Are you concerned that copycat companies imply an immature ecosystem?
Is your international-based startup community and your respective founders focused on replicating other successful ideas? The Fandango of Lima, Peru. The Yelp of Almaty, Kazakhstan. The Lime bikes of Torino, Italy. These are all examples I have seen in developing startup communities. Yet, I feel a sense of disappointment from the community leaders when talking about these companies. It’s as if they are embarrassed that there are not any newly innovative break-out companies in their metro.
As a community leader do you feel anxiety over local break out copycat startups?
Let me put an end to that useless anxiety right now. Entrepreneurial success comes in many different forms and at different levels. But success is success regardless of what the sector, theme, arc, journey was or is going to be.
Entrepreneurship is fundamentally aspirational. New founders must be able to see themselves in other more mature startup founders. This is why well-conceived co-working spaces are critically important to a startup community – they bring together founders at different stages of their journey. This in turn provides founders of one stage the seamless ability to watch/learn/connect with founders of an advanced stage.
The key insight to remind everyone of is the notion that startup community building is a 20-year journey. In that context, finding wins – regardless of their origin – are great building blocks for your community. Those founders hopefully go on to recycle some of their capital. Those founders go on to advise other founders early in their company’s formation. And those founders become venture capital lightning rods for their next startup.
Entrepreneurial success is success and the lessons learned and shared during that journey aids everyone in the community. So, regardless of the type of company and the origin of the idea, celebrate the successful building of a company and their subsequent exit.
Ideas are fine. But execution is key. Even when copying. I’m
Every time a community leader is not happy about a “copy cat” they’re implicitly saying that Lyft was a bad idea. Vrbo wasn’t worth it. Salesloft shouldn’t exist.
In my experience, competition is a requirement for startups, and “net new” is more likely to fail.
I agree whole heartedly AND I think increased community and industry resilience is another benefit of this approach.
Community is the sine qua non of content marketing too because no one has a big enough team to create all the content needed so best to crowdsource that job as soon as possible. Community, and building online community is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done (and I have cancer), is any content’s force multiplier. All viral content begins with shares by people with lots more followers than you, me, and everyone we know, but those massive influencer cruise ships don’t just trip over your content. Those “mega-viral” agents have farm teams they watch like hawks looking for dinner. Startups often ignore the online community aspect of the businesses they create and that is foolish since that’s were real-world feedback and funding lives (to some greater or lesser extent). Glad you are writing again. Martin
BTW, a little crazy to have a form on your site and NOT have https. I work with Eric Garrison these days and I’m sure we’d add a certificate to your site on us. Eric could share horror stories, but securing heivly.com is a good idea.