Here is a repeating story – An entrepreneur gets excited about a new product idea & he presents it to someone. The listener searches the web & says “there are already products like that”, and the idea gets dismissed.
If your idea is a for new mobile app, expect to hear “There is an app for that”.
We know the power of a brand new idea – It is a passport to a green field with no competition, it makes good story lines & gets publicity, it gives room to make some mistakes and still succeed, …
Then, we also know that iPod came after many mp3 players, Amazon after many online book stores, Facebook after MySpace, and the list goes on.
So, how does one decide if the idea is to be dismissed when there are similar products?
I’ll start the answer with a story. Drew Houston, founder of Drop-box, pitched the idea of file sharing across computers to a bunch of investors. The leading objection was “there are many file sharing services out there”.
Drew Houston turned to an investor who dismissed the idea & asked “Do you use any file sharing service?”. The answer was “No”. In the following discussion, he established that prospective users were not yet taken.
That is how you find if the idea is already taken – by checking if the prospective users are already taken.
If prospective users are still available, the idea is still available. If the need is real, all you need is to reach and resonate with those users, in a way earlier entrants could not.