One way that you know if you’ve come up with a great idea is if everybody decides to copy it. We see plenty of examples of that all around us on a daily basis. Just yesterday it was MySpaceTV that copied YouTube. Today, it’s Opera’s Speed Dial feature.
First, in case you’re unfamiliar, Opera Speed Dial makes it really easy to keep track of your favorite sites, and access them. The image below helps explain:
Back in April when Opera 9.2 was released with Speed Dial, it didn’t take long for a copy-cat version to come out. Just a few weeks later, a Firefox extension was created called “Speed Dial” (they could have at least tried to come up with a clever new name), and it tries to provide the basic functionality that Speed Dial offers in Opera.
A more recent “copy-cat” version actually comes from an Opera user who wanted a web-based version, so he took it upon himself to create a page with 12 slots where you can add your favorite sites. You can even customize the look by changing the color. I must admit, it’s kinda cool, but it’s still not the real thing.
There are more examples though, a search engine called Exalead out of the United Kingdom has also copied with eight different slots on their homepage for “shortcuts” as they’re calling it.
I guess it’s safe to say that Opera has come up with a really great idea, because we’re seeing it copied in multiple different ways. Daniel Goldman over at Opera Watch sums it up best when he says, “Opera’s Speed Dial is often imitated but never duplicated. To try the real thing, download Opera.”