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The great idea you have is amazing, you’re buzzing about it. Then you read a blog post in your news feed about another start-up that seems to be doing the same thing you are. There goes your dream! Damn them for getting up and doing something you should’ve done!

A great idea stays as this abstract thought in your head unless you take it a stage further. You shouldn’t rush into starting a new business, I guess unless you’re a seasoned pro, but you need to get going with it. The web moves quickly while you’re dreaming…

The problem with the web is that a great idea can be produced and be available for anyone, anywhere in the world with relatively small investment or time. The greater issue is trying to bring something that can clearly differentiate itself from other similar sites or services. Seeing what potential competitors are doing early on is actually a really positive thing; you can see how companies in that markets space are working; who their audience is and try and break down their strengths and weaknesses. This ultimately can either help you to hone your idea or realise the maybe this wasn’t as hot as you thought.

Another company might have a year’s lead time and a recognised name but brand differentiation is really important. By trying to consider a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats) analysis throughout developing your idea, you can be sure that what you have has real potential in the real world as a business.

As good as it can be to revel in a good, old-fashioned plan for world domination, for it to move beyond that, it needs to work out as a business and consider how it can actually survive.

#2 Why should anyone use your site/service?

Find out your competition, learn from them and always be aware or their strengths and weaknesses – especially those of your own idea.

I don’t know about anyone else, but this is really helping me wrap my head around trying to make my ideas come to life ;)

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1st November, 2007