anything to do with Faizan (Founder BookMe) or this idea of booking cinema tickets using your mobile phone. Cinema industry is growing in Pakistan and Faizan is a decent guy and is passionate about his startup.
If I had to describe the problems in one word, the word has to be Focus.
BookMe is mainly about cinema tickets but it wants to dominate every kind of ticket booking in the country. Which is a not a bad thing if you have mastered your core function. Transport and event ticket booking are same to BookMe as consumer technology is to Microsoft Windows. Windows has about 90% of market share in PC market and most of its users are enterprise users and yet with every new version Microsoft is trying to make Windows a consumer operating system. An industry with very little room in the presence of Apple and Google.
I personally believe that transport and events booking are distractions for BookMe. They may continue to work on them but main focus should always be cinema ticket booking. And even more important is to give a fine finish to customer touch points. Whether it is website or its an app they should do just one thing and do it like no other. Startups don’t thrive by doing every thing imaginable. They thrive on perfecting one thing. Take Uber, WhatsApp, Groopic or even Fandango as an example. All of them are doing one thing like no one else.
Ideas are as good as their underlying implementations. Ever wondered why a certain feature suddenly becomes mainstream when done by Apple though it was already there. That’s because Apple perfects the implementation. There is a lot of work required for BookMe to be the go to place for cinema ticket booking and that should take priority over adding additional dimensions.
Being the first to do something is far less important than being able to finish that thing really well.