“That was my idea first”
In this business or almost any business with a high level of competition, you will eventually hear the cries from someone stating that their idea was stolen. Whether it was a design knock off, color scheme copy or something as simple as how you market your products. There is always someone waiting in the wings to say how they did it first.
Did you know that almost 90% of all new ideas are nothing more than an improvement on an old idea. That’s right, a way to do it better is what drives our world and subsequently the products that are being created. To actually think that your idea or concept is original is usually far fetched at the least and in most cases, just plain wrong.
Having built and sold several businesses, I have seen a distinct pattern emerge over the years in relationship to the types of people who both complain and those that do not when it comes to the subject of copying something or being copied.
You first have the average person who will create something (improvement on an existing idea) and will hold onto it and guard it like it was their baby. They will constantly be on the look out for anyone who even appears to have something that is even remotely similar. And once spotted, they will climb to the highest roof tops and scream and rave that they were the originator and all else after them is un-original.
Then you have the people that are creative and they just create. They know that others will copy them and with that they are almost proud to be creating and in turn to watch new ideas springing out of their creation.
When Nature Beads was first formed, we had our share of frustrating encounters. Was it hard for us to ignore the others? Oh yes, it was, and we had our share of angry moments. But over time, we have learned that if we create and we are successful, others will follow us. And we will in turn follow others. Now when we see someone duplicating a design, color combination or other idea of ours, we smile and just get busy creating more. It is at these times when our best inspiration comes. It is at these times, where our work ethic gets very strong and we do our best work. If you have no one copying your ideas, that is when you should get nervous. Because it means that you do not have anything that is worthy of inspiring. In a design profession atmosphere, that is when you become concerned.
I remember in our early years, we had a girl named Terah working with us and she was great at coming up with cool acai bead combination names. Then, a few months after the names were online, we would do a Google search for the name of our color combinations and smile at all the people who had already copied our phrase. With that we never got angry, we just laughed and went back to work creating more combinations. We actually become proud now when we see that our ideas are copied or improved upon.
If you are a creator, designer or artist, you will be copied, just get used to it. But at the same time remember, nothing is original and you most likely duped someone else in the first place.
If you are one of the few in the world that actually did something original, then go patent the idea and fight like a dog to preserve what you have created. And if you are a creator, just keep creating and stop looking at the followers.