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Copying, Stealing

September 11, 2018

Author: Bianca Yang
Email: ipacifics@gmail.com

There was some controversy in tech media several years back about Samsung copying Apple’s iPhone designs.

There used to be strong controvery about China copying the US.

There has always been controversy in schools about students copying each others’ work.

Samsung has since outpaced Apple on smartphone designs (and many other things) and Apple now seems to be following Samsung’s lead on some phone design features (bigger screen is the main feature I was thinking about). Samsung is leading in OLED and general consumer electronics and Apple doesn’t seem to have the power to wow its customers anymore. China is developing very quickly and has estbalished itself as a tech superpower. The US now looks to China as a serious security and technological threat. Chinese students used to want to stay in the US after graduation. Now they look more towards opportunities in China. Cheating in school will always be undesirable behavior. I put that statement there because I feel there is something more wholesome about creating lists of three than about creating lists of other numbers.

The key insight here is that China and Samsung were not mindlessly copying. They were studying. They were standing upon the shoulders of a giant in government and technology and a giant in consumer products and design and leveraging the learnings of each group to accelerate their development.

Productivity, output, impact, these are all words trying to get at the same idea of a central measure of usefulness of a venture. The more productive you are, the more valuable you will become to society. So if you need to “steal” and “copy” your way through your journey to greatness, so be it. Just make sure you’re learnings will be able to support you when you exceed those you are studying from and make a break for your dreams.