Nike Founder Phil Knight

I bought and started reading ‘Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike’ and it has struck me how important it is to be able to copy.

You don’t have to read that twice. Yes…I essentially said it’s a good thing to copy other people.

In Shoe Dog, Phil Knight describes how he borrowed $50 from his father and started importing running shoes from Japan and selling them in the US from the trunk of his car. Today, the company which he founded ‘Nike’ is worth $30billion.

As you read the story in Shoe Dog and as you look around you, you will observe that many successful people and companies grew by copying others.

I should add that they didn’t just copy and infringe on copyrights and other negative things associated with the word ‘copying’.

What many of the successful founders did was to copy concepts, copy models and most importantly adapt them to their own environment.

For start-ups, I really do recommend that you copy and adapt. There is a reason why certain companies are successful and others are not. Successful companies have been able to adapt and grow. Adapting also involves copying ie observing trends and taking on best practices.

Apple, one of the biggest tech companies in the world, actively copies to grow. In the world of apps and technology where everything is changing, Apple allows other companies to pioneer and experiment in various fields. It looks at what is gradually becoming mainstream and copies that concept and adapts it for its growth.

In China, the taxi service, Didi copied the global player Uber. Didi took the concept from Uber and adapted the service for the Chinese market. By the time Uber opened up in China, it found it difficult to compete and Didi ended up buying Uber China.

The point I am trying to make is that copying is not a bad thing (Don’t infringe on anyone’s rights please!).

Copying takes innovation and creativity for it to be adapted. Nations need to copy to grow. Start-ups need to copy models that have already worked…copy, copy, copy.

As you start your working week, look at your industry or similar/competing industries and look at the things they are doing that are successful in the marketplace…yes you guessed it, COPY!

If you have any suggestions or want to share the things that have worked for you, shoot me an email debo@omololuconsulting.com or leave your comments below. You can get Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike from Amazon here.

 Article from Omololu Consulting

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Jean Baclit is a creative freelancer based in Manila, Philippines. She graduated in 2007 with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communication. She has been a customer service professional for 6 years, handled inbound support, back office, data entry and was also an outbound customer representative. She is currently part of the NextStep Services family as a Content Curator and Social Media Manager learning more about SEO. Most of her time is spent with her 1-year-old son.