How do you know if your startup idea already exists?
How do you know if your startup idea already exists? And does that matter, because what if you can do it bigger and better? Thanks in advance for your input!
Google a wide combination of associated words. Log on to TechCrunch which has a very large list of startups. And read the advice of the others below.
Google it,but don't stop there. Find that one little corner of the business they are neglecting and make it yours. Become the go to business for that one little corner the others have overlooked. Good luck in your venture.
The key answer is research.
Research your target audience, do interviews or surveys (or even field observation if that makes sense).
Always research everything you do not know 110%.
IF you can do it better (bigger is absolutely not always better and thinking so can and often will lead to failure) it does not matter to much if the idea already exists.
Lots of good advise below, but I would add one further thought: Many of the people whom we were taught at school who discovered or invented things were often not in fact the first person to do so. Scientific progress often meant that inventions were made by a number of people around the same time. It was the people who also had the best business or marketing models who made the history books.
There is always room at the top, every new child came into this world by the idea of new one,so please work with research ,dedication, legally, and with passion you will get result...
Well Whitney sometimes you won't know for sure, but if you feel strongly about you idea pursue it to the best of your ability. Like you said what if you do succeed in making is bigger and better. Life is full of challenges and obstacles and you are the only one that can decide on your future. Hope this help please feel free to contact me for more information or a broader discussion.
It matters because you need to know what your potential competition does. Apart from anything else, you might then avoid their mistakes and spot what you can do better. If you can identify their customers, you might consider researching them to see what they like about the offer from your competitor and how you might improve it.
You don't need to be first in the market to be successful - Apple and Samsung weren't the first to market with mobile phones...
There is no better way to test your idea than to seek funding. Get up the courage to tell many people to back it with money. If it sounds familiar they will definitely cue you in that it's not a unique business, you've planned. Go into the sharpest of places if you have to. The best way to know you're on the right track is that you really believe in your idea and the best way to know you really believe in it is to put yourself up all the time!
I usually do an exhaustive Google search. If you are already in the space you want to start up your new idea in then you can ask around the forums to see if there is anyone doing what you are doing and collect leads at the same time. Be somewhat vague though. You dont want someone stealing your idea. Also, check the patent records if it is an idea that can have a patent, trademark or any other mark that could have been recorded with the U.S. Patent office. I any good business plan you should list your top 5 or so competitors. These would be the ones that would be or could be doing what you want to do. In the end, you may never know, but performing due diligence will have you more prepared than if you just assume no one is doing what you plan to do.
The simple way to find out if others have implimented your idea is to google it. If you can find exact or variations of what your start up is about, study them and learn from them. If you can't find anything, it doesn't mean they are not out there. It could mean they have not started marketing it yet.
There's an old saying that goes, "a mediocre product or service with a great sales and marketing strategy is better than a great product or service with a mediocre sales and marketing strategy. The question is not whether or not there are others who have come before you. The question is, what will you bring to the party that is unique, different and is the solution for someone's problem. Sometimes, having one or two businesses pave the way is not a bad thing. The collective marketing and exposure will help everyone be more visible to the intended customer.
You can search the internet with a number of variations of your idea. If it is a consumer product you can go shopping at the retailers who would be your target customers.
No having a "better mousetrap" is not a bad thing as long as you really have one. This actually makes potential acceptance easier. Good luck.
If the idea exists, then how can you make it better? Sometimes it's about learning from someone else's mistakes. It might make your route to success quicker
You can search online, and YES it matters! If it does not already exist, there is a very good chance it's not a good idea. There is room for many competitors in the same business. Even if you have exclusivity on a patented technology you will make more money by licensing it rather that trying to build an exclusive business. Competition builds demand for your product by growing market acceptance fast. Launching a new business without any competitors is the most expensive and highest risk proposition for an entrepreneur. It's a question of a proven market versus one you think will work.
Even in retail, most stores do better in a neighborhood with their competitors rather than all alone in another part of town.
If you can't find any traces in the normal "internet" places, you might try going "local" via college "incubators" etc. and see if there's action in your area of interest.
In any case, if you can't create a specific "patent" advantage, the best you will ever do is get to market faster and create some specific differentiation.
For a small operator it's often better to be #2 than #1. Let the big well-capitalized disruptor bull a way through the underbrush. See how they do, make improvements, and follow in their pathway.
It is often said that the best entrepreneurial strategy is to go all out in a new technology market and establish an unassailable monopoly position. This may be true for a few very well-funded start ups, but if you don't have $100 mil in venture capital, this is not your path.
Even major industry dominating disruptors like Facebook and Apple were not the first in their industries. Apple makes a conscious choice to let many others go first, then come out with something better that sets the standard for all who come after.
On the other hand, don't sit around agonizing about it. You have a window of opportunity, and you'd better get through it before it slams shut.
It is always best to assume that it does. I've heard too many angels break out laughing when they hear the typical "no one is doing what we're doing." They take that as naïve and respond that "then you haven't done a proper job on your market analysis."
It's a big world out there and there are very few original and distinct ideas. Find out who is doing what your doing and determine how you're going to differentiate yourself or what niche you want to serve.
Whitney -- it's actually good if someone else is working in the same space. It means you've identified a problem that needs a solution. "Bigger" and "better" aren't necessarily what it takes to succeed. Sometimes, smaller --- more focused on a particular niche -- can be a way to stand out. And what's "better"? Know who your audience is, and do the best you can for them. Of course, it's important to know what others are doing -- keep abreast of news in your sector. But, if you think you've got something of value, go for it!