· 2 min read

Copying features and products

An observation of different technology companies

While building a product there is a shortcut which many companies take which is they copy features from others.

It helps companies to

  • Avoid market research
    • They already know who to sell too.
  • Avoid R&D of product
    • They already know the mistakes to avoid.

1 or more of these conditions make this possible

  • The original product is from another geographic location
  • The original product another market.
    • Eg: They serve only premium customers
  • The copying company is so big that they don’t care about copying.
    • Money is all that matters.
    • They have legal teams ready if something goes wrong.
  • The copying company is so small that the large company would not waste resources dealing with it.

Copying sometimes is okay

I don’t think it is as bad to copy once or twice. Sometimes customers demand a product to be a certain way. The company has to put down its ego and listen to its customer.

But I do hate companies that survive only on copying features and do not ever innovate or put their thoughts into the product.

Innovative companies set trends. If you are always copying them, you don’t have an advantage. They do.

Customers start to see the company as a clone of the original.


One’s who usually innovate and make others catch up

  • Apple
  • Tesla
  • Uber
  • Airbnb
  • Google
  • Snapchat

One’s who catch up some times

  • Apple increasing the size of their phones.

Copied because of geographic advantage

  • Ridesharing services after

Copies everything

  • Facebook and its products
  • Reliance Jio
  • Xiaomi and other smartphone makers

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