Moustache

So what do you do when the big guy beats you to the punch?

I have this little project I've been working on in my spare moments the past few months. It's called Monocle, a semi-social bookmarking application designed to be used in groups such as companies, classes and other self-selecting organizations to help find and share relevant information on the internet. Today I found that IBM has developed exactly the same thing. Here's a screenshot of mine (I have to of course warn that it is still pretty early on in development) and here is a screenshot of Dogear. They are uncannily similar, although they both admittedly owe a large amount of credit to del.icio.us.

So anyway, here's my dilemma. I am just a single person working on a project in their free time. IBM is a little larger. It's obvious who has the advantage here. Do I cut my losses and chalk it up as a good learning experience? Do I go ahead and keep working on it and watch it get crushed? Or do I pretend that I stand a chance against Dogear and IBM, "put my head down and power through" (to borrow a phrase from Michael Bluth), and see where this goes?

I'm probably going to do the foolish thing and ignore the 900 lb. gorilla that is going to crush me. I know the industry is full of examples of smaller startups outdoing bigger companies, but that's little consolation right now.

I'd be interested to hear any stories of people who have started out on some grand project only to find a GYM-level company roll out the same product.

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