Barfi and Murphy : Are great products so damn original? [Sum greater than the parts?]

As they say, in the end what matters most is how well you disrupted the market.

A lot of sources has revealed that the movie Barfi is copied from various Indian and Hollywood movies but still made it to the Oscar’ 2013 nomination list. But do you really believe is there any harm in getting inspired from others and making something of your own?

If you steal from one author it’s plagiarism; if you steal from many it’s research. [Wilson Mizner ]

Apart from the plagiarism criticism the movie is currently going through, the movie has great performances, strong production values and a refreshing story, its just not a remake of some old movie but has redefined old plots with a better storyline.

First, take a look at the several copy paste scenes of the movie:

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Sum >> Parts

While many of us are now laughing at the extent to which the movie has been copied, but to those who knew nothing about the original artwork (did you?), the movie still is a great piece of storytelling and proves a simple point that a well conceived products (i.e. sum) is greater than the sum of parts.

A lot of hackers/geeks/entrepreneurs tend to focus on ‘differentiating’ features, and tend to lose out on the product (and packaging); but directors of the Barfi movie probably focused mainly on the product (and fitted lifted the features/scenes accordingly).

Maybe they are right (in CREATING a great product) and maybe they are wrong (in deriving a LOT of inspiration) – but the truth is that Barfi is a refreshingly different movie, given Bollywood standards and sets a bar for others.

The Target Segment:
Just like many startups that attempt models from elsewhere in India with some changes – the target market did not have access to the original content (or probably the original content was lost in the wild world). So its not the most creatively satisfying way to do it – yet it brings good art to a new audience!

Nakal mein bhi akal chahiye. Copying needs to be done with a class! Google spreadsheets were very much inspired from Excel – but they did a good job and now a whole new set of users uses spreadsheets (new use-cases).

Good or Bad? The truth, as they say lies somewhere in between. But for sure, plagiarism is bad unless one makes the original look half-baked.

Taking something from one man and making it worse is plagiarism. George A. Moore

What are your thoughts? Are great products ‘that’ original?

And the Murphy played : “Johny John, Yes Papa. Eating Barfi? No Papa. Telling a lie? No Papa. Open the box office. Ha ha ha!”

» Related Read: 7 Things I learnt from Barfi! [The biggest risk in life is NOT taking any risks]

[Written by Ishan Vyas, Intern at Pluggd.in.]