Defining Originality

Originality is added freshness to an old idea. Everything created today is built on the structure of something else.

There’s no product without a framework and some key ingredients. Originality comes in mashing the two together to produce something new.

Before the iPod, there was the universal MP3 file type and some MP3 players. Apple built on top of those ingredients and mass produced the iPod, the same way it’ll adapt Nike’s Fuel Band to build iWatch.

Lack of originality is plagiarism, constructing a replica of a pre-existing source. Direct copying is prevalent in China.

You can copy a product to practice so you can master the fundamentals. But you can’t sell that product (in America, at least) unless you wildly differentiate it.

Originality is a combinatorial process that ultimately results in an innovative result. You’re better off improving upon what’s already out there in design and functionality and adding some never before seen features. You know, kind of like Apple does.

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of and four books.