On Copying

During episode 30 of the excellent Exponent podcast, Ben Thompson and James Allworth spin off into a fantastic bit about patents, copyright, and innovation. Allworth’s polarizing take should whet your appetite:

Copying each other doesn’t blunt innovation; It spurs innovation.

During a chance encounter at the 2002 Warped Tour, Geoff Rickly of Thursday offered me a single piece of advice: Never be afraid to steal. It certainly runs in-line with quotes such as “Good artists copy; Great artists steal,” and “That great poets imitate and improve, whereas small ones steal and spoil.” At the time, Rickly was an idol of mine. His words struck deep.

As previously mentioned, Zero Counts was inspired from episode 105 of The Talk Show with John Gruber, I completely redesigned Zero Counts with my first practical foray into HTML, CSS, and PHP. (Archive.org capture from 12/18/14.) In less than one years time, my writing, design, and coding skills have vastly improved, all thanks to copying Daring Fireball.