Inspired or Rip-off?

12 Nov

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a metropolis kind-of-guy. I like walking around to get what I want. I hate using my car. Toronto was ideal for me – within 5 minutes I had everything I could want – subway, grocery stores, dozens of restaurants (I lived in Yorkville), dozens of shops, 24 hour convenience stores, etc. I talk alot about the true sustainability of such living (and the opposite for suburbia).

So when I saw Walk Score I was like – damn. I should have thought of this before. It’s so bloody simple!

At the same time, it is more a feature and less a company. Analytic sites agree – it spiked the past two months, but started falling in October. And only keeps going lower.

Furthermore – I think a lot more could be done with it. And it could integrate brilliantly into other aspects of iBegin.

So the question is – if we build our own version, improve it, and give credit to Walk Score as our inspiration – is that a rip-off, or a true inspiration?

6 Responses to Inspired or Rip-off?



November 12th, 2007 at 7:15 pm

If you add to the concept – inspired.

If you copy verbatim – rip-off.



November 12th, 2007 at 7:19 pm

Hmmm, I am leaning toward more of an inspired rip off? No, really, I would view it as passing the baton & inspiration.


Andre Marcelo-Tanner

November 12th, 2007 at 7:25 pm

Like what Ben, if you copy it without changing anything, ripoff, but could be called a copycat (nicer word) if you give due credit to walkscore.

if you improve like get the real walk score around water and other obstacles, its inspired



November 12th, 2007 at 8:09 pm

If you give credit to Walkscore, it’s inspiration, if you don’t give credit, I think it’s still inspiration. It’s a nice idea, but people take nice ideas all the time and make them better


Matt C

November 13th, 2007 at 9:27 am

I think that 99% of the ideas that make it into web software aren’t really unique anymore. I hate discovering a feature in a competing product that I came up with organically, but it happens a lot. The “open” web philosophy is centered around building on other good ideas and expanding them. The differentiator is how well you execute.



November 13th, 2007 at 6:05 pm

It’s just like Matt said. In this day and age, it’s truly impossible to be 100% unique. I say take the idea, improve it, add on to it, and re-display it. That’s how a lot of the internet is nowadays…sharing similar ideas with minimal difference. As long as you add more features to it and improve it, I see no problem with it. You were inspired :)