Don't Worry About Being Copied

The 1 Line Description

Why China ripping off your product might be a good thing!

When to use it

At the design phase.

Key Ideas

* This article is a snippet taken directly from Andy's Blog Post titled "My Street MBA: Lessons learned from Real Time Win

* His LinkedIn Profile gives a view of his tremendous accomplishments as a serial entrepreneur.

** Thank you Andy for your willingness to share this content with the world!

Don't Worry About Being Copied

I hear this a lot when I talk to entrepreneurs. Sign this NDA. I can’t tell you what we’re up to – it’s too good. I don’t want to release the product till this is perfect, otherwise someone is going to copy us.

All rubbish. And usually, in my opinion, this language is a terrible sign to potential investors.

US and European startups PLAN to get copied. Their original strategy docs usually have reaction plans for when it occurs. They take it as a sign of market validation (sure, they’re pissed off, but we live in a Xerox world – with great freedom comes great ability to rip something off). There are even businesses like Rocket Internet that have made hundreds of millions of Dollars simply by copying other products.

If you aren’t copied by China – you're not big enough for them to care.

We were copied within about 8 months of launch. In some ways, we were copied pixel for pixel. I got pissed off. I know Prezence was livid (agencies still come from the culture of creative – where stealing ideas is criminal, not the culture of product – where borrowing ideas, even in little bits, is how it’s done).

I took a screenshot. Patted myself on the back. High fived my imaginary co-founder and moved on.

Don’t worry about being copied. Unless you’re sitting on a cure for cancer, success lies in getting out there and iterating quickly – not in hiding everything until some big reveal (a reveal you usually won’t have the funds to underpin).