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Google. I’m sure this is the first answer that popped into your mind! Well, obviously, because that’s where we all go with any weird or worrisome questions that we have. Like when we’re wondering if our brilliant, breakthrough startup idea already exists. Well, let’s talk about that a bit, shall we?

Did you know, currently, Google holds more than 90% of the online search market share. However, at some point in history, that was not the case! It’s hard to believe, I know! 

Before Google became the phenomenon that it is today, there were already some (major) players in this game. Yahoo (which was the biggest search engine in the early 2000s), Lycos, AltaVista, and Excite, to name a few. But that didn’t stop Google from entering–and taking over–the market! Do you see where I am going with this?

With the booming startup culture that is gripping the world, around 305 million startups pop up every year! In this scenario, chances are that you’ll face some competition no matter what niche you want to build your startup in. you agree with this, don’t you?

Now here’s the thing – You may have poured your heart and soul into fleshing out a brilliant startup idea…. Only to find out that someone’s got there before you! What a bummer. But hear me out–don’t let this deter you! Take a leaf out of Google’s page and take the plunge! 

Especially since TheCodeWork’s Startup Ecosystem is here to iron out all the obstacles that you might face along the way. 


Click here to know more about India’s first-ever ZERO EQUITY startup ecosystem–and to get your startup on the road!

In this article, let me walk you through some steps on how to find out whether your chosen startup idea already exists. And what to do if it does. 


Let’s find out if your startup idea already exists…

As the age-old proverb goes: “Keep your friends close; keep your enemies closer.”

Or, in this case, your competitors! If you’re all set to dive into the world of business, it’s vital that you know who you’re going up against. 

Let’s help you find out, shall we? Here’s how to go about it.

Step 01: search for relevant patents 

Now that you’re done scouring the internet, it’s time to step up your game a bit. If you have an innovative product idea, you might want to confirm that with the Patent Office

Once again, your search starts with the internet. For starters, here are three things you can do:

  • Try to look for popular patented ideas that are close to your product
  • Search for patents or trademarks associated with keywords relevant to your idea
  • Websites like Google Patents and Patenstscope will give you information about patented ideas that are similar to yours. Try to look up the patent application number or the patent number

Makes sense till here?

In India, the information about any patent application is printed in the Patent Office Journal, which comes out every Friday. 

You can also obtain this data on the Patent Office’s website,

Patent Office

But remember, patent applications are only published in the journal about 18 months after they are filed. Now, this might seem like a lot of hassle. And to be honest, it is. But the good news is – you can outsource all this work to a legal team. 


A team of attorneys will help you in two important ways:

  • They’ll carry out a thorough search to see whether a patent exists that’s similar to your idea
  • If you have a never-before-seen unique invention, they can file the relevant paperwork to patent protect your idea

Easy-peasy isn’t it? 

Hey! Are you looking for a legal team to look into all the legal intricacies for your budding startup? TheCodeWork’s Startup Ecosystem can help with that!

Click here for a free consultation with our legal team now! 

Step 02: Approach Startup Incubators

A startup incubator is a one-stop shop that is specifically created to help young startups grow. Oh, you knew that already? Okay, my bad! But did you check out the Startup India – Incubation program?

 startup incubator

Moving on…

Startup incubators are extremely useful because they have access to a large pool of newly launched startup ventures. So of course, they have vast knowledge about the markets and current trends. You agree with me on this, right?

This in turn indicates that they’ll be able to tell you whether there is a market opportunity for your startup idea. And obviously, if there are other players already in the game. Pretty handy information to have, isn’t it?

But wait! There’s more! Startup incubators can 

  • research the markets and identify the odds you face in your venture
  • help plan a strategy to overcome these odds
  • open the doors to exclusive fundraising opportunities for your business
  • Give you access to useful business contacts and resources that are sure to help you along the way

In fact, even giants like Airbnb and Dropbox used the services of startup incubators in their early days. 

Ooooh, do i sense someone getting inspired by the idea already? 

Then let me ask you,

Are you looking to get an extra hand that will help your startup soar to new heights? TheCodeWork’s Startup Ecosystem is the answer to your prayers!

Get on a call with our team to discuss your company’s future, now!

Step 03: Take a fresh approach– basically, do some market research

  • Swiggy wasn’t the first food delivery app in India. 
  • Kickstarter wasn’t the first ever online crowdfunding platform. 
  • Dell carved out its own niche in the market that already had the likes of IBM and HP.
market research

You’re getting where I’m going with this, right?

So basically, you don’t have to be a pioneer in the market. You just have to take a better approach. Simply because your startup idea is already out there doesn’t mean that you have to abandon it. 

You can start by,

  • Reaching out to potential customers and enquire whether they’ve used a similar service/product before. 
  • Also, ask users what improvements they’d like to see in the product/service in the future. 

You what all these pointers add up to? An MVP approach! (More on this later!)

Pro tip: Coming up next is the most important thing you should do if you want to scope the market for your product idea. And get some valuable customer feedback in the process. 

Here we go!

Step 04: Validate your product idea

This is exactly where you can get a real picture. Perhaps the most crucial step if you’re planning to launch a product/service into the market and need assurance about its success.

You just need to validate the idea–with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

 Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

Here’s a tiny description for people who may not know about MVP:

An MVP is your product’s most basic yet functional version, containing only the core features. Compared with a full-fledged product, it takes only a fraction of the time and resources to build. But the returns are big! 

An MVP has many benefits. To start with, an MVP:

  • Gives you an insight into the market you’re targeting
  • Helps you obtain real-time feedback from early adopters
  • Tells you about the best-performing features of your product
  • Gives you an idea about the direction in which you need to steer your product in the future

In short, validating your business idea enables you to determine whether people will buy your product or service (no matter if a similar product exists in the market or not). Furthermore, it will tell you what your customers think about your product. 

It’s pretty helpful information to have before investing all your resources in the venture, don’t you think?  

Want to test the markets for your brilliant product idea? Check out TheCodeWork’s MVP Development Program!

Click below to know more!

What should you do if your startup idea already exists?

Even if your startup idea isn’t a hundred-percent unique, that’s no reason to abandon it. There is always room for growth and innovation in any market. 

You agree with me on this, right? 

The point is that building a startup always comes with its own challenges, regardless of the level of competition. In order to succeed in a competitive space, the key is to define and deliver on your unique differentiators. 

Basically, find out your USP. 

Here are three effective strategies to do just that:

1. Embrace the competition


If you’re trying to enter a crowded market, you’re already aware that you have to do things better. 

Investigating the current market may provide you with an entirely new set of ideas. Find out: 

  • What market needs are established companies failing to meet? 
  • What are their existing clients complaining about?

You don’t have to fight shy of the competition in order to succeed. Instead, embrace it (play smart, basically)! You already have an existing market for your product/services. You simply need to put your own unique twist on it. 

Really! It’s just that easy!

You can outperform your rivals by using strategies that enhance and add to the existing experience. 

2. Provide more value to your customers


The rules are simple: whoever offers better value wins. 

Luckily for you,  there are multiple ways to boost the value factor of your startup, such as 

  • Going above and beyond to solve a problem for a consumer
  • Listening to your customer’s demands and incorporating them into your products/services
  • Providing exemplary customer service that is receptive and responsive to buyer’s feedback

You might also consider providing specialized services to a smaller customer base within a larger market at first.   

Thinking of strategies to provide more value to your buyers? Have a chat with business experts at TheCodeWork’s Startup Ecosystem to find out!

3. Aim to stand out!

When it comes to starting a new company, the secret behind success is to provide a seamless user experience. Seriously! That’s like the number one way to ensure that your startup stands out from other, similar businesses. 

Here are some steps you can take to build a loyal customer base:

  • Build an online presence  (TheCodeWork’s Startup Ecosystem can help with that!)
  • Develop a creative sales and marketing approach
  • Prepare a blog; get your content marketing game on point – (By the way, did you check out our previous blogs?)
  • And as I just mentioned – provide exceptional customer service, sto build brand loyalty within your customer base. Sounds good?

Don’t be afraid to make your own name in the business.

Remember: Amazon wasn’t the first online bookstore; Google was not the first online search engine. However, they’ve come to represent the standards in their respective markets. With a brand name and identity that can be recognized instantly.

Bottom line

First and foremost, you need to decide whether it’s truly a problem that your startup concept already exists. Keep in mind that you don’t need to have a completely new product/service to make your business successful. All you need to do is – play smart!

With the revival of free market policies, there’s always space for new entrants. So don’t give up! Your original take on an existing idea might just result in the next Apple or Uber! (Think big, why not?)

Want to check out the markets for your stellar product/business idea? TheCodeWork’s Startup Ecosystem is the right place for you! Get everything–be it MVP development, marketing/branding, or funding assistance–under one roof!

Click here to book a free consultation now! 

TheCodeWork Team

Our Content Team at TheCodeWork believes in quality content. We write everything related to startups and products at large. We publish our blog every alternate Wednesday. Subscribe to our newsletter to get notified of our awesome content.

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