Copycats and Endurance

Arvid Kahl writes:

  • Copycats copy the outside, the interface, the product, but never the business. They make a shallow copy, a lossy copy. It’s a form of cargo-culting, really: they imitate a product without understanding what customer needs went into the creation of the product. Copycats rarely have any meaningful insight into the market their copied product will serve.
  • You can’t copy personality and relationships. They might get a few of your customers, but any competitor might have grabbed those. You didn’t have a strong relationship with those customers, to begin with.
  • You can’t copy knowledge and entrepreneurial instinct. The decision-making process that led to your product features is something that has to be understood to be appreciated. Your copycat won’t know WHY you did things; they just see WHAT you did. That lack of foundational knowledge will leave them unable to make meaningful progress without failing a lot.

In his podcast, he discusses these ideas:

200: Justin Jackson — Bootstrapping on Open Standards The Bootstrapped Founder

Justin Jackson has been successfully bootstrapping with a small team throughout the ups and downs of a shifting economy. He even rejected massive clients to be able to keep running a calm and self-funded business. Find out just how important it is to stay independent, resilient, and nimble, and what building on open standards has to do with that.00:00:00 Justin Jackson00:01:24 The world of ideas00:10:32 Understanding the context of advice.00:15:58 The importance of attribution00:20:49 What’s the most important metric?00:25:29 What’s your company for?00:29:56 Having a team that can execute at the highest level00:35:34 The repercussions of decisions00:40:41 Simple things are more resilient than complicated things00:45:26 Platform risk00:51:22 The problem with centralized discoverability01:00:53 The importance of open standardsMy new podcast project: Arvid & Tyler Catch Up / https://catchup.fmThe blog post: The podcast episode: The video:'ll find my weekly article on my blog: https://thebootstrappedfounder.comPodcast: book Zero to Sold: book The Embedded Entrepreneur: course Find your Following: https://findyourfollowing.comFind me on Twitter: by
  1. 200: Justin Jackson — Bootstrapping on Open Standards
  2. 199: The SaaS Solution-Workflow Fit
  3. 198: Rob Fitzpatrick — Tinkerers, Thinkers, and Teachers
  4. 197: Securing your SaaS
  5. 196: Troy Hunt — Securing Your SaaS

You can choose to download the file

I wrote this here because it helps to focus on creating the idea moats. Anyone can blog, but it is essential to draw meaning from whatever you read, and then create interconnected ideas in your mental models. There is no fixed formula of “success”, but it is a constant progress. Copycats in any space will eventually fail because it requires dogged persistence.

Create an idea moat. Start blogging!

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