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Originality

Michael Lewis (in Liar's Poker):
God gave you eyes, plagiarize.
Plagiarism has a negative connotation to it. It is not ethical, one might argue, to plagiarize someone else's work. But it happens day after day.

If a product does well in the market, a dozen others that are similar to it crop up. If a movie or a book does well, several others are made or written that follow a similar plot.

Plagiarism is easy. It is simple reverse-engineering. You know that something has succeeded, and you figure out how to do the same thing and you do it. Of course, patents prevent this from happening to a certain extent, but there is so much that is outside the ambit of patents (and rightly so).

Shipping an original idea is hard. It is risky. There is no way of telling if it will succeed or fall on its face. That is why people only resort to it when the market is saturated with several plagiarized versions of an original idea. There is no need for the hard work until then. There is no need for the additional risk attached to it.

So open your eyes, look around, and plagiarize. Save your real effort for the value that you bring to the table, for your original idea.

After all, there is little point in re-inventing the wheel.
 

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