Copycats: knock yourself out
People often contact us pointing out a design, often by a competitor, that is blatantly plagiarizing the design of Xero. The person usually suggests we get medieval on the bastards.
I actually have the opposite reaction. First, I’m genuinely flattered. It means we’re doing something worth imitating.
Second, when somebody directly imitates a design it can only result in bad quality — the very act of copying means cutting corners and it shows. Look at all the iPod knock-offs. They’re laughably inferior. Copying our design doesn’t hurt us, it helps us. It ends up emphasizing all the ways in which the copy is inferior, making our original design look even better by comparison.
I also don’t have a problem if people take our ideas and implement them well, or even improve upon them. Actually, it does bother me. In a good way. It challenges and inspires us to push things even further, so we always stay several steps ahead.
So please, do us a favor, go ahead and copy us.