People do businesses for three reasons: Do something valuable/meaningful to the customers; Make money; Create value. On the other hand, innovators do innovative things for some other reasons; Change the world; Help the humanity.
It is very clear that the businesses don't need to be innovative at their primary core. For example, if a person starts a restaurant: and serves food to 100 customers, thereby if he makes 50,000 month-on-month as profit, it's a great business. There is no innovation here. But he is still successful.
In business or startups, there is nothing like copying or “copycats”. In general, there are five different types of startup ideas or business ideas.
Types of Startups Ideas
Great entrepreneurs think through these idea types and they will start their business. You might ask what are these types?
1. Simplicity Ideas :
Taking a problem, and making it’s process very simple and easy
Example companies built on this philosophy : Twitter, WhatsApp
Both ideas took the same plunge of sending a message or tweet in very simple and easy manner. For instance, WhatsApp, bringing all-types of mobile communications together and putting them in one place; so that, the users can easily make the same things(communications) happen in the simplest way.
2. Me Too Ideas :
Why some say, “Copycats” in Indian startup eco system? Because most probably they don’t know the fact that startup ideas can be copycats. In more technical terms, these ideas are called, “Me Too” ideas. Entrepreneurs take the inspiration from successful idea or business from elsewhere, and they just do it in their own way in their own country or location.
Example : OlaCabs might have taken the inspiration from most successful cab booking startup UBER, and even became a huge competitor for the same UBER in India.
Grofers delivering groceries online from 2013. Why did they suddenly thought, this would work in India? Because the same idea was very very successful in the US started by Apoorva Mehta,**Instacart** in 2012.
For instance, why would we say, Flipkart is the most successful startup company in India even though, it seems like a Me Too idea of Amazon? Because “Me Too” ideas would really work, if they execute in their own and most efficient way.
3. Visualize Ideas :
Visualize startup or business ideas involve, moving some activities to online space.
Example Companies: Practo, Oyo Rooms, Freecharge
Practo brings the offline doctor-to-patient and patient-to-doctor experience together
Oyo Rooms brings the offline temporary tenant-to-hotel, and hotel-to-temporary tenants together
Both startup companies are doing a great job by moving the offline experience to online, And we now we call these two companies best among top 20 startup companies in India.
4. Remix Ideas :
Remix Ideas: Combines two or more activities or ideas together and builds a product. Slack is one such great example of bringing: email, chat, group chat, communications altogether.
Example Companies: Zoho, Quickr
These two companies combine so many different activities together and created a big business around it.
5. Mission Impossible(Almost) :
You know what these ideas are, right? Almost impossible!
Example Companies: SpaceX, Google Loon
Important Note: Sometimes, it is possible that a single company can be under two or three idea types.
Now use this framework, go back to your desk, and articulate your next startup idea!
Hope this helps.