Stealing ideas from your competitors
No matter how creative we like to think we are, our ideas are simply the product of the information we have absorbed.
In fact, if you ask me, creativity is often an excuse marketers use for being too lazy to bother with their research. Research into the audience, research into the broader industry, and, most important of all, research into their competition.
Never has this been the case more so than now in the digital world. You can see everything – from traffic generation through to their company accounts.
Probably the best example of this is a company called Rocket Internet. If you haven’t heard of the Samwer brothers, aka the clone kings, then you need to set aside half an hour and read their story.
These brothers describe themsleves not as innovators, but as builders of companies. If they see an online company achieving growth in one part of the world they’ll take the idea and either try and improve on it or just replicate it in another part of the world. Their success began in the 90s when they launched a version of eBay in Germany and sold it back to eBay within 100 days for $50 million. Since then they’ve launched versions of just about every major online brand you can think of.
They may not be popular in silicon valley and you may think it’s not how business should be done, but the truth is that they are doing nothing particularly outrageous – copying ideas has always been a part of business – they just do t better than anyone else.
As Steve Jobs said, good artists copy, great artists steal.
See you next time.