Lot of people ask me why have we decided to work on a difficult product like Bushlark. Crowd-sourcing is anyway challenging with low relevance of responses and there is continuous need of moderation. Few others like twitter’s Biz Stone also tried to solve same problem but later decided to move on. Some even suggested to work on e-commerce/local services models as they are more fundable here in India. Two VC firms thought we are local city guide, well not their mistake it is what is working well in India
But for us, if something does not have potential to be super successful globally, we will prefer not to attempt it as we have only finite time and attempts to make an impact. If it is too simple we will again not attempt it as many other will. Our team aim to solve the complex global problem in simplest possible manner. Real time local discovery is one such problem which is unsolved, has global relevance and will make our life more efficient hence Bushlark. And our soul is social :).
Let me list down some instances from last few months where I felt need of product like Bushlark and thus feel many of you too will be having your own use cases.
- Today earthquake of 7.5 Richter scale hit Afganistan, very close to Indian border. Currently my access is limited to news and twitter feed for updates but inner curiosity and concerns would want to see more current pictures and to connect better. On the other hand concerned authorities can broadcast necessary information to locals affected. Locals too can coordinate well about supplies and other things. Same is the case of under covered Syria.
- Search for nearest beer shop. In India you can not get liquor in local grocery shops. I had hard time in locating nearest beer shop. Indian neighbors are also not so cool about discussing alcohol with strangers. After good 2 weeks someone at traffic signal pointed me in the right direction. No information was available online. If you do not trust me try it out yourself for D6, Vasant Kunj Delhi. Same would be case for other local supplies be it milk booth or chemist. Locals has the knowledge which is not there online.
- Need to reach out to my society residents. Summers are bad in delhi with too much power and water supply cuts. Most of the times these cuts are unplanned and even if they are notified in advance careless souls like me never get the information. Always have to go out and talk to people in the building about details when same should be possible with app that can connect me to people near me. Some more social people would want to invite someone to play badminton.
- Dengue. A deadly disease which causes drop in blood platelets is on rise in Delhi. Sadly happens every year. Last week 1076 cases were reported. Patients need fresh blood on continuous basis and which is why facebook is filled with such requests. Bushlark too will help in such cases by reaching out to the local donors. Same is applicable for amber alerts.
- Which museum in DC. This problem of local experts or lack of local information is global. In September I went for a bus tour to DC from NY. And operator dropped us in DC at 9 am and said visit museums of your choice for next 3 hours on Sunday. Unplanned we and few other fellow tourists were simply going from one closed art museum to other only to later stand in the queue for Smithsonian. We cursed tour guide like hell for lack of information and ourself for lack of planning. But there was no local expert to help us at that point to guide us in the right direction. Bushlark and its local experts are coming to help you soon.
6. Similarly there are many instances from finding the blueberry cheesecake to best local physician or search for cheerios in delhi where need to talk to locals was there.
So question should not be “Why Bushlark” it should be “How Bushlark” as the challenge is right execution and to come up with a simple yet relevant product.
Wish us good luck.