Hello and welcome to the Book Sharing spring 2016 semester blog. As a team, we will be sharing our weekly progress over the next 15 weeks. We will blog about our Illinois Institute of Technology cross-listed IPRO 497–109/COM 538 course taught by our very own Assistant Professor Libby Hemphill.

Professor Hemphill will utilize Steve Blank’s Lean LaunchPad suggested curriculum. Each week she will lead us through the inception of our idea to the final prototype of our solution based on user research and analysis and the Strategyzer Business Model Canvas.

Before we begin let me introduce our awesome team.


Jodi Houlihan — Operator and Hustler

Xi Rao — Hacker and UX Designer

Maimuna Venzant — UX Designer and Hacker


A location-based online bookshare service that allows students to donate or share their vacant (text)books with other students, whether its an ebook or hardcover.

There has to be other ways in which to cut or share the cost of purchasing textbooks each semester. Thank you Xi for identifying the Book Sharing idea — both Maimuna and I also feel the pain of purchasing textbooks. It will be interesting to see what develops over the semester on our Book Sharing journey.

Our first task assigned by Professor Hemphill was to populate the Business Model Canvas. This is a one-page, quick, but well thought out, snapshot of 9 building blocks we use to communicate to our team, audience and partners on how our idea will create, deliver and capture value. This model is a tool that will guide us to formulate an entrepreneurial initiative that is feasible, desirable and profitable. Each of the building blocks will need to be supported by data conducted through primary and secondary research.

In class we worked as a team discussing and populating each of the building blocks. In the upcoming weeks we will either change or leave our initial answers. Maimuna took the initiative to develop a short powerpoint presentation based on our populated business model canvas covering our concept, key resources + structure and propositions + plan:



IDEA: A location-based online bookshare service that allows students to donate or share their vacant (text)books to other students whether it’s an ebook or hardcover.


  • Cut costs for students and library — App via small subscription fee
  • Save time searching for the best deal on a book
  • Community Building
  • Get quicker delivery — Waiting a week or longer for your book
  • Keep textbooks from going to waste
  • Eco-friendly — stop reprinting books unnecessarily



  • Students
  • Library
  • School
  • School Bookstore
  • Festival Kiosks / Advertising


  • Students sign up for subscription
  • Students + library provide/ share books
  • Students choose book needed — ebook through app OR place order for hard book
  • We (the company) send book OR Student sends book to other student
  • Renting fee


Stay in business:

  • We need students to donate their books

Fundraising (festivals) + and Advertising:

  • Get students to share what classes and professors they enjoyed, and then let students borrow their book


  • Library, bookstore, school, other online book stores (ex. Amazon), Professors


  • Subscription fee, restocking fee, service fee, renting fee, advertising
  • variable and fixed revenue

Shipping (if needed):

  • We (company) ship books, or student with the book can ship or meet up with the student buying the book


As a team we needed to identify how we would communicate with one another since we would be working in-person, remotely and sometimes independently.

Project Management: Asana

File Sharing: Google Drive

Blog: Medium (One member each week will rotate and write the blog. The other team members will review and edit article.)

Presentation: Powerpoint posted to Google Drive. (One member each week will rotate and develop/update the presentation. The other team members will review and edit article.)

Email and Mobile: Used to communicate additional information if need be


In the upcoming week Professor Hemphill will charge us with developing a Value Proposition Canvas. We will continue to update on a weekly basis our Business Model Canvas, weekly powerpoint presentation, and blog posts. Please stay tuned to our discoveries.

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