From Sam Decker: The Imitation Age

Sam Decker starts out with some quotes from the latest Harvard Business Review, but the golden nuggets of wisdom are all his own…

Here are three principles where I believe imitation is good…

Good imitation is looking for parallels. Parallelism is when you take a principle from elsewhere and apply it to a different situation, perhaps differently. Perhaps it can be called ‘inspired imitation’. Ex: Henry Ford applying the division of labor from slaughter houses to the car manufacturing. Roy H. Williams calls it Business Topology. Jay Abraham calls it something else.

Good imitation is when being unique negatively impacts your customer. For example, there’s no need to get clever with standard navigation nomenclature (i.e. ‘Home’, ‘About Us’, etc.), checkout forms, etc. Copy the online leaders where the majority of shoppers have learned from.

Good imitation is invisible to the customer but adds value to your proposition. For example, I think there are best practices in supply chain and manufacturing. Dell is recognized for this. That simply leads to lower costs for customers. What company would not want to lower costs so they could invest margin in other ways to differentiate, or pass savings along to the customer? Or investing in standards that save money and widen applicability – such as programming in .NET or JAVA.

Decker Marketing: The Imitation Age

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