We’ve talked about the survivorship bias before — the trap one steps into just too easily by focussing solely on the success stories which surround us; and in the process ignoring the rich learning from failures. We model our startups after Facebook and forget to learn from Friendster, MySpace or Orkut. And probably worse: In the process we forget to explore the new and unknown.
To paraphrase Peter Thiel:
Every moment in business happens only once. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. And the next Mark Zuckerberg won’t create a social network.
If you are copying these guys, you aren’t learning from them.