It can certainly be harsh to discover that the app you haven’t even released yet will already have competitors. Below are some of the thoughts that could be running through your head. You thought your idea was unique, but someone else has thought of it. How can you succeed unless your idea is 100% unique?
Maybe a large, well funded company has released an app in this space. How can you possibly compete? Maybe bunch of small, scruffy, low budget developers are releasing apps in this space. Some are even open source. How can you possibly compete? You see a very successful app. Just some stupid little app that you think you, or your 11 year old daughter, could have written in a weekend.
But, obviously, it is too late now. You can’t decide on any idea, because it seems any good idea you come up with is “taken”. In the Fall of 2009, I took a very naive view in my market research. Based on a quick search of the respective stores, I concluded that there was were maybe five apps on iPhone like mine, and maybe only only one or two on Android.
Little did I know that there would be five or six major competitors by the time I shipped, and maybe 500-1000 as of this writing. Some are free, some are open source, and some are publicly traded. If I were of the pessimistic mindset, just looking at that would make me want to crawl back into a corner and cower in fear.