Rip Off and Duplicate

The problem with the things that we built ourselves is that we become so attached to them that we honestly believe that they can never be replaced. They’re like our babies  – and we don’t throw our babies in the bin..

But what are the consequences of clinging to our old ways of doing things? It means that there are always going to be all these Newer, Better, Faster, More Effective ways of doing things out there but we’re not doing them because we’re welded to our own DIY systems, our babies. We’re stuck in a psychological trap. But although we’re not moving on, we can bet that our competitors are. And they’re the ones reaping the rewards.

Try this out as an exercise… check out the websites for ten of your key competitors. Make a list of every feature on their site that’s in some way better than yours. That shouldn’t be hard, everybody is doing at least some things better than what you are. 

The next thing you should do is some mystery shopping. Get on the phone some of your competitors and ask for a quote. Tell them you need a new air conditioner for a bedroom or some light fittings moved. Pay particular attention to the experience of the call. What do they say? How did they say it? How long did it take them to answer the call? Compare it with how you handle things. 

Hint: don’t use your own phone for this.

There’s this thing called Research and Development. It’s important in any developed economy. There’s even a special tax break for it. It’s usually called R&D. But there’s another meaning for the letters R&D  – it’s Rip Off and Duplicate. And I’m here to tell you that for most businesses who aren’t on the bleeding edge, Rip Off and Duplicate is a much better strategy with far better results.

So, why is this such a great strategy? Well, almost all of the world’s most successful businesses use it all the time. 90% of their success is Rip Off and Duplicate and 10% is based on original ideas. It turns out that this is the perfect mix. 

Isn’t it obvious that when you look at successful businesses you’re constantly seeing similarities in the way they do so many things?

Always be looking at your competitors for better ways to do things. Go out of your way to find out how other people are doing things better than you. Make notes, be a detective. And above all, be willing to toss out your old ideas and replace them with something that’s obviously better.

Be bold and leave your ego at the door. Be willing to throw your babies in the bin.