Imitation: Flattery, or Path to Failure?

While competition imitates, we focus to innovate.

Imitation: The Sincerest Form Of Flattery

It’s been a long held belief that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. This phrase in its most modern context, is a proverbial expression that dates to the early 19th century, coined by Charles Caleb Colton in Lacon.

The earliest provenance of this proverb can be found in a 1708 biography of Marcus Aurelius by Jeremy Collier and André Dacier, titled ‘Emperor Marcus Antoninus: His Conversation with Himself’. One of the conversations includes:

You should consider that Imitation is the most acceptable part of Worship, and that the Gods had much rather Mankind should Resemble, than Flatter them.

Embracing Competition

When considering this proverb in the context of the business environment, one must accept that success will bring inevitable competition.

Embracing competition is a wise choice for any organization. Just like quenching hot steel in cold water to work-harden it, exposing an organization to competition primes it to survive the rigors of competitive battle. Competition should not be feared. Instead, it should be embraced, with the understanding that a successful strategic response will allow a thriving organization to prosper.

While there are many successful strategies available to navigate the competitive environment, a clear focus on innovation, with emphasized safety and operational performance management will surely position most organizations for success.

The challenge for the competition is that while ambitious in its nature, can a strategy of imitation replicate success?

Failed Competitor Replication In The Australian Downhole Gauge Market

The Australian downhole gauge market is a prime example illustrating that while imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery, cheap imitators can result in costly failures and downtime. Recent competitive results suggest that the tactical use of imitation to replicate success in the market might be harder to achieve than first thought.

As competition struggles to imitate, the success of our long-term partnership with Qteq speaks for itself.

Since 2011 the GEO PSI and Qteq partnership has delivered more than 10,000 downhole gauge installations at a 96% success rate!

Figure 1: GEO PSI + Qteq

When our partnership first entered the market, only the traditional international service companies were active. The operator challenge was clear; downhole monitoring systems work, they just cost too much to deploy widely.

The founders of GEO PSI were already hard at work on solving this problem. Their vision was that one day every completed well is instrumented, where increased access to information would allow our customers to do more with less. To achieve this they set out to develop fit for purpose, robust and cost-effective downhole monitoring solutions that make it easy for customers to say yes.

The significant success the partnership has experienced exists for two key reasons:

First – Customer problems get solved through continuous technical and supply chain innovation, supported by extremely high levels of operational and safety performance.

Second – A robust and respectful relationship exists where each company individually and collaboratively leverages its significant downhole monitoring experience to deliver the highest success rates globally.

The recipe required to imitate the GEO PSI + Qteq success is known to the competition. However, just like following a recipe to bake a cake, one baker will bake a delicious masterpiece while the other will bake a brick.


Figure 2: Same Recipe Different Results Cake Comparison

High-quality organizations that control the entirety of their product and service offerings will always be at a competitive advantage to those that aggregate 3rd party supply chains.

From internally produced supply chains, GEO PSI and Qteq have access to the best downhole monitoring equipment on the market today. Combine this with best-in-class installation practices and some of the most experienced service personnel in the industry and it will be obvious to understand that while imitation is flattering, it’s also a minefield that can be dangerous for the competition.

We are proud to have products and services we can stand behind.

If you would like to know more we encourage you to explore our website and contact us with any questions you may have. 

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