How To Choose An Idea If The Solution Already Exists

How To Choose An Idea If The Solution Already Exists

Do you think Google was the first search engine? the first online vacation rental site? Dropbox the first online file storage company?

No. No. No.

Why does this matter?

Because it’s the most common excuse wantrapreneurs like to give for staying on the sidelines.  

“Someone’s already doing this… it already exists.” is their reason.


It’s nothing but a convenient cop-out that keeps you from making your biggest impact.

If anything, I get pumped when I see competitors, especially big ones making bank.

It means there’s a market.

It means I can hire their top staff.

It means I have competition to make me better.

How do you compete?

That’s what I cover in this week’s video.

If you’re still struggling to find a way to make a meaningful dent in your competitive market, leave a comment with your challenges and I’ll reply with my thoughts.

Be sure to provide context so I can be ultra specific in my recommendations.

Here’s to the crazy ones who go into battle when the guns are shooting!



  • Patrick Cohen

    I largely agree with what Dan is saying here, but there’s a big BUT. There are situations that make it virtually impossible for someone new to succeed. One such situation would be trying to enter an existing market with strong existing networks effects. ( E.g.: Building a new sozial network to compete with Facebook is really hard because an empty network doesn’t attract new members). Another one is a consumer facing winner-takes all market in which there exists a brand that was first to get into the consumers mind. Possible to succeed? Yes. Likelihood of success? Really really low. So before starting a me-too company/service/product/brand it is necessary to look at the market and the industry in some more depth…

    • Dan Martell


      Hard, yes – impossible never.

      I just hate when people use that as an excuse.


  • John

    Hi dan.Nice read.Their is this challenge of an already existing mobile money business in my country where people can send money,withdraw money and pay bills using their mobile phones.The current market is more like saturated and you find that its a big entrance to bring a competitive business because many of users are comfortably using the services and the mobile money provider has already established itself covering large parts of the country.My colleague launched his mobile money business but it did not stay for long because customers were like tied to current providers and he closed the business.Mobile money is generating a huge returns but how can someone looking at providing a payment services benefit from the current market?I would be interested to do this but i sometimes reach a point where by the current provider is almost in every sector so coming up with another payment service seems a challenge in making the service adoptable.What are your thoughts?. Because i look at bringing a payment product which at-least can be unique and solve a certain need because the current context users are able to send.receive ,and also pay bills but now challenge is i have been having many of those payment ideas and sometimes you find the adaptability is an issue since one needs to do more than what the current ones are offering.

    • Dan Martell

      John, all innovation needs to be better than the current solution, and typically starts as a singular focused differentiated “feature” – what I call a product hook.

      Something you do a better than the current solution, but doesn’t replicate all features of the current solution.

      Talk to the customers, find their frustration with the current solution, then try and attack that specific pain point with your offering.

      All the best.


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