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It's not the blocks you start with but how you put them together.

Distinctiveness, offers P&G's former chief technology officer G. Gilbert Cloyd, often comes not from new elements but from the way they are put together, or what I later call assembly, or combinative architecture.

Sometimes you innovate and sometimes you copy.

“Where there are elements of parity,” (Cloyd says), “if someone has figured out a better way to do something or deliver something, you're gonna use it; you're not gonna feel a need to go out and invent some other way to provide the particular aspect when there are no tangible or perceived consumer benefits.”

Via — Copycats: How Smart Companies Use Imitation to Gain a Strategic Edge