Picking up the ideas of competitors and creating the best solutions based on them is a viable business strategy. There is nothing wrong with this, this philosophy can become a growth driver
In the history of our company there are many sharp turns – what we just did. First, telecommunications, then quality management at enterprises, created a distance learning system for employees and, finally, a couple of years ago organized an online exchange of remote work. The idea of the online exchange was to connect entrepreneurs with different business tasks and teams of specialists capable of undertaking their implementation.
The exchange never took off, but once Roskvartal placed an order on it. Customers were looking for managers to work on a project that was supposed to serve management companies, homeowners’ associations and other housing and communal services market players. This information caught the eye of our employee Alexandra Puchkova, who wrote me a letter saying that there is an interesting market and a way to enter it.
A new market has appeared unexpectedly. In the summer of 2014, federal law No. 209 “On the State Housing and Public Utilities Information System” was released. Over the next few years, tens of thousands of “management houses”, most of which were very far from the IT sector, had to translate all the information about their work into a digital format and make it accessible to all Internet users.
The reform is carried out in several stages. First, management companies were obliged to post part of the data on the state portal “Housing and Utilities Reform”, then another part – on their own site of a standard form, the next step is to fill in the dom site. , where from January 1, 2017 it will be possible to find any information on the work of management companies – data on the house fund, on personal accounts that they issue to residents and so on.
Thus, the state decided to make the housing and communal services market transparent by loading management companies with work that they are not capable of doing. Data transfer should become automatic, which means that you need to create special IT products for this. The idea of creating this service fell into our hands, we wrote it ourselves, and the company from which we spied this idea became our competitor.
Everybody do it
The idea of making money on chaos in the housing and communal services system was borrowed, we do not hide it. At the HSE, where I have been able to teach, I regularly tell students: the whole business works like that! The ability to see a successful business model, copy it and improve it is one of the main factors of survival in modern competitive conditions. Moreover, it’s good to copy ideas from Russian companies, and technological solutions and business processes from Americans.