How to find out if my idea for a company already exists?


I have an idea for a company I want to start (based around a product initally). How can I find out if a similar product already exists?


asked Apr 19 '11 at 23:09
138 points

6 Answers


Assume it does. Even if it doesn't, it will.

Now, win.

answered Apr 19 '11 at 23:41
Andy Swan
1,656 points
  • I wanted to know whether a similar product exists to help me validate whether there is a market for my product already, and to find out what sales channels existing vendors have used. the problem I am having at the moment is that I can not find any companies doing the same thing so I am wondering whether there is a market at all. – Zubair 13 years ago
  • With the size of the world, the chance of it not existing SOMEWHERE is like 0%. Assume it exists. – Net Tecture 13 years ago
  • Did you read the description of the product I linked to? I am assuming the product exists. How should I go about searching for it as google has drawn up a blank. Are there any other resources I could use? – Zubair 13 years ago


How can you find out if your idea already exists? GOOGLE IT If you are planning to launch a product, you should have a lot of information about that product. You should already know at least some of the keywords you would use, product descriptions, potential buyers, etc. Use those pieces of information to search Google.

answered Apr 20 '11 at 02:06
Gary E
12,510 points
  • Yes, that was the first thing I did. I posted the question as I could not find the product anywhere using google. However there are many desktop products which exist but are not findable by google as beleive it or not there are companies who sell software who do not even have a web site (I've done it myself in the past) – Zubair 13 years ago
  • If the are companies selling software without a web site, and without any mention on the web, why would you care about them? They won't be competing with your web sales. – Gary E 13 years ago


Step 1) Find potential customers for your product (note: this should nearly always be step one).

Step 2) Ask them (then take that opportunity to tell them about your idea and see how they react).

Then of course there's always the obvious stuff, like Googling and searching Crunchbase.

answered Apr 20 '11 at 02:02
Carson McComas
1,023 points
  • Good idea about crunchbase. Although I guess that is only for new companies – Zubair 13 years ago


Surprised to see nobody has recommended CrunchBase yet. For a new idea of mine I Googled and came up with nothing after countless hours searching. I looked on CrunchBase and discovered a similar startup with poor execution.

For some reason a lot of people seem to think that because it hasn't been around that long, it's no use. But trust me, there are thousands of companies in a wide variety of niches and my idea is something I think is pretty unique and not many people have thought about, hence only finding one bad competitor I plan to maim shortly.

CrunchBase is definitely something you want to consider when determining if a startup exists. Not to mention it gives you info pertaining to any venture capital the startup might have raised and a few other goodies.

answered Apr 29 '11 at 23:58
Digital Sea
1,613 points
  • Good post, I check CrunchBase all the time – Nick 13 years ago


I am sure you already have done the basic... searching on Google. If you have not, then start there, chances are the product or service you are trying to build already exists in some way or another. If it doesn't, then you either have a very cool new idea, or there is just not a market for it.

Good luck.

answered Apr 20 '11 at 02:19
4,815 points


This is going to be a shock: You don't even need to look if someone already implemented your idea. If your idea is good, other five people in the world are working right now on it. If its very good, other fifteen.

No one is so unique to be able to think in something 100% original. The exceptions are ideas far ahead from the market (like tablets, 10 years ago) or with a poor market target (in size or in wealth or in both).

answered Apr 30 '11 at 03:26
Brunno Silva
320 points

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