So you did it, you had the big A-ha! moment. You encountered a problem and come up with the solution; an idea that you find really helpful or needed in so many ways.
It might have arisen from a personal need, or be a new use or twist on something that already exists. It could be anything.
The funny part about ideas is they take a second to come up with
After this one-second spark of brain lightening, comes the interesting part. Who is already an innovator in this field, who is trying to solve the same problem, and how they are doing it?
It’s a hard search to start – you don’t actually want to see others doing the exact same thing, and even worse – succeeding.
While building and improving upon SUMMER and other previous projects, I used competitive analysis as a metric to assess where the business stood. The process of understanding where my business was relative to other taught me the value of competition.
Someone is already working on your idea
The important kick-off point is the fact that even if no such thing exists already, someone else is working on it right now. And it’s probably several people.
Whether it’s the exact same idea or something similar, the point is that people around the world are using their existing technologies to implement solutions, or inventing new products to solve the very same problem as you.
What if there are no competitors?
You should stop and think why there is no one else doing it.
If no one is experiencing the problem you are trying to solve – can you think of keywords people will google to hit your landing page?
There is a chance someone tried this already and failed? Try and find out why.
Is it because there was no demand for the product? Or perhaps the problem was implementation.
Reasons for failure can be a bad marketing approach, and often times it can be that the solution was simply born ahead of its time.
In any case, by doing this research, you will find out whether to go for your idea or not, and more importantly – how.
Why you should WANT someone else to work on the same idea
The equation is simple:
Someone working on your idea = They share the same problem = You have a market
Of those who are having a problem, only a small portion will do something to solve it, and the ratio stays the same the larger the problem is. From the other side, the more people you have as competitors – the bigger your market will be.
Get yourself an edge (learn from your competitors)
Competition is good for your idea – it challenges you to the next phase of development – beat them.
In addition to finding out why your rivals might have failed, try and see what they are missing.
Check out the features they offer and how much they cost. Figure out which feature is the most expensive one and why.
Peek at their Facebook and Twitter accounts – see if they’re active enough, and how many people are engaged with the company.
So the next time you’re glowing with a new idea – pray for some competitors and then get to know them well. Your idea will become much better, faster than you can imagine.