How Long to Clone It?

We’ve recently been putting the finishing touches on a new product at work.  I’ve been taking it around town and chatting about it to friends and founders, seeing what their response is.  I’ve been tuning the story and figuring out reactions.

One of the intriguing questions that people ask me when I demo it is “How long do you thing it’d take for someone to clone it?”

It’s a flattering question, because it implies that we might have created something valuable enough here to be worth ripping off.    It’s also an immensely scary question, because it means that someone might steal our thunder out from under us.  Normally you can push that thought out of your head, but it’s difficult when everyone keeps asking.

“I don’t know,” I say, “Under three months.”

I wish that number was a bit larger.