Attack of the Startup Clones: How Copycat Companies are Changing the Tech Industry

Molly McHugh writes a lengthy article reflecting on what copycat culture has done to the global tech industry. Her thesis boils down to the idea that every good idea that works in one spot is going to be copied by competitors and deployed in other spots. What can you do about it? Shrug and hope that your product is better, mostly.

Shrugging is the Most Common Business Tactic

The Samwer brothers and Rocket Internet come up frequently in McHugh’s exploration, for their monstrous success copying American concepts tit-for-tat and deploying them in Europe. Southeast Asia is also a booming place to launch knockoffs, because of how cheap it is to operate there. And in spite of how frustrating it can be for these competitors to make a killing off of stolen ideas, the cost of legal action generally just is not worth it. So really, what can you do about it? Nothing. Clones are just business as usual. You can read McHugh’s piece here:!GZxDw

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