An American startup that is 90% similar to mine just emerged this year, due to lack of funding in a third world country, I couldn’t get to market earlier

Some important things you need to know first:

– I had a 4 year head-start

– I launched twice

– I have applied to a lot of accelerators, including Y-combinator which I applied thrice. I have also reached out to potential investors and prominent leaders in my project's industry to no avail

– I'm not claiming they stole my idea, this is not a complaint but an open discussion on what I could do next

– My location is part of the problem partially, just at the wrong place at the wrong time

– I'm uncomfortable revealing the industry I'm working in at the moment so I won't name the startups

I started working on a project 4 years ago and built an MVP for it, my years were spent looking for co-founders, a team, and most importantly, investors. I got non of them, it was either promises that went nowhere or no replies at all. As a single founder, I knew it would be hard to bring someone on board with the situation in our country, the idea excited them but not enough for them to put in the hard work or money.

You must be wondering, maybe it was a terrible idea? My spirit was broken multiple times but I knew it had value. You may also think I should've looked for the first users since I built it already. Well it isn't that easy, the project's particular industry requires a workforce behind it, think of it as Uber if it launched without on-boarding drivers or with no drivers at all.

I don't know how to say this without sounding like a pompous douchebag but I blame my country or people whichever way you put it for one reason, the lack of vision. The people I met almost always said the same thing, "We aren't ready for that", "This is complicated" etc.. I take part in the blame because I believe I didn't explain it well or sell it good enough. I noticed my shortcomings and worked on it. Years of iteration (for 1 user, me) currently gives me hope in beating this competition that doesn't even know I exist. I believe I have gained experience by studying the idea, doing surveys, iterating, and by launching twice, both times giving me promising metrics but not being able to sustain it due to the reasons I stated above, a team.

This year I just found a way to launch without any help, self-funded and community-driven, and then I see it, there it was on Product Hunt, by 2 founders. The feedback was amazing, for me I took them all personally without question, I was actually happy because this is something I really wanted to exist, and here it is, backed by investors and funded with 7 figures. This also validated my idea in a way and I couldn't be more happier for them.

If I had a lawyer, I know they would stop me from doing what I'd do next, but I still went with it. I emailed them to congratulate them and imply that I had something similar and would love to share my findings/research, they actually have a position open for a Lead who they'd love to have to bring in their ideas. I requested for a shot at that position too. It was in Silicon Valley so maybe this COVID situation would let me be considered for remote work too. That's what I told my self, that's what I did.

It's been over 3 weeks now and both founders haven't replied, I have mail tracking so just one of them opened my email.

I didn't disclose my findings or links nor did I tell them to lawyer up, I offered help and a consideration for a position which I believe I could do good in. I explained in the email that I understand there might be legal issues but I'm happy to cooperate.

Some questions you might ask:

– Is the idea behind the product that common?

No, almost everyone in the industry misses it, I don't think it's worthless either, just that the current model is working well and I believe it shouldn't be that way. I'm a strong believer at this as a user, the other startup's vision is also the same, they believe there is a standard to set and they did it.

– Why don't you just launch this last version?

That's why I'm here, I'm afraid am being delusional and just need a few voices of reasoning

– Is there a patent on it

Mine? no. Theirs? I don't think there is, I searched for it on U.S patent databases and I don't think it's could be deemed as intellectual property in the first place, I could be ignorant about this I really haven't sought legal counselling

Please do ask questions, I'd love to answer.

TLDR: My startup failed after 2 launches and another one with resources and workforce that I don't have just launched right before I wanted to launch a third, final time

Edit: The other startup is behind a paywall and only limited to the iPhone, mine is free to the users and has a model similar to reddit gold where the content is free but you could still support it. It is also available across all platforms

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Raising Series-A: Where do I Find Other Founders At A Similar Place?

Technical Co-Founder CTO, my company is raising a Series-A we're doing great. I've come to realize that since we've been so successful, the people around me mostly cannot relate and can no longer offer me much advice. I don't know any other technical co-founder who has ever made it this far in the startup world and I'm realizing that I need to build a new community of peers that I can talk to who are going through the same things. I know tons of technical folks, but nobody in a similar spot and most of the tech people I know are actually pretty jaded — they say things like "I don't even take equity any more. I just take cash because options never turn out to be worth anything."

Where should I look?

Ideas I have:

-Reach out to our investors / advisors and ask for intros to other CTOs of companies that they have invested in that are in a similar spot.

-Referrals from my existing network

-Ask around at the local CTO roundtable that I attend

Curious of any other suggestions. When I google around about finding founders all the websites are about looking for a co-founder which I'm not. I'm looking for others who are experiencing similar success and growth.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

I just found out an app exists that is 90% similar to the idea I’ve been working on for months

So I’ve had an idea for a couple years that I recently decided to actually pursue. I’ve built a brand, website and have put a lot of time and some money into it. To my knowledge, there was no service or app for what I had in mind and it’s an industry I am very passionate about so naturally I was very excited.

Today I discovered an app that was launched in Feb of this year that does pretty much what I was planning on doing, just a little more basic and a few less features than I had in mind. The app is something I’d probably try to use myself if I wasn’t trying to pursue my own. I felt crushed. Of course I thought of just scrapping it and moving into the next one, but this is what I want to do with my life and I genuinely care about it; wether I make money or not. I think I’ve convinced myself to keep going and just be better/different than them but it’s still bothering me.

Does anyone have any similar stories to tell? What did you do? How did you deal? Do you move on? I’d love to hear some experiences that might help me gather myself back together.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Feeling defeated – my startup has a similar sounding name that a multimillion dollar company has in my space – they reached out and told me I have to hand over my domain otherwise theyll take legal action

Hey guys,

I’m the owner of a resume critique startup . The idea was to create an AI-driven resume critiquor so people can get their resumes reviewed in seconds.

It only made $ 30 since launch, so I ended up just making the service free. Especially with COVID, I thought it’d help people out that need to get jobs so I put it as a free service, eating up the server costs.

Two days ago (3 yrs post launch), a company in my space, whose name is COMPLETELY different (they rebranded years ago), message me on LinkedIn, telling me that they have a trademark on the name “The (companyname)”, (mine is companyname, so and hence if I dont take it down, they’ll take legal action against me and file a UDRP.

I single-handedly launched this startup in 2017, doing everything from the name, to the branding, to the middleware, to the backend engine that drives the startup. I made $ 30, and this company that’s supposedly a multimillion dollar company is telling me to take it down.

I’m not sure if there is any point of me posting this, except I’m just sad. This is my baby, I put so much into it. And even though it doesnt make shit, I still proudly tell people to go to Yet there’s nothing I can do, except vent. I just feel really, really sad.

And honestly, it’s just pathetic. For a company making millions to go after me and threathen me with legal action, even telling me I must take it down by Tuesday. They rebranded years ago AWAY from that name and have a completely diff name. First the CMO came after me, then the CEO. Pathetic.

It’s a cruel world man.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

When you pitch a product idea to friends and family that is unanimously well-liked, how do you determine if it actually fits a market need especially if the product idea currently does not exist or similar apps exist but not immensely successful.

I've been trying to figure out whether a product idea I have is viable or not and using feedback from pitching the idea to friends and family to gauge the viability of the market and the product. However, my standard of judgment is that because no app that is immensely popular such as instagram or tinder or facebook exists then it must not be a good idea because otherwise it would already exist.

I know this is a really irrational perspective and it is probably the cognitive dissonance in my brain that always prevents me from actually pursuing this idea, so I would like to hear the thoughts of people who actually have went on to build successful (or not) startups. They say founders should have 1000% faith in their idea. While I think my idea is great, I cant stop second guessing myself with numerous reasons as to why it would not be viable for fear of failure.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Is there any database as a service similar to Firebase but for relational data?

I love the idea of Firebase since it takes away one huge thing you have to worry about when building a MVP for an idea that may not even work.

Unfortunately it’s a Nosql database which means it won’t work for more complex data that require relationships.

Are there any services out there that does the same but for relational data?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

A huge company just announced a new service which will be very similar to my startup. Should I continue working on it or just let it go?

I have been working on a new type of e commerce platform since the past 1.5 months and there is currently no company in my country which provides the service that I am planning to give but a huge company probably the biggest in my country just announced that they are going to introduce a very similar service, albeit not immediately but definitely in a few months time. Should I continue working on my startup? I am in an early development phase right now but it will take me just around 1 more month to get my first beta version running.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

How do I know if something similar already exists

I have an idea for a website and I think that it is unique to a certain extent – I couldn't find a similar thing using google. Now, I'm afraid that if I start developing it, in the meantime I will discover that something like that already exists. How do you deal with this problem?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

How to circumvent side deals with platforms similar to tutoring services?

I was told about how tutoring companies can lose money when users first get in contact with tutors and then start to pay them directly on the side for future transactions and don't the service at all anymore. I'm thinking of a similar type of business where we're trying to make personal chefs accessible to people and make it really easy for them to find nearby personal chefs to do various kinds of jobs like one time meals, weekly meal preps, live food cooking at parties and/or catering, etc. but how do we prevent the problem of people meeting a personal chef once, liking them, and then no longer going through our app to conduct transactions with the chef and doing deals on the side, etc.?

We're trying to be almost like an Uber but for personal chefs and try to democratize luxury. How can the clients/consumers continue to use our app even after they meet a chef they really like? Would the easy digital payments system be the reason? Different chefs for different occasions? Can we make a deal where we provide the ingredients (either on our own or partner with grocers like Whole Foods, Publix, local supermarkets, etc. and give the chefs ingredients from there by delivery or let them pick it up) to chefs and they must be paid through our app?

Our main value to the personal chefs is discovery of nearby consumers and growth of their personal businesses, and our main value to the consumers is offering them various levels of services that are affordable for different occasions. We want to make it so that you don't have to be rich or be a celebrity to have a personal chef. And these personal chefs can come from all different kinds of backgrounds and still make amazing food and provide a great service for people — they can do this part time and treat it like freelancing or do this full time too, and what can make users choose chefs is based on reviews of the chef and his/her services, their profile and background, sample menus and specialties and affordable pricing, pictures, etc. We can also add in a search tool where people can add in a very specific dish they're craving and we can give them a list of nearby personal chefs (or restaurants) that can make that dish for them and deliver it or make it at the client's home or offer pick up.

I really appreciate all constructive feedback and advice!!!

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!