You can either do things the way everyone else does them (imitate) or the way it has always been done (replicate)... or you can innovate and come up with something (hopefully) better.
We had this discussion today at our Manifast development team meeting.
When you are building a single user web application or one where only one person needs to interact with a piece of data at a time, things are relatively simple.
When you have an enterprise (even a small enterprise) software package where many people have to view and edit the same data, you have to address concurrency. Concurrency is how you handle data updates when multiple people want or need to change it at the same time. There are several traditional ways of doing this (first in wins, last to save wins, locking, etc.).
We elected to push the envelope a bit.
There are some relatively new technologies out that allow us to create (a little easier) the ability have multiple people edit the same set of information and keep everyone up to date as to the changes being made. Yes, we still have some behind the scenes concurrency issues as only one person can "actually" update the data at a time. But by using the new technology and micro-locking we can make it feel like everyone is able to edit the information at the same time.
Manifast - Brainstorm Tool with 2 Users and Auto-Updating
Innovation can be risky or have high cost so there are definitely times to use Imitate or Replicate, but for the WOW effect, Innovate usually wins hands down.
How are you innovating in your business to create WOW?