We’ve all heard the expression “great minds think alike.” We laugh about it with our friends when we have the same idea at the same time. We hold those moments in high esteem whenever they occur as though the relationship is somehow strengthened by the very act of having the same idea. But what’s truly strange is that people get discouraged when they learn a complete stranger had the same idea prior to their own moment of “brilliance.” It’s the bane of many entrepreneurs to learn that someone else has already developed the same app or business model that they were so excited about just moments before. But rather than get discouraged, entrepreneurs should celebrate those moments as well! Great minds think alike, even without knowledge of one another. So if you find that someone has already developed your brilliant app, take it as proof of concept – proof your idea is brilliant. Give someone a celebratory high five, pour yourself a drink, then get to work evaluating your new competitor. Because unless your idea is the rarest of rare gems, the first step in turning your idea into an app is to learn everything you can about your competition.

In the coming weeks, this short series will take a deeper look at each subsequent step an entrepreneur need to take to turn his or her idea into an app. We’ll start with Step 1 and unpack the critical reasons why you should evaluate your competition, and take a look at some best practices for your analysis.

In Step 2, we’ll discuss some brilliant ways you can get the ball rolling with app design, prototypes and market research without spending a dime. Then in Step 3 you’ll lear some useful tips on how to get your app funded and find investment capital; and in Step 4, we’ll wrap up the series with a detailed guide on choosing an app developer and turning your idea into a fully functioning minimum viable product or MVP. So stay in touch!