Gruber points out something that I’d never really given any thought to and probably occurs more often than we realize. That market laggards may not be imitating a market leader solely for the purpose of stealing market share and because of unoriginality. But instead because the market leader has recognized the way a product group may be evolving.
All these new PC laptops and desktops (and keyboards, and mice, and trackpads) look alike not because they’re all aping Apple’s designs, but simply because these are the natural ways for these things to have evolved, and maybe Apple sort of kind of arguably got there first in a few instances, that’s all. Apple didn’t invent aluminum or glass.
How often are second-tier companies criticized for blindlessly following the leader, when in reality they’re just trying to catch up to a changing market? Probably more often than we realize.