They stole our idea!

What do you do when a competitor steals from you?

Justin and Jon have the giggles.
  • People in tech get bent out of shape about who owns certain ideas, UI patterns, 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: https://www.generalmagicthemovie.com/
  • 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.

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