Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Guide to Hating Competitors

So, inspired by Andrew Hay post (here), I figured I'd expand a bit and create "A Brief Guide to Hating Competitors," a marvelous piece of vendor propaganda :-)

Indeed, many of my fellow vendors are fun and smart people, some are also friendly :-). Sharing technology and sometimes even market insight with them - while having your competitive market positions and IP concerns in mind - is perfectly fine, in my estimation.

However, there are certain vendor behaviors that, in my world, can trigger a prolonged hatred. These are (ALL were observed in real world - some not by myself...)
  1. Super-unethical selling: fake references (I saw a vendor give a phone number of their own sales engineer as "here is a number for our reference government customer"...), direct and known lies, etc
  2. Hacking the competitor's website and other online resources (e.g. support site) or accessing them using stolen credentials
  3. Stealing evaluation gear/software from a side by side eval project at a prospect site
  4. Other examples of direct IP theft (once I saw this done using a VC firm as a cover)
  5. A few other things that SCIP folks would frown at.
Any additions? Thoughts?

UPDATE: fun follow-up post from Mike (and a bit more here) with more nefarious activities by vendors ... Yuck!


Anonymous said...

Another classic I have seen, vendors getting friends and family to hang out at the office to make a company appear larger than it is for a customer visit. This generally occurs AFTER lying on an RFP.

Anton Chuvakin said...

Well, come on! Give mom and pop shops a break :-) If your company is THAT early-stage, maybe bringing that 87-year old aunt and her 3-year old grandson is fair play :-)

Lying on RFPs is just as dirty as issuing unanswerable RFPs though (with questions as detailed and as idiotic as sexual preferences of junior support engineers...) :-)

Anton Chuvakin said...

Does lying about profitability count (S-1 reveals all...)? Probably not ... everybody can call themselves "we are A-L-M-O-S-T profitable...."

Dr Anton Chuvakin