April 16, 2024

No one is going to steal your app idea

Let’s Break the Mindset

“What if someone steals my idea?”—by far, this is one of the most commonly asked questions here at Moonward. Often followed by “what if someone beats me to market?” or the famous “what if my idea already exists?”. For complete transparency, they're all fair questions to ask yourself before commencing your software journey.

However, before you’ve even put your theory to the test, or found out if your idea has market demand, you’ve let these questions hinder your progression. Meaning, you’re going to be starting on the back foot.

And look, we get it. It’s a start-up's worst nightmare to hear that their billion-dollar overnight sensation of an idea might have already hit the market. Yet to this day, history shows us that the idea is never the make-or-break of any business. It’s the people behind the company pushing it forward.

To demonstrate this theory, let’s have a quick history lesson.

A Quick Story

It’s widely accepted that Thomas Edison was the inventor of the light bulb in the year 1880. Edison ushered the world into a new era of light and electricity. What's not widely known is that Edison had purchased a patent previously held and filed by 2 men named Henry Woodward and Mathew Evans.

Woodward and Evans had held this patent from 1875 for a little-known invention they called the ‘Light Bulb’. This was a whole 5 years before Edison started tinkering.

Yet, what's interesting about this is that another 3 decades before Woodward and Evans' lightbulb, a fellow named Warren De La Rue created a mystical coiled platinum filament. This coil was then placed inside a vacuum-sealed tube, sound familiar? De La Rue successfully generated a long-lasting light source. However, the bulb for its time was far too expensive to produce in masses in the 1840s. Yes, 40 years before Edison.

Now, if we travel back even further, to 1809. That’s 71 years before Edison even had his light bulb moment. Humphrey Davy placed a very fine strip of charcoal between the ends of two wires. Davy then attached those wires to a battery. The charcoal began to heat and eventually started to glow a bright light. To this day, Humphrey Davy is considered to be the original inventor of the first light bulb.

Now, if you’ve been counting, that’s 71 years and 6 individuals all attempting to create a product. More importantly, all individuals leveraged knowledge from past inventions to improve their own products.

What can we learn from this? It’s that you don’t have to have a 100% original, never-before-seen idea when you want to start a business or digital product. Without the learnings passed down by the 5 inventors before Edison, would he have been successful first place?

This brings me to…

The Mindset Holding You Back

When we fear that our idea will be outpaced by potential competitors or that our idea already exists in the market, it for sure can feel disheartening. These concerns however discredit the amount of commitment and work an individual or company must undertake to replicate your idea, or beat you to market.

To be frank, the likelihood that your idea exists already is very high. Yet, this should not be discouraging one bit. Zuckerberg’s success with Facebook is not down to the ‘idea’. It directly correlates to his focus on providing users with tangible solutions, and not creating novelties. Similarly, Edison's triumph with the light bulb stemmed from his unique perspective and leveraging attempts previously developed.

It’s also worth mentioning that it’s hard to listen to criticism, but the feedback you get is worth its weight in gold. Getting this feedback saves you time and investment resources. All while unearthing the true problems and core market needs. Choosing to ignore this phase can lead to your product misaligning with your market and users.

5 Things to Get You Moving Forward

1. Be User Focused

As we’ve learned previously from Zuckerberg. What made Facebook so successful was its ability to provide solutions to issues that its customers were facing, and then create an engaging and user-friendly experience to the problem.

By focusing on our most important aspect, our customers. We don’t have to guess what they want, but instead, we can provide what they need.

2. Provide a 10x Better Experience

There is always room for innovation, and creativity is that gateway. This is particularly true when building a competitor product.

At Moonward, we test and use competitor apps to influence our pathway forward. What did the product do great? What did it do okay? What did it do flat-out horribly?

By asking these questions we can craft a new interface and experience to outpace the competition and provide a game-changing solution to the market.

3. Take a Unique Angle with Your Idea

To give you a leg up with competitors, taking a new approach toward a common solution shakes up the competition.

We love listing out everything people dislike about products, it’s always the fastest way to understand if a solution needs to be made differently for an industry. This is where we can use our creativity to approach a problem from a new angle and bring new ideas to the table.

4. Leverage What Already Exists.

Leveraging what already exists out there, means you can start to understand a product-market fit far quicker, and if there is room for your idea within the market.

We frequently use competitors' tools to breaking point, pushing them to total capitulation, and documenting our research. This way we can validate pitfalls and room for improvement within particular products.

5. Take the Steps to Start Validating Your Idea

Flat out, seek feedback and get answers from your customers. There is nothing worse than releasing a product to an empty market where not a soul knows who you are, or what your product is. Even worse, hedging your bets against an idea you think people want.

Seeking feedback, getting answers, and putting the product in a user’s hand are the only way you can get data to back up your ideas. I’m not saying that you should tell everyone about every step you take, but once you have something to show off. Show it, and get the answers you need to make a kick-ass product.

Where to from here?

Use the five moving forward points to drive your product idea ahead. Seek feedback from the market and refine your product-market fit, it’s exactly what we do here at Moonward.

If you're sitting on an idea and feel ready to start turning it into a reality. Drop us a line and reach out for one of our free one-on-one strategy sessions, and we can discuss how we can turn your idea into reality.

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