Mimicry May Be Flattery, But It’s Still Second Best

A decade ago, the general attitude in large corporations was “if it’s not built here, it couldn’t be that good.” Those same corporations now realize that one can be good at many things, but GREAT only at a few – so they’re actively seeking partnerships with outside experts.

Innovation Appreciated

One progressive enterprise, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation (an aerospace giant), recently sponsored a unique session where I was introduced to Sikorsky Innovation’s Entrepreneurial Challenge – ‘to identify and accelerate the development of emerging, transformational business solutions across all markets that can be applied to specialized aerospace and rotorcraft markets.’

This represents a huge shift toward supporting young, innovative companies.

Creativity is not copied

In an extreme moment of candor, a to-be customer confided – “I have hired game programmers, just like you. I have hired 3D Artists and mobile developers, just like you. Why doesn’t my stuff look like yours?”

Copies Can’t Compete, Become Your Own Original


elBulli is run by star chef Ferran Adrià

There’s a small restaurant in Europe, near the town of Roses, Catalonia, Spain. It’s a Michelin 3-star restaurant called elBulli.

It is described as “the most imaginative generator of haute cuisine on the planet,” with bookings for the entire year taken on a single day! 8,000 diners per season, two million requests. Restaurant Magazine judged elBulli to be Number One on its World’s Top 50 list for a record five times.

Competitors have access to the same ingredients they use, the same kitchen equipment and possibly even better accessories. They have tried recording videos and photos of the elBulli kitchen and replicating processes – yet no one comes close.

To build great creations, one simply cannot COPY what they do. We have to BECOME them – and THAT is a lifelong journey.

Questions To Consider

To that potential customer, I would recommend he ask vendors:

1. Does your team email each other at 1 am with newfound nuggets of information, blogs, and videos?
2. Do they (enthusiastically, and on their own time) refine the project files, weeks after the delivery, even though the customer is very satisfied?
3. Are they invited to every meet-up in town that has to do with 3D or interactive content, and do they actually attend?
4. Over the last decade, have they built a network of over 60 super specialists, that they call on for that crucial piece of code that no one else can write?

You get the picture.

So yes, simply hiring similar positions and buying the same tools is not going to create magic, the same way as installing MS Word will not make you win a Pulitzer.

Check out 3D Interactive Training to see our creations – and then reach out here.

What has YOUR experience been with vendors? Can you add to the list of questions you would ask?

(butterfly photo credit: Loving Jazz Photography, Ferran Adrià photo credit)