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Sad that your Startup Idea already exists?

idea innovation for startup founders

You have always dreamed about becoming a successful entrepreneur, and you have worked hard for many days over a fabulous idea of your business when you find out that your start-up idea already exists out there in the world, it really brings you down right? You feel sad and depressed that your hope of success is gone. If you are in a similar dilemma, this place is for you folks.

Let’s visualize the fact with some of the well-known examples, If you take Drop box, was it the first company to have online storage? No. if you take Yahoo, was it the first company to do search online? No. I mean, literally from car rental companies to airline to food industries to whatever, all great brands were not the first one, and why do you stop yourself from getting started?. If you just think like, “oh, somebody’s already doing this, so I am just going to sit back”, believe me, this is not the path to success. No, this is not the right path, that’s what this blog is all about, and I want to share with you folks today, how to choose an idea if your start-up idea already exists in the market.

If you are an entrepreneur starting off, or maybe you’ve built a bunch of companies and you are now ready to look at different ideas that you have around your passion and you went out to the market and you did some research and then you realize that, “oh, there’s somebody doing this’. This place is for you.

Here’s the deal, if you approach business where you believe that if something already exists that you can’t start it, that is the worst ridiculous idea. I have several companies that you use every day that when you think about it, there was already an existing solution out there kind of like theirs. Think about the common social media platform like Instagram, Snapchat and others, if their founders had thought that social media already exists, it would not have been the trending of the modern world. Think of transaction apps we use, if Google Pay was not invented just because there are tons of other companies example as PayPal. It would have never reached billions of people, and most common there are lots of travel websites like AirBNB, Trivago, MakeMyTrip, yet still, now there are new and trending travel websites launching every day. The idea remained the same, it existed, but the companies tried to approach it anyway.

So, how to compete with the product the already exists in the market, here’s the deal,

1. Have a unique product hook

You need to have a unique product hook. Like, if you go to a market, if you look at existing solutions, then you should figure out, what is the angle that I am going to take to be able to provide a solution that is differentiated, unique and a little bit different. It does not have to be complete revamp of the whole approach, but you need to figure out, what is the hook, what is the feature, how am I going to approach the problem, solve it in a unique way that is better, faster, cheaper, that will get a small percentage, maybe five percent to ten percent of the existing customer base to be willing to take a look and say like, “ you know what, I have this problem, I am using this existing company, but I am interested in an innovation to want to see what the other companies have out there to help solve this problem.” That is the first thing, the unique product hook.

2. Talk to existing customers

Number two, you need to talk to their existing customers. This is the part that excites me the most. If there is an existing market, let’s call it a 10 billion a year market. Do you know what that tells me? people are spending money, is that a good thing? Yes, So the existing market, existing competition equals a good thing. The beauty of that is you can talk to their customers. You can run Facebook, Google, etc ads to survey to their customers and their fan pages, think about it!.

I mean if you are trying to do customer research, instead of trying to wonder who has the problem. People that use this product probably have the problem, take for example E-mail marketing, do you know how many companies there are in e-mail space and so many entrepreneurs are like, “oh, I don’t want to touch that, it’s too complicated”, but if you have the product hook, and if you are aggressive about your idea, you go to the market and talk to existing costumers, so that is number two.

3. Caring for your customers

Number three is really caring is the ultimate competitive advantage. I cannot describe in words how important that is. When companies get big, they start building systems and processes and automation and they start getting disconnected from their core customers. They don’t act as they care anymore. I mean there is only handful of companies at a scale that can retain that culture, that approach, that belief and according to me, that is the ultimate competitive advantage for you and your business.

If you want to get into an existing market, if you have a passion for an idea and there are companies out there, you have just got to ask yourself “do I care more than those companies about solving my customer’s problem?”, if the answer is YES, then game on, go for it, don’t hold back. But if, you know what, if you step back and say, “I really don’t care about this space” then do not do it, Don’t go looking for a unique product hook, do not talk to existing customer, and by all means, if you are not passionate about it, then you cannot care, you won’t have that competitive advantage.

But those are the three areas that if you use  properly, you can go into any market and just think about every product you’ve ever used, there was an existing company going out there. Maybe they were doing a little different, but they existed. Believe in yourself, and you can do it.