Coming up with new ideas can be hard. Sure, every now and then we get struck with gems of pure inspiration and boom! Cocaine Bear! Sewer pipe bottle holders! Olive oil in your Starbucks (SBUX)! But day-to-day, new ideas can be a struggle. So silicon Valley tech companies have devised a simple solution: just copy and steal. ✂️
Meta (META) knows this playbook inside out. Last week the company announced their latest feature Meta Verified, which might have felt rather… familiar. ☑️ That’s because it’s strikingly similar to Twitter's idea of paying monthly for ‘verified’ badges, turning us from users into subscribers. Yep, for just US$14.99 ($24 Kiwi bucks!!) a month you can force your baby pictures on your friends with enhanced reach, get access to customer support and receive exclusive… stickers?
Copying ideas is in Meta’s DNA. Not only has the company borrowed ideas from Snapchat (SNAP) (stories), TikTok (reels) and now BeReal (rollcall), but Meta’s very origin is based on an idea allegedly stolen from Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss by Mark Zuckerberg while at Harvard. Meta’s own huge idea, the metaverse, meanwhile, is reportedly floundering. 🐟
And while it sounds bad, stealing ideas and improving on them is a feature, not a bug, of many successful Silicon Valley icons. 🪳 Perhaps the most successful of all, Apple (AAPL), developed some of their juiciest ideas after founder Steve Jobs got a sneaky peek at what Xerox was developing in secret. Jobs was openly shameless about stealing great ideas, once musing that ‘Picasso had a saying, “Good artists copy, great artists steal”’. Unfortunately he didn’t afford Google (GOOGL) the same grace. When Google’s Android operating system copied many of Apple’s iOS features, Jobs vowed to destroy the product, calling it ’grand theft’. 🚨