The Problem: A Serious Lack of Innovation & Over-Leeching
We are coming to the end of an era. Information is becoming decomoditized. Startups with no plan for monitization are getting wiped out. And according to a recent BusinessInsider article, startups “have gotten really boring”.
Ever since the online content explosion around 2005, people have been looking to benefit from others’ content and ideas through auto-blogging, content ripping, and other black-hat tactics. In Silicon Valley, there are thousands of startups with visions of being the next Facebook or Twitter. Sadly, many of these startups don’t think in terms of finding a solution to a big problem, or how they’ll monetize the business.
However, there are still some entrepreneurs who are innovating at very high levels. During my last trip to Vancouver, I meet with a variety of entrepreneurs. While boating around English Bay, I had a very refreshing conversation with Matt Michiewicz, co-founder of 99designs.com, sitepoint.com, and developerauction.com. Now here’s a guy who gets it! Matt has a talent for connecting groups of people with major needs through crowd-sourcing.
The Leecher Effect & How It’s Killing Innovation
In business, a leech is one who copies others’ information or benefits from their efforts, but does not provide any real value.
When a proven business model emerges, people will try to imitate or blatantly copy that idea. This has been prevalent in China and Russia for decades, which is why I’ll never do business in either of those countries. Unfortuantely, I’ve seen this trend growing among online entrepreneurs, bloggers, and other content marketers.
Leechers are the laziest breed of business people. They can’t come up with any of their own ideas, so they copy others’. Below are 5 common traits of leeches.
5 Common Traits Of A Leech:
1. They constantly hawk your site or business looking to copy fresh ideas
2. They trash talk you and your company while imitating the very source of your success
3. Their primary (and sometimes only) source of traffic is by soliciting your users
4. They use douchey SEO tactics that optimize for your company’s keywords
5. They rebrand dumbed-down copies of your products and services
Leecher Example 1 – “The” Stock Market Watch
A very popular market news site MarketWatch.com has recently been copied by another site, TheStockMarketWatch.com.
I can’t speculate if they’re actually developing their own content, but it’s obvious they’re trying to fool people into believing they’re the original stock market news site.
Leecher Example 2 – “Darkest Hour” Movie Stolen Social Network Site
This movie is a funny but sobering example of how greedy business people can behave. In this thriller, a trusted friend rips off a social media website, slaps a “The” on the front of the name, and calls it his own.
Leecher Example 3 – “Emini Academy” copycat
I’m not shy about the fact that we run a successful day trading education company. I recently learned that a former employee (who calls himself a former partner) has become a leech in the ultimate sense of the word. Even though I hired this guy away from a customer service job at a bank to help new traders, he promotes himself as an industry expert without having the slightest clue about the realities of today’s trading environment.
Here are just a few of the things he’s doing:
- He constantly hawks my sites and copies ideas, blog posts, or trading concepts
- He’s infamous for bashing on my company and fabricating his stock market experience
- We have ample evidence that he watches my every move and feeds on soliciting my customers
- He uses embarrassing SEO tactics, copied my business model, and slapped “The” on the front of his website
- He sells strategies that haven’t worked in years, and promotes unrealistic expectations and results
Granted, there is rarely anything “new” when it comes to technical analysis. All trading strategies are built on similar foundations, but the only thing that matters is if you have a real-time edge in the market that can be validated. Hindsight trading and cherry picking doesn’t count.
The Answer – Find A New Solution To A Massive Problem In An Under-served Market
Richard Branson is the “knight” of problem solving. Through his ingenious branding system, he’s the best at identifying markets that are under-served, then creating new solutions to fill holes in the market.
I think the world would be a much better place if startups and entrepreneurs thought more about problem solving rather than making a quick buck. When it comes to wealth creation or building a bad-ass company, it’s always the problem solvers who stand the test of time.
Here are a few ways I’m looking to solve problems in various markets:
Real Estate - The biggest problem in real estate right now is financing. Home affordability is at all time highs and, contrary to popular belief, there is a strong demand for mid-income housing. The problem is that banks aren’t lending, even to qualified borrowers. I’m looking to fill that gap by providing financing to seasoned investors who can put together creative solutions for potential home buyers.
Day Trading - The problem among day traders right now is being able to compete with computer algorithms, and staying flexible with changing market conditions. At Emini Academy, our mission is to provide tools and resources to traders so they can compete with “big money” institutional traders.
Never hate those people who are jealous of you, but respect their jealousy
because they are the ones who think that you are better than them.
If someone is leeching off your business ideas or innovations, just let it go and keep innovating. Odds are they won’t be in business for long, and people will see through their bullshit.
Here are some questions you can ask to make sure you’re constantly innovating:
- What markets are in need of a big solution?
- Where is the market headed, and what technologies do you anticipate to emerge in the future?
- What resources, abilities, or skills can I use to find a new and creative solution?
- Is my solution really solving a huge problem that is difficult to duplicate?
- How can I implement a plan of attack for creating and distributing my solution?
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