You come out with a novel product. People like it.
And within 6 months a friend comes out with a copy cat product. And the worst part is, you have taught this friend the tricks of the trade.
What will be your reaction?
My reaction: I like my friend more than ever before!
1. A copy cat product is partially a proof of your concept. It says, “Yes, people like this product. And some are even willing to take risk, by making it their business”.
2. While your competitor has lifted your idea, he will not remain dormant. He will add more features to it. In essence this competitor is giving you fresh ideas, which may have not crossed your mind. If the ideas are good, accept them VERY QUICKLY!
3. While the competitor doesn’t remain dormant, he keeps you all the more alert and you are always on your toes in the pursuit of growth.
4. The competitor expands the market pie, forget market share for the time being. More people come to know about your product. And eventually, people will gravitate toward a better product.
5. In the end, the fuel for any business is the passion and courage of the entrepreneur. If you have that and can put that into action, do you think anyone can copy that?
What is your view?
Completely Agree... and I happen to think the exact same way...
Another point is
No one can be as passionate as you are about your business Idea.
i dont think its about idea.
its only about execution
when a monkey copies a man reading a book, he can only pretend to read it....
Alok, couldn't be explained better.. :)
Something I wrote in Nov 2010:
So, I saw the Social Network yesterday and was BLOWN away.
Alok Bhai Amazing its so right.I meet so may people everyday and everyone has an idea and some times I get these from Babies just born.I wonder if these people have any idea about execution and HARD WORK.I just smile inside and say Yeh this is a great idea because I know someone who really thinks its a great idea must be working on it from his garage.
Thanks for sharing
I'm an old-school type ka aadmi - in the sense that I cut my teeth on my family business of Apparel. (Infact I love to tell Alok whenever I got the chance that I'd even applied to him for a job in 2002 at C2W.)
But my point to the copycat argument is, over years of working first for a family business built on ripping off designer garments to "look like" them and create "unique" designs for my customers for about 3% of the cost and doing volumes in the next season on these designs, I have the greatest respect for individual ingenuity.
But as an entrepreneur and a "guy with lots of ideas" I personally think an Idea has no intrinsic worth. I know this because I tried raising money for 4 months frutitlessly with just an idea and a plan in mind with absolutely NO traction / implementation.
Today, I am in the process of raising debt on my own business to build out a brand new idea I've had and seeing it be executed properly to ensure profitable stable business, before I go to town about it.
I'm sure people will ape my concept that promises to bring over 300 million consumers onto the grid. It combines the best worlds of new-age mobile tech and old-age bania logic. It doesnt change consumer behaviour. It just disrupts almost all existing disorganised supply chains.
But competition doesnt scare me anymore. As you said, Milan, I welcome them. They keep us alive, and kicking. Usually ourselves for overlooking some minor detail or for being inefficient. Another important fact I've learnt is that usually if you have that "how the f*&# does he afford to sell at THAT price and make a profit" factor, you'll be fine. I choose to BE that person. Not bitch about that person.
You still have the first mover advantage. Utilize it.