In the Christmas of 2016, I was in New York, and I was alone. Christmas as always been a delight for me with the holiday season hitting, and people in colorful clothes and string lights everywhere! I had a career-less job which paid me good money, and I had saved enough. During this lone christmas time, I planned to buy myself a gift. Lumio, a book light company, that I had seen on Shark Tank had caught my attention. The inventor’s struggles and hard work for his patented invention were so inspiring. So I planned to gift myself a Lumio. I definitely wanted to own one. Situation though didn’t allow me to buy it, and I am still without this awesome invention.
Yesterday, almost 2 years later, as I walked into this art based flea market, I spotted Lumio at one of the stall from far away. Whoa!! Lumio is launched in India??? My happiness knew no bounds. I immediately ran to the stall to check it out. To my dismay, it was a terribly plagiarized copy of the awesome invention. My first question to the guy in the stall was, “but, isn’t this patented?” and he replied with a, “yes! but only in 17 countries…” and he went to to name them for me.
The more he spoke, the more I was mad at him. Inventions are hard work. They are a lot of sweat, and blood, and tears over long hours of dedicated commitment to their vision. And this man, just picked it off the famous Shark Tank, added some shitty parchment paper to the concept and was selling on the “streets” of India. So disgusting! I didn’t want to get into a heated debate with some unknown stranger, trying to make a buck after investing in a stall space, after dedicated time to plagiarize an awesome concept… so I walked away! If only he had dedicated all that time to be more inspired to make something original than just find out countries that the original Lumio was patented at, he may have had come up with something more original, with a “pay it forward” sort of inspiration.
Our country has hit this massive virality of start ups, to an extent I would question, if everyone is making, who’s buying??
In a country that is apparently going to a global market and shooting cheap satellites in space, how far have we come as a country? We are finally just a bunch of plagerers, trying to make it into this start up disease, at the cost of no brains, and only money. No doubt Shark Tank is more famous in India, running repeats every 4 hours on the television.
I mean, if people really respected innovations and inspirations, I’m sure Indian television would have thrown in a bunch of rich businessmen, looking to invest in talent. Maybe the Ambanis, the Birlas, the Malyas, and like would come together and make an indian tv series to invest in a set of Indian brainiacs, to get going to big and successful. Sadly though, this hasn’t happened so far because we know that Indians don’t care about original inspirations. It’s all about the quick buck, quick enough to get into a marriageable market and spend all that copied money to educating their kids in good schools to raise them to copy newer technology. What a pity!!
I get that we, as Indians, are all walking with our head stuck to the left, in a direction where eyes are always facing West, but I thought at least those who claim to have a brain are looking for inspiration. Probably, not so.
Saying, that it’s just business is a lame excuse for being lazy, unimaginative, and poor. Poverty is like a blessing in this country. I’m poor! I copy! and so You buy!
I am reminded of this kid I recently met. He moved to the city a couple years ago to be a writer. A profession fully supported by his family, and letting him live off them, inspite of a good education. But writing is an imaginative task. You have to sit in a chair for hours and imagine. And then use that imagination into a very enticing format for over a 1000 words and make it readable. eh! drinking beer at the local bar every other day sounds more fun and easy, isn’t it? “something else will come up” sort of attitude as he invites me to the bar to join his friends.
Or those bunch of kids who meet every other day over coffee discussing elaborate ideas about making these cool apps, but never get started because….”wait! why are we letting users hit a “thumbs up” sign for the good song?” or “no! we should sit together and work, because working alone my mind diverts and then I watch tv” so they discuss the app for months over 100 cups of shared coffee to never starting it off….until “oh! someone thought of it, lets get going with a vengeance”
We have reached the time of plagiarized originals, leading to the possible cool factor, and maybe an applaud by parents or social settings. If all of us get into “beating you at it” kinda business ego, leading to a sense of false self-entitlement, how far will we go?
That Lumio dude will have made so much money till you hit the profit market, that he will crush you for your plagiarism. If only you went to him and said, can I please import it to my country and we can make money form this, I bet there would be more success. If only that “thumbs up” debate happened like 2 years after you developed that app, launched it, got some clients, and then got into a long 2 month debate, that’d work too!!
Start ups are great. They give you passion, and they show you hard work, and they bring you a lot of money, if done right! Sadly enough, India is looking to just plagiarize without inspiration or confidence….and!! basking in the happiness of “look, I copied you!” Cool factor is always parabolic in nature. How far will yours go till you hit the plateau? Basically, copying copying copying, and then spending all your investment on marketing… that’s the business start up scene of India.
What is the point of being proud about that cheap satellite if it hasn’t inspired you to make it on your own from the scratch? or smart enough to say lets collaborate and make it big?
We have reached a stage on this whole earth where universal salaries are being the next big thing. Those game changers of the world are looking to ensure monetary equality to all, and here everyone is fighting to pet the startup disease bug. It’s high time to get collaborating, cos we’re all connected, and small players can play big games. Get on board with “we’re all in it” cos that is the need of the hour.
Are you thinking about a start up? Then write to me, and I will brain-wash you to make better use of your life than looking for ideas on the internet or television and copying them. Promise!!