Why copying competitor features doesn’t work, and what to do instead

I think most of us know by now that merely copying competitors’ features or business models is a bad idea. Jesse Weaver’s Emulation Is Not a Product Strategy does a very good job of explaining why this approach almost never works, and what to focus on instead. One example:

In focusing their efforts on emulation, product managers stop considering options that could enhance what is unique about the company and its customer base. They miss chances to deliver something powerful and unexpected. Instead, product managers should focus on unique strengths — those things their customers came for in the first place. In doubling down on those, product managers can exponentially increase a product’s value, deepening customers’ connection to the specific magic that makes a product special.