You start with an (obviously) great idea. You go hunting on the web, trying to find people who are in the same business, possibly the same idea. You find maybe one or two similar services, but come up with great ideas on how to differentiate almost immediately. Things are looking good, let’s roll! A while after, it’s more often than not a TechCrunch post, you read an article about a company doing something very close to what you are working on. You feel somewhat motivated, but also stressed out, they’re ahead. What if they are soon known for being the go-to-place for what you wanted to offer? Time to speed up, you add features, you move faster, you long for early reviews/previews/beta-testers. Feedback is scarce, and not very insightful. You would pay for good feedback. Then, huge investment announcement for this random company you never heard of, they just got shitloads of cash. You, well, you still have your lousy personal bank account, thousands of lines of PHP code and a dream. As days go by, your hyper-excitement fades out, maybe it’s not a good idea after all, maybe it’s a waste of time. You release a tiny preview, nobody cares. So my idea isn’t good enough? Minutes later, your feed reader delivers new depressing updates. Huge investment, everyone’s in it, from Ron Conway, Adreessen Horowitz to Dustin Moskovitz. Panic creeps in. It’s been a long time, the end of year one is approaching. Profit? A few hundred, maybe a few thousand dollars, maybe nothing. And to make matters worse, someone releases a product, with hundreds of thousands of users. Complete nobodies, how could you miss them?? And they do what you do, but they do it really, really good. They have cash, they have an absolute stunning design, the right vision, they are fucking nice on their website and if you weren’t competing against them, hell, you would post that idea all over the internet because it rocks.
People don’t buy products – they buy the benefit.
As soon as people hear about your product, they’ll start forming an opinion about it. You might as well control that opinion and align it with your own goals.