Just about every software idea I can come up with is already being done by 27 other companies, half of which already have venture funding or were somehow founded 180 years ago and launched this exact product in 1949. It seems impossible to gain an edge on the market, and if I do, it’ll only last a few years before my product is obsolete. Starting a new business can be daunting sometimes.
Further, many (most?) software companies, and most software ideas I’ve had, are nothing more than tools that help people use other tools that support still more tools that help someone build a cheap office building even more cheaply where people will go to work to build more tools that support more tools. It can be hard to track down where it ends and actually creates value for a human being. As in, where does the chain of tools stop, with final company in the chain producing mangoes that people eat or couches that people sit on? How much of the technology economy is just tools to make tools to make tools? This feels like a house of cards that will all blow over when AI replaces many of these tools, which it inevitably will and already is in many cases. If and when that happens, a lot of value will be destroyed, and people will be hurt, possibly offsetting any value that was temporarily created in building this house of cards. Sometimes I don’t see the point of it all.
Researching potential software products and many other business ideas makes me want to grow mangoes or build couches. In a sense, that’s what I’m doing with my company Pika, where I’m inventing, designing, and selling new rock climbing devices. I’m planning to have my first Pika product on shelves this winter. This feels incredibly fulfilling, exactly the opposite of building software tools in an overcrowded market.