Topic: Being a copycat is not an easy task
http://astore.amazon.com/sharwhatcomet-20/detail/1422126730 or click on the book image / link above.
Being a copycat is seen as negative thing, but it has proven to be successful for many companies in China, many people’s favorite Walmart, and Europe’s Ryanair Airline. I agree with Shenkar that not everyone can be successful in copying others. It is not about copying a simple idea, when you try to copy others such as Southwest Airline, you need to be able to copy their innovation, and that is not an easy task, but that is what the Ryanair Airline has successfully done.
What is the benefit of copying others you may ask, well, first, you do not need an R&D department, no need to survey the market if your products will be successful. Therefore, you save money since R&D and surveys are not needed, then you can invest that money into making the product better. Therefore, you not only copy other’s product, but you make it better, thus stand out from the crowd.
HBR.org URL for this article is: http://blogs.hbr.org/ideacast/2010/06/what-copycats-know-about-innov.html