If you’re like me you have a tonne of ideas in notebooks, random text documents on your computer and in your head. Sadly, not every idea is a winner.
Here are some ideas that you should immediately put a red marker through if they are on your list.
Another dating app
Everyone thinks they have the answer to the problem of online dating. You do not. The dating space just like the travel space is highly competitive and larger more aggressive players will crush you like a cockroach.
The dating niche is done and dusted. Your chances of succeeding are almost zero. Your chances of becoming another corpse in the startup graveyard? 100%.
A better Craigslist
Many of us have had this thought at some point in our careers. You are using Craigslist and you think to yourself, why hasn’t someone come along and created a better looking Craigslist?
Just cross this off your list right now. A nicer looking Craigslist is not going to make users miraculously realise how ugly Craigslist is and switch over to your service. There is a reason that Craigslist looks the way it does: perception of value.
The nicer something looks, the more it is perceived by users to be more expensive. People love Craigslist not only because your chances of finding an item you want to buy, service or higher chances of finding a buyer for an item you’re selling but because it looks cheap and good value.
An Uber competitor
Seriously, no. As Uber has proven, even after fundraising amounts of hundreds of millions of dollars and a recent $1 billion fundraising round, they’re still operating in a grey area.
Fighting resistance from taxi lobbyists, transport companies and governments, Uber is having a tough time in pretty much every country, city and locality it enters.
Also keep in mind that Uber has a tonne of competitors all over the world. Competing with Uber is like having the bright idea to try and beat Google at search. It is not going to happen.
The next Facebook
We all know that once upon a time Myspace was the king of the social media castle, then Facebook came along and eventually Myspace faded away into obscurity, even after a redesign and relaunch.
You are probably thinking that Facebook will eventually suffer the same fate and you’ll be poised to take the iron throne once you displace Facebook from it. That is not going to happen.
Even if Facebook lose a few users, they are the largest social network in the world. They are not going down without a fight, they are also public and they are doing everything right.
Facebook is more than a social media site, it is an empire comprised of various enterprises. If one pillar falls, there are many other pillars to keep the company standing.
Another Daily Deal / Group Buy Website
Please for the love of money, don’t do it. The group buy and daily deals niche has been done to death, to the point where any new site that materialises should be immediately incinerated in a dumpster fire inferno.
“But bro, I have this idea for a daily deals website for supplements and protein shakes, the bros are going to love it!”
For a brief moment in time everyone loved daily deal websites, but you know who didn’t like them? Businesses. The daily deal model is broken, it benefits companies like Groupon but the businesses lose out because they’re offering extremely cheap deals sometimes below cost price and the customers are not coming back.
Owned by Facebook after being purchased for $1 billion sometime ago. Nothing can beat the popularity of Instagram, if you’re a female and you’re under 30, there is a high chance you use Instagram to take selfies and photos of your food.
Before Instagram apps existed that allowed you to apply filters to photos and do other things, but nobody was successful in melding a social network with a photo app like Instagram did.
The market here is well and truly cornered. There can’t be anymore innovation in this space, Instagram won and I doubt unless they mess things up for themselves that a competing product is going to offer anything substantially better than the Instagram experience to make people switch.
A general purpose search engine
Google has already got the search game cornered. Yahoo! has somehow managed to stay alive and Bing is happy pottering away with its miniscule market share. Creating a search engine that doesn’t fill a need or niche is a recipe for disaster.
If you think you can compete with Google, Yahoo! or Bing in the general search space with their seemingly large pockets and your pockets that are probably filled with lint and spiderwebs, then I feel bad for you son.
Another travel site
This is one of those highly competitive spaces where you’ll be drowned before you make it to shore. The travel comparison and booking space is extremely competitive and not worth pursuing.
Anything you do that gains traction will be copied by one of the bigger players as they watch your house get repossessed because you invested your life savings into your “travel” idea.
Another streaming service
It took years of struggle for Netflix to get the kind of content that it has now. It has taken Spotify years to get where they are and the kind of deals they have made with rights holders. And yet, both companies still face large amounts of backlash and opposition.
If you have an idea to be the next Spotify or Netflix, get out now before you make the biggest mistake of your life. Unless you’re building a niche streaming service that doesn’t require access to expensive licenced content, there is no hope for you.
Any other startup ideas you think should be on this list? Leave a comment below.