YouTube is an example of a product that competitors find very difficult to replicate. Metaverse (Facebook), despite its massive reach, tried to build its version, but the application could not catch the imagination of customers. Instagram, though, has succeeded in its reel functionality. It is another example of building an artifact and business that competitors find difficult to replicate.
Why did these innovations succeed? They succeeded because the value chain and the activities are so complex that the interrelationships between one activity and the other are such that competitors cannot replicate the model.
You will find similar examples in all sectors. From the business strategy standpoint, these companies have built applications that give them a sustained competitive advantage over others.
The above description may appear to those who are not well versed in business strategy complex and difficult to comprehend. You have to look around, and you will find that all successful businesses have this feature of non-replicability. Customers are attracted to these products and willingly come back again and again.
YouTube is leveraging this uniqueness and competitive advantage to generate revenues for itself. These revenues are from advertisements, paid channels, and publishing platforms.
These are lessons for innovators, business strategists, and startups.