As you probably know, Google released a new social networking feature called Google Buzz. Just like any Google product, some people love it and some people hate it. There are a lot of legitimate criticisms (mostly about the major privacy holes), but there's one criticism that I just can't stand:
"Google Buzz is just a repackaged combination of Facebook and Twitter"
This criticism seems to suggest that a new products don't have any merit unless they offer never-before-seen features. Aside from the fact the Google Buzz does have tons of new features, that's not a legitimate criticism anyway. I absolutely agree that every new product needs to be unique in some way, but that doesn't mean that it needs radical new features.
Toyata didn't invent the car, so why were they (until recently) so much more successful than the companies that actually did invent the car? Why did Google search beat out Alta Vista and Yahoo? Why did Netscape lose to Internet Explorer, and why will Internet Explorer lose to Firefox and Chrome? The companies on the winning side of all these examples had one big thing separating them from the competition: they were better.
Toyata didn't feel the need to put out a five-wheeled car just because Fords have four wheels. They just made the same types of cars Ford was making, but they did a better job. Being better can be what makes your company unique.
At Less Annoying Software, we offer a CRM (or "Customer Manager" as we prefer to call it). Our CRM doesn't have any special features to differentiate it from the competition. Here's our business plan: "There are a lot of CRMs out there. Let's make a better one". It's that simple, and so far it seems to be working.
So when I hear people complain that Google Buzz can't possibly be worthwhile because it's just stealing ideas from Facebook and Twitter, I have to disagree. What if Google just does a better job than other companies? Isn't that worth something?