Hi Indie Hackers,
One day I got an idea about developing a release notes SaaS product, but found that there were already products like Beamer and AnnounceKit.
How do you deal with it when you find out that someone has already implemented your idea and is doing quite well? Do you give up on the idea? Or diving into a deeper research?
See their reviews of what needs to be improved.
Or go Niche.
Omkar from 🔥Discountora.com
There's surely one or more things to change and modify the already existing product. Start with the problem, the audience, find another (your) niche and build the product.
That's true, Simona. Find customer's pain points and solve it. I will try to dig more deeply. Thanks.
Having competition is good, Competition serves as market validation.
Now, You can spend some time in the market and notice the problems that are not being perfectly solved by your competition and work on that.
If you are looking for some ideas, you should check https://chromeextensionideas.substack.com/
I spend time in different markets and share ideas based on the problems being faced by the specific markets.
Give it a read.
An idea for you: neither of the two existing products provides auto-translations/localisations. That's what I'm struggling with anytime I'm releasing an update (1x/month). I have 16 localisations of my app so have to take the English copy, translate it in Google Translator and then check the backward translation if it's not a total nonsense (if so, I change the English wording and try again). It's not the same quality as professional translations but small indie businesses like me would be happy with that instead of paying a few hundred $ for each update.
A lot of my ideas have been implemented in some way, and I think it's awesome, because usually my ideas are based on a personal issue I have, and seeing that I am not the only one experiencing it is reassuring.
Generally, what you can do (and what I try to do) is to find your voice when implementing your idea, and to make it a lot better or well-targeted to a specific user segment.
Put a new spin on it! For example with the release notes SaaS maybe make one that integrates directly with Github so every time you merge a change it pushes a new release note.
Or maybe make it an internal tool for enterprise so that the whole business is made aware when changes are being pushed out (i.e. customer service agents aren't caught off guard when devs push out a new website and they're trying to tell a customer how to get around the website).
Or maybe you can add on the ability to archive the website everytime a release is pushed so QA can go back and see what the site used to look like or possibly even rollback at the click of a button.
The possibilities are endless!
Try to find their users and figure out their pain points :)
When I encounter that, after a short disappointment, i feel clarity.
The question is: do you sign up for that product and become a paying user?
Well then maybe you don‘t have the problem it solves or just don‘t care enough.
If you had built it, you might have wasted your time on something you‘re not passionate about.
Or is the product not good enough? The pricing is off?
Then go ahead and make it better.
So it‘s either validation or reflection. Either way, it helps not wasting time.
If there are no competitors then the idea is not validated.
You don't need to own the whole market - you just need a slice of the pie.
It's not always about invention but more about quality and competition.
Everyone has to find their own process for this sort of thing, but when this happens to me I stop looking at the sites, then sketch out how my implementation would work (screens etc) using a marker.
Then I try the apps and see if they do what I needed and meet my expectations. If I think I could bring something significantly better to the table I consider making a competitor, if it's just tweaks I don't want to be a 'copycat' product, so I try to find something else.
You might do something different, but try to have a process, be objective, then make a decision on whether it's worth the (5 year) time investment based on your research.
Matthew, thanks for sharing your personal experience with me. It solved my puzzles.
It is super hard to make something that doesn't exist yet. It usually means there is no market for it.
Ideas are shit, it's the execution that counts. So just make what you want and do something a little bit different than the alternatives you've found.
Yay! Couldn't agree with you more.
Read this by @kitze
The Saddest "Just Ship It" Story Ever
Competition is a sign that other people care about your product, you should be happy that you have competitors. Imagine if you had no competition, that means no one cares about your problem enough to build a solution.
Competition also represents opportunity. And thanks for sharing that story with me. It feels like talking about me. haha.
I'd say: if you think you could do better: easier, simpler or better, don't hesitate to try doing it.
That's what I did with my application: https://datelist.io , and, it worked quite well :)
Thanks, Alexis. That makes sense. Love your clean and minimalistic design on DateList. A great alternative to Calendly. Keep it up!