Know Your Competition

There’s a good post over at VentureBlog on knowing your competition.  The post is worth reading, but if you don’t have the time, here’s the conclusion:

My advice to any entrepreneur — learn as much as possible about the
competition. Not just because you’ll do a better job of pitching your
company, but because you’ll do a better job of running your company.
And, in the end, that is what ultimately matters the most.

I would add to the post that, for many startups, the competition is not another company, but rather a product (like MSFT Excel) or a process (like going to a physical store).  Be prepared in any pitch to describe the alternative to buying your product or service and don’t be coy.  The better you know this the better your pitch will be and the more successful your business.

Lastly, don’t trash your competition…you just might make the mistake of drinking your own coolaid!