Real world services become much more efficient when paired with Internet-based search and booking platforms. Today, event venues, hotels, airlines, restaurants and other businesses can build their own booking applications with software from various vendors. And OpenTable has done a good job creating a bookings portal for restaurants. Skype Prime and Ether are two good services that let phone-based vendors book, charge and perform their services online.
But no one has created a distributed bookings platform that can easily be plugged into individual businesses websites (without any programming knowledge), as well as yellow page and other local business sites. Once this platform exists, consumers will have a much easier way of booking everyday services (think tennis lessons, dentist appointments, hairdresser appointments, massages, cooking course, etc.). The potential market is millions of daily transactions.
TechCrunch discusses two companies — Genbook and Libersy.