You worked for hours, days, years, only to suddenly find that someone else already has your idea. Maybe your startup idea is taken, but don’t quit so soon!
How many times have you come up with an idea, whether it be for an article, product, game, etc., only to find that as soon as you start putting it into action you suddenly find someone else (seemingly almost the same day has got their first).
Yet you might be able to cope with something small, but what if your startup idea is taken? One you’ve pumped lots of time, money, and energy into?
It’s incredibly frustrating knowing that someone has beaten you to the punch, or at least it feels like it.
Yet, it’s entirely common. Why so?
The reason simply is because our minds are now open to seeing what we didn’t see before. Psychology is at play.
The Psychology Behind Feeling Like Our Startup Idea Is Taken (& Why It Shouldn’t Stop Us)
While it’s just psychology at play it can make us feel like we are too late. It’s common for people to start scrutinizing their own ideas in many ways before taking it towards a more practical and realistic end result, which then becomes potentially scrutinized by other people.
We may even be really motivated towards a startup idea, yet these subconscious mind games still play with us when the dream almost feels reality. Again, this is entirely normal.
We may start doubting our idea, our progress, and look for an easier alternative. Yet, instead of allowing our subconscious fears to take over, we should consider some truths.
It’s likely your great idea was already out there somewhere anyway, or at the very least in someone else’s mind also, yet you wouldn’t know as we often don’t see beyond our current paradigm.
Our vision is quite restrictive to see what is in front of us, but not around us.
This is of course until we start looking for something and bring it to our core, our conscience. Then suddenly, bam, it’s everywhere, almost like common knowledge. Until that point, we may have been quietly and peacefully making safe headway, but then have this sudden weight of reality hitting us.
We may wonder if we were just slow, but no. We just see what is on our minds at the time. When we are focused on something then we likely miss what’s right around the corner, but then as soon as we open towards the next stage beyond our current paradigm we notice things we are then looking for a LOT more.
Why It Really Shouldn’t Matter If Your Startup Idea Is Already Out There
It can feel easier to quit on our idea now, and many people do, but that’s because they take it as too big a hurdle to jump (it’s always easier just imagining an idea than taking it through to startup).
If their idea wasn’t found elsewhere then you may think this is the green light to go ahead, but again we tend to sabotage ourselves here and just assume our idea must be useless if no one has done it yet.
This may sound mellow-dramatic but we seemingly look for ways to avoid taking our vision beyond the idea. Again, they are safer in our minds than when open for ridicule when taken into the world.
We can also suddenly feel unoriginal and predictable when we hear that someone else is further along than we are in the same idea (startup or not).
Maybe our big (or small) idea was truly unique. It might be to us, but there are almost 8 billion people on the planet so clearly, someone is going to be thinking of the same thing at some point.
It really shouldn’t matter if your idea is already out there though, as it likely already is!
Let’s say you had an idea for an article. Even if no one had produced the same material as you before, as soon as published it (assuming it was desired valuable content), then it wouldn’t be long at all before it became common knowledge that someone copied in different words etc.
So, Your Startup Idea Is Taken. Why You Should Keep Going With Your Idea Anyway.
So, what to do?
If you’ve invested a lot of time, energy, or money into something then it’s better to continue and tweak rather than crash and burn (but it’s also wise not to marry your idea and know when to adapt).
If you’ve hardly invested any time then you have more leeway to choose what to do, but just because someone has beaten you to the punch it shouldn’t mean throw in the towel. Don’t quit. Use it as fuel instead.
The world is always adapting and changing, and innovations are forever being disrupted these days more than ever.
This might sound like a good reason to stop and quit, but actually it’s more the reason to keep going.
Think of it this way.
As the world adapts more and more there will always be new ideas, tech, and of course needs, so even if your idea doesn’t fit its original purpose, it might well have to be adapted to other (even better) needs anyway. Ones that aren’t so clear to you at the start of the journey.
It doesn’t mean if someone else is doing the same thing as you intended then don’t do it. Of course, do so, and find a way to add your original stamp, service, experience etc. through your offering, but be open to adapting, as you will then likely see more opportunities than before.
This is why ideas should never be wasted, and we should also be training ourselves to adapt, create and innovate.[hfe_template id=’6177′]
Is My Idea Actually My Idea?
There’s an important distinction to make first as to whether the idea is truly original to you.
There’s a huge difference between someone who comes up with an original idea using their own imagination and experience that then happens to already be out there, to someone simply searching for inspiration and more or less copying what they’ve found, or even developing the idea through unconscious biases.
Even your unique idea will have been formed from experience and from different material you have read before, but it still came from creative curiosity rather than from plagiarism.
As long as you aren’t simply copying someone else then you really shouldn’t give up on it because if you’ve come up with the idea yourself, say for an article, a product, or an experience, then your mind is in a very different place to those who simply copy.
Firstly, you are actively putting your imagination to work, and cross-dividing creative output and logical reasoning together to come up with words from your own source – your mind.
This means you will be able to come up with many more tangible ideas, unlike those who copy.
When your mind is in a creative flow like this you become able to find inspiration anywhere, not from copying an idea already there, but from spotting other needs that aren’t so apparent and applying your own solution to it.
Secondly, your heart is in it. It might sound corny but when your heart is behind something you derive meaning, a purpose forms where you become motivated to keep going, even when the chips land in uncomfortable positions.
To you it’s about the big picture rather than the quick buck, you are more a Nikola Tesla than Thomas Edison, but this doesn’t mean you don’t need the salesmanship of Edison.
The more you get your voice out there the more people you can help with your vision!
Why Should You Think Originally?
When we create with heart our mind is actively seeking to expand to problem solve and provide value.
That is a flexible mind at work. It’s diamond thinking. It’s entirely different from a mind that is in copy mode. It’s a smart 3D printer rather than an old photocopier. Sure the photocopier my keep going and going but its limited in its functions.
If you only come up with an idea from copying others and slightly changing it to make it sound original, you will only be kidding yourself as you won’t develop the capacity to escalate ideas and find a flow of mental exploration that comes from ‘creatical’ thinking, nor will you really see the background that stemmed the idea, the blood, sweat and tears that went into it, the meaning it holds.
While you should never marry your idea and should always learn when to let go, even after success (as this is part of keeping adaptable too), you are always at an advantage when working on something that has your emotional fingerprint firmly on it.
There’s many people in this world who get through life by learning from books, gaining grades and fitting in.
That is completely fine for some people, yet it also leaves many to feel unfulfilled in their jobs and lives.
When you come up with original solutions that just so happen to be out there already, but without your prior knowledge, then you are still adding value to others as you are seeing it from your own experience and perspective. So, don’t feel bad about pursuing it or treading on others toes.
You aren’t in competition with them (even if you technically are in business against each other), you are in the business of adding value to others so concentrate on that, and if your idea is original and meaningful to you then your passion for it will shine through.
People notice when someone really cares for something. They trust you more.
It’s Actually A Good Thing Is Someone Else Already Has Your Idea
We are in an ever-changing world with disruptions happening all the time.
To hear the same message again by someone else isn’t uncommon, and more to the point, isn’t actually a bad thing. It can be refreshing as it helps reiterate what someone was thinking, just from your own unique perspective.
Think about the basic principles of exercise, nutrition, money. There’s countless articles, companies and other resources around these subjects.
Should one personal trainer quit because another personal trainer started earlier, had more of a following, or has similar content?
No. Absolutely not.
Let’s say this is you. You still have value to give. You still can teach them how to workout or enhance their body, and even if the content and subject sounds the same you might well have a completely different take on how to do it.
Again, to emphasize an important point, what you don’t do is just copy the popular material and make it your own.
That gives you no edge and leads you playing catch up constantly. Instead you can think of adding better methods, emerging trends, or your own style to the teaching.
Why We Think We Have To Be The Only One Or The Best?
For a start, it’s drilled into us. All you have to do is look at our very specialized-led world to see how we have been taught that we must have a single expertise to fit in safely, and to be noticed we have to stand out from the crowd.
With a globalized world the local marketplace isn’t your competition, the world can now reach anywhere. Yet, instead of seeing this as an advantageous thing we often take the scarcity over abundance mentality and think that it means only a few at the too will take all the pie.
So we set ourselves out to be more original in desperation rather in natural flow.
This is a bad mistake as it only ends up leading us to follow what is seen as popular and then assume we can adjust it to fit into our personality and worldview. We end up without much of a personality as we become carbon copies of each other doing the same thing as each other, stifling our creativity rather than developing it.
We might want to thank the likes of Google for this. The tools they provide are on the one hand wonderful, yet also frighteningly dangerous for our mental state.
We are able to start a business from a bedroom and turn it into an empire, but that is often the minority.
The majority end up being monopolized and shut out. Those trying to get into that magical ‘number 1’ spot on Google are left disappointed when they see a Goliath like Amazon take over their hard fought spot in a matter of moments.
Anyway, the point is that this specialized technology-led world has created a worldwide competition amongst people to seek attention from others around the world.
People are no longer happy with just fitting into their local community it seems, and local businesses end up getting drawn into the fight to stop their business going under against the likes of Amazon.
So, it’s not surprising that people have been conditioned to ‘back themselves’ in order to survive, but it comes at a cost.
This ‘mountain top approach’ to life creates a perfectionism attitude that lead people to be trapped in life.
While many people put on a bravado in order to be seen as strong, there’s an insecurity that surfaces underneath when dictated by the need to be heard.
So, what has this got to do with someone else already having your idea?
Well it’s about the psychology at play in our minds when that happens.
It can either lead to some people resisting releasing anything due to the fear of whether it would be good enough, and how it might be judged upon or affect their social media status.
Or it can lead people to believe that they are okay in just copying or following a popular trended idea rather than think about the real value they have to give.
So, if you do have an original idea and are worried about someone else already having it, then by now you realize that you are already in a good position for having original ideas, and instead of quitting on it, or worrying about someone else inevitably taking it, you should focus on develop your adaptability (your AQ) to move beyond the trends.
Enter elementor course here
Let’s face it, if you do delay your idea because someone else already has it then if and when you do finally muster up the courage to go with it anyway, then you likely have waited so long that others have come in and taken the thinking to a whole new level anyway with changing trend last (it’s old news).
The importance of adapting with the times whether someone has taken your idea or not only grows.
Remember What Really Matters With An Idea – The Value You Can Give It
If everyone gave up when they suddenly heard there was someone else out there who had the same idea, article, product then there would be a hell of lot of people giving up.
It doesn’t mean rush it just to get something out first, as first shouldn’t matter.
Adding value matters though, so if you are genuine in what you produce and if you hold back the perfectionism critic within, or the expectation on the outside, then you begin to create a body of ideas or content that will have some value, somewhere for someone else.
If you think of the people who become well known for a particular field, they simply didn’t give up. They might have talent, but so might you. Generally what deprecated them was they didn’t give in. They didn’t quit because someone else had the same idea. They didn’t seek to copy others to make their way either. If they did then they would just be the same as everyone else.
We live in a globalised and diverse world today and that is a great thing. In such a world it can feel hard to be original but if you think from within then you are original as no one else has the same experiences and background as you, and therefore you have different stories, knowledge and perspectives you can bring to the table. You have value!
Also, you might think your work is too similar to someone else’s, but that’s because you are looking for the similarities rather than the differences.
Plus, if you just seek to make something that simply fits the current trend, and has no passion or originality to it, then you will likely quit anyway before long.
However, when you think originally you won’t find it hard to come up with new ideas or content.
You will always find a way to make your ideas stand out differently in the long run. You will find ways to add an angle that is unique to you and most importantly, adds value to what others need.
So, with all that said, how does one think originally in the first place? That a topic for our next article.
What To Do When Someone Else Already Has Your Idea
- Firstly, don’t panic.
- If you strongly feel it is stolen then you can begin to gather any possible evidence that would help you prove so (but this is often difficult unless clearly hacked from your computer).
- Ideas can’t be patented. Instead think about the unique angle and value your idea can offer that others don’t.
- Look at the competitions similar idea more closely. How can you adapt it and use it to better your original one. They likely found inspiration for their idea, so while you or they should never directly copy (it doesn’t help your creativity anyway) there’s no harm in finding a positive of inspiration within what they have done with it.
- Drop the perfection and create from the heart, not from whether it is a popular area or not.
- Aim to consistently solve problems out there (whether someone else has or not). A problem solving mindset will likely see even better solutions than your original idea did.
- Embrace being adaptable and diverse in your thinking as the more this world disrupts and produces a fusion of content, information, and ideas the more your originality in how you think will matter.