The Millionaire Copycats: How to Make a Fortune Without Reinventing the Wheel

Categorized as Blog, Business, Opinion

Ever heard of the Samwer brothers? No, they’re not the latest boy band or a trio of YouTube pranksters. They’re a set of German siblings who’ve made a fortune in the tech world. 

And how did they do it? By copying ideas. 

Yes, you read that right. 

They didn’t invent the next Facebook or Uber. They simply took what was already working and made it work for them.

They saw the success of eBay in the late 90s and created a clone called Alando in Germany. It quickly became popular, which drew eBay’s attention, and they ended up buying it for $43,000,000. 

Then they launched Studi VC, a clone of Facebook, which they later sold for $100,000,000. 

And they didn’t stop there. 

They created City Deal, a German version of Groupon, which was acquired by Groupon for $170,000,000 within six months of its launch.

The Samwer brothers didn’t reinvent the wheel. They just made it a little rounder and a little smoother.

The Art of Copying

Now, before you start accusing me of endorsing plagiarism, let’s get one thing straight. There’s a fine line between copying and drawing inspiration. 

Picasso once said, “Good artists copy; great artists steal.” And no, he wasn’t encouraging art heists. 

He was talking about the idea of taking something that exists and transforming it into something uniquely your own. It’s not about photocopying; it’s about remixing.

The Power of Not Reinventing the Wheel

We live in a world that worships at the altar of innovation. 

But let’s face it, not everyone is going to come up with the next iPhone or discover a new law of physics. 

And that’s okay.

There’s a lot of power in taking something that already works and making it better, or simply making it work in a new context. 

Think about it. Sushi was a hit in Japan long before it took the rest of the world by storm. It wasn’t new; it was just new to us.

The Ethics of Copying

But let’s not ignore the elephant in the room. There’s a big difference between drawing inspiration and straight-up copying. 

It’s one thing to see a successful business model and think, “I could do something similar but better.” It’s another thing entirely to clone a product or service and pass it off as your own. 

So, how do you navigate these murky waters? With a compass called integrity and knowing good lawyers.

The Role of Innovation in Copying

Even when you’re building on an existing idea, there’s still room for innovation. It’s not about reinventing the wheel; it’s about adding your own unique spin to it. 

Maybe you take an existing product and find a way to make it cheaper, faster, or more sustainable. Or maybe you take a service that’s popular in one country and introduce it to a new market. 

The possibilities are almost endless.

Applying the Concept to Your Own Entrepreneurial Journey

So, how can you apply this to your own life or business? Start by looking at what’s already working. 

What products or services do people love? How can you make them better? Or how can you make them work in a new context? 

Remember, it’s not about copying; it’s about remixing.

Closing Thought

In the end, it’s not about whether you’re a “copycat” or an “innovator.” It’s about whether you’re providing value to your target audience. 

So, go ahead. Be a copycat. 

But be the kind of copycat that adds something new to the mix.