“Somebody has already done it.”
Thanks to the internet, almost every business problem seems to have a solution somewhere out there. The internet also makes it easy for that business to scale across countries for virtually no cost. It is tempting to discard an idea that has already been done.
On looking closer, not all aspects of an internet business scale well. When you serve everybody, you neglect somebody. When your customer is generic, you ignore the specific. The interconnected world of the internet gives us several specifics to serve – unique customers to look in the eye and engage in conversation.
Many sensible people would tell you not to start a business around making a search engine. Google seems to be cleaning up that winner-take-all market. Yet, there is enough room in the world of the internet for DuckDuckGo and Ecosia (a search engine that uses part of their revenue to plant trees – 63 million and counting). You and I may not use those search engines, but enough people in the world do.
When your idea has already been implemented, it is proof of its marketability. All you have to do now is to seek out a section of the audience that isn’t served and engage them in conversation.
Who is your competition? Often, it isn’t that internet company that has “stolen” our idea, but the voice inside our head that hides behind that story.