Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Rent professional books to employees of large companies
  [vote for,

I'm a computer professional working for a large company, which reimburses me regularly for various books, which I have to buy to stay up to date with technology. These books usually end up on my bookshelf, and I never touch them again.

My idea is to have a book rental service specializing in professional books. The service would target large companies. The pitch would be to save a bunch of money for the clients (should go well in today's cost-cutting US culture).

I haven't figured out all the details yet. It should work like NetFlix. Any new book should be available instantaneously and in any quantity. The company would pay either a monthly subscription or a small fee for each book. Books distribution and return would be tricky since you don't want to spend half of your revenue on delivery. Maybe if a company has a campus, you can drop-off and pick-up books at one central location and let inter-office mail handle the rest.

Being a computer geek, I can't resist thinking that a good information system will be a key component of such business. The system would have to accurately predict demand based on the current trends in various industries. It would also decide when a book should be taken out of rental and sold through something like half.com.

The book clubs would be major competitors to this kind of business. Some companies also have internal libraries. In both cases, at the end you are still stuck with bunch of outdated, useless books. Anybody interested in “Java 1.1 Unleashed”?

TheRussian, Feb 04 2004

the next best thing http://www.half.com
[yabba do yabba dabba, Oct 04 2004]


       I read this as Enterprise-Rent-A-Rock
theircompetitor, Feb 05 2004

       I'd like a lump of haematite from Tuesday to Thursday next week please
hazel, Feb 05 2004

       Done, and done.
yabba do yabba dabba, Feb 05 2004

       your idea gives the real answer away. if you never reread a book, then was what's in it really worth reading anyway?   

       just because it's out there, don't mean you have to buy it
ivanhoe, Feb 06 2004

       I'm not sure I agree that the only books worth reading is the ones you read more then once.   

       Also, professional books become obsolete very quickly (at least in technology area).
TheRussian, Feb 07 2004


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