When to move on to a different idea?

I'm still in the "Validation" stage of my IH journey. However, seems like every time I find a potential good idea, a quick google search shows me that there are at least 2-3 apps with the same exact idea/solution as me and is a fully fledged app with millions of downloads and positive reviews. I guess this means that the idea is "validated" since people are downloading these apps and are willing to pay monthly fees.

I know that this means the current niche/space has a good size audience and is large enough to support competition, but I can't help to think why a new customer would choose my future MVP app over something that is fully fledged. I feel that even though I solve the "pain" points of these apps in my MVP, customers would choose something that is fully fledged rather than some MVP that solves a minor pain point. Is it time to move on to a different idea then?

  1. 4

    If you really want to work on the problem, then go find people with that problem and ask them how they solve it. If they don't have one of the apps you found, then find out why not? Try to sell them on using the already existing Apps and see what happens.

    Worst case:
    *) people who don't have the competitor apps are just people who don't have enough pain to seek a solution.
    *) people who get the competitor apps have all their problems solved.

    If it's the "worst case" above, time to move on.


    Otherwise you may learn something in this process that sparks a new idea on how to solve this problem differently than the competitors to reach a different niche or audience. If people who have enough pain to seek a solution are rejecting the competitor apps... there's an opportunity.

    1. 1

      This is great advice. You need to really understand the pains, gains and jobs-to-be-done of the customer. Until you actually speak with customers, you're just guessing that these competitors solve all your customers problems (unless you are an expert in the field you're describing)...

      Another way to look at this is: can you solve the problem faster, better, or more cheaply than competitors?

  2. 2

    This is exactly what we went through 2 years ago. We decided to build a WordPress plugin to help password protect WordPress content (PPWP Pro plugin). The niche is very huge and there are a lot of people are looking for this solution.

    When we Google and some big names show up like Password Protected or Barn2's plugins. But we didn't give up. We try to find features that our competitors haven't provided yet. We studied them and offer a better solution.

    And you know what, our Password Protect WordPress plugin receives over 10 thousand active installations on WordPress.org in less than 1-year 6-month operation. And we get Pro users every day too.

    I share with you our experience to encourage you that don't give up on your "validated" idea. Just keep working and providing the best thing for users. And your effort will bear fruit. :)

  3. 2
    1. Niche down further
    2. Use your competitors and see how you can make it better
    3. There is always something out there which shouldnt deter you from starting something similar. By doing 1 and 2 above, you will be able to figure out what your true value proposition is
    4. Test your value prop with your users
  4. 2

    There is a lot of opportunity in taking existing products and niching them down. If an idea is already solved by an existing product and if the product is as you say "full-fledged" it is very likely that the product is serving several groups of users. For a lot of people, the product can be a perfect fit. But for others, it can be just OK and for some, it can be bad, but they use it because they don't know any better. Your goal is to identify the last group of people and build a dedicated solution just for them.

    I really like the story behind Less Annoying CRM. @tilikang talks about this in this episode of the IH podcast and I highly recommend it. Basically, they built a CRM, there's a ton of CRMs out there. But they were able to identify a group of users that was unhappy with existing CRMs. Specifically small businesses for which existing CRMs were just far too complicated and would use excel spreadsheets to manage their business.

    1. 1

      I've never really thought about point "it can be bad, but they use it because they don't know any better" and I found it inspiring. An initial approach I can take is to gather all the low-rated reviews and cater my solution towards those. Thank you!

  5. 2

    It's rare to find some products that no one is working on.
    You are right it will be more difficult to attract people away from the existing apps.
    That's why you need to find out what differentiates your products.
    And hopefully, a subset of the existing users will find your products can provide such a big value that they are willing to switch to use yours.
    You should move on to a different idea when you are no longer confident it can work.

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