The reason that I could actually not write this post from China is because the wordpress blogosphere is not accessible from within China.
I want to raise a point about imitation and innovation. I have seen so much of the first in China that I actually started wondering abut the innovative aspect of imitation.
What does it actually take to make a good imitation? When you start out you might have no idea how the actual thing that you want to imitate is made. On the other hand alot of imitations are originals without the right labeling and a different price level. But I am talking about the real fakes here. The pictures below give you some hint about what type of imitation we are talking about: Adivon and Adidas, both sportshoe brands, not necessarily unrelated shoe designs (-;
But is imitation of an existing design actually simple? And is imitation inherently contrary to innovation? I don’t know. My visit to China has not given me the evidence that imitation is a simple and dumb process. The toaster project from the English artist Thomas Thwaites has made me doubt even more whether it is actually easy to imitate things of which the design is publicly available and generally regarded as a simple technology. Watch and enjoy the toaster project, he explains thouroughly his complex imitation process of an industrial toaster.
The interesting thing is that the Chinese do alot better job at more complex items than simple standard toasters, look at this beautiful selection of highly complex car designs.
Please disregard the annoying music and enjoy the similarities.