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Copycats: How Smart Companies Use Imitation to Gain a Strategic Edge Hardcover – June 15, 2010
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The author describes many examples of a companies that we think are innovators, when in fact they're imitators. Examples include:
They weren't imitating 100% but took the main concepts and improved on them. The author calls them imovators, companies that imitate + innovate.
I was frustrated with the business community overall because it focused so much on innovation and so little on imitation, when in fact, some research shows that as much as 97.8% of the value of innovation goes to imitators! (source: [...]). Ouch!
Personally, I own a very small business and been lured into thinking I need to 'innovate' and that imitation is bad. Now, when I've learned that imitation is OKAY (within legal boundaries, the author says upfront he speaks about legal, not illegal imitation) I found many profitable opportunities around me. I started to look at various trends and realize how big of a potential there is out there. This book made me see a world I never dared to see before.
If you already understand that copying is the norm in business, I suggest you skip this book.