Google wasn’t the first search engine. Facebook wasn’t the first social network. Instagram thrived even though people had been sharing photos all over Facebook for years before it. So if you have an app idea but the likes of it already inhabit the app stores, don’t let that stop you from making it anyway.

Building a successful app takes more than just an idea. It takes vision, execution and perseverance. So yes, what I’m saying is that if you want to make a killer music streaming app, you should, even though there already are a dozen of them. You can always make one better than the existing ones and become the top app in your category. Yes, it’s possible.

How about a little backstory on some of the biggest apps of today?


Given the ubiquitous nature of search engines today, it’s hard to believe that there was a time when all webpages were just individually indexed and had to be searched by their www address. But that’s true, the Web became publicly accessible in 1990, but the first engine showed up only in 1993. And no, it wasn’t Google. In fact, Google stepped into the game only in 1998. There were at least 20 other search engines before Google and you probably remember Alta Vista, Web Crawler and of course, Yahoo! and AOL. If being the first to get the idea was the only scale to success, any of those early search engines would have been at the top today and not the late entrant Google.

Yet Google rose to the top, because it did it better than the others. As the pages on the web exploded, all these other search engines couldn’t keep up, while Google developed a ranking system that was far more comprehensive and consistently brought better search results.


Not only was it not the first idea of its kind, it wasn’t even Zuckerberg’s own idea, if you believe the Winklevoss Brothers. Legalese aside, Facebook wiped out names like MySpace, Orkut, Friendster and many others to become not just a social network but a worldwide phenomenon. Facebook did not have a first-mover advantage, but still managed to rock the world, because of not one thing but years of evolving.

A modern minimalistic design, a super-intuitive news feed that is addictively engaging, great photo sharing capabilities, easy accessibility and the Facebook API that allowed it to connect will almost all other sites on the web, making Facebook omnipresent and often the easiest one-click sign in on a slew of shopping, entertainment and other sites.