We thought of what services hadn't been scaled up yet, and we started viewing various markets. Books came into the discussion and while we talked about textbooks we realized that we all save a lot of money by letting each other borrow our textbooks. We decided to expand this idea to regular books because the library is not always dependable. This makes education more accessible since people won't be discouraged by the high price of academic literature like textbooks or books about cracking the coding interview. This also fosters a sense of community. You may get to know the individuals you are borrowing books from and may find commonality through the subjects you are interested in. So all the English nerds of the neighborhood know each other because they borrow books from each other while all the CS nerds will know each other and could recommend books to each other. Getting into a an area of interest would be so easy since you could just connect to one person who sells a collection of a certain interest and then read their collection or possibly ask for more information so that you too can enter the community, which fosters inclusivity.
What it does
Book Hero allows you to post your collection of books to let people borrow them, and allow you to borrow those books from other people's collections.
How we built it
With code and brainpower. We used node.js and express.js to connect to the Goodreads API to allow the user to search through a library of real books and connect to MongoDB to store people's profiles. The pages were coded with HTML and CSS.
Challenges we ran into
Thinking of how we would implement the book renting idea was a huge challenge. The idea was actually put on the back burner for a while because we were wondering how delivery would work, but eventually, we came up with the idea of incorporating location data so that the books could be picked up by individuals.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The slick UI and database implementation.
What we learned
Sometimes all people need is to be connected. Our service does not provide people a physical service, but it does give them the means to do what they could not otherwise. Individually this was our first hackathon, so 3 of our group members learned HTML, CSS, and some node.js. Another one of our group members learned more node.js, MongoDB, and some express.js.
What's next for Book Hero
Adding a feature to sort based on distance to your current location would be the next step, and also adding recommendations by people who own collections to further the community aspect.