In a world that moves faster than you can say, “What if we tried making it glow in the dark?”, the obvious answer to getting your foot in the door is to iterate on someone else’s successful idea.

If theirs worked, why not change it up and send it out? People are buying the first one after-all, right?

This might be the most obvious answer,
But it isn’t actually the best answer.

If you’re looking to join the emergent transition movement of things; which is to say the movement of changing our World-System to survival instead of extinction, then there’s a key point that may be difficult at first.

Our collective capacity to thrive depends on each person following their own intrinsic motivation to create something genuinely unique and ultimately the best quality possible for that particular thing.

Essentially, when you dig into the total-world-resources that includes idea creation and genuine inspiration. The more of those that we access, the faster we align with a model that includes survival.

When you create a “me too” product, as Daniel called them while we sat on the porch with the sun eclipsing behind the earth (Thanks for that one, Bucky), you do two things

  1. You mirror a task that has already been done, thereby sending resources to something that is, poorly or well, already done.
  2. You redirect your own potential creative inspiration towards replication instead of innovation.

Neither of these are terribly helpful on a global scale, and ultimately they don’t serve you as well as you’d think on an individual scale.

While it may solve some bottom-tier Maslow’s needs, ultimately creating Me-Too products and services is a distraction to your progress, and a distraction to emergent systems.

There are some exceptions.

As said before, if you are genuinely improving the product, and producing a race to the top scenario, do it.

As well, if yours is actually better then the product you are using as a starting point, or you are significantly more qualified, then you should definitely do it.

  • Better includes more ethical.
  • Better includes more economical.
  • Better includes more efficient.
  • Better includes more sustainable.

Now I know that a lot of e-commerce folks are going to feel royally pissed about this. The notion of me-too products is, after-all, the basis of most e-commerce entrepreneurs. But it’s important to bring your attention back to the exceptions.

Me-too products are only those that do not significantly improve the product you’re ‘copying’.

Me-too services are only those that you can’t significantly improve the service you are mirroring.

If yours is a significant, ideally vast improvement, then you have not actually created a me-too product, you’ve instead created a race-to-the-top competition.

To take this a step further though, for those of you that don’t necessarily produce products but instead serve others that are… extending this anti-me-too notion to the products you support is crucial.

If, for example, you are an SEO master. You could put a website about dirt-filled cherry pie at the top of all major search engines within a week and have traffic flying in. It is your emergent systems imperative to absolutely not do that.

This also applies to info content as well.

If the product, service, website, informative blog, or any other that you are optimizing for searches and kicking to the ‘most visible’ spots on the web is a me-too product, or worse, it’s an inferior me-too product… the most emergent service you can do is to not boost that.

I know this might sting a bit.

What about all the entry level folks that want a piece of the market?
What about your paycheck that you rely on to feed yourself and your dog?
What about the fact that all the really good service providers are taken?

Now you know your mission.

Find the ones that are genuinely better. And if they aren’t, encourage them to study, train, and practice their craft before shooting it to the top of the feed.

In some cases you’re going to bump into someone with the passion to create a really good product, that just needs a little work. A little training or a bit of improvement-driven differentiation to get out of me-too territory.

Enter: cohorts.

We’ll talk about those in the next blog.