Imitations of Imitations

Lately when browsing in Amazon, I’ve been seeing a trend of a seeing imitations of imitations of the real product.  If we suspend any thought about IP theft related to these products, the constant iterative process of tech is pretty fascinating.  Sometimes you’ll see normal everyday US-centric products on Amzon (like a cable grommet).  You then add power outlets.  Then as the need for USB charging arises, USB only chargers appear.  As technology becomes better/faster/smaller, the ability to have a USB hub and charging as well as video outlets, audio jacks and ethernet ports (example or example).  But this iterative process doesn’t surprise me.  From a Wired documentary about the innovation found in the Chinese city of Shenzhen, the constant iterative process of tech is pretty normal.   One thing Wired discussed was the lack of IP enforcement.  In many situations, the shop owners know that enforcement was impossible and so actively sharing ideas so that new ideas can be born became the norm.

But back to Amazon… I’ve been seeing these imitations and have been trying to find out what was the original product and how did that product evolve to what I’m seeing.  In addition to this, I’m also trying to see if they have a website which would at least indicate a serious global nature of the Amazon store.  What I end up doing is opening a bunch of links to investigate more.  Because of this cross checking, I’ve ended up finding something even better that is also carried in Amazon but wasn’t on their first few pages.  One of these would be this high quality leather desk pad from Galloway Leather.  I ended up purchasing it because the first option I wanted was out of stock.  Although it’s now on the first page of my feed (thanks to algorithms, maybe?), I originally had to go to the 2nd or 3rd page for it to show up.  Ironically it was an “Amazon’s Choice” which makes me wonder that the Amazon algorithm probably didn’t think I wanted this type of high quality material.

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