I totally agree. I avoid as much as possible to see what competitors do. When I start working on a product, the alfa version comes out of my head and I force myself to not look at competitors.
If I look at a competitors solution and it is good, my creativity dies. It probably doesn’t die, I probably just lose the motivation because I know that coming out with a solution just as good will take a lot of work.
When I don’t see how someone else solved the problem. I become creative and have fun building it. It can even be more work but I don’t look at it as work and I keep pushing and going. Usually, I come up with something odd but sometimes instead of rebuilding a good solution, I create a great one.
This quote from Neil Gaiman came to my mind:
“When you start out on a career in the arts you have no idea what you are doing.
This is great. People who know what they are doing know the rules, and know what is possible and impossible. You do not. And you should not. The rules on what is possible and impossible in the arts were made by people who had not tested the bounds of the possible by going beyond them. And you can.
If you don’t know it’s impossible it’s easier to do. And because nobody’s done it before, they haven’t made up rules to stop anyone doing that again, yet.”