Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, as the saying goes. However, in some instances the consumer should be made aware that the knock-off product or solution is not delivering exactly the same quality and feature set incorporated in the originators design. Special attention should be exercised when considering unproven life safety substitutes.
Business owners or manufacturers who work tirelessly for years, even decades, have the responsibility to call out those who shamelessly latch onto innovations that have become mainstream and claim them as their own. The more honorable way is to innovate a better solution that enhances the utility of a product, much like Apple did with the iPod vs the MP3 player. To produce a one for one imitation of the original is dishonest and shows no creativity or thoughtfulness for your craft.
To sum it up, copycats are individuals or corporations that sit on the sidelines and wait for others to plow the field and plant the seeds of success. They think they can make a quick buck on the coat tails of others. Soon they realize that trying to copy something is harder than it looks. It quickly becomes apparent that domain experience is not acquired by stealing others innovation, it has to be earned and forged through trial and error.
A Litigious World:
There are legal protections for all kinds of original ideas and products. These protections are often in the form of patents or copyrights. Non-disclosure agreements can also be used in select situations and trademarks can be used as an added layer of protection. These are all well and good, however it’s better to avoid the courts all together and just do the right thing. Innovate a better solution or give credit where the credit is due.
Where Space Age Electronics excels is with code compliance and UL listings for our select products. SAE’s quality manufacturing assures our customers that the Made in USA products they purchase carry the appropriate UL , UL864, UUKL and UOXX listings they demand and required. However we didn’t stop there, Space Age has met the high bar of ISO9000 accreditation as well as IPC certified technicians that build and inspect each and every Prefabricated Life Safety Solution we produce. These accreditation apply at all four (4) of our factories in the Sterling MA area.
Choosing code compliant assemblies listed for their intended purpose and carry all required UL listings will guarantee the credibility of those installing them. This ultimately leads to more business because as I often say, “There’s never time to do it right but there’s always time to do it twice!”
Let’s Innovate Together:
Everyone who knows Space Age Electronics and has enjoyed using our products are well aware of our longevity in the life safety industry as well as our unyielding involvement with code bodies all over the USA. We learned a very long time ago, if you’re not at the table when the menu is being planned, you’ll probably not like what’s being served.
It’s these tenants of discipline for “doing the work” ahead of time which set us apart from those who believe they can just jump in and reap the harvest of a niche we created. The reality is that we have such strong Brand Loyalty for our high quality products and personal service that our partners often tell us when they see a copycat in the market place. They may also interject other comments along with that disclosure which can be quite amusing, I will refrain from repeating them here and maintain their confidence.
As I close this Blog out I want to thank the hundreds of true partners that have allowed the SAE Team to bring your dream product to reality. Our best ideas and innovations come from our loyal customers, thank you. We are in this business to server your needs and be an extension of your business that helps YOU get to that next level while bringing us along to ours.
Be well, be safe and till next time. Do it right the first time, then repeat….