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Is It A Good Idea To Copy An Idea?

copy cat

With the cost of starting up a business in the internet industry being so low, we see a lot of startup clones. I have observed this phenomenon to be more pronounced in India compared to elsewhere.

If a startup begins to do well and create some buzz, there will soon be others mushrooming in all directions. This really makes me wonder if blatant copying of an idea makes the clones fall prey to waste of their time, money and energy.

While there could be contrarian views to the practice of copying ideas but is it really worthwhile?

I have seen numerous ideas in India being cloned; but each to its own fate. While some manage to do well and even better than the original creator, others die.

 So, why are some copied ideas fated to die? Loads of reasons and these reasons also form the basis of “Why sharing your idea is not such a risky thing”.

  1. The Good Idea Myth: Does success come from a good idea alone? No. Time and again it’s emphasized by the entrepreneurship fraternity that a good idea by its own is worth nothing. The real deal lies in execution of the idea. A good execution has the power to do justice to a simple idea while a bad execution can jeopardize a great idea.
  2. Unique Vision: Someone may copy your idea but no one can touch your vision and it’s vision that renders your startup a unique personality, keeps it ahead of the curve and makes it stand out from others.
  3. Lack of expertise: In the lure of being successful, some entrepreneurs end up copying ideas in a domain they are not comfortable with. This makes it extremely difficult for the entrepreneur to sustain himself and to create value.
  4. Success cannot be piggy-backed: The motivation to copy an idea usually comes from the motivation to be as successful as one of the peer entrepreneurs. However, success can never be piggy-backed because of all the reasons mentioned above.

Copying an idea that works doesn’t mitigate the risks for an entrepreneur. If we are going to invest our time, money and energy in something, that ‘something’ better be good.

On the other hand, an entrepreneur’s inclination should be towards an industry. Do you understand the industry well? Do you understand what other players in the industry are doing? Can you think of better ways to do things that existing players are doing or not doing? Are they ignoring some market segments? Focusing on these questions opens the doorway to fresh ideas and creativity that in turn creates a unique value proposition for a startup.

So, do you have any interesting startup clones stories to share? Do share your thoughts, comments in the section below.



While most entrepreneurs claim to contribute to the world through their products/services, is that really their biggest motivator? Would you like to understand your fellow entrepreneurs better? What drives them and what their motivations are?

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NIDHI KAPOOR - Nidhi is the co-founder of She holds an MBA in Innovation & Entrepreneurship from Imperial College, London. Prior to starting, she worked with 2 reputable startups in London. One of the startups was as young as a year old where she was the first hire while another was almost 5 years old. This has been an enriching experience for her in understanding the dynamics and needs of a startup across a broad spectrum.

Nidhi can be contacted at

You can read past articles by Nidhi Kapoor here: Link1 and Link2.



For any advice related to Idea Validation and Marketing for early stage startups, contact Nidhi by signing up as an entrepreneur on FounderMates here.

Article Name
Is It A Good Idea To Copy An Idea?
I have seen numerous ideas in India being cloned; but each to its own fate. So why should you or should you not copy an idea? Why do most copied ideas die?