Most entrepreneurs are aware of the ‘fallacy of a great idea’. You don’t need a great and original idea in order to succeed. I think the fallacy of the great idea is perpetuated by the great ideas that are major home runs. The ideas that are so wildly successful they cause people to say ‘Now why didn’t I think of that.’
It’s very easy for entrepreneurs to get discouraged once they (very quickly) realize that their great idea has already been executed.
However, most successful businesses start out with preexisting competitors; only rarely is someone able to be the first to solve a problem, fulfill a need or even to create one. Once this happens and success is demonstrated, then competitors tend to enter the market and a pyramid begins to build.
Typically with existing ideas there are one to three major players at the top and numerous others vying for market share. But, as I learned in my previous business, a small percentage of the market can be very profitable.
In order to succeed where others are already profitable you have to differ in strategy and execution. Perhaps there is a different share of the market that they aren’t going after. Where is the facebook for senior citizens? Where is the Latino Groupon?
Or maybe they just aren’t executing it as effectively as you envision. Too many clicks to get to point B, too many features, missing features, poorly targeted content or ads. You have to be willing to shift and pivot the great idea. Remember, facebook wasn’t the first social network and google wasn’t the first search engine. Who is going to build the next twitter?