Tom shoes is a great little company started in 2006. The founder started the company after traveling to South America and noticing many children who could not afford shoes. So he started a company where whenever you buy a pair of shoes in a developed country you are also paying to give a pair of shoes to a child in need somewhere else. It is a little idea that grew quite successfully and now Tom’s shoes can be found in mainstream shoe stores in many countries. It’s great to see good little ideas like this taking off because we need them.

Yesterday I saw an ad on TV. It showed a bunch of good looking young people hopping and skipping through a forest wearing Tom’s shoes. My first thought was fantastic. It’s great to see when small companies with good ideas have success. The ad showed the shoes and then continued to explain how for every pair you buy one pair is given to a child in need. One pair of Bob’s shoes. Bob? You mean Tom right? Wrong. This was an ad for Sketcher’s new shoe called Bob which seems like an exact replica of Tom’s shoes. They haven’t taken the idea and made it better or bigger, they haven’t changed the shoes at all. It seems to be the exact same thing but produced by a large shoe company. Bob, in all shapes and forms sounds a lot like Tom.

They say imitation is the best form of flattery. Perhaps, but sometimes it just seems like copying to me. I expect more from the big brands.