Imitation is flattering.
I think I ran into my first experience with clear act of imitation when y-combinator startup and competitor cardpool launched. Anson Tsai, Cardpool’s CEO & Founder, used our service multiple times even after his website had launched. We even went as far as to send him an email offering to help out with any trade secrets he wanted. He never responded. I’m sure through using our service they learned something, tweaked it a little bit, and made it their own. It was upsetting to see a lot of the same services offered and text rephrased, but I’m glad that they saw us as one of the main competitors in the secondary gift card industry (as they rightfully should!). Consider me flattered.
Copying is lame.
When someone copies what you did, it sucks. This example involves Dan Schoonmaker, copying the same theme that I use for this blog, and then making the same changes. I first met Dan at Coastal Carolina University when he tried to get me to rush Pi Kappa Phi. For the record I rushed Delta Chi, the most swagger-est fraternity on the whole CCU campus. Greek life aside he messaged me a couple of months ago about my thoughts on a startup that he was working on. Maybe I was too honest. I last chatted with him on January 20th [proof].
Back on January 21st his blog still looked like this.
Now it looks like something a little bit more familiar.
Notes: This blog is hosted on WordPress and the theme is free. You can download it here and set it up your own custom wordpress site in no time at all. Or you can choose from the millions of other free themes out there. Dan did nothing illegal by copying what I did. If he was some guy I’ve never met before I could care less. But the fact that he copied exactly what I did after we talked, well it’s just like the article title…
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