A common concern with people creating an app for the first time, is whether or not their idea already exists. And if it isn’t a concern, it should be.
Knowing the competitive landscape in any business venture is extremely important. It is imperative that you understand the market you’re playing in, who your customers are and who you’re up against. There are a few ways you can research your idea. Start with listing out all of the potential terms you can think of that might describe your concept. Now:
- Google it.
- Check Facebook for businesses.
- Check Instagram for hashtags.
- Check Twitter for hashtags.
- Search the terms on LinkedIn.
- Search the keywords on the App Store.
- Search the keywords on Google Play.
- Search if related business names are taken http://asic.gov.au/online-services/search-asics-registers/companies-and-organisations/check-name-availability/ If they are, find their website or Google the company to see what it is they are doing.
- Search if related domain names are taken https://www.crazydomains.com.au or https://au.godaddy.com/. If they are, go to the websites and see what is published there.
- Search if related trademarks are registered. https://search.ipaustralia.gov.au/trademarks/search/quick If they are, Google the trademark to find out more about it.
This is the most basic level of due diligence that every single wannabe app developer should be undertaking. It doesn’t take much time, and can arm you with pretty powerful information.
If an app already exists, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t be successful doing something similar, but it does prepare you for what you need to do to make it successful. Consider the following as a starting point:
- How are you going to make yours better (more fun, engaging, user-friendly, cheaper, a more clever feature, etc)?
- How critical is first mover advantage?
- Do you have enough of a marketing budget to take on big players?
- What can you learn from their successes/mistakes?
- Can you use a similar idea and apply it to a new customer segment?
- Can you take the idea into different regions/countries?
Moral of the story: a little bit of research goes a very long way.