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:

120: Fear-Setting The Bootstrapped Founder

– Fear-SettingThis episode is sponsored by FE International.Curious about how much your business could be worth and if now is the time to sell? FE International offers free valuations. Go to to learn more. 
  1. 120: Fear-Setting
  2. 119: The Power of Repetition
  3. 118: Building in Public: Maintaining a Positive Self-Image
  4. 117: What Founders Can Learn From Web3 Community-Building (And What They Can't)
  5. 116: Twitter: The Gathering. How and Where to Find the Right Followers

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!