One of the not-so-secret secrets of the startup world is that everyone copies everyone else. UI/UX, marketing, product — everything is “fair” game and almost nothing is off limits. The “rocket ships” are the ones who get copied the most, and for good reason. They have the resources to aggressively test tons of experiments, so if they decide to make something the default experience, it’s a safe assumption that it moved the needle in the right direction. Not to mention, they’ve demonstrated explosive growth for a reason.
This creates an interesting side effect, because when something becomes a “best practice,” you’ll quickly see it spread across TONS of companies. This is one of the reasons so many products and sites in the startup world seem so similar, and while this a bit unimaginative and can have some negative side effects, it can also be really powerful when leveraged correctly. Once a user has experienced a certain UX flow they’re more likely to understand and respond positively to it in the future. Conversely, marketing tactics likely lose their effectiveness as they become more pervasive.
A few examples of this that I’ve noticed emerging over the last year+ are: