So I've started working on a personal safety app. There are a lot of bad ones out there but mine has one feature that the others don't have. Recently I found out there is one company doing exactly what I have planned on doing and on top of that they came out of Tech Stars Chicago which is a pretty decent accelerator program that coincidentally has one of my old bosses on their advisory board.
How do I judge this situation? Is their moderate success proof that I should continue development of my app or does it mean I have no chance? They've secured deals with a handful of colleges to offer the app for free to their students. That level of progress makes me think I'm screwed, but I'm curious what other people think.
it's an alarm that will alert someone that you're in trouble if you don't disable it. email, text, robo-call. it's the same as lifeline response's time mode (they're the competitor that i just found out about - i think because they focus on b2b primarily).
wat? I don't know, that sounds like it could be pretty annoying to the average consumer. I have to continuously enter my phone and disable it every so often or else my phone calls for help?
Am I missing something here?
no it works like an alarm clock in that you set it before you are doing something unsafe so that it goes off when you're done doing that thing. like set it for an hour before meeting someone on craigslist to buy something.
Hey man I work for a company that has a really specialized mobile app to interface with industrial hardware in a niche industry.
Essentially, we have the same problem as you, we're a really small outfit and we don't really have anything that sets us to far apart. We're still bringing in loads of money though.
My advice is this: there's always going to be "bigger" people doing something you're doing, that doesn't mean that you can't be competitive.
If you're proactively communicating with the customers, you can uncover feature sets they want and implement them before anyone else. Or if you're creative, you can implement new features people didn't even know they wanted.
Another route is the tried and true method of undercutting. Just sell your shit cheaper and copy as many features as you can. Do slight improvements if you can, but you should mainly focus on being as complete as your main competitor.
Last option, you can do what most others do and just abandon ship. Both options above will take considerable time and effort, and the new market share penetration may not justify it. If you've got other ideas in the pipeline which could potentially be more profitable, go for it.