Choose your enemies well, because soon you’ll become just like them. The skinny kid bulks up and ends up looking like the bully. The U.S. sends an astronaut to the Moon, because the Soviets sent one into Space. Google gets into the smartphone business, and Apple gets into maps. Company websites all start using illustrations. Your neighbour gets a Tesla, now you want one too. We go to war over differences, but only when we’re similar enough to compete. Protestants fight Catholics, not Hindus. Facebook copies Snapchat, not Conde Nast. You’re keeping up with the Joneses, ignoring the 92 million Wangs on the other side of the World. “We buy things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like.” - Ramsey.
Copying is easier than invention, and less risky. If it works for them, it’ll work for me too. Ten million people can’t be wrong. Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM. Except of course somebody eventually did get fired for buying IBM, who pivoted out of mainframes into consulting. If you’re contrarian and right, you win. Speaking the truth gains you followers. As your audience grows, the risk of being misunderstood or actively sabotaged grows exponentially. Fame brings fortune, so now you have something to lose. The safest move is to stop taking risks. Do what everyone else does. Don’t stand out. Pander to the lowest common denominator. Then someone far below you starts thinking for themselves, and the cycle continues.