With all of the startups as of late, it seems like everyone is making a “clone” of something already in existence. Like a “MySpace clone” or a “Digg clone”. Why? Because these sites have proven that they have the formula for attracting visitors and making some serious coin.
Unfortunately for these entrepreneurs, they’re not going to see much success. Why? Because they’re not thinking.
Thinking requires creativity, and unless you’re creative, you don’t have anything new, exciting or fresh to offer the oh-so fickle early adopter crowd.
95% of the really successful sites on the internet right now were very exciting and fresh when they first started, before there were 20 clones of themselves. They were new solutions to a problem, or just completely groundbreaking.
Steve Pavlina has a killer list of business lessons for entrepreneurs. My personal favorite is #4.
Think for yourself. Unplug yourself from follow-the-follower groupthink, and virtually ignore what everyone else in your industry is saying (except the ones everyone agrees is crazy). Do your own research, draw your own conclusions, set your own course, and stick to your guns. When you’re just starting out, people will tell you you’re wrong. After you’ve blown past them, they’ll tell you you’re crazy. A few years after that, they’ll ask you to mentor them.
Drawing your own conclusions is the only way to create something really revolutionary. Much like the example for shooting great photography, sometimes you just have to throw out conventional wisdom. Greatness doesn’t start by following people: it starts by creating your own path.