My friends and I have been brainstorming lot of ideas in the past month or so. We spent two days to discuss one idea, searched it on web, checked different options, made a rough design and then we found that it already exists.
Because of smart phones and tablets, pretty much everything is out there. We had to come up with some 10 different things, but before we go into design mode, we keep finding similar apps already available. I think the only way to provide successful products is how it functions and how frequent its required by mass of population.
Any thought on it, is it good to go with an idea where multiple solutions are already available on the market? What about press, branding, and advertising?
In my view, you're going about this back to front.
In 2001 I developed the best web based product ever - It even used ajax (even before people called it ajax). We thought everyone needed it . Nothing out there was like it. We spent big bucks on marketing it only to realise that people didn't want to use it. (But those that did ...still use it today).
Moral of the story?
Don't start with a product.
Start with a market and then find a problem that a lot of people have in that market, find a customer - then design the product.
Learn how to market, learn how to research and learn how to sell. Without that, most likely, your idea will get no where.
Remember... every great product out there started with a real need.
Competition proves there is a large market and others are investing significant time and money into that niche. I know two local areas that have a Starbucks AND Dunkin Donuts within 100' from each other. In one case the drive thrus are directly are across a narrow street. When they closed some Starbucks in my area, those stores remained, despite being near competition.
The trick is to create an IMPROVEMENT on something that is already there. Innovation is probably very unlikely. Even in programming, you want to build off something that is already established rather than starting from scratch. Rails, Wordpress, CodeIgnitor, .Net, etc are all starting points for creating a new and innovative web service.
In 2005, it was hard to believe how big MySpace was. In the span of a few years an improvement to their service ate them alive. In 1995, AOL probably had many millions of members, and at the time there was little to no competition. If they played their cards right they could have done the same as Facebook, but they didn't.
Look at Etsy - who in their right mind would think they can compete against Ebay a few years ago? They are doing pretty well now. That service is far from innovative.
If something comes along that offers a better search experience than Google, they will be in for a tough ride in a few years. When Google started they were competing against companies during the dot com boom that had billions in disposable cash. Those are pretty much gone now, or at the brink of absorption. Search was far from an innovation. There were primitive internet search services in 1990.
Moral of the story: Instead of thinking of the next big idea, think of how you can improve something that exists and give people what they want. Look at every web service you use and keep an open mind. Now you go from saying "Its all been done" to "There are thousands of possibilities for improvement."
Also, there is a quick way to find how big your market is:
Google Keyword Tool Put in some keywords and get an instant view of how many people are "hungry" for that type of product/info.
The way you want to start a start up is wrong i feel.
Ideas should come from pain or passion but not like this....................when you want to start a start up think about the pains you faced in the market or think about keeping your passion and interest in the web so that like minded people can use it.
There are many things in this world that need improvements or need to be changed but the way you sit and think ideas is not something which is going to click ....................building a business is an art and great artists feel the essence of art which they design ...................I hope you understand that you need to feel the product which you are doing but you should nto think about the product which you are going to build..........