Posts Tagged "competition"

Last week RivalSoft launched RivalMap, a collaborative web based solution for managing competitive information.

I’ve used Competitious on and off over the past year, and it’s a great tool. Though, as stated in this Competitious blog post,”Competitious is a great way to quickly list your competition, and start finding news and traffic stats about them, but RivalMap is focused on what happens next.

RivalMap is definitely a much more robust and feature rich solution. It has a beautiful user interface, and it maintains the same level of excellent usability and simplicity amidst a great deal more features. Anyone familiar with Basecamp will be right at home with RivalMap, as it has a very similar look and feel.

The beauty of RivalMap is that is provides your team a central place for MANAGING competitive information, not just storing it. I’ve seen companies “manage” their competitive information by sending around emails of press releases to different people throughout the organization, or creating a wiki, or at the most sophisticated level, by setting up a project within their internal project management system where they post information about competitors. However, all of these approaches fall FAR short of what RivalMap allows you to do.

RivalMap serves as that central place for all competitive info, but it also provides you with the tools to actually organize, and manage competitive information and begin to formulate strategies to address competitive threats. It allows you to build comparison grids (company and product comparison), easily associate links to news articles, build out a full SWOT analysis, and lots more. It even lets you segment out the distinct verticals in which you compete, and track all the way down to your competitors’ individual customers!

The one thing I was disapointed to see missing was the ability for the software to search for, and suggest links and articles, that are related to ones competitors. This was a very nice feature of competitious. However, it was mentioned in the competitious blog that they are planning on adding a similar feature to RivalMap, and potentially integration with third-party information services.

I would also like to have the ability to have my google alerts and similar services automatically parsed, and applied to the appropriate competitor’s profile.

All in all, I’m VERY impressed.

Their website is also very good in terms of clearly stating the benefits and features of the product, and with a completely free account for up to 3 users, it’s a no brainer to at least try it out.

You can also check out the RivalMap blog, and there is a great discussion over at TechCrunch as well.

Keep up the great work RivalSoft!

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I read a great quote today by Bob Warfield regarding business competition:

…business competition has a lot in common with an aerial dogfight: the other guys have talent (and often more resources) and the stakes are frighteningly high. If you can “get inside” your opponent’s decision cycle, you are in the driver’s seat. They are responding to your initiatives and this is an advantage that’s hard to overcome. When you are inside the decision loop of a competitor, it’s a huge tactical advantage. Google got inside Facebook’s decision loop with Open Social. Apple got inside the cell phone industry’s decision loop with the iPhone. When you get inside the market’s decision loop, it is an enormous strategic advantage. If you are lucky enough to be right, and lucky enough that a major market heads right to where your fighter plane’s guns are already aimed, you get the big success.

I never really saw this in Google and Apple’s recent plays, but they have done exactly that. They have infiltrated the competition’s decision loops.

Apple was seeing the market for the iPod being encroached upon by cell phone companies via digital music player enabled phones – along comes the iPhone.

Google saw their position as the gateway to the web so to speak, and their value as the means of connecting people with information being threatened by Facebook – hello OpenSocial.

So what does Google’s Android move do? It infiltrates Apple AND Microsoft’s decision loops.

Whose decision loop can you inject yourself into now, that will put YOU in the driver seat?

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