Disruptive Mindset and Competition

The higher up I go when working with a good organization, the more often I hear conversations about the competition, what they will and won’t do, what they will and won’t defend. It is not enough to know your customer. You must grow equally acquainted with your competition and then focus on the few unique opportunities your competition will not defend or respond intelligently to.

This is a snippet from fast company’s “The Five Habits of Great Innovators”.

The perspective about competition is an interesting one. How do you find out what competitors think? Especially since they are not going to share it with you? Some kind of predictive analytics based on their actions? Or statements of founders and management? How do you track every move of a competitor in a certain space relevant to your own business? Given an attack on smartphones, search and Cloud, which turf will Google protect most. Search seems like the obvious one. Or is it?

How do you even know who your real competition is or will be based on your own roadmap? It is kind of dynamic, isn’t it?

Have you recently looked at the competitive intelligence function in major organizations? What tools do they use? What data do they gather? What kind of analysis do they perform? How do the infer what they infer?