Tumblr is blocked by China’s Great Firewall, leaving room for founder Jack Xu, “considered a prodigy of social,” to launch the copycat DianDian (点点), which translates to “bit-by-bit.” Today the Chinese tech blog TechRice reports DianDian and Quora copycat Zhihu (知乎) have both recently moved into InnovationWorks, a start-up incubator founded by Kaifu Lee, the former president of Google China. “InnovationWorks is apparently incubating (hosting and mentoring) as well as investing in these firms, though terms have not yet been released,” TechRice writes. So how close is the clone?
When it comes to internet startups, much is made of the entrepreneurs who first bring an idea to market—innovators or “first movers,” in the parlance of market researchers. But what about the fast followers? Here are some of the startups that have been called “copycats,” “clones,” “me-too startups” or simply “knock-offs” by various media. Remember: the first mover doesn’t always win the race: just look at the Mac, launched in 1984, versus the Windows PC, launched in 1985, or at Facebook, which came after Friendster, Myspace and the Winklevoss social network HarvardConnection.