I just found out an app exists that is 90% similar to the idea I’ve been working on for months

by ZZaddyLongLegzz. Posted on Sep 11, 2020    244    139


So I’ve had an idea for a couple years that I recently decided to actually pursue. I’ve built a brand, website and have put a lot of time and some money into it. To my knowledge, there was no service or app for what I had in mind and it’s an industry I am very passionate about so naturally I was very excited.

Today I discovered an app that was launched in Feb of this year that does pretty much what I was planning on doing, just a little more basic and a few less features than I had in mind. The app is something I’d probably try to use myself if I wasn’t trying to pursue my own. I felt crushed. Of course I thought of just scrapping it and moving into the next one, but this is what I want to do with my life and I genuinely care about it; wether I make money or not. I think I’ve convinced myself to keep going and just be better/different than them but it’s still bothering me.

Does anyone have any similar stories to tell? What did you do? How did you deal? Do you move on? I’d love to hear some experiences that might help me gather myself back together.

EDIT: wow thank you everyone for the replies. I’ve never seen such a positive group of people with constructive comments on Reddit. Thank you all and I will be updating you guys as the process moves.


Comments

WishIWasOnACatamaran 1

Congrats, your idea has been validated by somebody else. Means other people think your idea was good too. Fuckerberg didn’t care that Facebook wasn’t the first social media site.

FearAndLawyering 1

congrats you validated your idea.

if the 2nd guy to make hamburgers gave up there wouldnt be a wendys

  ZZaddyLongLegzz 1

Everyone has given great feedback. This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks everyone, it truly is appreciated and will be our to work.

8483 1

Yahoo was there before Google. Myspace before Facebook.

PackagedWater 1

I know this is slightly unrelated but look at companies/programs like Skype, FaceTime, ooVoo, etc And Zoom came along and is now the main player even though they are charging for services found free elsewhere. First to enter the market doesn’t always mean most successful!

yayofeugo 1

Did you do any market research before you started developing?

JBG20 2

It seems like they did, but never thought to re-do it again. Should keep checking the markets and competition at least once a month. Can understand something slipping through but you’ve got a rival company that’s been in the market for 6 months already!

That’s also 6 months that you could have been using and learning off of their app also. Seeing what works and doesn’t. Reading reviews etc.

chickenroads 1

Sounds like the company you found out about is still very new. You can definitely out compete them & if the market is really there to get enough share to make it worth your time. Possibly even join them.

  ZZaddyLongLegzz 1

This crossed my mind as well. Thanks for the reply

NulliusVanFook 1

So what if there is another app?

-JoeAnderson 2

Right. There may be room for both and still be successful.

Trackzyapp 1

Are they successful? Why? Why not?

Can you do more than they can?

The reasons they are successful may be the same reasons you can be successful. With a different proposition or different value adds you can become a strong competitor.

If they aren't successful you'll really need to see why. Is the core problem you are solving not big enough? Are they not providing the service that people really want/need. Are you?

Look on the bright side. You have a case study for what to do and what not to do.

  ZZaddyLongLegzz 1

These are great points. They aren’t exactly hitting it big yet and I can kind of see why, which makes me feel like I can set myself apart.
Thank you for this reply and I’ll definitely consider all of this.

[deleted] 1

[removed]

jeya212 1

I recommend reading Traction by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares. It'll give you a good idea of how the deciding factor for similar solutions is always traction.

ImSolly 1

Happened to me as well. But like what the rest has said. If it exist it shows that there's a market or need for it. Competition happens it's just what's your edge, your USP.

After which there would be the marketing part. How you want to market it which I'm still learning as well.

Also how you listen to your customers to their needs.

It's only a few months since they launch im sure there are market shares not captured and you can definitely target those.

And also learn from their app itself. What is it they have that you don't? Why do they need it? Is it something you should have as well since the customers might need it?

Keep going. I'm sure you can do it!

rashnull 1

Now read through all the comments and feedback the competition has received on their various marketing avenues and build yours better. If you can contact their users for feedback, do so. Use the app yourself and see where they are lacking; build yours better. Do user studies with 7 - 10 people that would potentially use the competitor; pay them if you have to. Build Yours Better!

owemeadollar 1

Just have competitive pricing and you’ll be fine

SpewPewPew 1

Just because you're not the first doesn't mean you shouldn't try to be the best. History is littered with examples of competing products where the best implemented idea overtakes the first.

IssacRedfield 1

Other people have great comments but remember this as well: Check out the bread aisle? How many different companies do you see making bread? How many companies are pretty much making the same kind of bread that’s only slightly different? What’s the most expensive bread & inexpensive bread you can find?

There’s enough room for everyone. Keep going man. Sounds like you’re already different enough to warrant continuing. Also, don’t give a shit about what the competition is doing. Just do your thing and keep at it.

ggn0r3 1

Doesn’t matter if you’re the first or if you’re the best. The one who can best reach and communicate with the audience wins.

dakuudaddy 1

Are you working on stock market related app?

  ZZaddyLongLegzz 1

No, it’s is not.

All_the_lonely_ppl 1

Try making it more inimitable because if it wasn't for this competitor and you were gaining traction, what would stop an incumbent from rolling out a copy? You don't wanna get facebooked

papaslug 1

You should be happy that he idea has some validation but you should also do what they did and just launch the damn thing. Add those extra features later. Just get started, launch it and get some customers. If you’re not embarrassed by the first release then you’ve waited too long to launch.

erelim 1

Do you remember when we used altavista and yahoo? There should be demand for the product if they are charging and surviving, now work to make ur product better. Competition will be inevitable

Little_Viking23 1

A classic. Happened to all of us.

DancinWithWolves 1

This happens all the time. I know it's disappointing, but it has little to do with wether you should pursue your idea or not.

Having competitors can be a good thing! It (partially) gives you some valodation; other ppl have looked at the problem/solution and market size and decided it's worth pursuing.
They may even be educating some of your potential users for you.

Have a close look at what they're doing, and see if you can learn from them.

As far as I know, there's very little long term advantage to being first to market. In fact, it cab present a few challenges. One thing to be mindful of, as we all should, is market size. Is there enough room for multiple players in the space? If not, it may not be a great idea to begin with.

Keep building it, it sounds like you're passionate about it.

internetMan54 1

Happens with damn near every business tbh

ChrisJones-- 1

I had a similar thing happen to me, but as I am still learning/young, I joined the existing one.

It wasn't part of the plan and somewhat happened by chance, but, I had an idea a year or two ago with no means of making it happen. It was just saved in my ideas book. Fast forward a year or two later, I am looking for a job and a similar app exists, I got in touch with the CEO, we had a chat, a couple of months later and I work for the app now.

In your specific case, I agree with the others, you are already so far in and it sounds like you are very committed, so why not? I just always (honesty) consider what is the worst that can happen. Like you say, it isn't even about the money. So, go for it!

KingSlayer94 1

Even if you are building the same product, you can still beat them unless they have captured a large part of the market. If they have then you need to see if you can improve on their solution.

FR8036 1

The same happened to me a few months ago. I can relate.. However, all it does is boost your motivation even more. Keep going!

_mochi 1

This happen to me a app that was almost identical to my app was bought out by a huge company one month before I launch and only found out about that app cause of the acquisition

Lesson learned was that I didn’t do enough research and was too hyped about my idea

omega_level_mutant 1

Yes, this happened to me, and hell no I didn't give up and run. You will usually find somebody who is doing something similar to you (unless your idea is one in a million), that just means its an idea worth pursuing (reiterating what others have already said). Think about it from a game theory perspective, first-mover advantage does not equate to success in that category. A first-mover also drops a lot of information about their approach that you can learn from and incorporate into your own (myspace vs Facebook).

ifelseandor 1

Everyone said it already. One more time.

Keep going! Do it better! You can!

richard_garand 1

No one gets 100% of any market. Get a few customers and you’ll see there’s still room.

Atomic1221 1

You don't want to be first mover anyway. You want to be "best-mover," that is, unless you have some really unique IP.

perduraadastra 1

See if the app is getting any traction. If not, maybe you can buy them out for a very cheap price. But low traction could also indicate that there isn't much of a market for your idea.

subhajeet2107 1

Be wary if the quality of your competitors is miles ahead and you are not doing anything massively different then i would not recommend persuing the market, these days copying is easy what you can do to differentiate is what matters

knowyourtaco 1

There’s Uber and there’s lyft. Go for it.

panamabee 1

The Beatles didn’t quit when The Rolling Stones came out.

MrJeffdude 1

Having a cofounder is one of the greatest indicators of startup success. Consider building a relationship with this other founder, maybe there’s potential for a future partnership.

Fatbaldman 1

myspace vs facebook

bluenokia2 1

Theres always tons of spaces for improvement, better UX etc. FB is pretty much a MySpace with better UX and features.

trontomoon 1

This is good news for you rather than bad. #1 the market actually exists #2 study your competition and execute better with differentiators / features.

jonadragonslay 1

Healthy competition

Re-Infected 3

Ding ding, that’s called validation. Now the real task begins: crushing the competition...

BetterMouseTrap99 2

After trying to come up with endless app ideas to find out there are already many I had a lightbulb moment, how are most of these app companies doing? I found that some make a huge buck including board members, executives. Having worked in large companies myself I know these companies can't help themselves anymore, they've become cash cows. I knew I was right when COVID came along and they laid off 60% of their development, sales and marketing staff. Of course no executives have been laid off so they can milk the cow further. My app got more traction because I could change way quicker on my own tab. I started my app in a time where single code base and cloud native are matured enough so I can manage with a small team on cents to their dollars. Another thing was that I actually basically copied my competitor's app as an MVP so I did not have to figure out the basic stuff and looked at their reviews what people where missing. So study your competition, and learn from their mistakes.

saaasaab 2

Don't let that stop you. Everything is already recycled from a copy of a copy of a copy. There isn't really an original idea. All that matters is that your go to market strategy is better then theirs. The product doesn't need to be perfect, so i wouldn't try to make is so. Good luck.

[deleted] 2

Yes. I had worked on an idea for months that I knew nobody else was doing (I'm in the industry and know it very well). I'm not kidding you, the night before our launch a major company (the biggest out of the 4-5 main companies offering this service) launched a new 'side' platform that does exactly what we were doing. I knew instantly we were done - no customer is going to choose us over them. We lingered on for a few more weeks, then had a couple of additional minor blows, and I had to admit defeat.

But defeat is not failure. I have another, even better idea. And I'm so much better equipped this time. So much more knowledgeable. I literally had no clue last time around, so I think it all worked out for the best. Those were not wasted months.

I have not felt bad about any of this in the past couple of weeks - in fact somehow my hope and optimism are even stronger. But this evening I've had to refund our (12) customers, tell our contractors who were expecting to start work in a month that the whole thing is off, and close down our Instagram. I would be lying if I said it didn't sting. If somebody wants to bring me a cupcake that's totally okay.

  ZZaddyLongLegzz 1

That’s a scary situation, but It’s very strong of you to admit defeat. I wish you luck in your next endeavor and I’m sure with a strong mentality you will be successful

loracph13 2

As a creative, I often experience the same thing. But one thing I've learned about having ideas is to just start working on them right away. Don't wait for it to become a flawless piece on the first try. And when it comes to applications, I guess you should always aim for launching right away so you'd be the first and then improve it along the way. Customer feedback will help you greatly with it! Like this article said, it's better to be done than perfect and get yourself a partner that will prioritize your app launch as quick as possible. It's a good read and I think it'll give you more ideas for your next one. Here: https://technologyrivers.com/blog/launch-quickly-7-ways-to-get-idea-to-app-store/


I know you'll have a new idea soon! Don't give up!

Circle1001 2

yes i do.. i am launching a community and a month before that i noticed a few weeks later someone did exactly the same thing but apparently 10x better. the good thing is... i dont care about competitors. i only care about users and ESPECIALLY my user experience. so if my user experience is different than what i would like i just proceed

  ZZaddyLongLegzz 2

When you care about the users I feel that gives a real edge

Circle1001 2

jeff bezos: we win because we have obsessive focus on the customer

Voodoomark80 2

Use their flaws to your advantage. Look at their reviews, improve and make something better. If your app offers more value you will do good. Good luck! Share the app once you finish it!

appliedmath 2

Competition drives innovation and overall market value.

Keep going and good luck.

tauriel81 2

This is exactly what happened to the Lyft guys. And to the hundreds of Mattress companies out there. Keep going.

mickaelriga 2

I had similar stories. Sometimes it was already done. Sometimes with time I discovered a difficulty (technical, legal, etc). Once I even found out because the company had an advert running on TV. When I thought it was niche enough. Most of the time I gave up because I did not care that much about the idea.

But in your case, you seem to care so I personally would continue. First of all that is because for me motivation is the number one criteria. I think you will always get results if you feel passionate about it. Way more important than an idea. People overestimate the value of an idea. It is worth something but at the end of the day, execution and motivation are key factors.

I remember having this conversation with a friend who was bragging that he had the idea of the iPad/tablet years before it was invented. Then he probably could have been rich. That is such a deluded way of thinking. Obviously people have been dreaming about a computer that is just operated with a touch screen for decades. I am not even sure it qualifies as an idea. I remember wanting that when I was an 80's kid.

Of course that is an extreme example. But I'm sure you know this one friend. So be thankful that you have motivation on top of the idea.

And second of all to a certain extend, competition actually creates more market. That is why some competitors choose close by places. Burger King near McDonalds. A bank next to another. You get the idea.

In the execution, I am sure you can make a difference. Be better in a way or another. Specialise in your own country instead of being international. Have a more appealing brand. Even having less features means simpler. Even being slightly less expensive.

And for the sake of the argument, even just being the other one may be enough. You would actually be very lucky if you only have one competitor. Most businesses would dream having just one.

Go for it!

omanisherin 2

"It might be a cheeseburger, but it's a quality cheeseburger." -George Thorogood.

Facebook killed Myspace by adding a relationship status button.

Keep going, you'll do fine!

AccidentalCEO82 2

Man, if only the world of business allowed one version of everything. I started a nutrition company. Do you know how many of those there are? If you’re confident your product will be good, do it.

Ancient_Trouble333 2

Mate stick at it. Success is being last, not first.

You can ride the wave of their success and use the example they set to inspire your own corner in the market, differentiating yourself from them.

Who know, worst case scenario they might buy you out! lol

Good luck

NWmba 2

In general this is not a bad thing.

If you’re in a field that is more general like apps for organizing your grocery list, the big question is why there isn’t more competition? Is there really a market for what you want to sell?

If you’re in a field that’s mildly more niche like “app to organize your comic books according to age condition and whether they’re signed by the author” then fewer competitors is good, and it’s good to have market validation by them existing. If you’re not looking for venture funding and don’t have significant marketing budget then try to differentiate. You could split the niche further if it is big enough “we are for organizing comics written in French.” Or widen it “we organize comics and figurines” or just try to be better. Download their app, use it, find what annoys you, and build a fix in your own app for that.

If you’re in a field that’s very niche, it can be the market is still emerging. That was my story, I had zero competitors in the first six months. Now a few years in I have between five and ten depending on who you count. Being this niche is easier on the ego, but you’d best be friendly with them because if you want to exit one day someone needs to buy you. If the market is big enough more will come and if it isn’t, it will consolidate with some players buying others to dominate the market.

Franks2000inchTV 2

Remember when Hotmail came out and no one ever made another web-based email client?

Or how only one company in the world makes cars?

Gman777 2

Just keep going. There are few genuinely new ideas. Its about being the best/ adding the most value, not being original.

dangero 2

Two things to consider:

  1. You might be able to learn something from them as far as how viable the idea really is. They have made an MVP, but that doesn't mean they are making money. They may show you that the idea is not actually worth pursuing.
  2. Elon Musk became co-founder of Paypal when he found out that his company X and Paypal led by Peter Thiel were pursuing the same vision. They met at a coffee shop and decided to merge the two companies. You might want to reach out to them and say hello.
vohzd_ 2

Competition is great. Don't think about what will benefit you as a business owner, think about what would benefit you as a customer. You'd win if you had nothing to do with your own idea in a parallel universe.

  ZZaddyLongLegzz 1

Great way to look at it. Thanks!

stivbg 2

Look at it from a positive side. Check history of their ASO and learn from them. Prepare your app for the organic growth. If you need any help how to do a proper competitive analysis to optimize organic growth, let me know. Good luck!

  ZZaddyLongLegzz 1

Thanks for your reply. I will reach out

Froogler 2

Great. Now find the people who are reviewing it on the app store or on social media and pitch your app.

namenomatter85 2

Bro, don’t act like your idea is magic. The sweat and tears is the muse that determines success. Finish the idea. Learn, improve and do it again even better. You can’t determine something a flop without testing it with people regardless of it the other company already did it.

Ecossentials 2

nice! now you know for sure there is market for your app. I have competitors for my SaaS, and now we GROW around their WEAKNESSES. Like Jeff Bezos said, “your margin is my opportunity”. find their weaknesses and make those ur strengths! this is a blessing in disguise :)

DrDewclaw 2

Like others have said. I was just going to simply comment the following. Execute better.

BigDumbTees 2

Coke & Pepsi. Microsoft & Apple. DC & Marvel. Don’t give up just because there is competition. Figure out your niche or do it better. Carry on!

French_Bulldog 2

Rarely is the first product the perfect product, its commonly added to, removed from, improved upon.

You should feel a sense of confirmation that others are in the field, because it shows that there may be a marketplace for it.

Successful businesses come down to timing, resources, competency, money and time. It's important to be first, but it's more important to be relevant. If your product is more relevant than the other, then you'll have an edge, but it's only a portion of what makes the business successful.

Either way, congratulations on getting as far as you have and I wish you all the very best with your journey.

  ZZaddyLongLegzz 1

Thank you very much

FlatRateForms 7

I invented something during COVID and built a prototype for it. Two days before we has some final touches out on our MVP and I had it in my hands... another company put something witg quite a few less features and hit $250k in under a week. To me that was market validation as our product legit hits on multiple hot buttons and as a whole only shares one core function with the competitor. To me that was huge market validation.

What sector is the app in?

  ZZaddyLongLegzz 1

This is what I needed to hear. I think I was stuck on the idea that I was first and loved that. But finding out I wasn’t, just sucked. If anything I feel better off now.

It’s a service for musicians and the music industry.

[deleted] 1

[removed]

GaryARefuge 1

DM them about this. You should know better by now.

Rule 4

Rule 6

estebancantbearsedno 3

Ronald McDonald didn’t give up when he found out Burger King already existed.....probably.

So don’t you give up!

xeneks 3

Your only issue is what to do?

Things that come to mind.

Ignore them (don’t check to see if the cat in Schroders box is alive or dead). This is the ‘lack of awareness defence’. Many people say that this is a good way. By ignoring your competition and not studying or checking them you can focus on what you believe and what you do best. You’re less likely to be distracted or jealous or disturbed by them (or learn good or bad things from them too). You might develop differently, uniquely, like different animals that had a common ancestor prior to tectonic plate movements pushing apart continents.

You can work with them. This is tricky and has risk and creates fear and concern. It’s collaborating. It’s cooperating. The risk is that you get accused of market manipulation. Price fixing. Uncompetitive behaviour. You might give more IP than you get. Or get more than you can give, and make an enemy out of your former collaborator, or a better way to see it, you might loose closeness with a friend who has helped you a lot. In the real world, it’s useful if you agree on who your customers are and if you have some different customers. And then you can say ‘I’ll help out society here, you help there, and we’ll all share, to advance us, and society, even earth, together. This requires a look away from the typical greed for profits at all costs in secrecy under darkness.

Or do the spy thing. This is a good one. You gather intelligence. And never stop. But you keep it secret. Never disclose what you know. You study them and every aspect of their products, services, business or employees, and of the systems they use and operate within. You don’t need to do anything illegal or disrespectful. You just get smart and ensure that if they don’t care to keep something completely secret, you know about it before most in their company does. The big risk here is you pay so much attention to what they are doing, you forget to mind your own business. And it’s likely to suffer immensely if you stay on this path too long.

Note: you can mix it up and bring in some fun competition. Let the media laugh it out, and create jokes so the public understands it’s more fun than serious. Sadly, people have mostly lost their humour. I think someone pushed a button on a 5g satellite on the surface of Venus and our brains are now as hot and toxic as the gases down there. We need some sort of relaxed humour slider that lets us all know that competition is fun and healthy, and not just to the death or to eternal hatred of each other. I’ve seen people refer to their competition in very serious terms without remembering that competition is supposed to be fun, and that joy in competing is supposed to bring joy and benefits to others, not dangerous street races where no one cracks a smile and brawls at the end.

  ZZaddyLongLegzz 2

I love this reply. Thanks for your words and I’ll consider them all

AdamKyleWilson 7

No 1st to market idea ever dominated market share.

It’s better to be a pillar of quality than the first to come up with an idea. EVERY SINGLE TIME.

In fact being first is often a death sentence for an idea because of the massive marketing you have to do to explain what it is / convince customers they need it. Once competition exists people can say “oh yeah, it’s like product X but better...” they’re already educated & informed buyers.

You DON’T want to be first.

Even second is a massive risk.

If your idea doesn’t exist yet that is a huge red flag that:
a) there is no market for it or
b) there is some reason it’s incredibly hard to pull off (that maybe you aren’t aware of yet).

I’ve advised over 100 startups how to transform ideas into award winning apps & tech products and if I ever work with a startup that has zero competition I advise them to either scrap the plan or invest a ton of time & money into researching WHY it doesn’t exist yet. They always have some blind spot as to why it ain’t in the market yet and most times scrap the plan after doing the research.

That there is competition at all is a blessing / validation from the market. You should be happy someone else is doing it. Hopefully they’re also successful. If they fail that’s also a huge red flag. If your idea is good then there should be PLENTY of market to go around for two players in the game.

  ZZaddyLongLegzz 2

Thank you for all the feedback. This is very reassuring and after posting here I feel better than even before I saw the competition. Especially exploring them even more, they don’t seem to be taking it all the way serious.
Thanks again for the input

Keet_ 5

How many coffee shops are in the world?

If your market is big enough and the problem is big enough then Dive in head first. I launched a product that has 8,000 other companies in the space but we are crushing it because the market is big enough and I can out brand and sell 90% of our competitors

surelyourejoking888 4

I really feel the pain. I was working on a startup with some friends and we had great momentum. However, when we were doing surveys to try and understand our target user, one of the respondents mentioned not just a competing product, but an entire competing industry that we had somehow missed because we didn't know the name for it.

It was a downer for a couple of weeks, but afterwards we came to the same positive conclusion as many of the comments here – seeing competing products makes it much easier to find product-market fit because there is already an example out there. You can then analyse where exactly competition is failing (and what they are doing well), then build your strategy on that information.

Cultural_Beyond8851 8

"Of course I thought of just scrapping it and moving into the next one, but this is what I want to do with my life and I genuinely care about it; wether I make money or not."

This attitude can be a red flag. Certainly is for me. Most businesses fail because the founder is unable to pivot off their "idea" which they have fallen in love with. You have to be brutal with ideas and you need to quickly pass on ideas that where you can't succeed. I've spent years researching ideas only to give them up because I thought someone else would eat my lunch if it took off.

Key is: Barrier to entry. Any idea without a barrier to entry is a tough row to hoe.

  ZZaddyLongLegzz 5

You’re not wrong. However, it’s not that I’m married to this idea and won’t see from the outside in. It’s more of the industry and community that I’m absolutely invested in many ways.
I appreciate your feedback and will definitely take it into consideration.

[deleted] 1

Can you scrap it and move on to the next product WITHIN that industry and community?

GaryARefuge 12

Do it better for specific people.

Recognize that everything results in a unique experience for a person. What will you do to offer and deliver a unique experience to specific people in the market?

​

Hmm?

mickaelriga 1

That is so true. There are many rooms for this. Even sometimes being specific to your country/language. Or even just have less features because it will end up simpler.

It is the kind of advice that I loved from the "Rework" book by Jason Fried and DHH.

  ZZaddyLongLegzz 2

You’re right. I think the initial discovery fucked my mind a bit but you are absolutely right. Thanks for the reply

ccrlop 10

Am very much encouraged reading the comments here.

To offer my 2 pennies, Ive learned one thing though : That Ideas are no longer unique in this business. There's always someone out there doing something similar. So What matters is, how well u can execute, innovate n offer better value than the rest.

To quote wise words from Jim Rohn : "We are paid to bring value to the marketplace"

So keep it going n make it happen 👍😊

  ZZaddyLongLegzz 3

Agreed, these comments truly helped me. Very pleasantly surprised the feedback and look forward to more discussion on this thread.
Thanks for the advice!

genuchelu 9

Most often than not, the market is big enough to accommodate both of you.

First to market doesn’t mean ownership of the market. Think of how many paid todo apps are out there.

Maybe pick a segment and cater to it.

  ZZaddyLongLegzz 7

Very good point. The comments rolling in now are giving me a lot more confidence and this is pretty much what I was looking for. Was bummed for a sec but if anything it may be better for me

towcar 5

Happens all the time. I ran into a similar boat on a project I was 6 months into development on. At the end of the day, good app ideas don't equal success. Smart business, execution, mvp design, beta testing, and more is key to app development success.

Now we are in direct competition with this other company, except they are quite inferior to ours Imo. Except clients/users comparing marketing materials only see feature claims and prices. We now have the challenge of explaining what makes ours better and why we charge slightly more (for now). Though we've recognized these issues early and are making large strides to stand out in an obvious way as well as working on a free tier to undercut their low rates.

The big questions, will yours be different, where are they failing, can you execute better, is first to market really matter that much, and can you pivot to something different. Plus your app might evolve in the beta testing stage which is a must.

  ZZaddyLongLegzz 3

Great reply. Thanks for your words

starcatgirl 57

I've been on the other end of this - writing apps that no one uses way before their time, then a bigger company makes something similar with all the marketing and they win. So it's painfully clear to me that the marketing matters, not the timing.

Circle1001 1

thats true but nowadays you have more marketing power than you used to. so there has never been a better time to start something

Actualise101 2

There is also luck involved. Heck, you can do a half job on a throwaway idea and it happens, but on something you absolutely busted your A on it goes nowhere. It's like throwing dice, you just have to keep rolling.

AdamKyleWilson 6

It’s ALL marketing for 1st to market products! Otherwise how would users know what it is / why they need it if it’s never been seen in the market before?

  ZZaddyLongLegzz 14

Thank you for the comment. This is a great point. The company isn’t exactly huge yet but you mentioning this, makes me think back that I definitely should have heard of them considering all the research and building I was doing. So you’re absolutely right

Suecotero 1

I'm researching an idea myself. What do you think was the key factor in missing a key competitor?

  ZZaddyLongLegzz 3

Well they never popped up in any searches I did and I never heard of them. I belong to several communities that would have at least mentioned it once. So I think their marketing is lacking

Onion_guac 2

Do you think they would have been able to find you yet? Or are aware of your potential competition even now? I’m thinking of my own company (haven’t found very many competitors, only one major one) and wondering if I’ll have the same experience in a few months.

  ZZaddyLongLegzz 1

They def don’t know me, I’m BRAND new not even totally up and running yet. They claim to be a company that will be huge soon so “don’t miss out!” But they’re also very new. It was tough to find them and they have many flaws so I’m not too worried.

Randomename65 61

Pepsi sure as shit didn’t give up when Coca-Cola came out. AllState didn’t close up shop when Progressive launches. Launch your app and fight for your market share. Someone being first doesn’t make them better. TickTok is basically the new Vine. Facebook killed MySpace. First isn’t better.

Zulututu 18

It’s not about who did it first it’s about who did it right!

FurtherConcepts 3

And even then, some things just come down to personal preference.

Like Coke vs Pepsi.

I use some apps over others based solely on the fact that I like the design better, even if it is missing some features.

Flaky-River9823 466

You should be encouraged that others are pursuing a similar idea. If there is someone else working on a similar idea that is positive because it is validation that there is a market. The hard part of a successful business isn’t a great idea, it’s execution of that idea. You just have to do a better job at solving the problem for a customer and communicating your unique value proposition to prospective customers

LightWolfCavalry 1

There's no demand validation like competition!

rommelcedric 1

Knowing that you're on the right track this early is something most people can only dream about. I 100% agree with this advice.

AdhanCorpse 6

Having a competitor doesn't mean there is a market. It means that someone is trying to solve the same problem as you.

UpbeatCommunication9 1

that's a true fact,
if he/she could continue to stick with the vision, the app might reach the targeted goals

jcabaret 5

Exactly!
Having similar products in one specific market is a good sign, and a lot of those products companies are doing fine. They have their small differences and features and that makes the difference at the end. Look at Google and Waze, Messenger and Whatsapp and Signal and hangout and..., running/sports apps, etc.. You get my point ;)

Just make sure to clearly identify your target group and customers' needs, and do better/differently than your competitor. Is it one missing feature? or a particular design? a specific target group? an original language? You have so many ways of differentiating yourself from your competitors and meet your customer's needs.

Just keep up the hard work!

my_apps_suck 7

I know it’s already been said, but you know you’re onto something when competition pops up. It’s not about being first to market, it’s about being best in market. See what you can do better than this other product, and go for it. There is plenty of room for 2s:

  • Uber and lyft
  • greenhouse and lever
  • workday and ADP
  • zoom and whereby
  • Netflix and Hulu
  • iOS and Android
    ... the list goes on
WellYoureWrongThere 9

That's definitely true but you also need to figure out how big the market you are both operating in is.

Questions to consider:

  • Is there room for another player in the same space?
  • How much of a head start have this other company got on you?
  • Can you position your pricing so that you're targeting a different end of the market?
icecremecatsandwich 13

This.

Let this fuel your drive to compete and offer tremendous value to your customer that far exceeds the price they pay for it and that far exceeds what is available in the market.

And

God speed, my friend

Allmyfinance 95

Should Lyft have stopped working when they found out about Uber? What about Snapchat when they saw Instagram already exists? Great ideas always have more people working on them. Keep. Going.

guyfromfargo 39

To drive home the point even more. Lyft actually came first, but everyone thinks Uber cape first just because their most successful.

SummerRains66 4

... Lyft was founded in 2012, Uber in 2009...

JG98 2

Technically true. Lyft however was formed out of a preexisting ride sharing service from 2007. That business may have been fundamentally different from what Lyft and Uber are though (I'm not sure).

docgravel 1

Zimride was a carpool service. When Lyft launched, they were offering an UberX-type service (anyone with a car can drive strangers around) while Uber at the time was mostly offering a black car professional driver service. Uber somehow seemed to launch UberX within weeks of Lyft launching.

serifmasterrace 6

And though Instagram launched first, they only became a major competitor to Snapchat after they copied several of Snapchat’s key features like stories, facial filters and temporary messages

unconscionable 20

"First to market, first to fail" is often quite true. You can learn from your competition's mistakes without having to make them yourself.

FourtyTwoBlades 96

This.

100% this.

Validation is gold.

Keep up the hard work, watch what they do, and learn from their wins and mistakes.

pumptalottataint 8

Totally. Also go through every one of your competitor’s reviews and write them down. Look for repeated pain points of customers and solve for those. Best of luck