A copycat entrepreneur sees the success of others and tries to copy them exactly. Their strategies, content, website, product, service, etc are the same.
The mentality here is that ‘since this business is doing great, I can make mine do great by copying all that this business does’
There is nothing wrong with modeling success—it’s actually very smart. There is a fine line, however, between modeling and copying. Modeling success means you see what works and figure out how to make it relevant to your business, and who you are as a person. If you have been copying, get honest and switch from copying to modeling.
The advantage of copycat entrepreneurship is that you get to learn from the pifalls of first movers. First movers tend to have trouble innovating as quickly – they’re dealing with problems, customers, etc. They’re burning through more money than the copycats. So fast followers can simply move more quickly, and benefit from the first mover’s lessons.
However, studying other businesses’ mistakes isn’t enough. Copying almost exactly what others have done isn’t enough. You have to put your stamp and be innovative. That’s how you can succeed.
It might not be so straightforward especially if you’re focused entirely on comparing yourself to the startup you’re mirroring. It is advisable not to lose your uniqueness.
Established businesses captured the hearts and minds of an audience because they’re first in the space, defining it and grabbing all the attention but followers or copycats, need to think more seriously about how to introduce another dimension of product or service, an upgrade to compete with first movers. Also, proper thoughts and considerations have to go into how you’re going to tackle the market, leveraging marketing, PR, social media, etc. alongside technology.
Whether you’re first or not doesn’t seem to determine your chances of success. It is safer to model your startup like an established one out there but do not lose yourself, your values and your uniqueness. Let your business be a better version of the one you envy. Also note that the company you look up to will always make mistakes, you have to be careful not to copy all it does down to its mistakes.
Are you a copycat entrepreneur?