Interesting post from Matt Gemmell on copying. Regardless of where you stand over the whole “Android rips off iOS” issue, there’s some good stuff here.

It’s thus pretty easy to see why copying happens - because when you see a mature product that’s somehow managed to innovate (to be “new” whilst balancing all the constraints and annoyances of the existing problem), it becomes almost impossible to see how you could do it any other way. Design blindness sets in: the most successful product is the only possible design. Which, of course, is nonsense - but a very convincing, insistent, tempting sort of nonsense.

I also like the sentence towards the end.

Innovation is about making things new, rather than necessarily making new things
Ramkumar Shankar