I once described in great detail an idea for a video game I wanted to create. The person I was speaking to told me about Sid Meier's Civilization. I had never played it before, and it was almost identical to the idea I described.
All that to say, researching prior art before investing a lot of time into a project is a critical skill to develop. Trying to find holes and limitations in existing solutions can be a fun exercise, and it can help to convince yourself and others why what you're building is novel.
If I was deep into a project and someone pointed out something similar, I'd evaluate whether what I'm building adds something new and is viable, and worst case scenario, I probably learned a lot from what I had built up to that point.
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