Coming up with new idea that has never existed is called invention. Inventions have lot of advantages ranging from patent right, trademark or lifetime sponsors. Only few of inventions have occurred in the recent time. How to copy a product is not the way when thinking of invention.
Innovation is improving on what is already existing. This has been the way of coming up with new solutions or products in the recent time. Entrepreneurs innovate existing products to better lives and society.
Great entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Aliko Dangote, Steve Jobs, Mike Adenuga, Strive Masiwa etc are not the investors of their products, they simply innovate.
To intelligently copy a product, as an entrepreneur you have to have to do the following or ask yourself the following questions.
Take a product and criticize it
In Nigeria, you see lots of biscuits and beverages. One taste better than the other. In fact one will have more nutrients than the other and one appealing more than another. The trend is that the manufacturers of the later products got interested in the former and study them. Not just buying, they use, eat, took to lab, test and criticize them. So, to copy a product, the first thing is to have interest in the product and criticize it.
What is or are the problems of the existing product
Steve Jobs did not invent the cell phone, he only took something that has been there long ago and improve on it. Old cell phones was bad, not effective and in fact they are badly designed. These are what he saw and re imagined how it should look like and he came up with the iPhone.
There are so many products we use everyday that need improvement, new design, new hands, new model. The problems or loopholes in these products are so evident and some, you have to go deeper than you can imagine before you can discover their loopholes.
Recommended Read: How to generate simple and unique ideas
How can we make it better
After identifying the errors and problems associated with the existing products, a better model, design should be put in place to make the product better. If the existing product is badly designed, the new one should have aesthetic and modern design. If the existing company has bad customer service, the new one should invest more on trained customer service representatives.
How do we use this in our own context?
Copying a product as an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you copy front to back. How do you make the new product your own? For example, Shola, the CEO of Paystack once said they are indirectly doing what Stripe is doing in Africa. When you look at both product, they have different design, model, mode of operation and even target market, they are completely different. So, as an entrepreneur, you don’t copycat, you re-imagine and bring something new out. You create your own model, own design and build something on your name without copyright infringement.