What I learned from: Walking down a street in Cyprus

Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Cyprus is a miraculous place, the birth-place and childhood-playground of many multi-millionaires and hand-full of billionaires, all around the world. However something has changed lately (probably in the last two decades from what I can find), that makes it seem that a new form of ‘entrepreneurship’ has grasped the island, and yes I use that word lightly*. 

In order to illustrate how it appears to work, I’ll use a very hypothetical example. Let’s say Christos** starts a successful corner shop, right outside a school, because he’s smart and spotted a gap in the market. As people start to recognise this brilliant move, the traditional notion of appreciating it quickly fades, and some other fellow gets a bright idea:

“If Christos can make money doing that, then so can I, so… I’ll open a corner shop right next door to him, and we’ll both make money!”

Now this seems logical to some people, being that competition is great for both clients and the economy in general, but it does hammer home one big idea to the front of my mind. As much as I laugh everytime I enter one of those streets with the array of almost identical coffee shops, betting shops or even gas stations… I realise that the same thing happens online, with almost any type of service/product… It goes to show that when you are successful, you will get cloned, rapidly and everywhere. 

So what can one do? Hide away from the market so as to not be copied? No, I don’t think so, I believe it all comes down to diversifying away from the rest market by using inimitable resources to gain a competitive advantage. These normally come in the form of assets and agreements unobtainable by your competitors or, more commonly, by having a very specialised team or synergies in place.

Luckily, I picked up on this early on, and managed to differentiate Ektagon‘s service. We built entertaining platforms using brand new technologies, partnered with the most forward-thinking and dynamic advertising agency on the island, and pushed on to develop some larger-scale projects. Needless to say, there are some interesting times ahead for the team at Ektagon, as well as for our launch partners.

So to conclude, the lesson I learned, is to build as if everyone will attempt to emulate your product or service anyway. After all, would you rather lead the trend or follow it?

Please do feel free to sound off in the comments, these are just my observations and I invite you to share yours with me below.

Keep the passion,


*Obviously I’m generalising and know many superb entrepreneurs on the island. You know who you are.
** If your name is Christos, I do apologise and obviously I don’t mean you… unless you own that shop across the road from that school, in which case, hello Christos and thanks for all those Mr Browns at that special price!

Hey, I'm Hector 👋

I’m a workspace technologist – which just means I get to work with a tonne of awesome people and tech that support, run, market and enrich hundreds of business communities and workspaces around the world. 

I currently lead included.co and syncaroo.com, and curate This Week In Coworking, the ProptechUpdate, the Integrations Map and the Big Bodacious List of coworking software. Learn more about me and my work here.

In my blog and email updates I share my thoughts, observations and spotted trends regarding workspace, technology & entrepreneurship. 

Would you like my blog updates via email?

Share this post with your friends

Share on facebook
Share on email
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
  • Jebus
    June 10, 2013

    Don’t worry about people stealing your design work. Worry about the day they stop. - Jeffrey Zeldman

    There's a reason why this quote is on the table of most start-ups, today :-)

  • Making space for entrepreneurs in Cyprus | I'm Hector Kolonas
    March 31, 2014

    […] can do it and make the same amount of money! Right!?”. My thoughts on this were outlined in a previous post, but let me remind you, doing something because others are, is almost always a bad call.  You will […]

  • Michael Oikonomou
    April 24, 2014

    Dear Hector,

    This is a very good Post! It reminds me a previous one about the "Jogurtization" (I really enjoyed the term :P).

    I believe that Competition is something that should making entrepreneurs happy instead of worry them. If someone doesn't believe that he can make a great product and business than anyone else, then probably he should look for doing something else.

    With our team at http://atyourservice.com.cy we also had similar experiences (on a regular basis) with websites that tried to copy our model, our functionality, our design. This is good as it validates our market :) Our most unique, strong and inimitable competitive advantage is our Team and the Execution we do everyday. This stands for every entrepreneur and startup team everywhere and on this island.

    Best Regards and keep connecting entrepreneurs!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.