I know what you’re thinking. He doesn’t have the decency to save his rant until the weekends. How rude! On top of that, it’s a rant without images and links. I’m testing your patience. I know. On with the rant…
Now that WordPress copied Tumblr’s way of publishing with the addition of post format UI in the upcoming 3.6 release, we can all breathe a sigh of relief and kick originality out the freakin’ door. I’m not saying this is the beginning of a trend. It’s more like the last straw for innovative thinkers in the WordPress market.
Since the beginning of the WordPress economy back in… 2008-ish, WordPress and its community have been absorbing the best ideas from each other, other CMS, markets, and what have you into their own projects and into WordPress core. If your plugin is any good, it’ll show up in core and you can kiss your business goodbye. If your theme design is any good, a bigger theme company will copy and sell it to their own customers. It’s the nature of GPL.
By itself, the post format UI isn’t a big deal but considering the copy-cat trend since 2008, it’s the most shameless. Shame on me as I’m a WordPress developer myself. Sorry for picking on WordPress core but it’s the most influential entity to use as an example without consequence. Had I picked on another company, the comment thread for this rant would turn into a war due to sensitive hypocrites.
Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with this trend and neither did Steve Jobs when he cherry picked ideas for Apple. I’m just saying innovation by 2013 is a hobbyist game in the WordPress world. Innovation is done by people with no stake in the WordPress market and that’s the real shame.
Our arms are wide open to innovation. We always need new stuff to sell. However, we don’t nurture innovative thinkers. A good idea published/sold on Monday will show up in another company’s products the next Monday. Of course, big companies sometimes innovate too and nothing stops you from forking them back, but the problem is ubiquity.
Here’s what this rant really comes down to. In 2013, the rich gets richer. To win on the back of new ideas, strike fast and don’t stop until you become one of the bigger companies. Then, you know what to do. Absorb other people’s ideas into your company and repeat the cycle!