I once had a discussion with my friends about new business ideas for startup. During the discussion, I threw some ideas and my friends had different opinions on them. One of my friends always judged the feasibility of my ideas because those ideas are not new to the market….
I was curious about my friend’s opinion. He then explained, “It will be hard to compete if there are same products / services in the market because we don’t have experience and cannot gain credibility from the market. Therefore, it is hard to get the market share.”
I saw his point. Basically he was right about the competition. Imagine if we were going to open a Chinese food restaurant in our neighbourhood, it would be very easy to get the customers if there was NO Chinese food restaurants there.
It will be a totally different story if there were several Chinese food restaurants there because there would be keen competitions among the restaurants. People had different choices of Chinese food and hence it took extra effort to attract the customers (eg, better customer experience, better food, etc)
However, I think he is looking at the situation from one side. In fact, I don’t think there are new ideas anymore in our society. Of course, with the development of technology, we will see something new in the future (eg, Wheeless cars in Sci-fi movies), but most of the products / services to-be-appeared in the sooner future will not be new to us.
No More New Ideas, but Ideas Aggregation
Remember when Steve jobs created Iphone, people were crazy about the products. Until now, even Steve Jobs is dead and Tim Cook has turned Apple from an innovation company into a money-making machine, and there are a lot of mobile phones with similar features of Iphone, people still like Iphone.
So why people like this mobile phone when it first showed up? Was it a whole-new idea at that time?
No. Actually I could recall Apple is not the first mobile phone manufacturers developing smart phone. Even for the first smart phone developed, its features were not new to the world – the touch screen was not new, the photo-taking function was not new either.
This explains a very important concept to us – that it does not need a new idea to win the market, but an idea that meets the market’s needs, and those needs might already been handled by several existing ideas.
The market might just look for someone to aggregate some ideas into one big idea.
Don’t Afraid of Similar Ideas, but Learn From Competitors
In fact, it will be good to know that there is competition for a business ideas because it means we have someone to study from.
Just take the Chinese food restaurant as an example again. If there are several Chinese food restaurant in the neighbourhood, it will certainly create a keen competition. However, at the same time, we can see what the other restaurants are doing good and bad. Then, we can make sure we copy the good things and avoid the bad things.
For example, some people might think the existing Chinese food are not healthy as they are too salty and too much oil. People might also think that the hygiene of the existing restaurants might not be satisfactory, or the eating environment there are not comfortable.
By avoiding the above disadvantages of the competitors and deliver the high qualify food to the customers, it is only the matter of time to gain the market share.
Just Bear in mind that there is (almost) no new ideas in the world (for now). Therefore, don’t let the “new ideas” mindset to stop you from moving forward with your ideas.