"For businesses, being good at copying is at least as important as being innovative..." ~The Economist
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Business Advice
iPod, iPhone, and iPad were not the first music player, smartphone, and tablet.
Apple imitated others' products but made them more appealing:
Firms pay insufficient attention to the art of copying. Levitt examined a group of companies whose sales depended on regularly launching new products. None of them, he found, had either a formal or informal policy on how to respond to other firms’ innovations.
So they were often far too slow to imitate rivals’ successes, and missed out on profits. Not much has changed since Levitt’s day. Though copying is fairly common, lots of companies fail to do it effectively. American firms in particular are too obsessed with innovation...
Sometimes it's better to copy than innovate.
Solid business advice from The Economist.