redBus surely enjoys the first mover advantage in its category and while they continue to innovate (with nifty implementations like reviews etc), it seems MakeMytrip has taken an inspiration from redBus’ seating feature.
The first picture is from redBus’ seating page and the second screenshot is from MMT’s booking page.
Puneet Chawla, ex-Product Manager of redBus writes (subtly*) :
Once there was a product manager. He wanted to work with India’s largest OTA but the big company didn’t want him. So he went down to the garden city to work with a small company that sold bus tickets online.
There, he made a beautiful, simple feature to select seats in a bus (seat layout). A few months later, he sees that the big company (which has had a successful IPO by now) has shamelessly copied the seat layout he had made!
But the big company forgot that there is more to a product than what meets the eye. It copied what it saw, turned it a hundred times uglier but didn’t put the necessary hard work behind it. What resulted, is what looks like a cheap made-in-china imitation.
The product manager is flattered but somewhere also a little sad because when he sees the big company’s seat layout, he sees an ugly, mutilated version of the one he made and because he fears that users might think that the small company copied the big company’s seat layout!
What’s your take?
* – Interestingly, Puneet chose to share this on his Google+ profile and not Facebook, reinforcing that something surely is right with Google +.