Recently I put some effort into evaluating niches, but none of them captured me.
However, I think I have some good ideas that in overall could form a usable software. The problems are: the target audience is broad, the market is filled and free alternatives are available.
Hopefully I'm not chasing mirages, and having a small slice from the cake of project management software for small businesses is not impossible.
Can I get along with a weak idea and a good execution in an already competitive segment if I only want to make a few bucks each month?
I would say that if you know going into it that its a competitive niche, you need to make sure that you make a true commitment to it and not give up too easily. Early on things will surely get frustrating and you need to keep at it.
Try to identify an angle that makes you stand out. With project management software, some of those packages can be overly complex for small businesses so if you could provide value by making things simple that could help you stand out.
Also, customer service is important. While there may be free alternatives out there, the customer service could be lacking in those products so you can capitalize on that.
Finally, being a smaller shop you could also take pride in listening to customer feedback. Implement something like getsatisfaction where users can make feature requests and let them feel like they are part of the product. The important take away here is to make sure the top requests get implemented in a timely manner.
It is worth starting with a weak idea, but the key to execution is refining and improving on the idea. Being able to understand the market you're going after or discovering a new one you didn't think about may happen as well. The ability of your application to integrate with another popular application in a particular niche may be all you need to differentiate your product.
Just don't let the concern over the quality of your idea prevent you from doing something.
Google, Dell and others have proved you can arrive late to the party. The question is whether you really believe in what you are doing and have a unique angle. The critical question is 'why should I buy your new product when there are existing free and commercial alternatives'. If you have a good answer to that, then go for it...
I agree with Whoiskb. Also, the idea of having a "unique" angle is overrated - IMO. That might be something important for us as startups, techies, etc... however, I have found out that most small business people (not tech related) can care less about "uniqueness" in a product. They want the same basic features that most products offer but what they really want is something that actually works, is fast and is priced fairly.
Also, relationships are an important factor, many people favor products because they have an established relationship with the people behind the product or service and other people use a service or product because someone else that they trust has recommended it.
In other words - do not compete with features or spent a lot of time trying to make your product "different" from the competition... just be good to your customers, show them that there is a human behind the product or service and they'll keep coming back.
According to the definition of "weak", I'd so no.
And if you think it's weak, then would you honestly feel good about marketing it to others and telling people how good it is?
You should first spend some time to try to turn the idea from "weak" to "strong" before you waste time on it. Take the idea. Modify it. See if you can apply it to something else. Maybe you can think of a different but related niche where it would work.
Depends on what you mean by weak. If you simply mean small scale projects/projects in an already-saturated market then it's definitely a good idea to execute because you establish a library of methods to draw upon the day you have a strong, complicated idea to execute.
without a business analysis how does one make an assumptive argument of "weak" vs "strong"?