How To Copy Your Business Rival’s Idea And Get Away With It

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Over the last year or so, Twitter carried out an act of high-tech petit larceny: swiping what originally was Snapchat’s idea for a Stories function, where users publish ephmeral content to all their followers, and adding it to its app. Twitter called its version Fleets, since, well, the photos, text and video there enjoyed only fleeting existences.

This sort of theft is common place in Silicon Valley, and unless a business wants to lock horns with an opponent in a costly legal battle, there’s not much to do about it—except hope the copy-cat ends up meeting the same end as Fleets. Yep, the feature’s a goner. Twitter said earlier this week it would remove Fleets on August 3, less than a year after it making widely available to users.

Plenty of other copy-cat products have perished, struggled or plain fizzled out in similar fashion. When Apple debuted Siri, Google and Microsoft both tried to come up with virtual assistants of…

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