Stealing or Borrowing for Business

By Samson Afolabi-11th Grade, Trinity Christian School

In the tech world, whether it is apps, devices, or games, you can always see examples of inspiration and borrowing from the ideas of others. Businesses always take a little something here and there from other businesses. It happens all the time, even with big-name technology companies like Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft. However, this can take a negative turn, and could turn into stealing whole business ideas. Businesses should be wary of this, because while borrowing ideas happens all the time, users and clients are affected by these decisions, as well as the company whose idea was borrowed.

Whenever something new is introduced to the market that is successful, the owners of other products immediately adapt that feature into their own products. This was especially common in the early days of social media, when the “Like” feature was first introduced, quickly spreading to other social media platforms. One of the most talked about changes in social media that happened recently was when the popular Instagram created Instagram Stories, which was a virtual copy of another social media’s main feature, Snapchat, and its own stories. You can also see this borrowing trend in recent games, where a lot of them have a feature that includes different types of currencies in the game, with some being easy to earn and the others a little more difficult. This can be seen in games like Clash of Clans, Dragon City, and Monster Legends. This business of borrowing from other businesses can easily be summed up in one phrase, “Imitation is the best form of flattery.”

While it is possible to go on and on about different times when businesses have taken inspiration from others, it does not tell the whole story. Some businesses have been notorious for stealing ideas from other businesses and using them as their own. One of the most infamous incidents of this was with the creation of the well-known social media platform, Facebook. The creator, Mark Zuckerberg, took the idea from his friends and has marketed it in his name, gaining worldwide fame. There have also been cases where businesses have taken ideas from their own employees and used them as their own, without giving credit. There are more terrible examples of this that are too much to list here, and that is a really sad thing.

When you have an idea, it is usually bound to have taken inspiration from somewhere else. The same goes for businesses, as virtually all businesses take a little inspiration from other places. Some of those ideas could be innocent and without harm, however, some could actually be stealing from others. It could be on accident or it could be deliberate, but either way, it might be devastating for the victims. It is always better to be careful with where you take your inspiration and how you use it. Business is tricky, and sometimes you may see a good idea and might want to use it, but be cautious and use your morals, so you do not end up being labeled a thief.


Samson is an 11th grader at Trinity Christian School. He lives in North Braddock and has been on the Trinity School Newspaper Staff. He is interested in programming, and is seeking to major in cyber security and have a career in cryptology.

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