Our future depends upon how we try to progress in our day to day life. The progress means changing every aspect of life with regard to time with some new happenings. When we talk about new happenings, we generally think of improving some existing solutions and then adding glue to make it different. That is what makes it a different and with proven success in it. In the history, there are enterprises succeeded by copying and updating existing solution and even making the solution much better compare to original idea, this is hybrid and there is nothing wrong in it. But some time, some companies copy an existing solution and then modify it in such a way that the modified product is termed as innovative one.
Apple has changed the way we use mobile phones, though before iPhone there were Palm OS with touch screen but the actual innovation for the User happened after iPhone came to market. This is not innovation but this is customization that refines how User should use phone. There was a paradigm shift on how User should use phone using touch screen features. This came when Apple was on the verge of perform or perish. I still remember those days of attending Steve Jobs’s iPhone presentation. The same way, ebay created a market place of used items and it was instant success. These are the few instances of how consumer’s usage pattern was redefined using technology.
Its not always true that innovation starts from 0. Some time innovation comes from existing products too. Twitter is another example of customization of blog and sms, which made Users to write anything of 140 characters.
The summary is, irrespective of whether you copy an idea or invent something new, it all matters how your product/service impacts Consumer behavior and how its perceived by consumer.