HarryD’s 22 Immutable Laws of C2V (Cloning to Vietnam)

In the past few years, there are more than 100 web 2.0 startups or projects appear in Vietnam cloning many successful international business models. However, results were mixed. The “Cloning to Vietnam” bandwagon, which I will term “C2V”, has a little bit slowed down recently, but is now hot again with many Twitter wannabes in the latest wave.

From my personal experience, I’ve “invented” some certain laws that can apply to predict a clone’s success probability. Just to share with you my experience in a quick and simple list that I call “22 Immutable Laws of Cloning to Vietnam” (my thanks to Al & Laura Ries for my own cloning of their “22 Immutable Laws” franchise!). Detailed discussions on each of these Laws will come in my following posts when I could find some time to write them down.

I’m quite confident with these laws, we can fix most of struggling web 2.0 startups in Vietnam (of course given enough time, money and resources, which are always scarcities).

In my opinion, it’s not bad or good being a cloner, but it’s how you clone that matters. Another thing is that there are always exceptions.

1. The Law of Anti-Cloning. Don’t clone at all, create your own.

2. The Law of Local Insights. If clone, start with local insights.

3. The Law of Differentiation. Differentiate yourself from original model or they’ll soon pass you in Vietnam.

4. The Law of Value. Your clone must offer its own measurable value proposition.

5. The Law of Opposition. It’s best if you can position your clone in opposition to the original model.

6. The Law of Focus. Find a laser focus for your clone and do not sacrifice this at any price.

7. The Law of Coolness. You can’t acquire early adopters if you are not cool.

8. The Law of Fads and Trends. Clone based on trends, not fads.

9. The Law of Laziness. Vietnamese consumers are lazy, so pamper them with functionalities for lazy people!

10. The Law of Engagement. Your product must engage users with one only first core functionality.

11. The Law of Virality. Add virality to your clone through different tactics.

12. The Law of First Movers. First movers today have an absolute advantage in becoming category leaders tomorrow.

13. The Law of Followers. Followers should play the role of “opposition party” to the market leaders.

14. The Law of Serial Trial. It’s ok to try thousand times to sharpen your one and only focus.

15. The Law of Controllable Dictatorship. Dictators made great products, but remember to keep that under control.

16. The Law of Prediction. The best way to predict your clone’s clear direction is to invent it.

17. The Law of Scale. Traffic scale is not the only answer, but your focus decides your scaling strategies.

18. The Law of Monetization. Find your own “monetization currency” for your clone to create a new industry and money will come in.
19. The Law of CEO Branding. Your CEO must sacrifice her privacy to stand out to represent your startup to the public and other stakeholders.

20. The Law of Founders of Two. Two founders is the perfect formula.

21. The Law of Product-as-Advertising. Your product is your advertising.

22. The Law of Seeking VCs. How low-profile you are, VCs will find a way to you right at the moment you became the category leader of a lucrative sector.

I also work out a number of other laws that well apply to cloning web 2.0 models in to Vietnam, however a list of 22 is more than enough, so here are some foods for your thoughts: