New Klout – An Innovation Strategy?

“You have eyes: Plagiarize!”   – Product Development at Salomon Brothers (Liars Poker)

“Good artists copy, but great artists steal.” – Steve Jobs

Borrowing ideas from your competitors has a long and esteemed history in innovation, as noted in the quotes above. Therefore it should not necessarily negative to note that Klout’s ballyhooed new version and business model seems to be lifted entirely from a competitor, Kred.

When I summarized popular, retail influence-measuring services to my SMM class last semester I noted that Kred had created some buzz and excitement about its pledge of transparency and noted several differences from Klout including:

  1. Kred enhances transparency by clearly displaying events, called activities, that lead to Kred points,
  2. Kred goes back further to compute your score, up to 1000 days, so a temporary event such as going on holiday or celebrating a birthday on Facebook should not have as much impact,
  3. Participants can award each other +Kreds, which will contribute to a score, and
  4. Kred has an option to include evidence of real world influence “offline Kred” in your total score.

Of course differences remain, but substitute “moments” for activities, “90 days” for 1000, “+K” for +Kred, and “automatically” for has an “option” in these four former differences and you have the key innovations Klout just announced!

Kred seemed to be getting some traction, so Klout said “I can be like them.” Is this a winning innovation strategy??

In fairness, Facebook has been using this strategy successfully to thwart competition from Google+. However I am reminded of another example…

Coca-Cola reformulated its product, dropping the vanilla and adding sugar, to make it taste more like Pepsi in reaction to the Pepsi taste test promotions. The “New Coke” was a near disaster until management pivoted and went back to the historical formula.

Is Klout just tactically fending off Kred or is it endangering its service by introducing “New Klout” – what do you think?

[I will discuss my thoughts and your ideas in my next post…]

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8 Responses to New Klout – An Innovation Strategy?

  1. Thanks for your supportive post on Kred. It’s great to see that we have done a good job differentiating ourselves.

    Big things coming from Kred very, very soon. Can’t wait to show you.

    Shawn at Kred

  2. I hear and read about Klout all the time, but rarely about Kred. So it’s interesting that you describe Klout as fending off Kred.

    Klout must be one of the most criticised metrics around – everyone has a poke at it. But it sails on like a galleon in friendly sea. Good luck to it, as well.

    And if it succeeds even more by stealing/copying from Kred, then so be it.

    Just to be clear though, I am not in favour of stealing creative endeavours (such as stealing someone’s code or images or music or whatever) – but metrics are meant to be measured, so ‘Go measure!’

    By the way – “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” is a quote by Pablo Picasso as Steve Jobs states in this YouTube interview

  3. gschirr says:

    Thanks for your comment and for the correct attribution of the Jobs quote!

  4. gschirr says:


    Great! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

    I look forward to seeing the new stuff! Andrew Grill also indicated that some good stuff is coming.

    – Gary

  5. Gary — Today’s the day! Kred Story launched this morning, a huge change in the way social analytics are depicted. Social media history is now depicted as a personal visual stream, Give a try at

  6. gschirr says:


  7. As you know, I totally agree with you. There’s is my new blog post (in French) on @Intelegia : Klout, Kred et la science du marketing d’influence. . You’ll find a mention of your blog (and my comments…), and the English version will be publish next week. Have a good read! And, do not hesitate to comment.

  8. Raymond Morin says:

    Hi Gary, As you know, I totally agree with you. There’s a link to my latest blog post (in French) : Klout, Kred et la science du marketing d’influence
    You’ll find a mention (with link) of your blog (as my early comments…???). The English version will be publish next week. Have a good read, and don’t hesitate to comment.


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