Dear SaaStr: How Do You Know If Your Startup Idea Already Exists?
Well, of course it already exists.
You really think you’re the only person on the entire planet that has tried to do this? It’s the Fermi Paradox of Start-ups. Of course they have. But — it doesn’t mean it matters. Not if they aren’t at scale, or at least getting there, yet.
I suggest the “2-60-Google Rule”. If two of you spend 60 minutes on Google each trying to find a competitor that is at scale. If neither of you can find anything that looks like a real start-up … then don’t let this stuff worry you.
What that probably means is there isn’t a huge competitor than can stop you. And, of course, there will be tiny competitors.
There always are.
And more data here on how 70% of SaaS public companies are just new versions of old ideas:
(note: an updated Classic answer)