Imitation is inescapable. We do what we do because others do it (social proof). We’re competing for the same jobs, schools, neighborhoods, etc. While economic theory claims scarcity creates competition, could it be they have the horse before the cart? What if imitating each other causes the competition; thus creating scarcity?
Peter Thiel says we can’t escape imitation entirely, but if we’re sensitive to the way it drives us then we’re already ahead of most.