They stole our idea!

What do you do when a competitor steals your idea? (plus: Justin and Jon have the giggles).
  • People in tech get bent out of shape about who owns certain ideas, UI patterns, and business models.
    • “They ripped off my idea”
    • "They copied us!"
  • This blog post by Justin Mitchell:
  • Good Stackexchange thread:
    • “In the history of science, this is known as "Railroad time". I.e, when the economy has reached a certain state of infrastructure (coal, steel, and land available, plus steam engines and demand for transportation), it's "Railroad time", and the idea of building railroads occurs to many people naturally at the same time.”
  • Documentary:
  • Multiple discovery (simultaneous invention): “the hypothesis that most scientific discoveries and inventions are made independently and more or less simultaneously by multiple scientists and inventors”
  • Synchronicity: “the simultaneous occurrence of events which appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.”
  • Collective consciousness.
  • How to respond if a competitor rips of your idea: 
    • Paul Jarvis tweet: "fathom copycats pop up so often that i've lost count. we honestly don't mind them... they STOKE THE FIRE 🔥 to make our product even better."
  • Hedge against the competition:
    • Build your brand: the way people perceive your company; how “top of mind” are you?
    • Build your audience: competitors can't easily replicate who you know, and who knows you.
    • Customer service: how well you take care of people; how responsive you are
    • Continued product improvement: you don’t have to be the most novel; you just have to show continuous improvement in vectors that customers care about.
    • Last longer than your competition: don’t hire too many people, keep your costs low; if you can outlast your competition, you don’t have to worry about them stealing your stuff.

You can reply to this podcast here:

★ Need a podcast?

  • Transistor allows you to host all of your podcasts in one place.
  • We also offer private podcasts: use them with your team, or on your membership site.
  • Get a 14-day trial here.

Thanks to our monthly supporters:

Thanks to our monthly supporters
  • Pascal from
  • Greg Park
  • Mitchell Davis from
  • Marcel Fahle,
  • Bill Condo (@mavrck)
  • Ward from
  • Evandro Sasse
  • Austin Loveless
  • Michael Sitver
  • Dan Buda
  • Colin Gray
  • Dave Giunta

Want to start a podcast on Transistor? Justin has a special coupon for you: get 15% off your first year of hosting:
★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
They stole our idea!
Broadcast by