Business surveys conducted by renowned organizations such as IBM, Boston Consulting Group, PwC, and others inevitably come to the same conclusion that innovation is critical to business growth and profits. However, only 4% of CEOs have implemented an innovation system for their organization. They are reluctant to accept innovation due to failure and uncertainty.

In the past three global studies of IBM CEOs, CEOs consistently said that coping with change was their most pressing challenge. In the IBM CEO Study 2010, CEOs ranked creativity as the most important leadership attribute. The most creative business leaders have an innovation system. However, innovation carries high risk and ties up company resources such as money, time, logistics, and possibly expensive equipment.

These CEOs are constantly looking for a less risky way. Now the look is over. The solution is Copycat Innovation.

What is Copycat Innovation?

Copycat Innovation is about adapting a proven solution to produce innovation, thereby minimizing risk and optimizing success. In short, it’s about taking what works best and improving it.

Copycat Innovation is not about a large-scale imitation of an existing product, service, or process. Creativity and innovation are required. It has a structured methodology.

Copycat Innovation does not challenge copyright. Nor does it imply patent infringement. Copycat Innovation takes advantage of R&D carried out previously and involves the loan and development of existing products, services, marketing systems and technologies to gain a competitive niche in the market.

By applying a 7-step Copycat innovation process, you can eliminate the fears and frustrations that minimize risk and optimize success by making what works well even better.

Why Copycat Innovation?

Presenting ‘breakthrough ideas’ and ‘completely new’ innovations is both tempting and glamorous. After all, success could mean market domination. However, this strategy carries great risks. In addition, it often requires enormous efforts and resources. It is an activity that is complex, expensive, and often shows very little promise of return on investment. Work on the successor to the successful product should begin immediately. This means that the budget for successive research must be increasingly larger than that of the original innovation. Examples of this approach are Intel, 3M, and P&G.

With globalization and the advent of the Internet, there is a new, easier, simpler and more proven way to minimize risk and optimize success. This path is called “Copycat Innovation”. Examples of this approach are Apple in the development of the iPod, iPhone and iPad series of products, Samsung’s business strategy and banking.

The fact is, this approach is not new. It has been carried out by countless successful companies and organizations. But no one had given it a generic name until now. After conducting extensive research, I called this approach Copycat Innovation and developed a 7-step methodology for Copycat Innovation, a methodology that harnesses the amazing power of the global brain through the Internet.

In summary, Copycat Innovation probably offers the best approach for your organization to maintain and grow its competitiveness and strategic positioning in the market because it is:

* Simple to implement

* Low risk as you are adapting or refining a proven solution

* Low cost, as the research and development work has already been done for you.

* Requires far fewer resources, including people, time, money, and efforts

* A fast track to commercialization.

* It is legal and ethical

Examples of Copycat innovation

* Apple: Apple launched the iPad in 2010 refining and adapting technologies from many sources. For example, the first tablet was built by Microsoft in 2001. MIT created touch screen technologies and manual motion systems to turn pages or screens in motion. Of course, Apple also has many innovations on the iPad.

* Samsung: Samsung founder Lee Kun-hee’s formula of being first to market with a copycat product when there is a new opportunity has helped make Samsung a leading global brand over the past decade, with a market value of $ 143 billion. , larger than Intel and Hewlett Packard and equal to the combined value of Sony Corp, Nokia, Toshiba and Panasonic Corp. This is because being an original innovator and creating a new market requires a lot of risk and takes a long time to achieve profitable results.

* Franchise: The franchise is a systematic form of Copycat innovation. According to statistics from the United States Chamber of Commerce, franchised companies have a 97% success rate within 5 years of opening, while non-franchised companies have a comparatively low 48% success rate in its first 6 years.

* McDonalds: White Castle founders Walt Anderson and Billy Ingram are widely recognized for inventing both the hamburger and fast food businesses. However, his copycat follower McDonalds, the world’s largest fast food chain, through his marketing innovation achieves much greater success from his hamburger fast food business.

The 7-step methodology to copy innovation

The 7-step process for Copycat Innovation that delivers results-driven measurable fast-track innovation (KPI) by harnessing the amazing power of the global brain is as follows:

1. Identify the main problem;

2. Adopting Michelangelo’s approach;

3. Do your best best;

4. Innovating the wheel;

5. Sell the Copycat innovation;

6. Implementation of the Copycat innovation;

7. Recognition and Celebration.


Fastcompany and Businessweek magazine have recognized Apple as the most innovative company in the world. He is also probably the most competent copycatter in the world. Steve Jobs, founder and CEO of Apple, openly admitted it during one of his presentations. He said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal. And we have always been shameless in stealing great ideas.”

In his highly revised new book, “Copycats: How Smart Companies Use Immitation to Gain a Strategic Edge,” published by Harvard Business Publishing, Professor Oded Shenkar cited a study over a period from 1948 to 2001 that found that 97.8% of the value of innovation goes to imitators! He calls it imovation (imitation + innovation), which is exactly what Copycat Innovation is all about.

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