There has been a paradigm shift in how people look at buying and selling. New ideas that faced skepticism and distrust in the past are now welcome, as people are starting to adopt just about anything and everything.
To prove my point, let’s take a look at NoPhone. The product is basically a plastic block shaped like a smartphone. It was an instant hit, with thousands of desperate people mobbing online stores to buy them. They wanted to use the product to comfort themselves when they didn’t have their real smartphones with them.
The company capitalized on the popularity, releasing variants such as the NoPhone Selfie and the NoPhone Air.
Now, if that isn’t a crowd receptive to new and out-of-the-rut products, then I don’t know what it is.
They are queuing up to purchase plastic bricks that don’t serve any purpose whatsoever, for heaven’s sake.
There are plenty of examples in the current startup scene. You have India’s Ola, Southeast Asia’s Grab, and United States’ Uber, among others. You also have Oyo and Airbnb. While I wouldn’t go that far to claim that these ideas were copied from the incumbents, the founders probably drew lessons from their more successful counterparts at some point in their startup journey.
I personally don’t see anything wrong with using ideas from other companies. As long as you don’t violate their IPs or infringe upon their copyrights, there is always room for improving and implementing an idea that someone else has had.
The result? The company managed to operate in three months before collapsing on itself, forcing me to borrow from friends and family in order to pay the interns.