I was watching CNBC today when a story came up about a couple of Web 2.0 companies... the first is a well established company (you have all heard of this company) that I've viewed as competition for my current project and the second is a new one that I hadn't heard of. When I conceived of my project, many years ago, there was definitely no competition. Now, in seeing that there is some competition, I was confident that my novel slant on this area would perhaps not blow the competition out of the water, but at least give me a fighting chance to create and capture my own niche. Company number two is doing exactly what I was going to offer... Damn it!
I supposed ignorance is bliss, but that is no excuse for keeping my head so down into the code that I am not aware of others in the field. I thought I had identified all the possible competitors until this one came out of nowhere.... they are VC funded, been around for several years and have a product that they are actively selling. They were even mentioned on Techcrunch in April (I must have skipped that day, sorry Michael!)...
I heard that if you have an idea, 5 others in the world also have that same idea, it's simply up to you to decide to run with it or not. Maybe I should had run with this idea six years ago when I first wrote it down instead of continuing to struggle with Company X?
Fear not, my loyal readers. I've learned a few things from Company X; competition can catch up fast and a CNBC mention does not make a company golden. And after doing the most minimal research on this company's web site, I can already see that they have expenses in body count and infrastructure that I'm hoping to avoid and still provide world class service. I've also got some ideas on how users interact with my product and a different focus of what the product accomplishes that they haven't touched on... yet. Unlike six years ago, I'm a veteran of small company strategy, finance, marketing and have the wounds to prove it.... just ask my wife, Kitten.
I think I'll post a question for my friends over at Found+READ and see if anyone has some advice on keeping my paper bag covered head held high. I just hope the folks over at TechCrunch20 don't have a memory that goes all the way back to April (that's centuries ago in Internet time, right?).