Your unique idea is not unique

& Godzilla Planets


People have ideas every day. It could be someone’s job to think of new ideas, it could be a moment of inspiration, it could be a solution to a problem that has been annoying someone for days/weeks/months/years.

I have a new idea, or notion, most days. These ideas drop in to the ideas-funnel: Some of them I forget almost as soon as I think of them, some I take a step further and research, some go another step farther to feasibility study or proof of concept, some I will start to progress, and fewer (but some) go ‘live’

Ideas funnel

I was always amazed by how often I would have an idea. Tell somebody, not progress it and then one of us would see the same idea brought to life.

I have an idea to open a taco restaurant in Tenerife, Canary Islands. We visit many times per year and the quality of restaurants is getting better every year, but the majority are targeted at the high-end market. I wanted to create a restaurant and bar that has a great reputation for cheap eats and . I made a couple of trips out, and produced a feasibility report.

I told a few people at work about my project and friends in Tenerife and the response was positive. I have investors potentially in place, and I have progressed it to the point where we are trying to find a suitable location. Then I spotted this new restaurant in Luxor Hotel, Las Vegas on VegasChatter.com — Tacos n’ tequila

Taking a look at their site, they have come up with the same name, a very similar brand, similar menu, basically the concept is the same.

This was not the first idea this had happened to me with. I have an idea, research it and someone else has had the idea too, if you can search and find it they have seen theirs through. Of course in the example of companies and restaurants there is a high propensity for this but this also happens to me at work, creating software features, and when discussing cool product ideas.

When you have a unique idea, is it ever really unique?

I believe that based on the size of the Universe there has to be other life forms out there. These could be single celled organisms, lizards, humanoids, or Godzilla-like monsters, I don’t know, but I believe there has to be.

Godzilla Planet

So applying the same reasoning — there are so many people, people with similar experiences, seeing/experiencing the same problems and stimulus, that someone else has to have the same ideas as you.

This is not a bad thing but here is an example. Here is an example of Kickstarter campaigns that are both ‘unique’:

Bumprz and Bezl

Bezl campaign failed ($5k/$15k), Bumprz is on its way to funding ($17k/$25k at time of writing) – the two products are very similar. both solve the same problem, both solve it in almost exactly the same way less the material and final design differences.

Based on this I believe there has to be an opportunity for companies setting up in China with the right processes in place (Big Idea Design @bigidesign ?) to take the most ‘successful-failures’ and produce them knowing there is a target audience.

For example:

TEO (http://kck.st/1egfPI2) a connected padlock. I really like this idea and would have a few different uses for it. But short of a huge surge in support it will not get funded – see Kicktraq’s report (http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/804149834/teo-the-future-of-the-padlock-is-here/) suggesting it will reach around $18k. $18k in advanced purchases, and bearing in mind that Kickstarter does not guarantee you will ever receive the product, is a lot.

If a company that can execute well, with processes in place failed Kickstarter campaigns could become their Research department where consumers show them their propensity to buy goods and services.

Picking the right projects would be key, because no matter what I don’t think anyone needs this Worlds Sexiest Charger